ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Civil Air Patrol’s governing board has chosen a New Mexico man to serve as the organization’s next chief executive and national commander.

The organization announced the selection of Col. Mark Smith of Albuquerque on Monday. A change of command ceremony will be held later this year during the Civil Air Patrol’s national conference in Texas.

Smith currently serves as the patrol’s southwest region commander and was previously the wing commander in New Mexico.

As CEO and national commander, Smith will lead the patrol’s 57,000 members for the next three years as they conduct emergency services and promote aerospace education.

Smith has a doctorate in education in ethical leadership from Olivet Nazarene University, a master’s of aviation management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a bachelor’s in international affairs from the U.S. Air Force Academy.

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