Governor MLG Appoints 5 New UNM Regents

On February 9, 2019, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the appointment of 5 people to the University of New Mexico Board of Regents. There are a total of 7 UNM Board of Regents.

Two were appointed to 6-year terms and they are:


Kimberly Sanchez Rael is President and CEO of SRE Wellness, Inc. (dba Azuca) Sanchez-Rael has an extensive background in both startup and fortune 50 Companies. Before her career in venture, she co-founded an advanced energy company and held numerous management positions at Intel, where she managed a $200 million capital budget, led planning for a $1 Billion expansion, and held roles in finance, operations and strategic planning. Prior to Intel, she served as an aide in the US Senate focusing on foreign affairs and science and technology policy. Sanchez-Rael has broad experience on both corporate and community boards.

Sanchez Rael’s corporate board experience spans multiple industries, including: water technology, semiconductors, software-as-a-service, digital media and advanced materials companies. Sanchez-Rael community board service includes: New Mexico State Board of Finance; Presbyterian Hospital, the Albuquerque Public Schools Foundation and the Arts Alliance. She was the Founding President for a Montessori Charter School. She has been featured as New Mexico Business Weekly Power Broker and Top 10 Women of Influence. Sanchez-Rael is a member of the prestigious international Society of Kauffman Fellows, a Rotary Scholar and is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Women’s Forum-New Mexico. She has a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Harvard and an MBA from Stanford.


Professor Robert L. Schwartz is an Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of New Mexico. He earned his B.A. degree from , Stanford University in 1970 and his Juris Doctrate degree from Harvard University in 1975. He is a member of the American Samoan, New Mexico and New York Bars. In 1976, Professor Schwartz joined the UNM law faculty and began to focus his research and teaching in the emerging field of Health Law. He has gone on to become a nationally recognized scholar in the area of Bioethics and brings this expertise to his classes at both the law school and the UNM School of Medicine, where he also teaches. Though he is emeritus status, he regularly teaches half-time at the law school, including courses in torts and health law, among others.

Schwartz is one of five authors of “Health Law: Cases, Materials and Problems,” the first textbook that treated Health Law as a subject when it was first published in 1987. Now in its fourth edition, it is the leading Health Law textbook in the country. He contributed chapters that address Bioethics. He also has written “Treatise on Health Law,” a two-volume textbook published in 1995 and is co-editor of a volume of Health Law statutes that was published in 2003. Most recently, his writing is in the areas of end-of-life care, death and dying, managed care and the application of civil liberties principles to the health care enterprise.

Two were appointed to 4-year terms and they are:


Sandra K. Begay is a Principal Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories and is a former Regent (Trustee) for the University of New Mexico. Sandra leads Sandia’s technical efforts to assist Native American tribes with their renewable energy developments. Sandra received a Bachelor of Science – Civil Engineering degree from the University of New Mexico.

Begay worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories before she earned a Master of Science – Structural Engineering degree from Stanford University. Sandra is recognized in a book profiling women engineers, “Changing Our World: True Stories of Women Engineers.” Begay-Campbell is included in the chapter “Women in Power”, which describes her effort to provide electricity through solar panels and other alternative energy solutions to hundreds of remote tribal members on the Navajo Reservation.

Honored with awards for her work, Begay is a recipient of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society’s Life-time Achievement Award; the University of New Mexico’s 2007 Zia Alumnus Award; the 2005 UNM School of Engineering Distinguished Alumnus Award and she received the Stanford University 2000 Multicultural Alumni of the Year Award. She was also selected as a recipient of the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Women from the New Mexico Commission on the Status of Women.


Douglas M. Brown is a recognized financial leader with more than fifty years of experience in finance, currently as the head of Brown and Brown Ventures. Douglas M. Brown is a Dean Emeritus at the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management. He is a graduate of Stanford University having earned an AB and MBA and graduating in the top 5% of the class.

From February 2009 to June 2014, Brown was the Dean of the Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico. As Dean, he administered undergraduate, graduate, and executive programs involving 1,800 students. During his tenure as Dean, the school became fully re-accredited, achieved record fundraising, and secured a commitment for a new building for the school. Albuquerque Business First recognized Brown’s contributions by naming him as Top CEO of the Year for 2013. Upon retirement Doug was accorded the title of Dean Emeritus, the only living Dean so honored.

From November 2005 to January 2007, Brown was New Mexico State Treasurer having been appointed by the Governor to fix a scandal-ridden agency. As State Treasurer, he made key personnel changes, reduced staff by 20%, achieved a clean audit, brought yield on $5 billion portfolio from 46th in the U.S. to 7th, and the fund was awarded a AAA rating by Standard and Poor’s, their highest rating and a first for the state of New Mexico.

From 1999 to October 2005, Brown was President and CEO of Tuition Plan Consortium. As President of the consortium, he built an association from six to 275 private colleges and universities offering subscribers Private College 529 Plan, a prepaid tuition plan redeemable at any of the participating schools. BusinessWeek named it a “Best Product of the Year.”

From 1990 to 1999, Douglas Brown was President and CEO of Talbot Financial Services. Co-founder of enterprise the company grew from start-up to over $2 billion in annual sales nationwide. His firm became nation’s largest marketer of annuity products to major financial institutions.

Douglas M. Brown’s experience includes 28 years in banking, including CEO, ABQ Corp, largest financial company in New Mexico (1986-89), Executive Vice President, Crocker Bank (1984-86) and Senior Vice President and Marketing Director, Wells Fargo Bank (1961-84)


Melissa C. Henry was appointed as UNM Student Regent to a two-year term. Melissa Henry is the former Graduate and Professional Student Association Chief of Staff (GPSA) who also nominated her for the position. It was the Graduate and Professional Student Association that nominated Melissa Henry.

Melissa C. Henry is a licensed mental health counselor with over five years related professional experience in the field working at student health and autism centers. Henry has worked as both a couples and family counselor with focus on working with parents seeking reunification with children. Henry holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Master’s in Counseling from California State University, Fresno. She is currently working on her doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision with a minor in Quantitative Methods in Education from the University of New Mexico.

In announcing the appointments, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said:

“I am proud to nominate this incredible group that I am confident will be dedicated to ensuring equity, responsibility, and accountability at the University of New Mexico. I eagerly look forward to their stewardship of New Mexico’s flagship university.”


Governor Lujan Grisham has 4 regent seats at Northern New Mexico College that she needs to fill.

The Governor needs to select three regents apiece for New Mexico Highlands University and New Mexico State University and 2 for Western New Mexico University.


Boards and Commissions include some very powerful positions such as the New Mexico State Fair, the Racing Commission and the Board of Regents of all the Universities.

Below is the link to apply for appointment to a Board or Commission:

It is clear from review of the credentials that all 5 of the regent nominees are indeed more than qualified for the difficult job of UNM regent and bring a level of understanding to how the University works and more importantly how it should work.

All 5 of the UNM regents nominated will now be submitted to the New Mexico State Senate for approval and confirmation.

All 5 regent nominees will have confirmation hearings before the New Mexico State Senate Rules Committee Chaired by New Mexico State Senator Linda Lopez where the committee will recommend confirmation or rejection.

The entire State Senate Rules Committee membership consist of State Senators Linda Lopez, Jeff Steinborn, Greg Baca, Stuart Ingle, Daniel Ivey Soto,. Jerry Ortiz-Pino, Mary Kay Papen, Cliff Pertle, Clemente Sanchez, Bill Tallman, and Mark Moores.

With the Democrats in control of the Senate, it is more likely than not all of the Governor’s UNM regent appointments will be approved very quickly during the 2019 Legislative Session.

For a full list of cabinet appointments see:

Governor MLG’s Cabinet Appointments Complete; On To Boards and Commissions!

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Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.