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Dr. Jose Z. Garcia retired from state government in January 2105 after serving for four years as Secretary of Higher Education in New Mexico. Prior to this appointment he was a faculty member at New Mexico State University for more than three decades, specializing in Latin American politics. He has lectured in every Spanish-speaking country in Latin America and written extensively on Latin American militaries, civil wars, coups, and the U.S.-Mexico border. He has received numerous research grants to, including awards from the Ford, Hewlett, and Wilson Foundations, and the federal government. gas density conversion He directed the Title VI Latin American program for 13 years at NMSU, as part of a nationally ranked UNM-NMSU consortium. He was a co-founder of the Paso del Norte Water Task Force, an international organization convening major water managers and experts in the binational region, and chaired the organization in 2010. He currently writes a blog, la politica new mexico, dealing with New Mexico politics and the U.S.-Mexico border. He is bilingual in English and Spanish.

As Secretary of Higher Education Dr. Garcia was responsible for the oversight of 24 institutions of higher learning, recommending to the legislature the distribution of about $1.2 billion among the institutions; performing institutional audits when necessary; distributing student financial aid; administering two federal grant programs; monitoring private and proprietary institutions; conducting policy research; and recommending higher education policy directions. He was also active as Chair of the $2.3 billion Education Trust Fund, strengthening the college savings plan for New Mexicans. During his tenure Dr. Garcia created the first performance-based funding formula, rewarding institutions for performance rather than for costs of operation. gas finder He secured a voluntary two-year moratorium on new buildings on public campuses, and began an analysis of the supply and demand for New Mexico higher education graduates in the New Mexico workforce. He initiated the first sustained agenda between New Mexico Higher Education and the four New Mexico Tribal Colleges, advocating for stronger ties between the states and the tribes in issues of higher education; and hosted various conferences related to improving college completion rates in New Mexico—closing the achievement gap, improving college readiness, improving remediation rates; setting college completion goals for institutions, creating a better workforce through higher education, and orientations for boards of regents. He was a member of the board of the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE), and the State Higher Education Executive Officers association. He served as a delegate to U.S.-Mexico Border Governors’ conferences and to New Mexico-Chihuahua and New Mexico-Sonora conferences.

After receiving a BA from Occidental College, Dr. Garcia was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to Ecuador. He received an MA from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a PhD from the University of New Mexico. He spent two years teaching international relations and other subjects at the U.S. Army School of the Americas at Ft. Benning, where he received a teaching award and went to Jump School.

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