A retired National Park Service official and former Doña Ana County commissioner has been named interim director of the New Mexico History Museum and Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe.
Billy Garrett, a Las Cruces native, will take on the temporary role while the Museum of New Mexico board of regents conducts a national search for a permanent director, according to an announcement Thursday.
Former director Andrew Wulf was dismissed in February amid a gubernatorial administration change.
Garrett ended his 26-year NPS career in 2009 as chief of operations for the Gateway National Recreation Area that spans New York and New Jersey. He also previously worked as a historic architect at the Grand Canyon and in Washington D.C., according to the announcement.
From 2010-2018, after returning to New Mexico, he served on the Doña Ana County Commission. In 2018, Garrett also ran in the Democratic Primary for lieutenant governor, coming third in a three-person race won by Howie Morales.
“New Mexico has a rich and deep history,” Garrett said in the announcement. “Sharing that history recognizes the importance of communities throughout our state. I look forward to working with the team at the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs — as well as museum docents, friends and supporters—in building on this great tradition.”