State Transportation secretary retiring
SANTA FE – Secretary Michael Sandoval of the state Department of Transportation will be retiring, effective May 1, 2022, after serving 27 years in state government.
Serving as secretary of NMDOT since 2019, Sandoval oversaw countless projects making historic investments in New Mexico’s transportation infrastructure while leading 2,500 employees at one of the state’s largest departments. Under his leadership, NMDOT implemented more than $3 billion in construction programs over the last three and a half years. Before his appointment as cabinet secretary, he served as executive manager of the department’s Modal Divisions, in which he oversaw hundreds of contracts, the state’s twelve ports of entry, and major transportation projects including the Rail Runner, commercial vehicle permitting, and traffic safety. A dedicated member of the NMDOT team for over a decade, he also served as the director of the department’s Office of Safety Programs, Planning Division, and Traffic Safety Division.
In his role as NMDOT secretary Sandoval also served as chairman of the Member Services Committee of the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) Executive Board. Born and raised in Santa Fe, he graduated from St. Michael’s High School and received his Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree from New Mexico State University.
“I am deeply grateful to Mike for his many years of leadership at the Department of Transportation and his professional career in state government,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “Mike is truly beloved throughout all of state government – he has worked tirelessly over several decades to advance critically important projects improving the quality of life for New Mexicans and supporting state employees. I know he will be missed by his team at NMDOT, legislators, and myself, but I wish him all the best in retirement and his next chapter with his family.”
“My decision to retire did not come easily,” said Sec. Sandoval. “I love my job and I am proud of the accomplishments and time I spent being of service to New Mexicans. When I think back on the last 27 years, it is the partnerships and relationships I made with employees, legislators, the public and private sectors, I am most proud of. They are the driving force behind my success in state government. I am grateful for every position I held, and I am honored to retire on such a high note working under the leadership of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham as her appointed Secretary of Transportation,” added Sandoval. “I believe the department is in a good place and it’s time to carve out more time for my wife, children, family, and golf.”
Deputy Secretary Justin Reese will serve as acting secretary for the department while the administration conducts a comprehensive search to fill the position.