Bernard Houston came to Alabama in 1987 to attend Alabama State University in Montgomery. He took off some time from college to work alongside his father, a construction contractor in Chicago. He stated that he fell in love with Alabama and longed to return. He returned to Alabama State where he earned an undergraduate degree in psychology and social welfare policy and a Master’s degree in Special Education and behavioral disorders. Houston left Alabama for to further his education earning a Juris Doctorate from Cleveland State University’s Marshall School of Law in Cleveland Ohio. He is also currently in the dissertation stage for an Ed. D from Ohio University.
Mr. Houston has a varied background resulting from guidance that he received from a mentor. Houston shared with a trusted mentor that he had aspirations for the United States Senate. Upon hearing Houston’s interest, his mentor advised him to gain policy and employment experience in education, healthcare, public works/community development, and public safety. Mr. Houston followed the guidance that he received serving in each area in an executive government capacity.
He has served as Senior Policy Advisor for Medicaid and Deputy Director and Chief Procurement Officer for the State of Ohio. In his experience he has focused on cost containment and lobbying before the Ohio General Assembly Controlling Board and the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR). Bernard Houston has also served as Deputy Director and Chief Probation Officer in Franklin County Ohio as well Chief of Staff at Alabama State University. Additionally, Houston has led departments in the City of Cleveland where he held responsibility for minority and female business enterprises, economic development, community development, fair housing law, and community relations.
Finally, Mr. Houston has been in ministry leadership for over 25 years and is an ordained pastor. He has an enduring passion for juvenile justice and is a strong advocate for faith based and community agency engagement in juvenile justice reform. He is married to Valencia Houston and they have three children. He resides in Montgomery Alabama. As a conversation starter, please ask Mr. Houston to share his story about becoming a proud Crimson Tide fan since childhood!