Dr. Van Romero

JUNE 4, 2002 (202) 224-7098


WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Pete Domenici today reported that Van Romero of Socorro has been appointed by President Bush to serve on a White House commission aimed at closing the educational achievement gap for Hispanic American youth.

Domenici confirmed that Romero, vice president for Research and Economic Development at New Mexico Tech, has been selected to serve on the President’s Advisory Commission on Education Excellence for Hispanic Americans. Bush created the commission by executive order on Oct. 12, 2001.

The Senator recommended Romero to the White House for consideration after noting a preliminary list of appointees released by the administration in January did not contain any New Mexicans. Romero was subsequently tapped for the post.

“I applaud the President for appointing Van Romero to the commission, and know that he will bring a wealth of experience to the endeavor of bringing more Hispanic youth into the fold of excellence in education,” Domenici said. “Van has a strong record of promoting diversity at New Mexico Tech, thereby ensuring that a new generation of minority students will be prepared to enter the work force. The commission will certainly benefit from his contributions.”

The commission is charged with charting a multi-year plan to close the educational achievement gap for Hispanic Americans. The plan will highlight models of success that will help improve achievement among Hispanic students through coordinated efforts among parents, community leaders, business leaders, educators and public officials. Recommendations will also include ways to improve on and measure Hispanic participation in federal education programs.

Domenici said the commission consists of 21 members appointed by the President, and four ex-officio members, representing educational, business, professional, and community organizations committed to improving educational attainment within the Hispanic community.

The following four individuals serve as ex-officio members of the commission: Rod Paige, Secretary of Education; Hector Baretto, Administrator of the Small Business Administration; Paul O'Neill, Secretary of the Treasury; and Mel Martinez, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Since 1997, Romero has headed Tech's Research and Economic Development Division responsible for the encouragement, leadership, and support of research at the Institute and for the administrative and policy making activities of the division.

From 1995-1997, Romero directed Tech's Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center, managing a multi-disciplinary team of scientists, engineers, and staff involved in RDT&E programs in energetic materials. Romero received his B.S. and M.S. in Physics from New Mexico Tech, and earned his Ph.D. in Physics from State University of New York.