New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Awards 2004
Recognizing Those Committed to Making a Difference
Jacki Pieracci Riggs, Ph.D.
Dr. Riggs is the former President and CEO of the New Mexico Business Roundtable for Educational Excellence - a statewide business collaborative on school reform. The roundtable, in partnership with all stakeholder groups worked tirelessly on the passage of House Bill 212, the school Reform Act of 2003 creating greater accountability in our schools.
During the 2004 legislative session, says J. D. Bullington, ACI lobbyist, "Jacki's expertise on education policy and insight on the budgetary process proved invaluable to the citizens of New Mexico. She diligently monitored the formulation of the state budget to ensure that all of the new money redirected from the state's permanent fund would remain dedicated for educational reform:" And, State Representative Mimi Stewart adds "Jacki's representation of the business community, her understanding of the issues, her willingness to grow and learn from others in the education community, and her calm diplomacy all helped us achieve what we thought was simply not possible: an agreement between the education community and the business community on what was best for our public school students".
She has served the community as an educator. administrator. policymaker and community activist in New Mexico for nearly 30 years. She was the first woman in New Mexico to lead a correctional cabinet department as the Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Youth Authority (CYFD).
Currently. in her semi-retirement, she serves as a member of the Governor's Task Force on Higher Education. And, Jacki serves on Lt: Governor Diane Denish's Steering Committee on Early Childhood Education as well as an advisory board member of the Office of Educational Accountability. She is also chairwoman of UNM's Education Department Advancement Council Steering Committee. And her community interest has led her to serve on the boards of WESSTCORP and the Middle Rio Grande YWCA.