Board of Directors
Dr. Dan Arvizu
Chancellor and Chief Executive of NMSU
Dr. Dan Arvizu became Chancellor and the 28th Chief Executive of the New Mexico State University System (NMSU) on June 1, 2018. NMSU is New Mexico’s land-grant institution founded in 1888 and is presently one of the nation’s foremost Hispanic-serving universities. NMSU is a NASA Space Grant College and is home to the very first Honors College in New Mexico. Dr. Arvizu is the second alumnus and first Hispanic to be hired as the NMSU System Chancellor and Chief Executive. He previously served in various roles at Emerson Collective including Chief Technology Officer, STEM Evangelist, and Senior Advisor. He also currently serves as a Venture Partner for Sustainability for Ridge-Lane Partners, Ltd. and as a Precourt Institute Energy Scholar at Stanford University.
Dr. Arvizu has had a long distinguished career in advanced energy research and development, materials and process sciences, and technology commercialization. He started his career in 1973 at Bell Labs, and after four years transferred to Sandia National Labs, where he spent the next 21 years, 14 years in executive roles. In 1998 he joined CH2M Hill Companies, Ltd for 6 years, his last two years as a CTO. In January of 2005 he was appointed the 8th Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado and became the first Hispanic Lab Director in the history of any of the 17 U.S. DOE’s National Labs. He retired in December of 2015, and is presently Director Emeritus.
Dr. Susan Brown
Susan Brown, Ph.D., the interim Dean of the New Mexico State University College of Education, is a longtime educator with different positions that include: Associate Dean of Research, the Director of the STEM Research Center, teacher of science at the high school and middle school level, as well as the Principal Investigator for over 23 million dollars over the past 20 years in STEM education at NMSU.
Her current leadership positions include being the education lead (outreach) for our NMSU iCREDITS Center (Research and Training in Smart Grid Technologies) as well as being on the leadership team of the Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics that includes NMSU, Georgia Tech, Arizona State University, and University of California (Davis) as the Pre-K-12th grade outreach Lead.
Her funding sources include the National Science Foundation, NASA, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, New Mexico Public Education Department, as well as over 20 different Foundations (national and state.) These funds are primarily needed in order to establish inquiry based afterschool STEM programs that at this time include over 4,200 K-8th grade students each semester in southern New Mexico as well as a northern location (Farmington.) Also, the funds have provided engaging professional development opportunities for thousands of K-12th grade teachers throughout the 20 years.
She and her wonderful husband have been married for 48 years and have three sons who all have graduate degrees, plus three beautiful grandsons!
Dr. Andrew Burke
NMSU Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance
Burke served in various positions at DACC for 30 years before retiring in 2014. Burke served longest as DACC’s vice president for business and finance where he was administratively responsible for not only business and finance but also facilities, information technology and human resources. He also served twice as that campus’s interim president and chief executive officer. During his last year at DACC as interim president, the college completed a self-study report for the Higher Learning Commission comprehensive site visit and subsequent institutional accreditation.
Dr. Luis Cifuentes
Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School
From 2012-2017, Cifuentes was vice president for Research, Commercialization and Outreach at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi (TAMUCC). Before moving to New Mexico State University in July 2018, he served as special assistant to the president.
At TAMUCC, Cifuentes oversaw increases in sponsored research and led the drive to have the university designated as one of the national FAA test sites. His research background is in oceanography and he has been a leader on research grants totaling more than $5 million. In addition to administration, he has been active in research with over $5.5 million in grant moneys awarded. Most recently, he served as PI on an NSF research coordination network project that built a network in South Texas, which includes eight Texas universities (five HSIs) and the Southwest Research Institute, and has organized international conferences in Scotland and Mexico. Prior to serving at TAMUCC, Cifuentes was on the faculty of Texas A&M University College Station (TAMU),where he rose from assistant professor to professor in the Department of Oceanography.He also served as executive associate dean and associate dean for research in the College of Geosciences at TAMU.
Cifuentes is no stranger to New Mexico. Since the late 1980s, he and his wife, Lauren, have visited the state regularly–she has close relatives who grew chiles in Hatch, NewMexico. They look forward to experiencing LasCruces’ rich arts and culture. He is also particularly interested in joining NMSU due to its land-grant mission and status as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. “It’s important that Hispanic–Serving Institutions truly serve their Hispanic students,” he said, which includes providing meaningful, important research opportunities that lead to jobs or acceptance to graduate school.
Cifuentes has a bachelor’s with honors in chemistry from Swarthmore College as well as a master’s in marine studies and a Ph.D. in oceanography, both from the University of Delaware.
Dr. Ammu Devasthali
Ammu Devasthali is a longtime artist, painter and philanthropist who has called Las Cruces home for more than 30 years. Originally from India, she and her husband, Rama, a physician, came to the United States in 1981 and lived in Chicago before relocating to Las Cruces in 1987.
As an undergraduate, she studied Russian language at Nehru University in New Delhi, earning a bachelor’s degree. Later, she attended Moscow State University in Russia and earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Soviet literature.
For more than 13 years, she served as a board member for the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico, having served as president for two years and secretary for four years. During her time at the community foundation, she helped establish a women’s fund, Springboard, which aims to improve the lives of women in southern New Mexico through scholarships that provide opportunities for advanced education.
NMSU General Counsel (Non-voting)
Lizbeth Ellis was named as the university’s new general counsel. She has been a professor of business law at NMSU since 1989. In 2004, she became head of the Department of Finance in NMSU’s College of Business. In 2013, she was named the college’s interim associate dean for academics.
Ellis is a member of the New Mexico Bar Association and has been licensed to practice law in New Mexico since 1984. She earned her law degree from Arizona State University, graduating magna cum laude. She also has a bachelor’s in business administration from New Mexico State University.
Dr. Rolando Flores
NMSU Dean, Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences
Dr. Rolando Flores is the Dean and Chief Administrative Officer for the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University. Dean Flores holds a doctorate in Grain Science and Industry with specialization in international trade from Kansas State University, a master’s degree in agricultural engineering from Iowa State University and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Universidad de Costa Rica. Flores served as faculty at Iowa State University and Kansas State University where he taught food processing courses and conducted research. He has also worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service in process risk modeling and has served as administration director for the National Production Bureau of Costa Rica Dean. Flores’ research focuses on optimizing water use in food processing operations, developing new uses for grains and other agricultural products and their by-products. He has over 85 scientific publications, 150 technical presentations and has obtained over $2.5 million for his research program while at Iowa State University and Kansas State University. Prior to coming to NMSU, Dean Flores was Professor and Department Head for the Department of Food Science and Technology; and Director of The Food Processing Center, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Dr. John Floros
President of NMSU
Renowned food scientist and academic leader John Floros became President of New Mexico State University on July 1, 2018. Prior to his current role, he was dean of the College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension at Kansas State University, where he led the development of a strategic plan, guided the college to record student enrollments, retention and graduation, and nearly 100% placement. As director, he steered K-State Research and Extension – an entity with faculty and staff in five colleges: Agriculture, Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Human Ecology, and Veterinary Medicine – to record extramural funding, with annual research expenditures of more than $105 Million. Under his leadership the College of Agriculture established the first ever NSF supported Center on Wheat Genomics; and four new Feed-the-Future Labs from USAID on wheat, sorghum and millet, postharvest loss reduction, and sustainable intensification, for a total investment of more than $100M in five years.
Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognized him for his “distinguished service to the people of U.S.A.” as a member of the Science Board to the FDA. In 2017, he testified in front of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry on “Agricultural Research: Perspectives on Past and Future Successes for the 2018 Farm Bill,” and he recently co-chaired the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, Executive Committee on Science Breakthroughs 2030: A Strategy for Food and Agricultural Research.
Dr. Floros served as professor and head of the department of food science at Pennsylvania State University (2000-12), as professor at Purdue University (1988-2000), and worked as an international industry consultant for more than 35 years. He earned his PhD in food science and technology from the University of Georgia.
Director and Chief Executive Officer of Arrowhead Center
Kathryn Hansen, Arrowhead Center’s Director and Chief Executive Officer, has extensive experience in management of programs and in business and technology development. She has managed large technology development contracts for both the private and public sector. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Sociology and Political Science from the University of Texas at El Paso. She has served NMSU for over 25 years in several positions, including Co-Director of the Aerospace and Autonomous Systems Laboratory and Business Development Director for the Physical Science Laboratory. Kathy’s latest hobby is running – during this last year she ran the 10K at Leadville and the ½ marathon at Disneyworld.
Dr. James Hoffman
NMSU Dean, Business
Jim Hoffman earned his bachelor of science degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University, and his master’s and doctoral degrees in business administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he focused on business strategy and operations management. His research interests also include entrepreneurship, family business, value creation and assessment and health organization management.
He taught courses in strategy, management, leadership and information systems for 15 years at Texas Tech, eventually serving as associate dean for MBA Programs and Executive Education. Prior to his time at Texas Tech, he taught at Florida State University.
Jim was a professor and former associate dean in the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University prior to becoming the NMSU College of Business Dean.
Alicia J. Keyes
Cabinet Secretary, New Mexico Economic Development Department
Prior to joining Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s cabinet, Alicia J. Keyes was the Director of the Albuquerque Film, Television and Media Office under Mayor Tim Keller. During her time with Keller’s administration, Keyes was instrumental in initiating and closing the recent deal with Netflix in which the company purchased ABQ Studios and committed to spend $1 Billion in production.
Before her time with the City of Albuquerque, Keyes was the Executive Director of Worldwide Acquisitions and Co-production for the Walt Disney Company. She was responsible for the acquisition of theatrical motion pictures for distribution including domestic and international rights. Keyes began in the entertainment business working for Joel Fields and Len Hill developing television movies.
Keyes grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She graduated from the Albuquerque Academy in 1993 and then received her bachelor’s degree at Claremont McKenna College in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. She adopted twin boys, Charles and Alexander Touche, who followed in their mother’s footsteps and graduated from the Academy in 2017. They now attend Cornell and Penn.
Dr. Enrico Pontelli
NMSU Dean, Arts and Sciences
Dr. Enrico Pontelli received his Laurea degree in Computer Science from the University of Udine (Italy), an MS in Computer Science from the University of Houston and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from New Mexico State University. He joined the faculty of NMSU in 1997, receiving tenure in 2002 and promotion to Full Professor in 2005. He was recognized as Distinguished Achievement Professor in 2012 and appointed Regents Professor in 2014. He served NMSU as the Head of the Computer Science Department from 2009 to 2014, as an Associate Dean from 2014 to 2016 and he is currently the Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. His research interests are in the areas of Artificial Intelligence (specifically knowledge representation and reasoning), logic and constraint programming, high performance computing, bioinformatics and assistive technologies. He has also embraced challenges related to computer science education research with particular emphasis on broadening participation in computing for students from traditionally underrepresented groups. He has published over 250 peer reviewed publications and he has secured close to $14M in research funding. Some of the recognitions received include best paper awards at several international venues (e.g., Conference on Computers Usability, International Conference on Logic Programming, and Frontiers in Education), an NSF Career award and the NMSU Donald Roush Award for Excellence in Teaching. He serves on the editorial boards of several international journals, he is the Editor in Chief of the quarterly newsletter of the international Association for Logic Programming, and he is the founder and director of the NMSU Center for Research Excellence in Smartgrids Technologies. Dr. Pontelli has served as advisor for over 40 master’s students and he graduated 14 doctoral students.
Dr. Lakshmi Reddi
NMSU Dean, Engineering
Dr. Lakshmi Reddi, Dean of the College of Engineering, has over 25 years of academic experience as an educator and researcher in interdisciplinary themes related to civil and environmental engineering. He has secured extramural funding of $15 million from sponsors at all levels—federal (NSF, NASA, FHWA, EPA) and state agencies, regional centers, and local industries. His funded activities include basic and applied research, tech transfer and outreach, integrated research and education, and interdisciplinary research spanning numerous disciplines within and outside engineering. Dr. Reddi has received recognitions not only for his academic accomplishments (teaching, research, advising/mentoring, service) but also for his administrative skills. Dr. Reddi’s administrative experience includes serving as department head/chair at two research-intensive universities—Kansas State University and University of Central Florida. Prior to joining New Mexico State University, he served as the Dean of the University Graduate School at Florida International University (FIU). Dr. Reddi received his bachelor of technology in civil engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in India, and an MS and PhD in civil engineering from The Ohio State University.
Luke Sanchez came to New Mexico State University in 2016, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who are both proud Aggies. The youngest of five children, Sanchez is from the small community of Puerto de Luna in Guadalupe County and attended St. Pius X High School in Albuquerque, where he played football and baseball and served as a senior retreat leader.
Sanchez is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in biology. He expects to graduate in 2020 and plans to pursue a master’s degree at NMSU before applying to medical school. He also has a sister who is attending NMSU.
In January, he started a one-year, intensive research program at NMSU’s Howard Hughes Medical Institute, studying eye development in drosophila. He has been working with Dr. Jennifer Curtiss, associate professor of cell and developmental biology, in the NMSU fly lab since spring 2018.
Sanchez is an active member of Sigma Chi Fraternity. He a former presidential ambassador, former director of Camp Kesem at NMSU and former technician and assistant facilitator for NMSU’s Outdoor Leadership Program.
President and CEO, Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance
Prior to coming to Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance in February, 2009, Davin Lopez served as Vice President of the New Mexico Partnership, joining the Partnership at its inception in 2003. Lopez spent five years in corporate real estate with General Growth Properties and the Macerich Company, where he held roles as Director of New Business Development and Strategic Planning. He also spent two years in private business, consulting and advising smaller, high-growth companies. Lopez holds a master’s degree from Yale University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California, San Diego, and is also a licensed real estate Broker in New Mexico.
James C. Manatt, Jr.
President, Providence Technologies
James C. (Jim) Manatt Jr. is a former President, NMSU Board of Regents, is Chairman/CEO of Thrust Energy, Inc, Roswell, NM. His energy companies conduct exploration for oil & gas. He is the co-inventor and owner of US Patent 8,077,547, “Directed Beam Seismic©,” an advanced applied field method and apparatus for geophysical exploration. His companies have conducted computational/geophysical R&D with both Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories, and have worked under contract with Gas Research Institute for advanced technology commercialization in the energy field. He is an NMSU Distinguished Alumnus and Distinguished Military Graduate having graduated with a bachelor’s degree in university studies with an emphasis on business and marketing. Arrowhead Center was conceived and developed as a result of his leadership and advocacy while an NMSU Regent.
Jackie Kerby Moore
Executive Director, Sanida Science & Technology Park
Jackie Kerby Moore has been the Executive Director of the Sandia Science & Technology Park since its inception in 1998. This 250-acre technology community is affiliated with Sandia National Laboratories. The Park serves as home for more than 30 organizations employing over 2000 people, and total investment in the Park exceeds $336 million. The Park received the Outstanding Research Park of the Year Award from the Association of University Research Parks in 2008. Jackie has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from NMSU and a master’s degree from New Mexico Highlands University.
Senior Managing Director of Corporación Interamericana para el Financiamiento de Infraestructurea, S.A.
Mr. Trujillo is a native New Mexican who earned his Juris Doctor degree in law from the University of California, Davis; an M.S. in Applied Economics from Purdue University; and a B.S. in Agricultural Economics and Business from New Mexico State University. He also completed the Harvard University Business School’s Corporate Governance Program. Mr. Trujillo is currently the Senior Managing Director of Corporación Interamericana para el Financiamiento de Infraestructura, S.A., or CIFI, a specialized firm that provides financing and advisory services to private sector infrastructure companies and projects throughout the Latin American and Caribbean region.
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