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A familiar face is back at Albuquerque City Hall.
Eric Griego, a former city councilor and onetime state lawmaker, will serve as the city’s director of outreach and advocacy, Mayor Tim Keller’s office announced last week.
Griego has a history of public service in a variety of roles, both elected and appointed. He served on the Albuquerque City Council from 2001-2005 and in the New Mexico Senate from 2009-2012. He is a former assistant secretary for the state’s Economic Development Department.
He has in the past also headed the advocacy organization, New Mexico Voices for Children, and the progressive-minded New Mexico Working Families Party.
Griego said he and Keller – with whom he served in the state Senate – had a few years ago discussed his possible return to city government, but he was focused on his education. Just before joining the mayor’s office, Griego completed his doctoral degree at the University of New Mexico with a dissertation on the role of community in economic development decisions.
He said his new role involves engaging the community in the policy-making process, which he said is a natural fit.
“I have a pretty broad background working … on early childhood and health care (issues) and I’ve done a lot of economic development work,” he said. “I think I’m really going to be sort of a utility player in the sense I’m going to try to engage as much as possible with people who are most affected by some of the priorities and policies we have before the city.”
Keller’s office announced Griego’s return along with the hiring of Valerie Hermanson as the city’s Vision Zero coordinator and the promotion of longtime city employee Bobby Sisneros to deputy director of the Transit Department.
“Each of these hires fills a need in a key role for our city and will help us achieve shared goals in this next chapter of our city’s journey,” the mayor said in a statement.