About President Garnett S. Stokes
"As New Mexico’s flagship university, we are in the unique position to make an impact statewide. I am enthusiastic about finding new ways to enrich the lives of our students, faculty, alumni, and staff while continuing to be the University for New Mexico."
Garnett S. Stokes was installed as the 23rd president of The University of New Mexico on May 12, 2018.
Soon after taking office on March 1, 2018, Stokes announced her intention to better understand the campus, the communities that surround it and the state of New Mexico. She initiated a multipronged approach to listening to students, faculty, alumni, staff, and community members, including participating in nearly 100 events during her first 100 days in office. During her first five months in office, she travelled nearly 4,300 miles through all 33 counties in New Mexico – visiting 38 cities and 3 Indian reservations as part of her Statewide Listening Tour. To date, she holds traveling office hours across North, Central and Main campus in order to meet with students, staff, and faculty in a casual manner and hear their thoughts on successes and challenges at UNM.
She spoke to more than 1,320 New Mexicans on the Statewide Listening Tour, which helped frame her immediate presidential initiatives of campus safety, supporting student Veterans, and furthering the University’s mission of world-class research.
On February 5, 2019, Stokes announced the UNM Grand Challenges, calling on researchers from across disciplines to address problems of global, national and regional significance. After receiving proposals from research teams from across UNM’s campuses, Stokes chose three focuses for the UNM Grand Challenges: Sustainable Water Resources, Successful Aging, and Substance Use Disorders. She charged researchers with developing goals that enable multiple paths towards solutions and that are relevant across varied disciplines and communities.
In collaboration with the Board of Regents, she plans to continue solidifying relationships with key stakeholders to move the University’s strategic plan forward. She also continues her success in hiring diverse and talented leaders from across the country, capitalizing on the unique opportunity to hire a Provost and EVP for Academic Affairs, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, and Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, all within her first 15 months at UNM.
A first-generation college graduate, Stokes earned a B.A. in psychology from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Georgia in industrial/organizational psychology. She is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, the American Psychological Association, and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.
Stokes is the first female president in UNM’s 129-year history. Her husband, Dr. Jeff Younggren, is a forensic psychologist and a retired Colonel in the U.S. Army. They have four grandchildren, two boys living in Redondo Beach, California and two girls living in Seattle, Washington. They reside on campus at University House.