New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs announces Michelle Gallagher Roberts as new Deputy Cabinet Secretary

August 12, 2021

Daniel Zillmann

SANTA FE – New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (NMDCA) Cabinet Secretary Debra Garcia y Griego announced today the appointment of Michelle Gallagher Roberts as the new Deputy Cabinet Secretary for the department. Gallagher Roberts replaces Nick Schiavo, who retired at the end of July.

“Michelle brings with her 15 invaluable years of experience with the Department, and I am delighted to welcome her to our leadership team,” said Cabinet Secretary Garcia y Griego. “She has already proven her expertise in leading people, managing change, and fiscal planning and execution. I am confident in her ability to serve this administration and the Department while fulfilling NMDCA’s mission to improve the quality of life and economic well-being of all New Mexicans through culture.”

With more than 24 years of experience working in museums, Michelle Gallagher Roberts is a long-term NMDCA employee who began her career with the department as the Chief Registrar at the New Mexico Museum of Art (NMMOA) in 2006. Before becoming Head of Registration and Collections at NMMOA in 2014, she also served as Acting Registrar at the Museum of International Folk Art and the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture. Since 2018, Gallagher Roberts has been Deputy Director at NMMOA, stepping in as Acting Executive Director at the museum from 2019 to 2020. Prior to her arrival in New Mexico, she was Collections Manager at Palm Springs Desert Museum/Palm Sprints Art Museum, Curatorial Assistant at Foothills Art Center (Golden, Colo.), Assistant Registrar at the University of Denver Museum of Anthropology, and an Archaeologist at Central Washington Archaeological Survey (Ellensburg, Wash.). Gallagher Roberts has written multiple publications on museums and cultural institutions and received the “Heritage Preservation Award: Architectural Heritage” from the Cultural Properties Review Committee in 2018. She was a Next Generation 2017 Fellow at the Getty Leadership Institute, Claremont Graduate University and holds both a Bachelor of Science Degree in Anthropology from Central Washington University and a Master of Arts Degree in Anthropology/Museum Studies from University of Denver.

“I am profoundly honored to serve,” said Deputy Secretary Gallagher Roberts. “This position is key to ensuring the often-historic New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs facilities are functional today and preserved for future generations. My skills, experience, and understanding of the state will aid in the advancement of the Department’s mission and goals. I look forward to reinforcing and expanding its place in the state as a vital leader in presenting and preserving New Mexico art, history, and culture.”

NMDCA oversees eight museums, eight historic sites, as well as provides programs, services, and support across the state through 16 divisions. The Deputy Cabinet Secretary maintains a robust portfolio while supporting the priorities, goals and deadlines of the Governor and department. The role directly manages and supports several division directors. In addition, the Deputy Secretary is primarily responsible for the facilities planning, construction and management, including oversight of the Facilities Management Bureau, allocation of facilities and capital improvement funds, and development of the 5‐year infrastructure and capital improvements plan. The position is also responsible for reviewing scope of capital projects and setting priorities based on need and funding levels. The Deputy Secretary takes a leadership role in daily operations, including agency budget development, strategic planning, policy development and human resources. The Deputy Secretary also assists with DCA’s supporting boards, commissions, and foundations as well as coordination and collaboration with external partners and stakeholders.

NMDCA Deputy Secretary Gallagher Roberts begins her duties on August 23.

About the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs
Created in 1978 by the New Mexico Legislature, the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) is New Mexico’s cultural steward, charged with preserving and showcasing the state’s cultural riches. With its eight museums, seven historic sites, arts, archaeology, historic preservation, and library programs, the DCA is one of the largest and most diverse state cultural agencies in the nation. Together, the facilities, programs, and services of the Department support a $5.6 billion cultural industry in New Mexico.

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Michelle Gallagher Roberts

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