Dr. Orcilia Zúñiga Forbes was appointed to the State Board of Higher Education in July 2012.

Orcilia has had a long and distinguished career in higher education Orcilia Forebest photoadministration, starting in 1965. She has held the positions of Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs at Portland State University, Vice President of Student Affairs and Institutional Advancement at the University of New Mexico, and Vice President of University Advancement at Oregon State University, retiring in 2004.

She has also served on the boards of many community organizations, including the Albuquerque and Portland Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, Providence Health and Services System, National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation and Spanish Colonial Arts Society. In 1991, she received the MANA de Albuquerque, Brindis a la Mujer Hispana Award, and the NAACP Martin Luther King Jr. Award. In 2009, UNM’s Alumni Association honored her contributions as an alum. Dr. Forbes previously held the position of vice president of university advancement for OSU and has also held a number of administrative positions at PSU and the University of New Mexico. Dr. Forbes is also a trustee for the Meyer Memorial Trust.  She serves on other community boards and organizations.

Dr. Forbes was born in Carlsbad, New Mexico to Lorenzo and Anita Zuniga, the first of eight children. She received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of New Mexico and master’s degrees in Nursing Education and Public Health Administration from the University of  Oregon Nursing School and the University of California School of Public Health in Berkeley. Her doctorate was in Educational Policy and Management from the University of Oregon. Orcilia was married to the late Richard Bryan Forbes, PhD, and has a daughter Eryn and son Bryan.

Her term expires in 2014.

Committees: Finance & Administration