Ray Powell grew up in New Mexico, attended the University of New Mexico, and received his doctorate in veterinary medicine from Tufts University, with an emphasis in wildlife medicine in 1985. Powell served as State Land Commissioner in New Mexico from 1993-2002 and was the president and vice-president of the 22-member Western States Land Commissioners Association from 1996-1998. He worked closely with federal cabinet members, governors, members of congress, and tribal leaders to improve public policy on trust lands nationwide. He served nearly a decade as a member of the State Investment Council, Mining Commission, Oil and Conservation Commission, the Youth Conservation Corps Commission, and the Capitol Building’s Planning Commission. Commissioner Powell served two terms as a member of the US Department of Agriculture’s Committee on Foreign Animal and Poultry Diseases. In this capacity he gained significant expertise in understanding the impacts of disease and other pathogens on our human and domestic and wild animal populations. Prior to his recent re-election as Land Commissioner in 2010, Powell worked with world-renowned scientist and humanitarian, Dr. Jane Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research Education and Conservation.