The Honorable James B. Lewis currently serves as the University of New Mexico Alumni Association President. He works closely with UNM Regents, president, Foundation, legislators, Athletics, various colleges, student organizations, alumni chapters, University Communications, Alumni Relations Office, and the Greater Albuquerque Community to enhance communication, collaboration and cooperation. It is his opinion that “UNM must tell its story as one of the best research institutions in the United States, and accentuate our esteemed alumni and faculty.”
Mr. Lewis has had a distinguished and esteemed public service career that has spanned over four decades and included many prestigious honors. He served as an elected and appointed official (appointed by presidents, governors, mayors and other elected officers). He is the first and only African American to be elected to a statewide office, and longest serving (13+ years) New Mexico State Treasurer. He was elected Bernalillo County Treasurer, was Chief of Staff to Governor Bruce King, Director of Oil, Gas and Minerals Division, State Land Office, Chief of Staff/Chief Clerk, State Corporation Commission, City Manager, Rio Rancho, Assistant Secretary US Department of Energy and COO/CAO for the City of Albuquerque.
Mr. Lewis contributes his success to strong family support and a sound education foundation. A major contributing influence and motivator to him was President John F. Kennedy who said, “Don’t ask what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Therefore, he believes that “you are either part of the problem, or are part of the solution; let’s be part of the solution.”
Mr. Lewis, was born in Roswell, New Mexico, attended school in Albuquerque and graduated from Gallup High School where he lettered in football (All State Honors), basketball and track. He has a B.S. in Education from Bishop College, B.S./A.S. in Business Administration from National College of Business, and a M. A. in Public Administration (1977) from the University of New Mexico. He served as a military policeman in the U.S. Army.
His advice to UNM graduates, “Don’t be afraid to dream, but you must work hard to make your dreams become reality.”