General Services secretary to retire
Ortiz served decades in state government in varied, essential roles
SANTA FE – Secretary Kenneth Ortiz of the General Services Department will retire from state government at the end of June.
Ortiz has led the General Services Department since the outset of the Lujan Grisham administration. Before his appointment, he served in various leadership roles in the Office of the Secretary of State, including as chief of staff, from 2011 through 2018. He was also secretary of the Workforce Solutions Department and director of the Motor Vehicle Division, in addition to other roles at the Taxation and Revenue Department and Department of Human Services over the course of his state government career, which began in 1993.
“I am deeply grateful to Ken for his willingness to serve New Mexicans in this role,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “He has been a steady and trustworthy public servant for decades, and he has earned this next chapter with his family. I wish him the best, and I know the hard-working employees of the General Services Department will continue to help our state government operate effectively.”
“It has been one of the great privileges of my government career to be part of the GSD team, and I thank the governor for that opportunity,” said Ortiz. “I also thank the employees at GSD for their work in providing high-quality, cost-effective and on-time services to our fellow agencies in state government.
“I am especially proud of our work at GSD to make state buildings more energy efficient, install solar power, purchase electric vehicles and construct charging stations for those vehicles. Those efforts have made GSD a state government leader in addressing climate change.
“We also made GSD a more transparent department, ending decades of secrecy by making settlements of liability claims against the state immediately available to the public through the government Sunshine Portal. We’ve worked to drive more government contract dollars to New Mexico companies, upgraded printing operations, managed a $115 million increase in capital projects, strived to bring down prescription drug costs for all New Mexicans, introduced new technology like electronic signature for documents and done so much more.”
The administration is searching for a full-time replacement. Deputy Secretary Duffy Rodriguez will serve as interim secretary. Rodriguez, in a long career in government, has served as Cabinet secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration and the Taxation and Revenue Department, as well as deputy secretary at the Department of Health.