Gov-Elect Lujan Grisham Announces Agency Transition Leadership

November 15, 2018

Albuquerque, NM - Today, Governor-Elect Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the individuals who will serve as co-chairs of committees responsible for providing a review of state departments as part of the gubernatorial transition. The agency transition team is made up of seven different committees, each examining distinct areas of state government. The chairs will lead their committee’s effort to engage with key stakeholders and current government agency personnel and provide strategic recommendations for Governor-elect Lujan Grisham. Governor Martinez has pledged her Administration's full cooperation to ensure a smooth transition.

We can build a state government that will create pathways to success for all New Mexico children and families by growing our economy, fixing our broken public education system, improving access to healthcare, and making our communities safer. I look forward to working with this bipartisan, diverse group of leaders from across New Mexico to set our state on a new direction and leverage every opportunity we have in front of us.
— Governor-Elect Michelle Lujan Grisham

Below is a list of Governor-Elect Lujan Grisham’s agency transition team leadership and the departments their committees will be working with:

Economic Growth Co-Chairs:

Linda Calhoun, Mayor of Red River

Mayor Linda Calhoun is serving her fourth term as Mayor of Red River having previously served as a town councilor. She is a past president of the New Mexico Municipal League and is currently serving as the Vice-Chair of the League’s Mayor’s Caucus and on the Tax Task Force Committee. Additionally, she serves on the board of the North Central New Mexico Economic Development District and is a board member of the Red River Chamber of Commerce. Mayor Calhoun is a small business owner and along with her husband, Ted, owns Main Street Mercantile, Der Market Food Store, and is a partner in the Red River Brewing Company.

Vince Kadlubek, Founder & CEO of Meow Wolf

I am proud of this culturally, economically, and geographically diverse set of teams that will work on behalf of all New Mexicans on the transition. Governor-Elect Lujan Grisham and I are focused on a smooth transition to set a tone of collaboration in order to hit the ground running in January rebuilding our public education system, improving public safety, and diversifying our economy.
— Lt. Governor-Elect Howie Morales

Vince Kadlubek is the co-founder and the CEO of Meow Wolf, an art collective that has become a remarkable, award-winning Arts Production Company. Last year, Albuquerque Business First named Kadlubek as the chief executive of the year as part of their annual “C-Suite” awards. Kadlubek previously served as the chair of the Santa Fe City Planning Commission.

The Economic Growth Committee will work with:

  • Department of Cultural Affairs

  • Department of Transportation

  • Economic Development Department

  • Tourism Department

Education Co-Chairs:

Kara Bobroff, Founder, Principal and CEO of Native American Community Academy

Kara Bobroff (Navajo/Lakota), Ed.S., is a lifelong educator and leader with more than 25 years of experience serving her community. After serving as a special education teacher and assistant principal in Albuquerque, as a Dean of Students in a California Distinguished School and Principal on the Navajo Nation, she earned an Echoing Green Fellowship during which she engaged the larger Albuquerque community in creating a vision to promote academically excellent and culturally relevant education for Native American students. She became the Founding Principal of the Native American Community Academy (NACA) in 2006, now an award-winning public charter school dedicated to Native American student success. Kara’s leadership in education led to an appointment on President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, where she served during 2015-16.

Dr. Garrey E. Carruthers, Ph.D., former New Mexico Governor and Former Chancellor, NMSU

Governor Garrey E. Carruthers, Ph.D. is the former Governor of New Mexico and Assistant Secretary of the US Department of the Interior during the Reagan Administration. He served New Mexico State University in various roles including President, Chancellor, Vice President of Economic Development, and Dean of the school’s College of Business Administration and Economics. Governor Carruthers serves as the director of New Mexico State University’s Domenici Institute which provides opportunities for students and community members to gain understanding of public policy issues.

Everett Chavez, Councilman and Former Governor, Pueblo of Santo Domingo

Everett Chavez, currently is the Tribal Programs Administrator for Santo Domingo Pueblo, and a former 3-time Governor for his Pueblo. Prior to his three terms as governor, he also served as the Superintendent of the Santa Fe Indian School and the National Executive Director for the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.

The Education Committee will work with:

  • Higher Education Department

  • Public Education Department

  • Indian Affairs Department

General Services Co-Chairs:

Judy Stubbs, City Councilor, Roswell

Councilwoman Judy Stubbs has nearly 17 years of service on the Roswell City Council. She served two terms as President of the New Mexico Municipal League in addition to serving as the league’s treasurer, vice president, president-elect, and immediate past president. Previously, Councilwoman Stubbs served as the regional representative with the New Mexico Economic Development Department.

Jenifer Block, Staff Manager for the Ports of Entry Division, NM Department of Transportation

Jenifer Block serves as the staff manager for the New Mexico Department of Transportation Port of Entry Division. In addition to her current role at the Department of Transportation, Ms. Block has held various positions at the department, including serving as a quality bureau administrator and management analyst in the Office of the Secretary where she acted as a liaison to Highway Transportation Commission and provided support and guidance to management.

The General Services Committee will work with:

  • Department of Finance and Administration

  • Department of Information Technology

  • General Services Department

  • Regulation & Licensing Department

  • Taxation and Revenue Department and the new Administrative Hearings Office (no longer within TRD)

Health and Human Services Co-Chairs:

Dr. Andrew Hsi, MD, MPH, Professor of Pediatrics, UNM

Dr. Andrew Hsi is a pediatrician and professor at UNM Health Sciences Center. Dr. Hsi has devoted his career to developing systems of care for children and families affected by prenatal alcohol and drug exposure, family violence, parental mental illness, and unsupported teen parenting. He has received numerous awards for his work and recently helped launch and direct the UNM Health Sciences Center Institute for Resilience, Health and Justice. The Institute seeks to improve health, health care, equity and justice among New Mexicans with community-wide solutions that incorporate resilience and help prevent adverse events that have harmed too many New Mexican children and families.  

Jennifer Ramo, JD, Executive Director, New Mexico Appleseed

Jennifer Ramo, an attorney, is the executive director of New Mexico Appleseed. Ramo has a lengthy background in promoting social justice and equality for underserved communities. While employed at the White House Office of National Service, she helped to establish the grant-making program at AmeriCorps*VISTA.  Under Ms. Ramo’s leadership, New Mexico Appleseed has authored the nation's first Breakfast After the Bell law that ensures 116,000 low-income children can access breakfast every morning, helped create the Food Access Navigator program within the Navajo Nation recently funded by the USDA for 2.4 million dollars, and rectified serious state and federal errors impacting over 120,000 low-income children.

The Health and Human Services Committee will work with:

  • Aging and Long-Term Services Department

  • Children Youth and Families Department

  • Department of Health

  • Human Services Department

Labor Co-Chairs:

W. Scott Carreathers, Director African American Student Services, UNM

William Scott Carreathers serves as the Director of African American Student Services at the University of New Mexico. During his 16-year tenure in African American Student Services, he has helped grow and expand the services and also has created several programs that serve Black students on campus. Mr. Carreathers helped organize and lead an effort to address the racial climate at UNM and served as the liaison between the President’s office at the University and the Alliance of African American Groups within the university community and broader community.

Trish Ruiz, NM Public Education Commissioner

Trish Ruiz currently serves on the New Mexico Public Education Commission. Commissioner Ruiz serves at-risk students at Hobbs High Harold Murphy Alternative Learning Center and previously was an Adjunct Professor at the University of the Southwest where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Master’s Degree in Counseling. She serves as the Hobbs National Education President, National Education Association of New Mexico Board of Directors and past Vice Chair of the National Education Association’s National Hispanic Caucus.

The Labor Committee will work with:

  • Department of Workforce Solutions

  • State Personnel Office

  • Worker’s Compensation Administration

Natural Resources Co-Chairs:

Sarah Cottrell Propst, Executive Director, Interwest Energy Alliance

Sarah Cottrell Propst is the Executive Director of the Interwest Energy Alliance, a non-profit trade association that represents the nation’s leading companies in the renewable energy industry, bringing them together with regional non-governmental organizations in the West. Previously, she served as the Deputy Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department and an energy and environmental policy for the office of the governor.

Toby Velasquez, Deputy Director NM State Parks

Toby Velasquez currently serves as the as the Deputy Director the New Mexico State Parks. His decades-long career with the New Mexico State Parks started when Velasquez began as a park ranger in 1999. He would later serve the department as a park manager, regional manager, and Chief of Boating Law Enforcement. Earlier this month, Velasquez received his second U.S. Coast Guard Public Service Commendation for his work on the National Boating Safety Advisory Council. In addition to his service in state government, Velasquez is the Pojoaque Valley School Board Secretary and involved in coaching youth athletics and mentorship through various non-profit and community organizations.

The Natural Resources Committee will work with:

  • Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources Department

  • NM Environment Department

  • Office of the State Engineer/Interstate Stream Commission

Public Safety Co-chairs:

Judy M. Griego, Retired Brigadier General, NM National Guard

Retired Brigadier General Griego is the first New Mexico woman to have been promoted to the rank of brigadier general in the New Mexico National Guard. General Griego served 12 years in the enlisted ranks of the New Mexico Air National Guard. In 2007, General Griego deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She has commanded various positions throughout her tenure including serving as the Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff of the New Mexico National Guard.

Robert Shilling, Former New Mexico State Police Chief

Retired New Mexico State Police Chief Robert Shilling is a native New Mexican, born and raised in Silver City. He started his career in law enforcement with the Silver City Police Department, before joining the New Mexico State Police in 1992. In his 20+ year career with the New Mexico State Police, Robert served in a variety of assignments and capacities, including patrol, narcotics, public information, records, budget, and criminal investigations. He served as the commander of the Criminal Investigations Division and the Law Enforcement Records Bureau. During his tenure, Shilling served as an expert witness for several executive public safety bills such as the Amber Alert, the original Katie’s Law, and various measures to increase penalties for domestic violence offenders. Robert served as Chief of the New Mexico State Police and Deputy Secretary for the Department of Public Safety from January 1, 2011, until his retirement in August of 2013. He was also a police instructor and still teaches law enforcement officers today.

The Public Safety Committee will work with:

  • Corrections Department

  • Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness

  • Department of Military Affairs

  • Department of Public Safety

  • Department of Veterans Services