Gov. Lujan Grisham names members of new CYFD Advisory Council

SANTA FE, N.M. — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham named the members who will comprise the new Children, Youth and Families Department Advisory Council.

Gov. Lujan Grisham created the council with an executive order she signed in February. The council’s purpose is to bring in voices from every area of the child-welfare community. The governor hopes the council will provide another layer of accountability and help revitalize the department. 

The six members are from various backgrounds but have experience working with the foster care system and with homeless people.

  • Judge Catherine Begaye

Begaye is a Navajo Nation member. She is currently a Presiding Children’s Court Judge for the Second Judicial District Court. She used to be a public defender representing kids and adults in district court and appellate court.

  • Brennan Bowman

Bowman currently works as a middle school counselor at Albuquerque Public Schools and is the CEO of the “With a Village” academic success coaching service.

  • Rick Quevado

Quevado is the founder and CEO of Desert View Family Counseling Services in San Juan and McKinley counties. He has specialized in infant mental health, supervised visitation, in-home services and reunification and assisting adolescents and families who experienced significant trauma.

  • Arika Sanchez

Sanchez is the policy and advocacy director at NMCAN. She worked as a volunteer attorney for a homeless legal clinic in Albuquerque.

  • Kenneth Stowe

Stowe is a former teacher who serves as the New Mexico Public Education Department’s interim Director of Curriculum & Instruction and as a CASA Partners 4NMKids board member.

  • Barbara Yehl

Yehl is the director of Lighthouse Foster and Adoption. In Roswell, she created the Grace Refresh Group to support mothers of young children and the Lighthouse Program to support adoption and foster parenting.