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Competiveness opens, closes policy conference

By Harold Morgon

Consideration of competitiveness began and ended the recent Domenici Public Policy Conference in Las Cruces.
Norm Augustine, former Lockheed Martin CEO, began the conference. Since Lockheed manages Sandia National Laboratories, it is reasonable to figure that Augustine knows a bit about New Mexico.
James L. Jones, retired U.S. Marine Corps four-star general and former National Security Advisor for President Obama, closed the event.
Reports from news organizations such as the Washington Post indicated that Jones didn’t fit with established Obama advisors, giving Jones added credibility.
First, a note on the conference. In four years it has grown into an event bringing the highest-level national policy players to New Mexico.
There is a student focus; about 400 attended this year, plus around 450 grownups. Only students were allowed to question speakers.
The new Las Cruces Convention Center hosted the conference. Whistles from passing trains could be heard inside the building. The largest event to date in the facility was the Susana Martinez inaugural.  
The well executed conference was among the top four largest events to date. The band played NMSU’s fight song.
Former Gov. and now NMSU business school Dean Carrey Carruthers wore a bolo tie with a huge turquoise slider.


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