Skip to main content

Mayor Tim Keller Appoints Director of Health, Housing and Homelessness

Gilbert Ramírez will lead the department, Carol Pierce to stay on through the end of the year to support the transition.
December 12, 2023

Mayor Tim Keller announced that Gilbert Ramírez has been appointed to the role of Director of Health, Housing and Homelessness. Carol Pierce will continue to work with the City through the end of the year to support the transition for this vital department. Since 2018, Ramírez has served as the Deputy Director for Behavioral Health and Wellness Programs for the City of Albuquerque. His work has been focused on guiding the City’s behavioral health initiatives and advocating for the ongoing effort around creating a comprehensive continuum of behavioral healthcare citywide. He played a vital role in the creation and implementation of the Albuquerque Community Safety Department, Violence Intervention Program, and overseeing the establishment of the very first medical sobering center in New Mexico at the Gateway Center.

“Gilbert’s work over the years has expanded access to services for people across our city, bringing needed resources to our communities and our families,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “We look forward to continuing to make progress on our goals to address housing and homelessness under his experienced leadership.”

“I am ready to continue building on the work our department has done to make historic investments into our city’s housing and services network,” said Director Gilbert Ramírez. “As Albuquerque grows, our network of services needs to grow with it. We will keep working to ensure our communities have the housing and resources they need to be healthy.”

Ramírez is a licensed clinical and school social worker who has 23 years of experience as a practicing clinician in Albuquerque. Ramirez’ work has been nationally recognized in the area of youth gang intervention, and he is a co-author of three publications through Oxford University Press on gang interventions in school settings. Ramírez is a co-founding director of a local charter school, and has created school-based student support model/frameworks that are utilized in various school settings.

As an advocate, Mr. Ramirez was a fact witness for a landmark case, Yazzie/Martinez v. State of New Mexico in which he provided testimony around the importance of behavioral health access for all students and integrating Social Emotional Learning (SEL) frameworks in schools. Ramirez dedicated sixteen years of his career as an Adjunct Professor and Field Consultant for New Mexico Highlands University School of Social Work program, where he taught graduate level courses in School Social Work and Family Violence and oversaw and supervised BSW/MSW student practicums throughout the city.  Since his time with the Keller administration, Ramirez continued his work in youth education as a contributing member of the statewide SEL toolkit for the NM Public Education Department.