Dr. Richard Luarkie, former Governor of the Pueblo of Laguna, selected as 2015 commencement speaker

May 7, 2015

“Don’t be bitter, be better” was one of many motivational sayings by Dr. Richard Luarkie, former Governor of the Pueblo of Laguna, at the 1st Annual New Mexico Leadership Empowerment Alliance Development for Students (LEADS) conference last year. As keynote speaker, Dr. Luarkie inspired the members and advisors of the Mesalands Native American Club who attended the conference. Their excitement spread throughout campus as they shared how Dr. Luarkie’s presentation motivated them. As a result, Mesalands Community College is pleased to announce that Dr. Richard Luarkie will deliver the 2015 commencement speech.

As the Governor, or the chief executive officer, of the Pueblo from January 2011 to December 2014,

Dr. Luarkie performed the customary and traditional responsibilities and duties of the position. He presided over all Pueblo Council meetings and carried out and implemented all ordinances, resolutions, and directives of the Pueblo Council, according to the official Pueblo of Laguna website. Prior to becoming Governor, Dr. Luarkie, served as the Pueblo’s first Lieutenant Governor.

Dr. Luarkie earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of New Mexico, and went on to complete a Masters of Business Administration from New Mexico State University, and recently obtained his Ph.D. from Arizona State University-School of Social Transformation. His professional experience includes being a small business owner, as well as working for international companies like American Management Systems and AT&T – Global Strategy. The majority of Dr. Luarkie’s professional career has been in the areas of technology, strategy and economic advancement. He has a passion for strategy, analytics, economic creation and economic advancement.

Dr. Luarkie was raised by his grandparents at the Pueblo of Laguna. He was exposed to an upbringing that was rich with New Mexico Pueblo culture and values, a deep tradition of contribution to community, and with inspiration to live a great life.

Mesalands graduate, Cynthia Anaya, has also been selected as the student speaker during commencement.

The ceremony will be held on Friday, May 15, 2015 at 6 pm at the Tucumcari Convention Center.