Dr. José Z. Garcia, Cabinet Secretary
The overall vision of Secretary José Z. Garcia for higher education, shared by Governor Martinez, is to promote the creation in New Mexico of a globally competitive workforce for the future. The Higher Education Department's task is to ensure that the institutions of higher learning in New Mexico act in concert as a single coherent and efficient system that can respond effectively to the state’s changing workforce needs.
Dr. José Z. Garcia was appointed Secretary of Higher Education in December 2010 by then-Governor-elect Susana Martinez. In his first year in office he worked with a broad spectrum of legislative, executive, and college and university officials to write a new funding formula for higher education. Rewarding institutions for their outcomes rather than costs, the formula specifically encourages institutions to close the achievement gap; to grant more certificates and degrees in general; and graduate more students in science, technology, engineering, health, and mathematics fields. The legislature’s distribution of funds to institutions of higher learning during the 2012 legislative session, and signed by the governor, mirrored recommendations generated by the formula.
Prior to joining Governor Martinez’s cabinet, Secretary Garcia enjoyed a long and fruitful career at New Mexico State University as a political scientist, specializing in Latin American and U.S.-Mexico border politics. He also developed a specialty in New Mexico politics and was a co-founder of the Paso del Norte Water Task Force.
You may contact the Cabinet Secretary's executive assistant at Exec.Admin@state.nm.us.