Chris Dodd to speak at Domenici Public Policy Conference, registration fees waived

July 18, 2008 by Justin Bannister NMSU News Center

U.S. Senator and former presidential candidate Chris Dodd will join a prominent list of speakers for the inaugural Domenici Public Policy Conference, Aug. 20-22, at New Mexico State University. NMSU will also waive conference registration fees until Aug. 1, the conference registration deadline.

Former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker, III, U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman, former U.S. Representative Manuel Lujan, Jr. and U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman have all agreed to speak during the event, along with a host of other local and national leaders. The conference will close with a free picnic and free concert performed by Randy Travis.

“This is a very exciting event,” said Garrey Carruthers, NMSU vice president for economic development and chair of the Pete V. Domenici Legacy. “I’m not sure we have ever seen such a large and distinguished group of leaders gather at NMSU all at the same time.”

The Domenici Conference is part of the Pete V. Domenici Legacy, a statewide effort led by NMSU to honor the senator’s historic tenure in the U.S. Senate. Domenici will retire this year as the longest serving senator in New Mexico history.

Domenici Conference sessions will focus on topics important to the senator during his time in office, including behavioral health, national security, the federal budget and nuclear nonproliferation.

Registration is available online at the conference Web site, Registration is required for most conference events. The opening ceremony Thursday morning, Chris Dodd’s speech Thursday evening, the picnic Friday morning and the Randy Travis concert Friday afternoon are free and open to the public. A complete conference agenda can be found on the Domenici Conference Web site, where the public is encouraged to sign up for public events.

Other confirmed conference speakers include Paul Robinson, former ambassador and president emeritus of Sandia National Laboratories; Michael J. Fitzpatrick, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness; William Hoagland, a former member of Domenici’s staff; and Siegfried Hecker, co-director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation.

While the conference will take place at NMSU, Carruthers said it is a statewide effort, with support and participation from universities around New Mexico. Students from NMSU, Doña Ana Community College, New Mexico Tech, the University of New Mexico, Eastern New Mexico University and Western New Mexico University will have a chance to review academic papers written by presenters and ask questions of their research.

Additional Pete V. Domenici Legacy activities will include housing the Domenici Archives at the NMSU Library, the planning and construction of a building on the NMSU campus to honor the senator and the formation of the Domenici Public Policy Institute. For more information on the conference, e-mail

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