Lt. Gov. Joseph Garcia brings a passion for education and public service to the state Capitol.
Before he was elected Lieutenant Governor, Joe was president of Colorado State University - Pueblo. During his four-year tenure at the University, Joe helped the university overcome financial difficulties, stagnant enrollment and a mediocre reputation through aggressive marketing and non-traditional solutions.
For example, Joe helped to energize the campus by working with local alumni and parents to bring back a football program that was abandoned in 1984. Men's wrestling and women's track and field also made their return and a new football stadium was constructed entirely with privately-donated funds. Other new facilities included new residence halls and a new student recreation complex, while other facilities were significantly renovated and expanded. The effort contributed to a two-fold increase in freshman enrollment at the school in only two years.
While president of CSU-Pueblo, Joe also served as co-chair of the Governor's P-20 Education Task Force, helping guide the development of a significant education reform agenda. He also served as one of three Colorado commissioners on the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE), an organization that he now chairs.
Joe earlier served as president of the second-largest community college in Colorado, Pikes Peak Community College. There, he oversaw three campuses that serve more than 16,000 students annually. Before serving at PPCC, he was a White House appointee serving as the Secretary's Representative for the Rocky Mountain States for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
He also served on former Gov. Roy Romer's Cabinet as the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, where he managed and maintained budgetary responsibility for agencies such as the Divisions of Banking, Financial Services, Real Estate, Insurance, Civil Rights, Securities and the Public Utilities Commission.
Joe has also been actively involved as a board member for many non-profit agencies such as the YMCAs of Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Denver, Pikes Peak Legal Aid, the Colorado Springs and Pueblo Economic Development Agencies, The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (where he served as Board President), the Pikes Peak Child Nursery Centers Inc., the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and numerous other civil rights, educational, and cultural organizations.
Born into a military family with deep roots in northern New Mexico, Joe has lived in cities ranging from the Western United States to Western Europe. Joe earned a business degree from the University of Colorado and a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School.
An avid mountain climber and mountain biker in the summer and snowboarder in the winter, Joe could not imagine calling anywhere else his home and is proud to have passed his love of Colorado and the outdoors on to his four children, Mateo, Dolores, Joaquin and Jose.