In 2010, Susana Martinez was elected governor of the state of New Mexico. She became New Mexico’s first female governor and the first Hispanic female governor in the history of the United States. Prior to being elected governor, Martinez was a prosecutor for 25 years along the nation’s southern border and served as Doña Ana County’s elected district attorney for over half that time. As governor, she prioritized keeping New Mexico’s communities safe, ensuring all students receive a high-quality education, and diversifying and growing the state’s economy.
Martinez’s two terms were marked by many successes including eliminating a $450 million inherited budget deficit and leaving the state with a $2 billion surplus; job growth at a 12-year high; improving the state’s high school graduation rate by 10 percentage points – to an all-time high of 74 percent; and implementing a number of public safety initiatives.
Martinez won re-election to her second term in 2014 by the largest margin of any Republican gubernatorial candidate in modern history, earning substantial support from Democratic and Independent voters in rural and urban areas alike. She served alongside a Democratically-controlled Legislature throughout her time in office, with the exception of a two-year period of Republican control of one chamber. She has been named as Time Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People in the World (2013) and served as a Chairman and long-time executive committee member of the Republican Governors Association (RGA).
Born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley, Martinez has lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico since the 1980s. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at El Paso and later earned her law degree from the University of Oklahoma School of Law, where she was recently inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame.
Martinez currently serves as a board member for the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) and as an advisory board member for the Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows program of the Hunt Institute. A proud Blue Star Mother, Martinez is also an advisory board member for the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation.
Governor Martinez is a William F. Podlich Distinguished Fellow at CMC this fall.
This event is for CMC students, faculty, and staff only.