Chris Riley was born and raised in Austin, the son of Peter and Eva Riley. He attended Austin High School and served as a Congressional Page for Congressman J. J. "Jake" Pickle before attending Harvard College, where he graduated with honors in Economics, and the University of Texas School of Law. In 1990 he passed the bar and moved downtown. He then worked as an attorney at the Texas Supreme Court for five years before entering private practice with Shields & Rusk, P. C., later known as the Rusk Law Firm.
Chris has been serving the community for many years. He co-founded the Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association in 1997, and served as its president for five years. He was then appointed to Austin’s Planning Commission and served on it for six years, including two years as its chair. He has also served on numerous other city boards and task forces, including the Downtown Commission (1999-2007), the Water Conservation Task Force (2006-07), and the Street Smarts Task Force (2007).
Chris has also been involved with a number of local non-profits. As a board member of the Austin Parks Foundation, Chris helped bring the giant chess set to Wooldridge Park, where it has seen action most Saturdays for the past six years. Chris also co-founded Austin CarShare and the Alliance for Public Transit, and served as president of the Austin History Center Association for two years.
Chris lives in a historic 1890 home, which he restored in 2002-03 as a fourplex. An avid bicyclist, Chris no longer owns a car. He enjoys movies at the Alamo with his partner of eleven years, Denise Brady, a lawyer and coordinator of early childhood programs for the State of Texas.