Secretary Dr. Barbara Damron brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the department. She has over 30 years of experience as an executive, health care provider, scientist, and educator with a focus on policy and healthcare. Dr. Damron is the recipient of over 25 state, national, and international awards for her professional accomplishments.
She received a BSN from Union College, a MSN from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Most recently she has served as an associate professor at the University of New Mexico College of Nursing, with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nursing and Health Policy Collaboration doctoral program. She also served as an associate professor in the Department of Family & Community Medicine at the University of New Mexico Health Science Center School of Medicine. Additionally, she developed and directed the University of New Mexico Cancer Center’s Office of Community Partnerships and Cancer Health Disparities. Her research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, and multiple state and national foundations. Dr. Damron has served on and worked with numerous academic boards and organizations throughout her lengthy career. Dr. Damron also worked as professional staff for the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions in Washington, D.C.
Governor Susana Martinez is working to build a more dynamic, thriving and diverse economy in New Mexico. Dr. Damron is working to implement Governor Martinez’s vison of creating a more cohesive higher education system. Dr. Damron will ensure that New Mexico’s Higher Education Department will continue to be a pillar of excellence through helping higher education institutions produce the skilled and capable workforce our state needs.