Former Chief of Naval Civil Engineers
CEO, Public Service Co. of New Mexico">
Rear Admiral Ben Montoya was born in Indio, California and graduated from Coachella Valley High School in 1953. He attended the United States Naval Academy, graduated and commissioned Ensign, U.S. Navy, in 1958.
He retired in 1989 with the rank of Rear Admiral as the Chief of the Navy Civil Engineer Corps and Commander of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command. Over his career, he was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, two Legions of Merit, the Bronze Star with combat “V” for service in Vietnam and a number of other citations.
In addition to his Naval Academy Degree, he also has a degree in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Masters Degree in Environmental Engineering from Georgia Tech and a Law Degree from Georgetown University. He is a member of the Washington, D.C. Bar.
After retirement from the Navy, he joined Pacific Gas and Electric in San Francisco where he became a Senior Vice President in charge of the company’s gas operations. In 1993 he was selected as the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Service Company of New Mexico, the State’s major utility from where he retired in 2000.
He serves on the boards of Jacobs Engineering, Brown & Caldwell Engineering and TEC, INC. He also served on the Board of Wells Fargo Corporation. He has served on the Boards of a number of charitable and civic organizations including the California State Board of Education. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering recognizing his leadership in environmental protection during his careers in the U.S. Navy and the utility industry. He is also been recently elected to the National Academy of Construction and appointed to NASA’s Advisory Council.
He served as a Presidential Appointee on the 1995 Base Realignment and Closure Commission and on the U.S. Naval Academy Board of Visitors.
Ben currently resides in northern California with his wife of 45 years, the former Virginia Cox, also a graduate of Coachella Valley High; they have seven children and sixteen grandchildren.