DFA Secretary Deborah Romero is retiring after nearly 50 years of service in state government

FDFA Secretary Deborah Romero

From the district office:

SANTA FE — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office announced Tuesday that Department of Treasury and Administration (DFA) Secretary Deborah Romero will retire at the end of the year after 48 years in the New Mexico state government.

Romero has headed the DFA since 2020 and previously served as DFA Assistant Secretary and Director of the Department’s State Budget Division.

A career officer in the New Mexico state government, Romero has served nine different governorships and attended more than 40 legislative sessions. She has worked in a variety of areas in budgeting and finance, spending the majority of her career at DFA.

During her time in the department, Romero established the infrastructure capital expenditure process for local governments, created the government capital expenditure tracking system, and launched the government infrastructure financing conference, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. She also previously served as Chief Financial Officer for the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and as Director of Boards and Commissions under two previous administrations.

“I am deeply grateful to Debbie for her decades of public service in New Mexico and the invaluable experience and expertise she has brought to my administration,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “There is no question that her decades of work on public finance issues have left an indelible and undeniably positive mark. After nearly 50 years as a tireless and tireless public servant, she well deserves this next chapter of retirement with her family and I wish her well.”

“Public service is a family tradition that began with my parents and has also become a calling for me, but it is time to begin the next season of my life with my husband and our family after living in New Mexico for 48 years served,” Secretary Romero said. “I would like to thank Governor Lujan Grisham and her staff for their faith in me and their dedication. These last four years have been the most exciting and rewarding of my career. I am blessed to be part of a government that has accomplished so much during a global pandemic, extraordinary fires and floods, and the challenges of rebuilding a stable and functioning government. I started as an intern and now ending up as a cabinet secretary is a dream come true.”

As part of Lujan Grisham’s government, Romero played an integral role in the formulation and implementation of state budgets.

Her accomplishments during the current tenure include:

Oversaw the distribution of $1.8 billion in federal funds, including the distribution of over $200 million to emergency rental housing funds;

Improving the capital deployment process through improved oversight and support;

establishment of new and improved budgeting systems for government agencies;

overseeing hundreds of millions of dollars in special funds and executive orders; and

Managed the fiscal creation of both the Law Enforcement Recruitment Fund and the Governor’s Food and Hunger Initiative.