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Chief Administrative Officer Sarita Nair Announces Her Departure From City Hall Following Successful 1st Term

March 11, 2022

City Chief Administrative Officer Sarita Nair announced she will be leaving her position later next month, after having completed key accomplishments. Nair said the time is right for her to pursue new opportunities now that she finished filling out Mayor Keller’s second-term team of directors and key leadership positions at APD and AFR.

Mayor Keller appointed Nair as CAO in 2017 when he was first elected Mayor of Albuquerque. She is the city’s first woman to serve in the position. As CAO, Nair was instrumental in moving Mayor Keller’s agenda forward during a tumultuous time in history as the city responded to the COVID pandemic and nationwide calls to end social injustice.

“I was blessed to lead the City through historic challenges and to be empowered to put the needs of our most vulnerable communities at the center of everything we do,” Nair said. “I have loved my time as CAO, and I am deeply grateful to the amazing team of diverse, smart, dedicated, compassionate people who make City government great.”

Mayor Keller said Nair’s contributions were invaluable and leave a powerful legacy for future generations of Burqueños; especially when comes to our city’s public safety, job opportunities and services for our most vulnerable.

“Sarita was a transformative Chief Administrative Officer, demonstrating how strong public leadership can have a lasting impact on so much of our city life,” Mayor Keller said. “She departs City Hall having managed through our toughest challenges while building a better path forward the next generation of Albuquerque. From shepherding our city through the pandemic, revolutionizing our social justice efforts and championing both modern crime fighting and police reform; I join our whole city in gratitude for her dedication to the Duke City.”

Nair’s accomplishments include:

  • Helped to create the Albuquerque Community Safety Department as an effort to reimagine emergency response and decriminalize addiction, mental health, trauma and poverty
  • Spearheaded efforts to address homelessness including conceptualizing the Gateway Center and dramatically expanding city shelter capacity
  • Led the deals that brought billions of dollars in economic development to Albuquerque, including investments by Netflix and NBC Universal
  • Championed the City’s first Office of Equity and Inclusion, Office of Civil Rights and Office of Consumer Protection, and centered equity in all of the City’s decision-making processes
  • Garnered and implemented millions of dollars in public safety investments, including fixing the decades-old interoperability issues with first responder radios, modernizing the Real Time Crime Center, and making historic investments in AFR
  • Engaged APD to be a productive partner in police reform
  • Helped to launch the Violence Intervention Program, which has successfully prevented over 200 offenders and victims from being involved in further gun violence
  • Brought focus to how the arts community makes Albuquerque great through creative economy initiatives
  • Navigated the pandemic without furloughs or layoffs of any City employees
  • Established the Black Community Investment Fund