Advisory Board

The Advisory Board of the School of Public Administration (ABSPA) is a group of distinguished and influential professionals dedicated to excellence in graduate education for service in government, public, and nonprofit sectors.

Vision Statement 

ABSPA believes that the University of New Mexico's School of Public Administration is the State's highest quality, most relevant, most affordable, and most accessible resource for graduate education, research, and capacity-building for the public and nonprofit sectors throughout New Mexico.

Mission Statement

ABSPA members are ambassadors who promote the UNM School of Public Administration and work to advance its reputation. The board enhances the academic excellence of the School by providing advice to the Director on the School's direction, initiatives, and learning outcomes.


Members & Bios


Vic Berniklau

Alum:  1970


After gaining BS in Mechanical Engineering and Commission through NROTC Program at the University of Nebraska served as an Officer in the US Navy both on board ship and then ashore as a Nuclear Weapons Assembly Supervisor.  Filled engineering positions with the US Atomic Energy Commission progressing to middle and senior management positions with the US Department of Energy, including responsibility for Project Management, IT Management, Procurement Management, Budgeting, Strategic Planning, and Technology Transfer.  Started two small businesses in electronic security with wife and son growing them to 30 employees ($2M sales) and turned them over to our son who continues to grow them.  Consultant in technology management and business management.  Instructor at UNM at Graduate Level in Public Administration (Research Methodology) and Business Administration (Management of Technology).  Active last 7 years in SCORE, a 50- year old Non-Profit with over 10,000 volunteers (primarily retired business people), providing no-cost mentoring and low-cost training for those wishing to start a company or existing businesses with business issues.  Married 57 years to Mary Effinger Berniklau with 2 sons, 1 Daughter and 5 Grandchildren. 




Cynthia Borrego (Chair)

Cyba's & Associates, LLC
Alum:  1983


Cynthia Borrego is a Native New Mexican and is a two-time Lobo, earning a Bachelor of Science from the College of Education & MPA from our School.  After serving 28 years in the public sector, she continued to serve the state after her retirement as a two-time Chair of the New Mexico Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA), and served eight years on the Board, managing a $14 Billion dollar Retirement Fund, during one of our country's worst financial economic recessions.  Now, she is owner & operator Cyba's & Assoc., LLC; a Planning, Development, Sales & Consultation Company. As well, she runs a small art and jewelry store located in Motique Antique & Collectables Mall, located in Nob Hill.




Michael Bowers

Alum:  2000





Richard Heady



Richard Heady is retired from a career in computer science that included development of image processing and pattern recognition systems, research into applications of learning algorithms for computer network security, and management of computer networks and databases in support of biomedical research.  His support of public administration stems from the career of his father, Dr. Ferrel Heady, a noted scholar and teacher in the field, under whose leadership, while president of UNM from 1968-75, the School of Public Administration was founded.




James Jimenez

Executive Director
NM Voices for Children
Alum:  2001


James joined NM Voices in 2013 as the Director of Research and Policy and was hired as Executive Director in 2016. He also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico’s School of Public Administration. In both positions, he draws from his considerable experience in using the budget as a strategic tool while working in state and city government. James served as the Chief of Staff under Governor Bill Richardson from 2006 to 2008, and as Cabinet Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration from 2003 to 2006. He was also City Manager for the city of Rio Rancho and serves on the boards of directors for several nonprofit organizations.




Mary Kenney

Mary Wilson Kenney & Associates
Alum:  1988





James B. Lewis

Alum:  1977


Mr. Lewis has had a distinguished and honorable public service career that has spanned four decades and included many prestigious honors.  As the first and only African-American to be elected to a statewide office and is the longest serving (13+ years) New Mexico State Treasurer, he served as an elected and appointed official (appointed by presidents, governors, mayors and other elected officers) for the City of Albuquerque.  Currently, Mr. Lewis is the University of New Mexico Alumni Association President.  He works closely with UNM Regents, the President, the 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.”



Amy Miller(2015-2018)

Amy M. Miller

Director of External Affairs
The Nature Conservancy
Alum:  1993





T. Zane Reeves

SPA Emeritus Professor


Professor Reeves continues to teach courses in human resources management, alternative dispute resolution, and labor-management relations.  Zane has authored/co-authored nine books, including Collective Bargaining in the Public Sector, Public Personnel Administration in the Public Sector (2nd ed.), Managing Human Resources, Cases in Public Human Resources Management (2nd ed), and The Politics of Peace Corps and VISTA, as well as numerous articles, in journals such as Public Administration Review, Review of Public Personnel Administration, Public Personnel Management, Employee Rights and Responsibilities Journal, and the International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration.  Zane has served as a labor arbitrator in thousands of labor-management disputes and currently is the Southwest/Rockies Regional Chair for the prestigious National Academy of Arbitrators.




Loc Truong

Human Resource Manager
City of Albuquerque
Alum:  1980


Ms. Truong is currently the Deputy Director for the City of Albuquerque Human Resources Department.  She has a Master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) from the University of New Mexico’s School of Public Administration (SPA); and a B.A in English from the University of Can Tho, S. Vietnam. Loc has taught for the Vietnamese High School Educational System in Can Tho and was recruited to work for the US Department of the Army as Training Director, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and for the US Department of State/US Embassy in Can Tho, S. Vietnam as Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (DCAO).  During her tenure with the US Department of State, in 1975, she was awarded a Graduate School Fulbright International Scholarship to attend Graduate Schools in the U.S.  In 1999, the UNM Graduate School of Public Administration, in recognition of excellence in public service, granted the Alumnus Award to Ms. Truong for Distinguished Accomplishments and Quality Public Service. As a member of the SPA Advisory Board, Loc believes that her role is to promote the UNM School of Public Administration and, when possible, to assist in acquiring the internship resources for the School. The City of Albuquerque and the University of New Mexico Board of Regents, on behalf of the UNM School of Public Administration, have just recently renewed, for the third time, the 2-Year Intergovernmental Internship Agreement (2016-2018) that supports and promotes internship experience.  




Carol Yarnall

Albuquerque Council for International Visitors
Alum:  1972


Carol A. Yarnall, Colonel USAF, Retired is the Education Chair for the Professional Aerospace Contractors Association of New Mexico and on the Board for Global Ties ABQ.  Carol retired from Sandia National Labs as Director, Supply Chain Management.  She was President/CEO, SMl International, Colorado Springs, CO and served in numerous Air Force positions in R&D laboratories and Space Programs.  She has an MA in Public Administration from the University of New Mexico, and a BS in Chemistry and Doctor of Humane Letters from Wheeling Jesuit University.  Carol also served as Board chair of Wheeling Jesuit University and past president of the Central New Mexico Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers.   




Danila Zidovsky

Alum:  2014