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Leadership Team

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310 Old Santa Fe Trail,
Santa Fe NM 87501


Deputy Commissioner of Operations

Sunalei Stewart has over 15 years of experience in federal, state, and local government. Before rejoining the Land Office, Sunalei served as the Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Albuquerque under Mayor Tim Keller.

Deputy Commissioner of Public Affairs

Tarin Nix has owned and operated a successful consulting firm that oversaw political campaigns, issue-advocacy campaigns, and policy initiatives for over a decade.

Assistant Commissioner of Administrative Services Division

Donna Sandoval has more than 25 years of experience in state and local government. Previously she was the Administrative Services Division Director and Chief Financial Officer for the New Mexico Department of Information Technology. 

Assistant Commissioner of Mineral Resources

Jordan Kessler’s experience and expertise is in oil and gas regulatory law. Prior to joining the Land Office, she worked for a private law firm representing oil and gas companies in regulatory issues, rulemaking, and litigation. 

Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Resources

Steve Vierck and the economic development teams with which he has been associated have consistently achieved significant success at the community, regional and state levels. His experience in growing and diversifying local and state economies spans over 30 years working for key agencies in New Mexico, Arizona and Texas.

Assistant Commissioner of Surface Resources

Howard Gross has spent the last 30 years immersed in Western natural resources and public lands work.

Assistant Commissioner of Engagement

Rachael Lorenzo is from the Pueblo of Laguna, a descendant of the Mescalero Apache Tribe, and a Chicana, born and raised in New Mexico. 

Assistant Commissioner of Communications

Prior to joining the Land Office, Angie Poss served as the Communications and Political Director for Deb Haaland’s successful election to the U.S. Congress. Angie has worked in various capacities to advance social justice policy with Equality New Mexico, the state’s largest and oldest LGBTQ+ advocacy organization. 

Executive Assistant & Constituency Services Director

Alysha Shaw has over a decade of experience in community organizing, outreach, communications, project and program management, administration, and group facilitiation. 

General Counsel

Ari Biernoff previously served as senior litigator with the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office under Attorneys General Hector Balderas and Gary King, managing innovative litigation programs to preserve public access to state trust lands, protect natural resources and public health, and recover damages from industries that have harmed New Mexicans. 

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