Economic Development Director Synthia R. Jaramillo

Information about Economic Development Director Synthia R. Jaramillo

EDD Director Synthia Jaramillo

Synthia R. Jaramillo, Economic Development Director

Synthia R. Jaramillo is not only the first woman but also the first Latina to hold the position of Director of Economic Development for the City of Albuquerque. Appointed by Mayor Timothy Keller in 2017, she oversees the recruitment and retention of companies, the International Trade Office, Small Business Office, Film Office, the local tourism industry, and the new Albuquerque Minority Business Development Center.

During her tenure, she has led several initiatives to sustain and grow existing local businesses, create jobs, and recruit outside companies. Under her leadership, numerous nationally-recognized companies, including film giants Netflix Studios and NBCUniversal, have chosen to invest in the city. Most recently, Synthia led a collaborative effort among local and state entities to secure Albuquerque as California-based Netflix’s city of choice for an expanded production hub. Albuquerque will be one of the largest high-tech and sustainable film production facilities in North America as a result of the project.  

Within the Economic Development Department (EDD), Synthia has championed a culture of diversity, inclusivity, and empowerment. Her department won in 2020 a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency for development of a Minority Business Development Center to create a more equitable economy through strategic support of minority-owned enterprises. Her department has made it a priority to fund business development and workforce development projects in local communities that have historically been left behind. Synthia has also been intentional about recruiting a staff that is majority-minority.

Before taking the helm of EDD, Synthia spent nearly two decades at the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce. Under her leadership, the organization grew into the largest Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in the country, with more than 1,400 members. She also introduced the community’s first bilingual entrepreneurship accelerator, which focused on helping immigrants start companies and gain a range of basic business skills.  

An accomplished fundraiser, Synthia has raised millions of dollars throughout her career to benefit causes that support the business community. Her leadership of the $3.4 million capital campaign to build the Barelas Economic Opportunity Center (BEOC), the workforce development and education arm of the Hispano Chamber, is just one example.

Synthia’s passion for her community is further evident in her commitment to a variety of local boards and community organizations, including service as an Ex-Officio Board Member (Executive Committee) of the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce; Ex-Officio Board Member of the City of Albuquerque Small Business Regulatory Commission; Advisory Board Member of the New Mexico Small Business Development Center Statewide Advisory Council; and as Leader/Member of Albuquerque’s Living Cities Integration Initiative.

Synthia’s greatest motivation in all she does are her two children.