New Mexico First is proud to announce New Mexico-native Danielle Gonzales as our new Executive Director, effective Monday, January 3.

About Danielle

Born in Farmington and raised in Albuquerque, Danielle comes to New Mexico First with over 20 years of experience working on a national level in education policy and reform. Her most recent position was with The Aspen Institute, where she served as Managing Director. In this role, she managed all aspects of organizational leadership and strategy, including identifying emerging topics and challenges in education and facilitating complex discussions across policy, practice, and research.

Previously, Danielle worked as a Senior Program Officer for The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where she developed policy positions and grants that supported K-12 and post-secondary education in key states. She also held several positions at the Pew Charitable Trusts and is recognized as a national expert on pre-K policy and advocacy, particularly related to pre-K governance, and English learners.

Danielle achieved her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Spanish Language and Literature from George Washington University, Washington D.C., where she was a Harry S. Truman Scholar, and her Master of Education from the University of Notre Dame.

Danielle also serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for Transforming Education, is a member of the Albuquerque Women’s Giving Circle, Education Leaders of Colorand Latinos for Education. Recently, she was elected to serve on the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education. Danielle lives in the North Valley with her husband Tim, their three children, and her niece.

Moving forward

Danielle will lead New Mexico First as it builds on 35 years of successfully carrying out its mission as a nonpartisan catalyst for positive change by conducting independent research and enabling action that promotes civic engagement in public policy, leading efforts to change policy and improve the lives of New Mexicans.

 “We are excited that Danielle has agreed to lead New Mexico First. In addition to her understanding and appreciation of New Mexico, she brings exceptional experience and leadership to our organization.”

Marcus Mimms, Chair of the New Mexico First Board of Directors.

“I am honored to be joining the team at New Mexico First,” said Danielle. “We are at an inflection point in our society and in our state, where now more than ever, we need to come together in healthy and productive dialogue, engage community voice and work across lines of difference to identify new ideas and turn them into something that can have a real impact. At every stage of my career, I have strived to bring values of inclusivity and engagement, balance and intentionality to my work, and as a native New Mexican, the opportunity to serve New Mexico First’s inspiring mission speaks to me in a deep way.”

We welcome Danielle and look forward to a great future with her at the helm.  

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