Tejal Patel is a native Texan; Amarillo-born, Alief-raised. She has spent her nearly 20-year career in public service from her days as a journalist to running a press office for the largest school district in Texas. She currently is the General Manager of Media Relations for Houston ISD. Under her tenure as Deputy Press Secretary for Mayor Sylvester Turner, Patel helped shepherd messaging and various campaigns during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Her previous roles include spokesperson for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and community outreach coordinator for Houston Community College. As a journalist, she spent nearly 10 years in TV newsrooms as a producer in Waco, Albuquerque, Houston, and Dallas. Patel is a proud Alief ISD alum who graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Journalism. She is the first in her family to graduate from college. She has been recognized for her work by the New Mexico Broadcasters Association and Houston Public Relations Society of America. Patel volunteers with Big Brothers and Big Sisters and spends her free time at the park with her dog Devi, visiting her godchildren, and going to the gym.