Dr. Daniel López has an extensive career serving in the public sector starting in state government in 1973, including as Cabinet Secretary in two separate agencies from 1983 to 1986, followed by 30 years in Higher Education from 1987 to 2016 and returned again as President in 2023. His tenure in Higher Education includes 23 years as President of New Mexico Tech. During his time at Tech, the university added a number of engineering degree programs, grew enrollment substantially, increased sponsored research to nearly $100M, and carried out a comprehensive upgrade of campus facilities and infrastructure.

Dr. López received a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of New Mexico 1982, as well as a Masters and Baccalaureate degrees in Political Science. He also served in the Air National Guard from 1965 to 1969 including active duty in the US Air Force from 1968 to 1969.