City Announces New Director of Economic Development

Max Gruner brings over 25 years of experience to the role

Jan. 9, 2023

Mayor Tim Keller has appointed Max Gruner to serve as Director of Economic Development. Gruner has extensive experience in economic and community development at the statewide level in New Mexico. Gruner will join the City to spearhead the Economic Development Department’s work to recruit companies that build on Albuquerque’s strengths, create new opportunities for local businesses, and support workforce development.

“There are important opportunities on the horizon for Albuquerque that will shape the future of our city, and we look forward to having someone of Max’s experience at the helm of our efforts,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Together, we can help create new pathways for Burqueños and their families.”

“I am grateful to be able to serve my hometown in this role. I thank the Mayor for his confidence in me and am eager to get work,” said Max Gruner, Director of Economic Development. “I look forward to collaborating with the business community, the nonprofit sector, education and workforce partners, as well as other City departments, the County, and State to foster and grow economic opportunity in our City. I believe in Albuquerque, and in our bright future together.”

Max Gruner, Director of Economic Development

Max Gruner has an extensive background in economic and community development, with over 25 years of leadership in organizations that help people, strengthen communities, and improve economies. Most recently, Mr. Gruner served as the New Mexico Economic Development Department (EDD) Regional Representative for Bernalillo, Valencia, and Torrance Counties. In 2020, he was appointed to be the Tribal Liaison by Secretary Keyes, and subsequently served EDD as the Statewide Native American Coordinator for economic development. Prior to that, Mr. Gruner was the Executive Director of East Boston Main Streets and he founded and led Boston's citywide Main Streets Coalition, where he worked in close partnership with the City of Boston and its diverse communities to build and strengthen a vibrant local small business ecosystem.  

Born and raised in Germany, and with dual citizenship, Mr. Gruner brings a commitment to international trade and experience in recruitment of foreign companies. He has lived in New Mexico for nearly 30 years and he is eager to bring his experience supporting small and micro businesses, along with his expertise in working with large and global companies, to strengthen Albuquerque's economy. 

Max has been involved in many of the State’s most significant new economic development projects over the last several years, including Blue Halo, Build with Robots, and Universal Hydrogen.

Mr. Gruner holds bachelor's and master's degrees from St. John's College. He earned his EMT license at Santa Fe Community College, and he volunteers as a ski patroller and instructor at Sandia Ski Area.