Biography of Dr. Gary K. King
Dr. Gary King is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Children’s Foundation – founded by First Lady Alice King. He also serves on the boards of Rio Grande Valley CASA and New Space New Mexico. He served as the New Mexico Attorney General from 2006 through 2014. Gary maintained a private practice as an attorney and served as a New Mexico State Legislator for House District 50 from 1987 -1998. He was the Chairman of the Torrance County Democratic Party for 14 years. Since 1987, he has been married to Dr. Yolanda Jones King, a scientist and community leader. Gary grew up with his ranching family in Stanley, New Mexico.
Gary earned a Ph.D. from CU in Organic Chemistry and graduated from UNM School of Law and is an active member of the New Mexico Bar Association. In addition to practicing privately, he served as in-house counsel to Advanced Sciences, Inc., a small minority-owned environmental engineering company owned and operated by his mentor, Ambassador Ed Romero. In 1998, Gary became the Policy Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in Washington, D.C. He also became the Department’s Director of the Office of Worker and Community Transition. While at the DOE, he developed and implemented a program fostering cooperation between federal, state, local and Native American governments to enhance cleanup activities. He also led the creation of a major healthcare initiative for Cold War Workers who suffered negative health effects related to their service to our country.
During his tenure in the New Mexico State Legislature, Gary served as Chairman of the Consumer and Public Affairs Committee. He used his leadership position to work vigorously on health care, environmental and civil rights issues. Gary has dedicated his work and political career to making sure sound science is included in the creation of public policy. His accomplishments include the New Mexico Mining Act and the New Mexico Solid Waste Act. He carried the legislation that created the New Mexico Spaceport (signed into law by Governor Bruce King) in 1994. He was a major advocate for strengthening laws to combat drunk driving in New Mexico. As NM Attorney General he was recognized as a strong advocate for consumer protection. The US Department of State chose him twice to brief the UN Commission on the Rights of Children about the program he developed for combating human trafficking and child abuse by international criminal organizations. AG King was invited to consult on these issues in Europe, South America, and Mexico. He led a major national AG initiative to train Mexican prosecutors and criminal investigators to be more effective under the new Mexican Judicial Initiative. NMAG King also argued on behalf of the State of New Mexico before the US Supreme Court in an important drunk driving case. He initiated litigation against the US Department of Interior and the State of Texas to protect NM water resources for future generations. Gary issued the AG opinion guaranteeing the legal status of same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions.
Gary has been an active member of the Democratic Party for his entire adult life. As a teenager, he served as a Page at the 1972 National Democratic Convention. While attending Colorado University he volunteered on the Tim Wirth Campaign. He has served as Precinct Chair, Ward Chair, County Chair and State Central Committee delegate. He is a founding member of the Democratic Rural Caucus and a long-time member of the NM Federation of Democratic Women. Gary has always been willing to take on the most difficult races against Republican Incumbents. He was the Democratic nominee for NM Senate in 1984 in a difficult Northeast Heights/Torrance County District. He successfully ran for and represented HD 50 for 12 years. He served as a Presidential Appointment in the Bill Clinton administration. He was the Democratic nominee for CD 2 in 2004 in opposition to the Incumbent (R) Congressman. Gary served two terms as NM Attorney General and then was the Democratic nominee for Governor in 2014 in opposition to the incumbent (R) Governor. Gary, wife Yolanda, and his family have always been proud to carry the Democratic banner.
Gary has been a long-time active participant in his local community and has given his time and expertise to many statewide positions. He has served as President of his Rotary Club and Chair of the Manzano District of the Boy Scouts of America. Gary has served as the Chair of the Legal Services Committee of the New Mexico State Bar Association; as a Domestic Violence Special Commissioner and served as guardian ad litem for abused and neglected children in the Seventh Judicial District. He was also the Chairman of the New Mexico Mining Commission and served on the Environmental Advisory Board to the Federal Aviation Administration. In 2019-2020, he served as the District Governor for Rotary District 5520 (New Mexico and West Texas). He continues to be a major philanthropist, giving time and money to non-profit organizations, institutes of higher education, and the Democratic Party.