Distinguished Alumnus


1997- Orlando T. Padilla ‘76 BSME

Orlando Padilla is director of Corporate Affairs for General Motors Corporation with public policy responsibilities in the areas of trade, government relations, environment, and corporate relations. Mr. Padilla began his career with GM in 1976, and he has held a variety of increasingly responsible positions in engineering, planning, and management, assuming his present position in 1996.

Born in Deming , New Mexico , he earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from New Mexico State University in 1976. He has completed various General Motors management programs at Harvard, Northwestern, and Wharton, and continues higher education opportunities. He has very effectively bridged his corporate strategic and business planning skills to the benefit of non-profit organizations, locally and nationally.

Whenever Mr. Padilla has been called to serve, he has responded with dedication and fortitude. With a strong interest in education, Mr. Padilla serves on the GM Foundation Education Committee, is a LULAC National Education Service Center board member, and has served on the National Hispanic Scholarship Fund Board of Directors since 1992, currently chairing the Board Development Committee. He is also a member of the NMSU Engineering Academy , providing guidance to curriculums and programs.

Active in a variety of professional and community activities at both local and national levels, his accomplishments have included significant fund raising efforts from corporations and foundations, as well as development and implementation of strategic and business plans. In 1993, Mr. Padilla was bestowed with the “Who’s Who Registry of Rising Young Americans” award for achievements in business and contribution to community activities. Mr. Padilla has also received Distinguished Alumni awards from NMSU in 1990, 1992, and 1996.

In 1994, Mr. Padilla was appointed to the San Francisco United Way/Trust of the Latino Communities (TLC) Board of Directors, where he guided development and establishment of TLC’s organizational structure, goals, and objectives. While living in northern California , he served on the St. Luke’s Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees.

In 1995, Orlando Padilla was a recipient of the United Way and Hispanic Community Foundation’s “Profiles of Success Award” for exemplary leadership and community service. The award highlights the contribution of individuals who have made a significant difference in the well-being of Hispanic communities throughout the San Francisco Bay area, regionally, and nationally.