Mayor Keller Initiates Response and Recovery Teams

Teams will identify short- and long-term actions relating to various aspects of the coronavirus effect on the City

March 19, 2020

Today Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller activated short- and long-term coronavirus response teams. These teams are responsible for identifying critical city plans related to a wide range of actions including: community health, emergency funding, kids programing, economic and housing impacts, workers' wellbeing. The teams will also focus on what it will take to keep essential services going while considering socioeconomic consequences and social distancing and other public health precautions. Additionally, Mayor Keller will be convening Central New Mexico leaders around the response to coronavirus, including Pueblo governors, local elected officials, and legislators.

“Our rapid response team will focus on the immediate impacts of the Coronavirus during the next thirty days,” said Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller. “Our long-term team will work through scenarios including recovery efforts. With the situation changing rapidly, it’s essential to organize around getting the best outcomes in a difficult situation. Organized leadership enables Albuquerque’s resilience as this situation progresses.”

The rapid response, short-term team is being led by Gilbert Ramirez, who is the Deputy Director for Health Programs under the Family & Community Services Department for the City of Albuquerque. Gilbert is a licensed clinical social worker with an extensive background in aiding the underserved.

Michelle Melendez, the City of Albuquerque’s Director of the Office of Equity and Inclusion, will lead the long-term recovery team. Michelle has a background in public health and will guide decisions with public health principles and informed by the experiences of people at greatest risk. Michelle has over 18 years of experience in public health and social justice, including five years’ experience with the New Mexico Department of Health under Michelle Lujan-Grisham when she was Secretary of Health.

Other key City leaders who are assisting in the coronavirus response efforts include Ryan Mast, Roger Ebner and Dr. Mark DiMenna.

Ryan Mast is the City’s Environmental Health Department Director. Ryan most recently served as the Hazard Mitigation Administrator for the City of New Orleans, and has served as Director of the Office of Resilience and Sustainability for the City.

Roger Ebner has extensive emergency management experience and has been the City’s Director of Emergency Management for nearly seven years. He oversees the City’s emergency preparedness plans, including the operations of the Emergency Operations Center.

Dr. Mark DiMenna is the Deputy Director of Environmental Health and has an extensive background in public health planning, epidemiology, and disaster preparedness.

At this time, all updates to City services are listed at:


Emergencies challenge the delivery and management of emergency public information, warning and emergency protective action notifications. The Albuquerque Joint Information Center (JIC) functions as a coordinated Albuquerque Metro Area public information system that will gather and analyze data related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in New Mexico and serve as a source of accurate and comprehensive information. To send information or request information, email [email protected].