F. Chris Garcia has been actively serving his community for over 40 years. A 13th generation New Mexican and 4th generation Albuquerquean, Garcia built the foundation of his career, and ultimately his service to the public, after graduating Valley High School in 1957. After obtaining both his undergraduate degree and post-graduate degree from the University of New Mexico, Garcia would leave New Mexico for a brief stint to complete his Ph. D. in Political Science at the University of California, Davis. Upon his return to Albuquerque, Garcia would become professor of political science and also take on several prestigious administrative positions with the University of New Mexico including Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1980, Vice President (Chris Garcia) of Academic Affairs in 1987, and finally President of the University in 2002.
In the midst of Garcia’s developing academic and administrative career, he would find some time to found the first full-service opinion survey research (public opinion polling) organization in the state of New Mexico, Zia Research Associates, Inc. Zia Research was founded with two other professors; the three of them would supervise, design and conduct opinion survey research, execute statistical analysis of data, and write and present results of statistical data on public and electorate opinion polls. During this time, Garcia also served as an election and political analyst for local media including TV stations, newspapers, radio stations, and several national and international periodicals. Because of these credentials, F. Chris Garcia was also asked to be the New Mexico Election Supervisor for NBC-TV election coverage.