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Two local journalists have been elected to join the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government’s board of directors.
Chris Keller, managing director of Albuquerque Business First, and Rebecca Valdez, assistant news director of KOB-TV, were selected as new members of the foundation’s board, according to a news release from NMFOG.
Apart from the new board members, NMFOG also elected new members for its executive committee, which Executive Director Melanie Majors describes as the “overall management of the organization.”
Karen Moses, editor of the Albuquerque Journal, was selected as president of the committee. Jessica Onsurez, news director of the southern New Mexico and Farmington Gannett papers, was chosen as vice-president.
Rashad Mahmood, co-director of the New Mexico Local News Fund, joins the committee as secretary and Sammy Lopez, executive director of the New Mexico Press Association, as treasurer, according to the release.
Former NMFOG President Kathi Bearden will remain on the board’s executive committee, the release states. Two at-large members who also remain on the executive committee are Daniel Yohalem, a Santa Fe attorney, and Paula Maes, president of the New Mexico Broadcasters Association.
Majors praised all members of NMFOG’s board of directors for their interest and contribution to open government. She said everyone who is asked to join the foundation is someone who believes in their mission, who “supports it with their time, their talent and their dollars.”
NMFOG’s mission, described as “three-pronged,” is to educate, advocate and litigate while upholding the Open Meetings Act and the Inspection of Public Records Act, Majors said.
“Open government is really important, it’s more than just a media operation.” Majors said. “It’s important to economic development, it’s important to all the other facets of society and if we don’t have an open government then things don’t work very well.”