Whitney Brewster Headshot

july 2016

meet the executive director for the texas department of motor vehicles

Plenty of children dream of what they’ll be when they grow up. Maybe they’ll be a doctor, or a rock star, or a sports hero. As a child growing up in Houston, Texas, Whitney Brewster dreamed a little differently. “I remember very distinctly as a child one night laying in bed just thinking, ‘What do I want to do? How can I help people?’ I knew I wanted to help people,” she says. “I remember thinking I wanted to help thousands, millions of people – what kind of role does that?”

That question took her far away from her Texas home and all the way to Alaska. With a future in politics on her mind, she began her career in public service. After graduating from college, she began interning for the legislature in Alaska, then went on to work for a state senator and the Lieutenant Governor, who appointed her Director for the Alaska Division of Elections. “It was an absolute honor to be able to serve in that capacity, and I think it was in that role that I really got the bug to serve the public,” she says. “I really could see very directly that the actions that I took and my agency took could really impact the public for good or for bad. I really enjoyed the responsibility of trying to make things better.” And while she enjoyed the position, that post with the Division of Elections made her reconsider her original goal of a political career. “But the public service piece certainly stuck, and it really has been a true blessing in my life.”

Whitney Brewster was then appointed director of Alaska’s Division of Motor Vehicles, a position that challenged her and brought her to the AAMVA Community. “How often can people say that they help every citizen in their state? That’s really an honor and a great responsibility and one that I take very seriously,” she says.

As a new administrator, she credits an AAMVA board member who reached out to her for helping her fit into an unfamiliar industry.  “Not having a lot of direct experience in the industry, I needed all the resources I could get. It was so helpful to me,” she says. “I think AAMVA is the best association I’ve ever had involvement in. The best practices that come out as a result of the different working groups, the structure of AAMVA, the AAMVA staff, the camaraderie that people feel when they come [to meetings].”

In 2012, the position of Executive Director of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles opened up, and Brewster saw an opportunity to come home. “Being from Texas, I thought it was a great opportunity to continue to do what I love to do, and be closer to family, and serve the people of the state.” She’s been in her position at the Texas DMV for almost 4 years now, and she joined the AAMVA Board of Directors in 2015. “It’s my way of giving back to the AAMVA Community, to new administrators, to existing administrators,” she says. “The fact that we can share information, commiserate on occasion, it’s so very rewarding. I wanted to help and be a part of it in any way that I could.”