DFA Secretary Deborah Romero to retire after nearly 50 years in state government
SANTA FE – The Office of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday announced that Department of Finance and Administration Secretary Deborah Romero will retire at the end of the year after serving 48 years in New Mexico state government.
Romero has led the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) since 2020, previously serving as DFA Deputy Secretary and director of the department’s state budget division. A career public servant in New Mexico state government, Romero has worked for nine different gubernatorial administrations and participated in over 40 legislative sessions. She has worked in budgeting and finance across a wide variety of fields, with the majority of her career spent at DFA. Throughout her time at the department, she established the infrastructure capital outlay process for local governments, created the state’s capital outlay tracking system, and launched the state Infrastructure Finance 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, as well as the Director of Boards and Commissions under two previous administrations.
“I am deeply grateful to Debbie for her decades of public service to New Mexico and the invaluable experience and expertise she provided to my administration,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “There is no question that her decades of work on matters of state finance have left an indelible and undeniably positive mark. After nearly fifty years as a tireless and steadfast public servant, she has certainly earned this next chapter of retirement with her family, and I wish her all the very best.”
“Public service is a family tradition which started with my parents and became a calling for me as well, but it’s time to start the next season of my life with my husband and our family after 48 years of serving New Mexico,” said Secretary Romero. “I want to thank Governor Lujan Grisham and her staff for their confidence in me and for their commitment to state. These last four years have been the most exciting and rewarding of my career. I am blessed to be part of an administration that has accomplished so much during a worldwide pandemic, extraordinary fires and flooding, and the challenges of rebuilding a stable and functioning government. I began as a student intern, and now, to finish as a Cabinet Secretary is a dream come true.”
As part of the Lujan Grisham administration, Romero played an integral role in the drafting and implementation of state budgets. Her accomplishments during the current administration include overseeing the distribution of $1.8 billion in federal funds, including the distribution of over $200 million in Emergency Rental Assistance funds; improving the capital outlay process by enhancing oversight and support; establishing new and improved budget systems for state agencies; overseeing hundreds of millions of dollars in special appropriations and executive orders; and managing the fiscal creation of both the Law Enforcement Recruitment Fund and the governor’s Food and Hunger Initiative.