Carol Robertson Lopez- SCI Board of Directors; Executive Director of the New Mexico Children’s Foundation
Following eight years of Board Member service with Sister Cities International (SCI), Carol was elected in August 2018, to the position of Vice Chair/Chair-Elect of the Board of Directors of SCI. She began her involvement with Sister Cities while serving two terms on the Santa Fe City Council and six years as the Mayor Pro Tempore. When elected as State President of the New Mexico Municipal League, Carol launched a statewide International Task Force to prepare cities for their involvement in the global economy.
At this year’s 2018 SCI Annual Conference, Carol organized an entire program on Sister Cities located on the Silk Road. The Sister City representatives along the Silk Road included the Chinese Peoples Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. Carol’s involvement with Central Asia and the Silk Road began with Uzbek artisans at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, the largest juried folk art market of its kind. Carol combined her activities as Chair of the Bukhara/Santa Fe Sister Cities Program with Embassy visitations and participation at Astana, The World Expo. Her involvement with Bukhara has grown to being named Honorary Co-Chair of the 2017 Bukhara Silk and Spice Market. Most prominently in 2017, the Mayor (Hokim) of Bukhara honored Carol by elevating her status to Honorary Citizen. Also in 2018, Carol was highly honored by the Leadership of Uzbekistan when she was elevated to Honorary Consul for the U.S. Southwest, pending US State Department approval.
Carol chairs the Santa Fe Sister Cities Committee with its ten Sister Cities. Santa Fe and Zhangjiajie are Sister Cities and have enjoyed sharing educational and cultural exchanges. Both Zhangjiajie and Santa Fe have had elementary schools which were Sister Schools, and high schools who shared Chinese/English language classroom videos. In 2013 she and her husband led a Santa Fe Mariachi musical group to the Zhangjiajie Country Music Festival. With their festive music, The Santa Fe Mariachi musicians were honored with The Best Ensemble award. Carol has also been involved with of several events and conferences sponsored by CPAFFAC in China. These include conferences in Guangzhou, Bejing, Shanghai, Haiku Island, and Zhangjiajie and Changsha in Hunan Province.
Her leadership positions include: Immediate Past President of the American Women for International Understanding, where she led a delegation to Ethiopia; President of the International Women’s Forum in New Mexico; Board Member Council on International Relations; Chair of the International Council of the National League of Cities; NM Economic Development Commissioner; Board Member Santa Fe Botanical Garden; and two term Board Member Santa Fe Folk Art Market.
Carol retired from a career in various leadership positions of increasing responsibility in state government including Procurement Director at the NM Department of Transportation, Assistant to the NM Attorney General, NM State Personnel Office, and NM State Planning Division. She received from Governor Bill Richardson the 2004 Governor’s Award for Outstanding New Mexico Women. While engaged in these government positions she worked with legislators and committees at the NM State Legislature, and continues to do so on behalf of the International Folk Art Alliance and Museum Hill Partnership.
Carol earned her undergraduate degree at Edinboro University, Master’s degree and PhD. program at New Mexico State University.
Currently, Carol is the Executive Director of the New Mexico Children’s Foundation. Her focused management skills are exemplified by increasing the assets of the organization to four times its starting amount, while also increasing the number of grant awards by five times.
Her passions include cultural awareness, folk art, travel and discovering the world with her husband Jeff, a Peace Corp Volunteer. She gardens, swims and is an avid reader. Carol has been a member of the Milagro Garden where her cherished tomatoes have twice won blue ribbons