ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Following the departure of the city’s Chief Administrative Officer Sarita Nair in March, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller’s administration has appointed several new top leadership roles. A new chief operations officer, deputy chief of staff and associate chief administrative officer are all joining the ranks, according to a news release from the Albuquerque Mayor’s Office.
Katarina Sandoval joins the city as Albuquerque’s chief operations officer (COO). Sandoval replaces prior COO Lawrence Rael, who remains working for the city as Albuquerque’s acting chief administrative officer or essentially the top unelected position in city government.
As a COO, Sandoval will be oversee operations of numerous city departments like, Aviation, Arts and Culture, Municipal Development, Parks and Recreation and several more. Organizationally, the COO typically reports to the chief administrative officer, who reports directly to the Mayor.
According to the Mayor’s Office, Sandoval has previously held numerous high-level administrative roles in large educational operations. That includes roles like the Deputy Secretary of Academic Engagement and Student Success for the New Mexico Public Education Department and Chief Academic Officer and Associate Superintendent of Albuquerque Public Schools.
The Keller administration has also appointed Annie Manriquez as the mayor’s deputy chief of staff. Typically, that position serves in a supervisory capacity between the CAO and staff in the Mayor’s Office, communications team members and several other key city elements.
According to a bio provided by the Keller administration, Manriquez previously served as Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s senior advisor for cyber and critical infrastructure. Prior to her time in state government, Manriquez is said to have spent more than a decade in Washington D.C., in part, working for a firm called the MITRE Corporation, focused on work revamping federal government programs.
The city also announced the appointment of Bob White to the role of associate chief administrative officer. According to a news release, White has over 40 years experience in the legal field and previously work as the Albuquerque city attorney. White also served as an Albuquerque city councilor from 1979 to 1983.