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Economic Development Secretary Alicia J. Keyes to leave office


New Mexico Economic Development Department Secretary Alicia J. Keyes will be leaving her post July 13, it was announced last week in a state press release.  

“New Mexico’s economy is booming, and it’s more diverse than ever before. Wages are higher and we’re seeing historic job numbers,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “That’s no accident. Secretary Keyes’ commitment to carrying out the vision of my administration and her dedication to making New Mexico a great place to live have been integral to the economic health of our great state. I wish her the very best in the future.”  

 Grisham appointed Keyes in January 2019, the first woman to lead the EDD. 

 “My greatest joy has been collaborating with New Mexicans in every corner of the state to create higher-paying jobs and build economic security for future generations,” Keyes said. “I want to thank Gov. Lujan Grisham for this opportunity and unwavering support and encouragement. I’m looking forward to continuing to drive economic development forward in my next chapter.” 

From 2014-18, under Gov. Susana Martinez, Keyes served as the chair of the Governor’s Council on Film and Television. She then served as Director of the Office of Film and Television for the City of Albuquerque before being tapped by Grisham as EDD secretary.

From 1999-2004, Keyes worked for the Walt Disney Company as executive director of worldwide co-productions and acquisitions.

Keyes departs as the state sees its lowest unemployment rate since 2007 and an all-time high number of jobs. Under her leadership, the department’s programs reached new levels of success, including the Job Training Incentive Program recording its highest average wage at $27.08 an hour, up 28 percent from four years ago.  

 In the past four years, EDD utilized the Local Economic Development Act assisting 60 businesses and supporting more than 8,500 new jobs in New Mexico with an average annual wage of more than $64,000 – up 20 percent from 2019. The LEDA assistance is projected to result in $7.3 billion in new capital investment across the state; $580 million in new payroll; and a ten-year economic impact of $34 billion. 

 Under Grisham’s leadership, Keyes has spearheaded New Mexico’s efforts to diversify and grow the state economy, including expanding global trade by making key investments and relationships along the border, attracting new and expanded aerospace investment, establishing the state’s Office of Outdoor Recreation, and taking the state’s film and television industry to new heights. The state will soon offer training at the New Mexico Media Academy, a first-of-its-kind initiative of the administration to provide advanced hands-on training to New Mexicans in a growing industry. 

 Keyes’ last day will be July 13. Keyes plans to take personal time before pursuing opportunities in the private sector while remaining in New Mexico.  

 The administration is actively seeking Keyes’ successor.