Regis Pecos

Regis Pecos

Cochiti Pueblo
Chairman of Honoring Nations Board of Governors
Co-Director, Leadership Institute

Tribal Government service

Served multiple terms as Lt. Governor and Governor by traditional appointment.

Served on the traditional Tribal Council for 30 years.

Regis chaired the fight in Cochiti Pueblo vs. the U. S. Corps of Engineers and the United States of America to hold them liable for the desecration of the Pueblo’s sacred sites, the disturbance of burial grounds, removal of human remains, the destruction of its farm lands in the construction of the 10th largest man-made lakes in the world. It sparked the national debate that led to the restoration of American Indian Religious Freedom, Sacred Sites and Cultural Resources Protection movement. Cochiti won the suit that the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye called, “the day David slayed Goliath.”

He also led the fight for the ultimate return to Cochiti of 25,000 acres, one of the largest aboriginal tracts of lands, to be returned to an Indian Nation post Indian Lands Claims Commission.

In yet another major land reacquisition, Regis has achieved negotiations for the reacquisition of nearly 10,000 acres of Cochiti homelands, lands sought for nearly 65 years. He led the efforts for the last 30years, efforts his Grandfather and his late Father worked on in their time of service in those 65 years of efforts.


Regis received his undergraduate from Princeton University, only the second Pueblo Indian to do so Princeton University’s history. He did his graduate work at UC Berkeley and his Senior Executive Education at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Professional career

Longest serving Chief Executive, New Mexico Office of Indian Affairs, 16 years under four Governors.

Chief of Staff, Office of the Speaker, Representative Ben Lujan, New Mexico House of Representatives, 12 years.

Chief of Staff, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, Office of the Majority Floor Leader, Representative Rick Miera, House of Representatives, 4 years.

Co-Founder and Co-Director, Santa Fe Indian School Leadership Institute, Indigenous Think Tank recognized as one of the exemplary Indigenous Think Tanks in the Nation by the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

He has served as the senior and head faculty at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs Junior Policy Institute for the Leadership Institute’s Summer Policy Academy for 10 years. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Administration with the University of New Mexico.

Inter-governmental Relations

In the last 30 years, strengthening the relationship among all governments has been the focus at the local, state and federal levels. In 1996, the New Mexico House and Senate awarded Regis the Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to strengthening state-tribal relations. The New Mexico Legislature bestowed recognition and acknowledgement upon Regis as the chief architect of policies and laws across the full spectrum defining the foundation and framework of state-tribal policies. The late President Wendell Chino proclaimed that, “no single individual has had a more profound impact guiding state-tribal relations in the history of New Mexico then, Regis Pecos.”

In 1999, he received New Mexico’s Distinguished Public Service Award.

More recently, he received the Speaker of the House Ben Lujan Lifetime Achievement Award in education conceiving the New Mexico Indian Act and building the foundation and framework for major policies and laws in New Mexico and nationally.

Public Service

One of he first Natives elected to a local school board of education in the early 1980’s to the Bernalillo Public Schools.

Served as the Chairman for the Santa Fe Indian School for 15 years during a time when the school became the first Indian school in the nation to receive the Excellence in Education Award by the President of the United States.

He is a retired trustee from the Board of Trustees at Princeton University.

First American Indian to ever be appointed/elected as Trustee among all Ivy League Colleges and Universities.

Chairman, Board of Governors, Honoring Nations Program, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Member, International Advisory Council, Native Nations Institute, Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, University of Arizona

Founding Board Member along with Senator Daniel Inouye for the first American Indian Policy Center at George Washington University focused on inter-governmental relationships

Regis is a retired Commissioner of the New Mexico Judicial Performance and Evaluation Commission appointed by the New Mexico Supreme Court. The Commission is responsible for the evaluation of all Metro Courts Judges, State Court Judges, State Court of Appeals Judges and the New Mexico Supreme Court Justices.

Regis is the author of many publications on inter-governmental affairs, education, environment, health, indigenous customary law and governance, Pueblo language and culture, land tenure, water rights, Indian policy and laws. His most recent is a chapter in a book honoring the late Senator Daniel K Inouye.