June 13, 2001 – Dallas, TX – Elwin Skiles Jr., senior VP for public affairs at Texas Instruments, died Sunday after a lengthy battle with cancer. A 24-year TI veteran and member of the company’s senior management team, Skiles, 60, was responsible for TI’s government, philanthropic and community activities.
“Win preferred to work behind the scenes. But he influenced this company and the communities in which TI operates in deep and meaningful ways,” said Tom Engibous, TI chairman, president and CEO. “His unwavering commitment to community involvement served as a beacon to all TIers, and the way in which he daily did his job – with intelligence, humor, grace, and compassion – provided subtle yet constant lessons from which we all learned. He will be terribly missed not only by me and his friends at TI, but among the many government, philanthropic and community organizations where Win so ably represented this company and the principles it stands for.”
During the years he headed TI’s public affairs activities, Skiles played the lead role in directing TI’s involvement in education, economic development and the arts. He served as vice chairman of the TI Foundation, a non-profit corporation that supports a variety of education and arts programs. “He made a difference,” said Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk. “Win recognized that his company and his community could only be successful if quality education and economic opportunities were widely available to all, regardless of background or race. With tremendous personal energy and commitment, Win dedicated himself to making that happen.”
During his more than 15 years of overseeing TI’s government relations activities, Skiles was involved in helping set and promote TI’s position on a range of policy issues, including international trade, public education reform, research and higher education, and minority and women business development. “Win was a scholar of government and public policy, and he had tremendous empathy for people,” said US Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas. “He was a tireless worker and he made it fun to be involved.”
Among his previous TI duties, Skiles was responsible for the company’s worldwide corporate communications activities from September 1991 to 1998. While in TI’s Law Department from 1976 to 1992, he served as assistant general counsel for the Defense Systems & Electronics Group, Asia-Pacific Division, Latin America Division, international trade, environmental compliance and corporate services. He also played an important role in TI’s corporate governance, serving as chairman of the TI Ethics Committee, and as secretary to several TI board committees, including the Stockholder Relations and Public Policy committees.
Skiles, who earned his J.D. from the U. of Texas at Austin in 1968, joined TI in 1976, after serving as Sen. John G. Tower’s chief of staff. He also served as counsel on the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs in Washington, D.C., and as an attorney for Hunt Oil Company prior to joining TI. In addition to his law degree, Skiles earned a master’s degree from George Washington U. and a bachelor’s degree from Baylor U. He was a member of the Texas, District of Columbia and American Bar Associations.