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Domenici Conference at NMSU celebrates 10 years, focuses on foreign policy, workforce issues

The 2017 Domenici Public Policy Conference at New Mexico State University will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the conference, and this year’s topics will highlight U.S. foreign policy, equity in education and workforce issues.


Man’s head shot.
Former United States Senator Richard Lugar is scheduled to speak at the 2017 Domenici Public Policy Conference. (Courtesy photo)
Woman’s head shot.
Antonia Novello, the country’s first female and first Hispanic Surgeon General, is scheduled to speak at the 2017 Domenici Public Policy Conference. (Courtesy photo

The two-day conference, Sept. 13-14, will be held at the Las Cruces Convention Center. The Domenici Institute for Public Policy at NMSU is named after Pete V. Domenici, New Mexico’s longest-serving U.S. senator. The institute at NMSU was created to continue Domenici’s legacy of service to both the state and the country.

“We try to select topics for the Domenici Institute so they would be topical for state and federal policy makers,” said NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers. “Once again, our timing is perfect. This year’s conference covers international policy with a collection of outstanding speakers from a policy and academic perspective. In addition, we have a section on workforce development with a focus on equity in education opportunities of which NMSU aspires to be the best. Thanks to Senator Domenici in helping us round up another collection of top-flight speakers.”

The conference will open Sept. 13 with a keynote speech from Richard G. Lugar on U.S. foreign policy. Lugar, a former U.S. Senator from Indiana, was the longest serving member of Congress in the state’s history. During his tenure in the U.S. Senate from 1977-2013, he was a leading member on issues such as food security, nuclear non-proliferation, energy independence and free trade.

The Wednesday afternoon sessions will focus on U.S. foreign policy regarding Mexico, China and Russia. Carlos Pascual, a former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and Ukraine, will begin the discussion on the country’s foreign policy toward Mexico. Gov. Gary Locke will follow with a session on U.S. foreign policy on China. He was a former governor of Washington, former U.S. Ambassador to China and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce. The conference’s first day concludes with Eric Edelman’s presentation on the U.S. foreign policy on Russia. Edelman was the former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey.

The conference’s second day will begin with a session about cloud-enabled education for a 21st Century workforce from Ken Eisner, Amazon Web Services senior manager. Pedro Noguera will follow with a session on equity in education. Noguera is a distinguished professor of education at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.

Thursday will also feature workforce issues. Antonia Novello, M.D., the country’s first female and first Hispanic Surgeon General, will speak on education and the workforce of the future. She served from 1990-1993 and focused on public health issues such as smoking, AIDS, diet and nutrition, environmental health hazards and the importance of immunization and disease prevention.

Celina Bussey, Cabinet Secretary New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, will discuss workforce readiness in New Mexico. Seth Harris will conclude the conference with a session about the future of the workplace. Harris is a former acting U.S. Secretary of Labor and Deputy U.S. Secretary of Labor.

Online registration for the conference will be available at http://domenici.nmsu.edu. Registration fees are $50 before Sept. 1 and then increase to $75. The conference is free to NMSU students. For more information or to receive an invitation by mail, call the Domenici Institute at 575-646-2066.