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Governor’s office announces new interim leadership

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SANTA FE – The Office of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced on Sept. 9  that Courtney Kerster will serve as interim chief of staff as Matthew L. Garcia, who has served in the position since November of 2020, leaves the administration at the end of the month to continue the confirmation process for a position on the federal bench.

“Courtney has been an integral part of my leadership team for nearly a decade – I look forward to her service as interim chief of staff and appreciate her dedication to the state and our ongoing work on behalf of New Mexicans,” Lujan Grisham said. “I am very grateful to Matt for his invaluable service to my administration and to the state, including his tireless work on New Mexico’s recovery from the pandemic. We wish Matt all the best and look forward to his service in the federal judiciary.”

Kerster has served as senior advisor and director of federal affairs for the governor since the outset of the administration. She previously served as deputy chief of staff to then-Congresswoman Lujan Grisham for three years after serving as her legislative director for three years. Kerster holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia.

Garcia was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico by President Joe Biden in July. Prior to his appointment as chief of staff, he served as the governor’s general counsel. Before joining the governor’s administration, Garcia worked as one of New Mexico’s top civil rights attorneys.

Staff Reports