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The University of New Mexico has tapped Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller’s chief of staff as the university’s top lobbyist.
Michael Puelle on Monday was named UNM’s chief government relations officer. He will oversee all government and community relations activities. The position reports directly to the UNM president.
He starts the job Oct. 10.
UNM President Garnett Stokes chose Puelle after UNM hired the search firm Korn Ferry, and applicants sent their questions and applications directly to the firm.
“He has embraced public service throughout his career and brings us the ideal combination of strength as an administrator and extensive experience at all levels of government, including community relations and legislative strategy,” Stokes said in a statement.
Puelle has been Keller’s chief of staff since 2020. Prior to that he was the chief executive officer and director of public policy and government relations for Associated General Contractors New Mexico.
Cinnamon Blair, a university spokeswoman, said Puelle will have a base salary of $192,000 annually.
“I am excited and proud to be joining UNM, as it’s an institution that creates such a great and positive impact for families and communities across the state,” Puelle said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the leaders and stakeholders – especially students – connected with the university community to expand these impacts and deliver on the opportunities in front of us.”
Keller sent out a statement congratulating Puelle on his new job.
“UNM will be in good hands, and our entire City team is grateful for his leadership during some exceptionally tough times,” Keller said. “We are confident his executive experience at the City and past work on the state and federal level makes him a strong fit for his new role where he will continue to advance the success of the Duke City.”