Keller ap­points ABQ na­tive as­sis­tant mayor

El­do­rado High grad­u­ate Gary Lee worked in Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion

Albuquerque Journal - - METRO & NM - BY STEVE KNIGHT JOUR­NAL STAFF WRITER

Mayor Tim Keller has ap­pointed Al­bu­querque­na­tive Gary Lee to serve as as­sis­tant mayor.

Lee grad­u­ated from El­do­rado High School and at­tended col­lege at the Uni­ver­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia be­fore mov­ing to Wash­ing­ton, D.C., in 2008 to work for then-Pres­i­dent Barack Obama.

While serv­ing at the White House, he was part of the pres­i­dent’s leg­isla­tive af­fairs team that helped pass the Af­ford­able Care Act. He also worked in the of­fices of Staff Sec­re­tary, Po­lit­i­cal Strat­egy, Sched­ul­ing and Ad­vance and at the State De­part­ment in the Of­fice of Pro­to­col.

“My goal is to bring in and im­ple­ment some of the sys­tems I saw at the White House to Al­bu­querque City Hall,” Lee said. “I think that the mayor has rein­vig­o­rated the city with his ‘One Al­bu­querque’ cam­paign. It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing to come back to the city, like the mayor did, and help out.”

Af­ter his stint in the na­tion’s cap­i­tal, Lee was awarded a Ful­bright re­search schol­ar­ship in Korea.

He then re­turned to New Mex­ico and at­tended law school at the Uni­ver­sity of New Mex­ico, grad­u­at­ing in De­cem­ber and pass­ing the bar in Fe­bru­ary.

“He seems re­ally en­er­getic about the po­si­tion,” City Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Ken Sanchez said. “I think he’s go­ing to be a real as­set to the city.”

Lee’s du­ties will in­clude serv­ing as the mayor’s proxy at meet­ings he’s un­able to at­tend, sup­port­ing staff through ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­cesses and as­sist­ing with pol­icy ini­tia­tives.

“Bring­ing home-grown tal­ent back to the city is im­por­tant as we tackle the chal­lenges ahead,” Keller said in a state­ment. “Gary Lee was the per­fect fit for this spot. He brings with him a wealth of knowl­edge about how to run an ex­ec­u­tive of­fice and a love for his home­town that will serve our city well.”

The po­si­tion comes with a $75,000 salary.

Gary Lee

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