Water Protection Division Director
The New Mexico Environment Department’s (NMED) mission is to protect and restore the environment and to foster a healthy and prosperous New Mexico for present and future generations. We implement our mission guided by four tenets:
- Science: Using the best available science to inform our decision-making in protecting public health and the environment.
- Innovation: Employing creative engineering and technological solutions to address environmental challenges.
- Collaboration: Engaging communities and interested stakeholders in environmental decision-making outcomes.
- Compliance: Ensuring meaningful compliance with state regulations and permits; leveling the playing field through enforcement.
The Water Protection Division (WPD) Director is appointed by the Governor and works closely with the Cabinet Secretary, Deputy Cabinet Secretary and other Division Directors. The WPD Director maintains a robust programmatic portfolio while supporting the Department and Administration priorities, goals and deadlines. The WPD Director oversees 15 programs to ensure the cleanest and safest water supplies for New Mexicans today and into the future through the protection of surface water and groundwater quality. This position supervises the WPD Deputy Director and manages and supports the Ground Water Quality, Surface Water Quality, Drinking Water and Construction Programs Bureaus that collectively include the equivalent of 178 fulltime employees.
The WPD Director takes a leadership role in protecting New Mexico’s water resources and supporting community infrastructure by developing environmental management policy and directing resources and operational activities in close collaboration with the WPD Deputy Director. Additional responsibilities include leading collaboration with stakeholders; initiating, reviewing, and drafting legislation; informing legislators, local officials, community members, federal agencies, the Congressional delegation and others of Division projects; and serving as the Department representative to outside parties on priority environmental and public health protection matters.
The Division’s $25.8 million budget involves management of more than 60 funding sources, including approximately 50 active federal grants. Functional areas under the WPD Director include: public water systems and drinking water testing; water and wastewater utility operator certification; loans for drinking water, wastewater and solid waste infrastructure projects; remediation of contaminated properties, including Superfund sites; discharge permits to protect groundwater; surface water quality monitoring and restoration; and compliance and enforcement of drinking water and water quality regulatory programs. Special projects include serving on the Government Advisory Board of the New Mexico Produced Water Research Consortium and coordinating water protection program activities to identify and address water contaminated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and other emerging contaminants.
The ideal candidate must have demonstrated leadership experience in business acumen, leading people, managing change, driving results, and building coalitions. The ideal candidate must possess exceptional communication skills, both oral and written, knowing how to effectively communicate with a wide variety of stakeholders. Finally, the ideal candidate should have a passion for the protection of New Mexico’s natural environment and how it relates to human health.
The Governor’s Office and Department expect to fill this position as soon as possible. The salary for this position is between $95,000 and $105,000 annually, depending on experience.