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Home / Blog / Human Rights First Welcomes Four New Houston-Based Members to its Distinguished Board of Advocates
May 09, 2014

Human Rights First Welcomes Four New Houston-Based Members to its Distinguished Board of Advocates

As we prepare to open the doors to serve refugees in our new Houston office, we are thrilled to have the full support of some of Houston’s finest!  Four prominent local leaders have recently joined our Board of Advocates, creating a new Houston chapter to our organization’s core base of supporters. These outstanding individuals include:  Alan Crain, Peggy Matthews, Allen Matusow and Gordon Quan.

Alan R. Crain, Jr. is the Chief Legal Governance Officer of Baker Hughes. He has advised Fortune 500 companies in legal and business matters throughout the world for over 30 years. Alan has served on the Executive Board of the American Bar Association’s Center for Human Rights and is a leading supporter of Refugee Services program at Interfaith Ministries of Houston. He is the founder and chairman of the Director to Director Exchange at the Jones School of Rice University. He is a member of the Board of the National Association of Corporate Directors (Texas Tri-Cities) and a frequent speaker to boards of directors on proper governance practices. He has served on the board of directors of both small private companies and multibillion dollar public companies. Alan is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has appeared before the United States Senate and in a number of other global venues. He was an adjunct Professor of Law at the Law Center of University of Houston for 10 years where he taught international law. He serves on the boards of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration, the American Arbitration Association, the Asia Society–Texas Center and the World Affairs Council of Houston.

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Peggy Matthews is principal owner and president of Rapid Record Retrieval, a business she started 7 years ago in Houston, Texas. Her growing company offers legal support for law firms across the country by securing records and providing medical review relevant to mass tort litigation. Peggy and her husband of 23 years have 5 children, who currently range in age from 11 – 23. While the children were young she remained at home, volunteering countless hours for both public and private school committees. Peggy was an active committee chair for years with the Houston Bar Association Auxiliary and is a lifetime member of the American Bar Auxiliary. She is passionate about her community and remaining involved as time permits. As a business owner and mother, she strives to embrace life and the opportunities we all have to make a difference in the lives of others while maintaining a sense of humor. A generous spirit has guided Peggy to help people in need and support worthy causes.

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Dr. Allen J. Matusow is the academic affairs director at the Baker Institute and the William Gaines Twyman Professor of History at Rice University. He specializes in 20th-century U.S. history and has written or edited five books, including The Unraveling of America: A History of Liberalism in the 1960s and Nixon’s Economy: Booms, Busts, Dollars and Votes. Allen, who continues to teach history, is currently writing a book on former President Jimmy Carter’s search for peace in the Middle East. Allen earned a B.A. from Ursinus College an, M.A. from Harvard University, and his Ph.D. from Harvard University.

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Gordon Quan is the Co-Chairman of FosterQuan and has practiced law for over 32 years. His firm is one of the largest immigration law firms in the world. Born in China, Gordon and his family moved to Houston following the Chinese Revolution in 1951. They settled in Magnolia Park in the East End of Houston and opened a neighborhood grocery store. In 1999, Gordon was elected as the first Asian American at large member of the Houston City Council. His work on store safety issues earned him the “Council Member of the Year” Award by the Houston Police Officers Union. In 2001, Gordon was selected by the Mayor and City Council to serve as Mayor Pro-Tem. Since leaving office, Gordon has continued to serve the community—as chair of the Asian Chamber of Commerce; as vice chair of the Asia Society, Texas Center; working on the advisory board of Catholic charities and the Women's Home; and as a board member of Neighborhood Centers Inc. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Gordons's office organized relief for Asian American businesses, community groups, professional associations, and churches. For his work on behalf of others, Gordon was selected the recipient of the 2009 International Service Award by the Houston's Junior Chamber of Commerce. Gordon is a member of the Houston and American Bar Associations; the American Immigration Lawyers Association; the Asian American Bar Association of Houston (President, 1990-1991); and the National Asian Pacific Bar Association. Gordon earned a B.A. from the University of Texas, a Master’s in Education from the University of Houston, and his law degree from the South Texas College of Law.

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These four prominent local leaders are helping us starting a new chapter in Human Rights First’s history, beginning with hosting our launch party at our new office in Houston on Thursday, May 29th. For more information about the party, please contact Morgan Turner at Houston@humanrightsfirst.org.

We are still seeking additional Houston-based members to join our distinguished Board of Advocates. This leadership group is made up of notable individuals who believe in Human Rights First’s mission and want to advance it by advocating for major financial and other support within their communities and spheres of influence. We are looking to you for advice, guidance and support as we grow into our new Houston home. We want to tailor our office to fit the community’s needs and we need local input to make that happen. If you are interested in joining the Houston Chapter of the Board of Advocates, please contact Jennifer Rizzo at RizzoJ@humanrightsfirst.org.