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Mayor Tim Keller Announces New Leadership in Family & Community Services

Department to focus on education, behavioral health and homelessness

Albuquerque, NM – Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller announced today that he has developed a new leadership structure in the Department of Family and Community Services to bring needed expertise and accountability as the city focuses on addressing education, behavioral health and homelessness, all of which have a major impact on public safety.

Mayor Keller appointed Lisa Huval as Deputy Director to oversee housing and homelessness efforts. Gilbert Ramírez was appointed Deputy Director for health programs, including behavioral health. Claire Dudley-Chavez joins the team as a Senior Education Advisor focusing on early childhood, after-school and summer programs. Carol Pierce was previously appointed as Director of the Family and Community Services Department.

“Making sure that we have a team running point on some of our city’s most pressing challenges is a priority for me,” stated Mayor Keller. “To really tackle the public safety needs of our city and bolster the police department’s efforts to fight crime, we also need focus on addressing education, behavioral health and homelessness. The Family and Community Services department is now set up to do that, with leaders who will help us create a safer and more inclusive Albuquerque.”

Education efforts will be concentrated on creating effective before-school, after-school and summer school programs that help keep kids off the streets and out of harm’s way. The Housing and Homelessness Division will focus on expanding affordable housing and homelessness services. The Health Division will work to address the gaps in services, in health services, including for those struggling with behavioral health and addiction.

Each of these areas plays a critical role in shaping public safety in Albuquerque.

Lisa Huval, Deputy Director to oversee housing and homelessness

Ms. Lisa Huval was the Associate Director at the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness, where she worked for the last 12 years. At the Coalition, Ms. Huval developed proven solutions to homelessness by securing government funding, advocating for policy solutions and fostering innovative strategies and best practices. Ms. Huval has a Master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of New Mexico. Prior to living in New Mexico, Ms. Huval worked with survivors of domestic violence in Massachusetts.

Gilbert Ramirez, Deputy Director for health programs

Mr. Gilbert Ramírez is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Most recently he was the Director of Student Support for Health Leadership High School in Albuquerque. He also completed 13 years of service with the Albuquerque Public School (APS) District as a school social worker.  While employed with APS, Mr. Ramirez was involved in numerous initiatives to support youth throughout the district. Mr. Ramirez also works as an adjunct professor and field education consultant for New Mexico Highlands University School of Social Work in Albuquerque where he has taught courses and supervised students in their agency site practicums. He has dedicated his career to supporting and advocating for the well-being of children and families.

Claire Dudley, Senior Education Advisor

Prior to joining the Keller administration, Ms. Claire Dudley-Chavez served as the Executive Vice President for Policy and Stakeholder Engagement at United Way of Santa Fe County/New Mexico Early Childhood Development Partnership. In this position, she led local, state and national policy, research and advocacy efforts. Ms. Dudley-Chavez has also worked for Presbyterian Healthcare Services where she managed governance activities and led community health efforts.  She served as the Child and Youth Policy Advisor to Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish, leading the development and direction of the nationally recognized Children’s Cabinet and co-authoring the annual Children’s Cabinet report card and budget report. She received her Bachelors of Arts degree in American Studies from Franklin and Marshall College and received a Masters of Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin where her research focused on child and family policy.