NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – On Tuesday, Mar. 21, the New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) announced they have a new deputy secretary. The department has appointed Alex Castillo Smith as their new deputy cabinet secretary.

Smith has been the HSD’s strategic planning director since 2019 and played a key role in the state’s COVID-19 response. Kari Armijo, acting secretary for the department, says, “Her elevation to the deputy secretary is a natural evolution given the leadership she shows every day. As a public servant, she leads with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love, which are the values of our department.”

According to the HSD, Castillo Smith’s work with the department has led to primary care payment reform, healthcare workforce expansion, the promotion of health equity, and legislative and community partner engagement.

“I am deeply humbled to serve in this new capacity and am grateful for the trust Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham places with me. I am a first-generation American, lower-income college graduate. And I know I would not be where I am today if not for programs like SNAP, Medicaid, and behavioral health, which have supported me throughout my life,” said Castillo Smith.