SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Less than a year after taking the job, Donnie Quintana has chosen to leave his position as secretary of the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services.

Quintana, a military veteran and native New Mexican, was appointed to the position in January of 2023. He filled a vacancy left after former Secretary Sonya Smith left to be closer to family.

Now, Quintana has stepped down. Brig. General Jamison Herrera, the deputy adjutant general of the New Mexico National Guard, will fill in as acting secretary until a permanent replacement is chosen, according to the governor’s office.

“I appreciate Secretary Quintana’s work in his time at the Department of Veterans’ Services and also his decision to step aside to allow for new leadership to accelerate the work of the agency,” Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a press release. “I am looking forward to launching a broad search for the next leader of the Department, who must deliver on that mission for the men and women who served our state and country.”