Tejal Patel serves as Chief of Communications and Community Engagement for Prince George’s County Public Schools.
She joins PGCPS from Houston Independent School District, the largest school district in Texas and the eighth largest in the country, where she held the role of Executive Officer of Communications overseeing media relations, strategic communications, multimedia, translations, and digital media departments.
At PGCPS, Patel works in tandem with senior leadership to support the Superintendent in achieving PGCPS’ mission, vision, and goals, to enhance the district’s image and brand while imparting public information in a transparent manner to internal and external stakeholders.
Patel is a first-generation American, native Texan, and the first in her family to graduate from college. Over the course of her nearly 20-year career in journalism and communications, she has built a reputation as a trusted spokesperson and expert in storytelling and narrative building.
At Houston ISD, she increased trust and transparency with the media and community and created the district’s first digital media team.
During her tenure as Deputy Press Secretary for Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner, Patel shepherded messaging during the COVID-19 pandemic around the “Stay Home, Work Safe” Order, mask mandates, testing and vaccine distribution. She also supported crisis management and response during tropical storm Imelda in 2019 and the winter freeze in 2021. She played a key role in increasing trust between media outlets and the Mayor’s Office of Communications.
She previously served as spokesperson for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and community outreach coordinator for Houston Community College. As an award-winning journalist, she spent nearly 10 years in TV newsrooms as a news producer in Waco, Albuquerque, Houston, and Dallas covering major news events such as wildfires in New Mexico, the 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood, and the 2013 fertilizer plant explosion in the town of West, TX.
In May 2023, Patel was appointed to Houston’s first Asian American Pacific Islander Advisory Board. She has also volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Houston, Girls Empowerment Network, Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation, Make-a-Wish Foundation, and served on the Houston2036 Taskforce.
Patel graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Journalism.
Chief Communications and Engagement Officer