Mayor-elect appoints new chief operating officer, deputy city attorney | KOB 4

Mayor-elect appoints new chief operating officer, deputy city attorney Web Staff
November 29, 2017 05:16 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Mayor-elect Tim Keller announced more appointments for his executive team on Wednesday, naming Lawrence Rael as Albuquerque's chief operating officer and Oriana Sandoval as deputy city attorney.


Rael's previous work in municipal government includes time under three different mayors. He has served as the assistant to the chief administrative officer and later as the CAO.

Sandoval, meanwhile, will move into a newly created position focusing on civil rights, immigrant rights protections, refugee affairs and environmental justice among other issues.

Both appointments are on an interim basis and will go into effect on Friday. Keller takes office that same day.

Here are biographies on these appointments, as provided by the mayor-elect's office:

About Lawrence Rael

"Lawrence is a lifelong New Mexican. He was born in Santa Fe and raised on a small family farm in the rural town of Sile, New Mexico, where he still works with his family to keep the farm active. He graduated from Bernalillo High School in 1976 and earned his bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of New Mexico (UNM); later he earned a master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Public Finance, also from UNM. 

"Lawrence has dedicated his life to serving others. His journey in public service began at an early age when assisting in community development projects in his hometown. That experience led him to work for state government and in his early 20’s he became the Deputy Secretary of Transportation for the State of New Mexico under Governor Toney Anaya. In 1987 Lawrence joined the staff of Senator Jeff Bingaman in Washington, and in 1990 he returned home to New Mexico as Assistant to the CAO and later served as the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the City of Albuquerque. Lawrence is the longest serving individual to hold this position, serving three different mayors and both Republican and Democratic City Councilors. In that capacity, he was responsible for balancing billion dollar budgets and managing more than 8,500 city employees. In 2002 Lawrence left the city to become Executive Director of the Mid-Region Council of Governments (MRCOG). Representing Bernalillo, Valencia, Torrance, and Sandoval counties, MRCOG manages regional transportation, agriculture, workforce development, employment growth, land-use, water, and economic development programs. At MRCOG, Lawrence initiated the Agricultural Collaborative which helps connect farmers in rural markets with customers to promote local farm to table consumption. The program also supports initiatives to improve farm productivity, including water conservation and supports farmland preservation initiatives throughout the Rio Grande Valley. 

"Lawrence was appointed by President Obama as the Director of the Farm Services Agency for New Mexico in 2012. The agency oversees all aspects of federal farm program delivery – issuing more than $100 million annually in commodity, conservation, disaster and credit benefits to farmers and ranchers across the state. FSA plays a vital role in the economic viability of rural New Mexico. Rael’s responsibilities included insuring the Agency made wise use of taxpayer dollars and that employees were provided the fiscal and human resources necessary to efficiently and effectively deliver programs to the state’s agricultural producers.

"Throughout his career Lawrence has worked hard to build a better New Mexico. His most visible accomplishments are those New Mexico institutions he helped build during his time as CAO of Albuquerque and as Executive Director of MRCOG: expansions of the Albuquerque Airport and Convention Center; development of the International Balloon Fiesta Park; educational and family-oriented facilities including the Explora Science Center, the Albuquerque Aquarium and Botanic Gardens, and the Isotopes Baseball Park; and transportation infrastructure, including managing the planning and construction of the award-winning New Mexico Rail Runner Express commuter rail line. Lawrence served as the President of the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber’s initiatives include a “Buy Local” campaign that promotes keeping New Mexico dollars in New Mexico with small businesses across the state, as well as extensive advocacy to increase investments in New Mexico’s renewable energy sector.

"Lawrence has a track record of getting things done, but he is most proud of his track record of bringing people together. As CAO of Albuquerque, Lawrence built bridges between different New Mexico constituencies to successfully protect Kirtland Air Force Base when it was threatened by the Base Closure and Realignment Commission. Lawrence also built consensus around new transportation initiatives, a key factor in the success of the New Mexico Rail Runner Express as well as a number of road construction and maintenance programs in Albuquerque.  

"Lawrence serves as Vice Chair of the board of the New Mexico Land Conservancy and President of the Montessori of the Rio Grande Charter School Governing Council.  Lawrence served on the United Way of New Mexico Board of Directors. He formerly served on the State Parks Advisory Board, and has served the community over the years through participation in the New Mexico Livable Communities Task Force, the New Mexico Stimulus Package Advisory Committee, and the Kirtland AFB Retention Committee and Kirtland AFB Partnership Committee, as well as through Board membership on the Carrie Tingley Hospital and the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Lawrence lives in Los Ranchos with his wife, Kim, and their three children."

About Oriana Sandoval

"Oriana Sandoval has worked on economic security, environmental justice, and civil rights issues for more than a decade. She has served as the Policy Director and Chief Executive Officer at the Center for Civic Policy (CCP) since 2013. CCP is a nonpartisan organization that strives to involve everyday New Mexicans in public policy decisions that affect their lives. CCP works to achieve positive and lasting change in everyday peoples' lives.  

"At the Center for Civic Policy, Oriana leads the organization’s statewide policy and civic engagement campaigns on issues including economic security, election administration, tax and budget priorities, and early childhood education.

"A fully bilingual native of New Mexico, Oriana received her Bachelor of Arts in Diplomacy and World Affairs from Occidental College; a Master's in Public Policy from the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy; and a Juris Doctor from UC Berkeley School of Law. She is currently an active member of the New Mexico Bar Association.  

"Oriana worked with the UC Berkeley Labor Center to provide leadership development trainings to Latino immigrant grassroots organizers in California’s Central Valley. She clerked at the Center on Race Poverty and the Environment where she conducted research for litigation on climate change issues and cases involving the violation of air quality standards in California’s Central Valley. Oriana also clerked at the Oakland, CA, Centro Legal de la Raza where she provided legal services to low-income community members in the areas of housing, employment and immigration.  

"In 2011, Oriana served as the founding Executive Director of New Mexico Vote Matters (NMVM), a non-profit organization committed to the empowerment and participation of historically disenfranchised communities in New Mexico. NMVM assisted over 21,000 New Mexicans in registering to vote in 2012 and conducted a comprehensive Get Out The Vote campaign to over 60,000 unlikely voters in these communities to encourage participation in the political process."

Credits Web Staff

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved


Relay Media Amp



Former UNM players defend Bradbury amid accusations

Woman asks for help finding her late son's truck after it was stolen

Hispano Chamber of Valencia County hosts annual matanza

Judge declines early prison release request by ex-sheriff

Silver Alert: Janet L. Mimovich