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National and local leaders, free picnic and concert to highlight Domenici Conference

New Mexico State University is set to play host to a collection of local, state and national leaders, as well as hundreds of attendees to the inaugural Domenici Public Policy Conference, Aug. 20-22, at NMSU. The conference will conclude with a free picnic and free concert performed by Randy Travis.


Former U.S. Secretary of State James A Baker, III, U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman, former U.S. Representative Manuel Lujan, Jr. and U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman have all agreed to speak during the event.

"Sen. Domenici is a visionary," said Garrey Carruthers, NMSU vice president for economic development and chair of the Pete V. Domenici Legacy. "It's because of his vision that New Mexico looks the way it does today. This conference will celebrate his vision and his impact not only on New Mexico, but on the entire country."

"This project is incredibly important - not just to New Mexico State University, but to the entire country," said Waded Cruzado, NMSU's executive vice president and provost. "The work done by Sen. Domenici and those who research his legacy will guide us for years to come."

The Domenici Conference is part of the Pete V. Domenici Legacy, a statewide effort led by NMSU to honor the senator's historic tenure in the U.S. Senate. Domenici will retire this year as the longest serving senator in New Mexico history.

Domenici Conference sessions will focus on topics important to the senator during his time in office, including behavioral health, national security, the federal budget and nuclear nonproliferation.

Registration is available online at the conference Web site, http://domenici.nmsu.edu. The registration fee is $200, with sponsored tickets available. There are a limited number of sponsored tickets, which have no fee. Those seeking sponsored tickets agree to attend the conference. There is also a limited number of tickets for students, which have no fee. Because space is limited, people are urged to register as soon as possible.

Registration is required for most conference events. The opening ceremony Thursday morning, a plenary
session Thursday evening, the picnic Friday morning and the Randy Travis concert Friday afternoon are free and open to the public. A complete conference agenda can be found on the Domenici Conference Web site, where
the public is encouraged to sign up for public events.

"We plan to make this an annual event where scholars, leaders and friends of Sen. Domenici gather to share their stories of his contributions to public policy," said Christina Chavez Kelley, project manager for NMSU's Domenici Legacy activities.

Other confirmed conference speakers include Paul Robinson, former ambassador and president emeritus of Sandia National Laboratories; Michael J. Fitzpatrick, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness; William Hoagland, a former member of Domenici's staff; and Siegfried Hecker, co-director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation. Other speakers will be confirmed later this summer.

While the conference will take place at NMSU, Chavez Kelley said it is a statewide effort, with support and participation from universities around New Mexico. Students from NMSU, Dona Ana Community College, New Mexico Tech, the University of New Mexico, Eastern New Mexico University and Western New Mexico University will have a chance to review academic papers written by presenters and ask questions of their research.

Additional Pete V. Domenici Legacy activities will include housing the Domenici Archives at the NMSU Library, the planning and construction of a building on the NMSU campus to honor the senator and the formation of the Domenici Public Policy Institute. For more information on the conference, e-mail pdl@nmsu.edu.