Tuesday, April 26, 2011 -- Gov. John Hickenlooper today applauded the Colorado Senate for confirming Lt. Gov. Joseph A. Garcia as the Executive Director of the Department of Higher Education.
The Senate confirmed Garcia unanimously.
Garcia takes on the responsibility of leading the Department of Higher Education in addition to his role as second in command to the Governor. The state will realize cost savings and greater efficiencies by allowing Garcia to serve in both positions. Most importantly, the dual role will allow for consistent leadership for the Governor’s education initiatives and efforts to form a seamless public education system for Colorado children of all ages.
Garcia brings executive-level understanding to his new position from extensive experience in higher education. Garcia was president of Colorado State University-Pueblo and president of the second-largest community college in Colorado, Pike’s Peak Community College. Known for his commitment to improving access to higher education for underrepresented and disadvantaged youth, Garcia increased enrollment at both schools through his visionary leadership.
Prior to his work in education, Garcia was the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies and was responsible for managing and maintaining budgetary responsibility for Colorado divisions such as Banking, Financial Services, Real Estate, Insurance, Civil Rights, Securities and the Public Utilities Commission. Garcia was appointed by then-Gov. Roy Romer.
Garcia earned a business degree from the University of Colorado and a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School.