Board of Directors
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.
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.
Director and Chief Executive Officer
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.
NMSU Board of RegentsCurrently Mrs. Hicks serves as President Elect of American Council of Engineering Companies New Mexico; President of Lea County Community Improvement Corporation; Director at Large of the Executive Committee for Carlsbad Department of Development and Secretary for University of the Southwest Board of Trustees. Additional directorships include Leadership New Mexico; Eagle Trust Foundation; and NMSU Academy of Civil, Agricultural and Geological Engineering. Mrs. Hicks served on the Board of Regents for New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology from 2013-2014, NMSU Presidential Search Committee in 2013, New Mexico State Transportation Commission from 2011-2012, and the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission from 2005-2006. As a part of her professional activities, Debra has served as Director and President for the New Mexico Engineering Foundation, Section Chair and Director for the American Council of Independent Laboratories, President for the Southeastern Chapter of the New Mexico Society of Professional Engineers, New Mexico MATHCOUNTS Coordinator, and Public Relations Committee Member for the National Society of Professional Engineers.
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.
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. Manatt Jr., a former Regent of NMSU, is the President/CEO and founder of Providence Technologies Inc., a consulting firm in energy development projects. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from NMSU. He has held many positions ranging from founding director of the Mesilla Valley Bank to President of Sierra Oil & Gas Inc.
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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