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Information about the Economic Development Department.

In 1993 the Office of Economic Development was created to promote and facilitate business development, to create and implement economic development strategy, and to strengthen ties with the private sector.

Through Economic Development Office's many achievements and strong reputation for reliability, on July 1, 2006, the Office of Economic Development gained department status becoming the Economic Development Department.

Economic Development Department has evolved to become a policy-oriented, fast-moving department within the City. We work with the private sector, within city government and in partnership with other agencies, the Congressional delegation, state legislators and business groups.

We take a networking, problem-solving approach. We pride ourselves on responding quickly.

Department Staff

Staff competencies include finance, recruitment, small-business development, tourism, international trade, and film and multi-media.

Synthia Jaramillo

Synthia Jaramillo, Director – Synthia Jaramillo is an accomplished small business and community thought leader with extensive management experience in multiple areas including: program design and implementation, benchmarking, corporate, community and public affairs, project coordination, grant writing, staff training, supervision, strategic planning, budgeting and financial analysis. Synthia has a proven track record in entrepreneurship, community growth, small business growth and community empowerment. She’s completed extensive graduate-level executive training at one of the nation’s most prestigious academic institutions: The University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College, where she received cutting-edge leadership and strategic business and non-profit executive training.  Synthia has considerable experience serving as liaison to prominent local and national corporate, government, community groups and institutions. For example, Ms. Jaramillo was recently invited by Square to facilitate a localized town-hall type meeting in the Bay Area that included executives from Square, Twitter and Google. The goal of the meeting was to look at best practices to improve relations with Latino customers as well as the hiring of Latino employees. Synthia is also a recent graduate of the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Graduate Program at the Stanford School of Business, only one of four New Mexicans to ever be invited to this prestigious program.


  • Board Member of the City of Albuquerque’s Small Business Regulatory Advisory Committee
  • Board Member at Siembra Leadership Academy, the new Entrepreneurial High School
  • Leader/Member of Albuquerque’s Living Cities Integration Initiative
  • Board Member at Institute of Policy, Evaluation, & Applied Research (IPEAR) at UNM
  • Board Member of the Parker Center for Family Business at UNM Anderson School of Management
  • Advisory Board Member, Barelas Community Coalition
  • Member of the New Mexico Small Business Development Center’s Small Business Development Center Advisory Council
  • Advisory Board Member of the National Latino Journal Editorial
  • National Council of La Raza Affiliate Member
  • Member of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation Leadership Committee that focuses on Women in Business & Leadership


  • 2015 Woman of Influence, Albuquerque Business First
  • Hispanic Chamber of the Year 2014-2015, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Synthia is also a proud mother of two daughters.

 Fred Mondragon

Fred Mondragon, Interim Director. Fred E. Mondragon has over forty years experience in the public and private sectors, including over 15 years in hospital and public administration and 25 years with the private sector. He has been the administrator of the University of  New Mexico Hospital, Regional Administrator of the Presbyterian hospital system in New Mexico, and the Deputy Chief Administrative officer for the City of Albuquerque. Mr. Mondragon has also worked in the consulting and information technology field for two national system integration companies. He has been a consultant to small businesses, as well as several government and healthcare agencies through his consulting company, Mondragon International. Mr. Mondragon was Director of Economic Development for the City of Albuquerque, and served as Cabinet Secretary for Economic Development under Governor Bill Richardson. he has received awards for Small Business advocacy from the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce and Public Service Company of  NM. He was instrumental in the recruitment of Fidelity Investments, Albuquerque Film Studios, Verizon Wireless and HP in Rio Rancho.

Mr. Mondragon served in the New Mexico Legislature for three terms, was a member of the House Appropriations and Finance Committee, and  Chairman of the Higher Education Subcommittee. He also has been the Science Advisor to the Governor of New Mexico and Served as Founding Chairman of the Governor’s Science and Technology Commission.

Currently, Fred Mondragon serves as Honorary  Consul for Spain, and serves on several non-profit  boards. He received his BS from the University of New Mexico and his MBA in health care administration from The George Washington University.

In between his business and community service, he enjoys international travel, farming, cooking and spending time with his family. (Connie Vance, 7 kids, and 19 grandchildren.)

Deirdre Firth, Deputy Director, is responsible for Economic Development Department’s recruitment and expansion projects and programs, including Industrial Revenue Bonds. Previously she was vice president for business development at Albuquerque Economic Development Inc., a development consultant, and an urban and regional planner.

(505) 768-3269
[email protected]

Ann Lerner, Film Liaison, brings 20 years of production experience in the film industry to the Albuquerque Film Office. Its mission is to promote and attract the film industry to Albuquerque. Her responsibilities include marketing, location scouting, production meetings, community walk-throughs, on-site visits, location follow-ups, and coordinating special screenings.

(505) 768-3283
[email protected]

Dora Dominguez, Senior Economic Developer, joined the City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department in March 2015. Dominguez has served as the director of the State of New Mexico’s Office of Business Advocacy, president/CEO of the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce; project director for the Rural Economic Development Through Tourism Project; and as a Community, Business, and Rural Development Representative for New Mexico. She earned a bachelor's degree in communication from Eastern New Mexico University and a master's degree in organizational management from the University of Phoenix.

(505) 768-3268
[email protected]