City of Houston Mayor's Office of Communications 

Mayor's Press Release

Houston Public Library System Leadership Change Announced

Cynthia WilsonMarch 28, 2024 -- Today, Mayor John Whitmire named Cynthia Wilson, a former educator and executive leader in workplace performance management, the interim Executive Director of the Houston Public Library System (HPL).

Wilson joined the City of Houston in January '24 and will continue her role as the mayor's Senior Advisor for Organizational Culture and Education while leading the library system.

She has previously worked as an elementary school principal and District Superintendent for the Houston Independent School District, Superintendent of Schools in the Orangeburg, S.C., Consolidated School District, and the Chief of Staff and Chief Human Capital Management Officer for the Dallas Independent School District.

"I am grateful Cynthia agreed to serve in this interim role, and I have asked her to immediately go to work on improving communications, management, employee morale, and operations throughout HPL," said Mayor Whitmire.

The City of Houston's public library system is comprised of 44 public service units, including the Central Library, five Regional Libraries, 29 Neighborhood and Express Libraries, three History Research Centers, three TECHLink technology centers, a satellite location at Children's Museum Houston, cafécollege Houston, and Mobile Express.

HPL has one of the largest service areas - both in population and area - in the country. The City of Houston's 2.3 million residents are the primary beneficiaries of a comprehensive customer-focused service delivery strategy.

Dr. Wilson earned a Doctor of Education from South Carolina State University, a Master of Education from the University of Houston, and a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Her appointment as interim Executive Director is effective immediately.

She replaces Dr. Rhea Lawson, HPL's Executive Director since 2005.

The City of Houston thanks Dr. Lawson for her many years of service and wishes her the best in all future endeavors.