PAUL J. WEBER, Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The man tasked with overseeing Texas' Hurricane Harvey rebuilding efforts sees his job as "future-proofing" before the next disaster.

But Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp isn't empowered on his own to reshape flood-prone Houston or the state's vulnerable coastline.

Sharp will face the same political and bureaucratic challenges that have long stalled meaningful storm protection improvements, and some are doubtful that even Harvey's record flooding will bring about real change.

Sharp is the rare Democrat with sustained relevance in Republican-controlled Texas. He is former lawmaker and state comptroller who was U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry's college roommate at Texas A&M, which Sharp has led since 2011 and will continue to lead while overseeing the rebuilding effort.

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