Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis was born and raised in Houston’s Sunnyside neighborhood.
The proud son of a yardman and a maid, Ellis attended Texas public schools from grade school through law school. He holds a bachelor's degree from Texas Southern University, a master's degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, and a law degree from the University Of Texas School Of Law.
As Commissioner of Harris County Precinct One, Ellis has played a critical role on the Court by securing misdemeanor bail reform, flood equity guidelines, stronger worker protections and economic opportunity provisions, funding for indigent defense and COVID-19 recovery funding, including direct relief for residents, small businesses, emergency rental assistance, shelters for those experiencing homelessness, as well as other innovative programs, including providing computers to low-income students, among other achievements.
Before serving as a County Commissioner, Ellis was elected to Houston City Council and served three terms before being elected to the Texas Senate in 1990. For 26 years, he represented Texas' 13th state senate district and he passed over 700 pieces of legislation. On November 8, 2016, Ellis was elected county commissioner and sworn into office on January 1, 2017.
As County Commissioner, Ellis prioritizes inclusive economic growth that uplifts low income communities, ensures access to parks and green-space in under-served neighborhoods, advances criminal justice reform that protects the rights of all people, and provides safe, affordable transportation options. Following Hurricane Harvey, Ellis successfully advocated for equitable investment in flood control infrastructure and disaster recovery in vulnerable communities through a $2.5B bond approved by voters in 2018.
He is an avid art collector and cycling enthusiast. Commissioner Ellis is married to Licia Green-Ellis and has four children.