Governor-Elect Makes More Cabinet Appointments

Gov.-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham


From the Office of Gov.-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham:


SANTA FE — Gov.-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham announced additional cabinet appointments Wednesday in Albuquerque.


“I’m thrilled to once again present a collection of extraordinarily talented individuals,” Lujan Grisham said. “Each nominee today makes a substantive addition to what is already a strong group of nominees, and collectively they serve as a reminder of the diverse talent in our communities.”


The governor-elect announced the following appointments:


  • Debra Garcia y Griego: Department of Cultural Affairs
  • Vincent Martinez: Department of Information Technology
  • Kate O’Neill: Higher Education Department
  • Michael Sandoval: Department of Transportation


Debra Garcia y Griego is the director of the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission, a position she has held since 2012, during which time she has led the city’s efforts to support arts and cultural affairs. She developed the nation’s first municipal ordinance addressing the forgery of Native American arts and crafts and led the development of Santa Fe’s first cultural plan, “Culture Connects Santa Fe,” and she was staff representative to the high-level negotiations over the Entrada between the All Pueblo Council of Governors, Archdiocese of Santa Fe, Santa Fe Fiesta Council and Caballeros de Vargas. She is a member of the Executive Committee of Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. Garcia y Griego has a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of New Mexico and a master of arts degree from the School of the Art Institute.


Vincent Martinez is the managing director of cloud and communications at the department he will now lead, where he has developed deep expertise and technical leadership abilities over a decadeslong career in both public and private spheres. In his current role, he leads the planning, operation and delivery of technology-based services delivered to all New Mexico executive agencies with a portfolio that includes data center, mainframe, private cloud, network, internet, email, security, desktop support and enterprise help desk. Previously he has worked as a senior account executive at the EMC Corp. in Albuquerque, as a territory manager for NetApp, and as a state representative from Rio Rancho from 1993-1996, where he was co-chairman of the Subcommittee on Technology Funding. Martinez has a bachelor degree in business administration from University of Phoenix.


Kate O’Neill is a proven leader and innovator in New Mexico higher education, serving as chief executive officer of the University of New Mexico at Taos for 12 years, beginning in 2006, and as special assistant to the chief executive since her retirement in 2016. In her time there, she developed a nationally accredited nursing program, and over ten years under her leadership, the campus’ budget grew by 250 percent. She began at the campus as adjunct faculty in 1994 and worked her way up, serving as an associate professor, department chair of psychology and academy head for professions and liberal arts. Prior to that, O’Neill served as executive director of Wellspring Taos, consulting with higher education and health care constituents, and also as clinical director of Taos’ Community Against Violence, providing counseling and supervision. Named the 2017 Citizen of the Year by the The Taos News, she has a bachelor degree in art history from Tufts University as well as master’s and doctorate degrees in higher education and education administration from Harvard University.


Michael Sandoval has spent more than 20 years at the New Mexico Department of Transportation, most recently serving as executive manager of modal divisions, a role in which he oversees 300 contracts and 12 ports of entry and major programs such as the Railrunner, commercial vehicle permitting and traffic safety. At the department, he has also served as division director of the office of safety programs, planning divisions and traffic safety division. He has also worked in other areas of state government, serving as division director of the Motor Vehicle Division from 2009-2010. He has been chairman of the Member Services Committee of the Governor’s Highway Safety Association and regional representative of the Governor’s Highway Safety Association executive board. Sandoval has a bachelor degree in civil engineering from New Mexico State University.