Lee graduated from Eldorado High School and attended college at the University of Southern California before moving to Washington, D.C., in 2008 to work for then-President Barack Obama.
While serving at the White House, he was part of the president’s legislative affairs team that helped pass the Affordable Care Act. He also worked in the offices of Staff Secretary, Political Strategy, Scheduling and Advance and at the State Department in the Office of Protocol.
“My goal is to bring in and implement some of the systems I saw at the White House to Albuquerque City Hall,” Lee said. “I think that the mayor has reinvigorated the city with his ‘One Albuquerque’ campaign. It’s really exciting to come back to the city, like the mayor did, and help out.”
After his stint in the nation’s capital, Lee was awarded a Fulbright research scholarship in Korea.
He then returned to New Mexico and attended law school at the University of New Mexico, graduating in December and passing the bar in February.
“He seems really energetic about the position,” City Council President Ken Sanchez said. “I think he’s going to be a real asset to the city.”
Lee’s duties will include serving as the mayor’s proxy at meetings he’s unable to attend, supporting staff through administrative processes and assisting with policy initiatives.
“Bringing home-grown talent back to the city is important as we tackle the challenges ahead,” Keller said in a statement. “Gary Lee was the perfect fit for this spot. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge about how to run an executive office and a love for his hometown that will serve our city well.”
The position comes with a $75,000 salary.