18 apply to be senior policy climate adviser, three names submitted to governor

May 1—With no opponent within the Democratic major in June and no Republican challenger within the November common election, state Rep. Kristina Ortez of Taos is all however assured a 3rd time period within the New Mexico House of Representatives.

But for a second, Ortez thought-about giving up her House District 42 seat for a job within the Governor’s Office.

Ortez is amongst 18 individuals who submitted a résumé and canopy letter expressing curiosity within the new place of senior policy climate adviser to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, in accordance to paperwork obtained underneath a public data request.

The governor created the job to help her work with the U.S. Climate Alliance, the place Lujan Grisham will function govt committee co-chair alongside one other Democratic governor, New York’s Kathy Hochul.

The adviser will even be tasked with serving as a liaison between the Governor’s Office and federal companions, tribal governments, the Legislature and state businesses, amongst different duties, in accordance to a job posting, which does not checklist a wage or wage vary.

Ortez, who was among the many sponsors of a invoice signed into legislation earlier this 12 months that establishes requirements for clear transportation fuels in New Mexico, mentioned the job piqued her curiosity however she solely gave making use of for it transient consideration.

“I have spent my career advocating for climate solutions and the preservation of our land and water, as a nonprofit leader and as a state legislator,” Ortez mentioned in a press release. She has labored as govt director of the Taos Land Trust for the previous 10 years and served as previous president of Conservation Voters New Mexico.

“When I learned that the Governor was planning to hire a climate policy advisor, I sent along my résumé, because I briefly considered applying for the role as a new avenue for this advocacy,” Ortez mentioned. “I love being a legislator, and I am committed [to] serving my constituents, which is ultimately why I decided not to formally apply.”

In her cowl letter, Ortez referred to as her curiosity within the job “sincere.”

“My aspiration is to work with the Governor’s team to catalyze New Mexico’s talent and vitality to leverage this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tackle climate change,” the letter states. “Now is the time to invest in new technologies that reduce emissions and to bring in federal and philanthropic dollars to make our communities resilient.”

Ortez vowed to work throughout businesses and with others to set measurable targets, prioritize funding in revolutionary applied sciences and make sure the state is setting bold and achievable climate targets.

“New Mexico is already a leader under this administration. Let’s show the world what we can do,” she wrote.

Other candidates for the place embrace Leslie Padilla, who served as company counsel for Public Service Company of New Mexico from December 2019 to April 2023; Mary Jane Parks, a senior adviser on the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission; Miana Campbell, a policy analyst on the Department of Energy; Samantha Kao, climate and power director at Conservation Voters New Mexico; and Theresa Cardenas, founder and president of Noble Renewables Group of the West LLC, a for-profit consultancy firm.

Among the pool of candidates, 10 had been interviewed by employees, and three progressed to interviews with Lujan Grisham, wrote Jodi McGinnis Porter, a spokeswoman for the governor, in an e mail.

“The Office of the Governor will be announcing the new hire for the senior policy climate advisor soon, marking the next step in the administration’s commitment to tackling climate change,” she wrote.

Follow Daniel J. Chacón on Twitter @danieljchacon.

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