Patricia Diaz Dennis was responsible for AT&T Corporate Litigation, Procurement, Corporate Real Estate, Environmental, Corporate Compliance, IT, Trademark and Copyright legal matters until she retired in November 2008.
Dennis was appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate to three federal government positions. President Reagan appointed her, and she served from 1986 until 1989, as a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission. Before President Reagan appointed her to the FCC, he named her a member of the National Labor Relations Board and President Bush appointed her assistant secretary of state for human rights and humanitarian affairs in 1992. Before joining AT&T (formerly SBC) in 1995, Dennis was special counsel to Sullivan & Cromwell for communications matters in the international law firm's Washington, D.C. office. From 1989 to 1991, she was a partner and head of the communications section of the Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue law firm.
She is a member of the California, Texas and District of Columbia bars and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. Dennis serves on the Boards of Directors of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company and NPR. She is also a NHP Foundation trustee and sits on the World Bank Sanctions Board.
Dennis was Chair of the Girl Scouts of the USA from 2005-2008 and served on its Board from October 1999 until October 2008. Governor George W. Bush named Dennis to a six year term on the Texas State University System Board of Regents in 1999. Governor Rick Perry appointed Dennis to his transition team for Texas-Mexico Relations.
Among other honors, in 2012, Dennis was named the Sarah T. Hughes Women Lawyers of Achievement Award recipient by the Texas State Bar Women and the Law Section. In November 2009, the National Hispana Leadership Institute presented her its national Mujer award. In April 2008, Texas Diversity Magazine named her one of eight “Most Powerful and Influential Women in Texas” and gave her a Glass Ceiling Award; in February 2008, Hispanic Magazine named her one of the top 25 best Latinos in business and she received the 2007 Association of Fundraising Professionals Award for her ongoing commitment to volunteerism and philanthropy. Dennis also received the following awards: 2007 MANA Las Primeras for Community Service, 2007 Hispanic Women’s Corporation Latina Excellence, 2006 Spelman College Legacy of Leadership, 2003 MALDEF Corporate Responsibility & Service, 2002 Cuban American National Council Leadership, 2002 San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame – Law, 2001 Association for Women in Communications’ Public Endeavor, 2000 Bexar County Women’s Bar Association Belva Lockwood Outstanding Lawyer, 1999 San Antonio Women’s Chamber of Commerce Corporate Executive of the Year, 1999 UCLA Latino Alumni Association Alumna of the Year, 1999 National Hispanic Employee Association Executive of the Year, 1992 Houston YWCA Hispanic Woman of the Year and the 1989 Woman of the Year from the Hispanic Women's Council. Hispanic Business Magazine named her to its "100 Influentials" List in 1987, 1988, 1990, 1996 and 2008. It also listed her in the “80 Elite Hispanic Women Directory” in 2002, 2004 Top 25 Elite Women and 2005 Elite Women. Hispanic Magazine named Dennis to its 100 Top Latinas list in 2003 & 2004.
Born in Santa Rita, New Mexico, she holds a law degree from Loyola University of Los Angeles and an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Los Angeles. She and her husband, Michael, are the parents of three adult children and have one granddaughter.