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City Sustainability Office in Full Bloom

3 new staff join the administration’s team to combat climate change in Albuquerque

June 8, 2022

The City of Albuquerque Sustainability Office announced 3 new hires, vastly expanding the office’s reach. The now full team will continue to advance the Keller Administration’s goals including reaching 100% renewable energy use by 2025, implementing the 2021 Climate Action Plan, and exploring more equitable approaches to heat resilience and combating climate change. Denise Gonzales joins as the Sustainability Specialist, Sandra West joins as the Sustainable Waste Specialist, and Albert Lee joins as the Sustainable Transportation Specialist.

“The experiences each member of this team brings is invaluable to the Keller Administration’s ambitious climate goals,” said Sustainability Officer Kelsey Rader. “We’ve always been determined to create a better future through sustainable practices and now we have more power to fuel our climate work.”

Denise Gonzales, Sustainability Specialist

Denise has been involved in the sustainability field for over 8 years, with experience in both the private and public sectors. She previously worked for Costco Wholesale's Global Sustainability and Compliance Department where she held the position of Project Coordinator. Her education includes a BA in Spanish from the University of New Mexico, and a Master's Degree from Harvard University in Sustainability and Environmental Science with a Graduate Certificate in Green Buildings and Sustainable Communities. 

Sandra West, Sustainable Waste Specialist

Sandra has a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering and a master’s in biology, and she takes an industrial ecology approach to waste management challenges. She has experience working with and for municipalities, non-profit organizations, cooperatives, and contractors. She has served on Los Alamos County’s Environmental Sustainability Board, helped start the Zero Waste Los Alamos program, and served on a committee to research and recommend a green waste collection program, which was adopted by the County. For the energy sector in New Mexico, Sandra has taught energy conservation lessons, organized sustainability events, and supported renewable energy efforts at county and state levels. She is a native New Mexican who loves the outdoors and is dedicated to creating a more resilient future for people and the planet.

Albert Lee, Sustainable Transportation Specialist

Prior to joining the City of Albuquerque, Albert worked in Fort Lauderdale, Florida as a Climate Resilience Specialist for Broward County. While there, he managed the County’s Climate Change Task Force, greenhouse gas emissions inventory, and various resilience projects for sea level rise flooding, photovoltaic energy, green infrastructure, urban heat islands, and dark sky policies. He also worked as an environmental consultant on the permitting, design, and construction of biogas collection and control systems for municipal solid waste landfills throughout the U.S.

Albert is a graduate of the University of Illinois Chicago with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and the University of Michigan Ann Arbor with a Master of Urban Planning and a Master of Science in Sustainable Systems. Albert is a LEED Green Associate and an EcoDistricts Accredited Professional.