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Martinez Selects Cultural Affairs Secretary

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Gov.-elect nominating Veronica Gonzales of Albuquerque to head the department

Gov.-elect Susana Martinez is nominating Veronica Gonzales of Albuquerque as secretary of the Department of Cultural Affairs, which operates state museums and monuments.

Gonzales, 48, was special assistant to the president of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe from 2002 to 2006.

Currently, Gonzales is a project director for a nonprofit group and manages grant initiatives on early childhood education in New Mexico.

Martinez announced Gonzales’ appointment on Thursday. It’s subject to Senate confirmation.

Martinez said Gonzales also will serve as acting secretary of the Department of Tourism until someone is nominated for that position.

The incoming governor supports merging the Tourism and Cultural Affairs departments. If that’s enacted, Gonzales will serve as deputy secretary of the combined agency.