University of New Mexico President Garnett S. Stokes has named Nathan Bush as interim Chief Government Relations Officer effective Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. The leadership transition was prompted by the departure of Barbara Damron, who decided to return full-time to the College of Nursing faculty.

“I am so pleased that Nathan will be our interim Chief Government Relations Officer,” Stokes said. “Nathan has dedicated his career to public service, including education and health care. His energy, experience and passion for New Mexico will be valuable assets to the University and the communities we serve. I’d also like to once again thank Dr. Damron for her strong and effective leadership of Government Relations during the last two years, and we wish her well as she gets back to her many projects as one of UNM’s highly productive faculty members.”

Bush joined UNM in January 2020 as the associate director for the Office of Government and Community Relations. He has been working on federal relations issues for UNM, including the Health Sciences Center, and branch campuses.

“I welcome and appreciate this opportunity to lead the government relations work on behalf of the University, especially as we approach the 2022 legislative session,” Bush said. “I look forward to my continued work with the UNM community to advance our priorities at all levels of government and provide even greater opportunities for our Lobos.”

Bush brings more than two decades of experience in the domains of government relations, community engagement, and strategy development. He has worked extensively in public policy and advocacy at the local, state, tribal, and federal levels. His former professional endeavors cut across the fields of education, health, and social services benefitting underserved and underrepresented communities in New Mexico.

Prior to joining the University, Bush served in both a regional and national capacity for the lobbying arm of the American Cancer Society, where he advised state teams on government relations strategy in regard to issue-based public policy campaigns. He received his B.A. from Northwestern University and his M.A. from The University of New Mexico.