University of New Mexico President Garnett S. Stokes announced the appointment of Michael Puelle as UNM’s Chief Government Relations Officer, following a national search. He will join the UNM leadership team on October 10, 2022.
UNM’s Office of Government and Community Relations is directly under the Office of the President, with the Chief Government Relations Officer having strategic oversight of all government and community relations activities and how they intersect with campus constituents, as well as external engagement at the local, state, and federal levels.
“I am thrilled to welcome Michael to the UNM leadership team,” said Stokes. “He has embraced public service throughout his career and brings us the ideal combination of strength as an administrator and extensive experience at all levels of government, including community relations and legislative strategy.”
Puelle has more than 30 years of public policy and government relations experience in government, nonprofit and private sectors. Since 2020, Puelle has served as the Chief of Staff for the Mayor of the City of Albuquerque. Prior to that, he held the position of Chief Executive Officer and Director of Public Policy and Government Relations for Associated General Contractors (AGC) New Mexico. He has built positive and extensive relationships within Albuquerque and across New Mexico, as well as having a comprehensive understanding of policy and decision-making at the federal level.
"I am excited and proud to be joining UNM, as it’s an institution that creates such a great and positive impact for families and communities across the state,” stated Puelle. “I look forward to working with the leaders and stakeholders – especially students – connected with the university community to expand these impacts and deliver on the opportunities in front of us."
Puelle earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Connecticut and a master’s in public management from the University of Maryland.
Nathan Bush, who joined UNM as the associate director for the Office of Government and Community Relations in 2020, has been the Interim Chief Government Relations Officer since November 2021. “I am sincerely grateful for the dedicated and thoughtful leadership that Nathan has brought to the position and the University,” said Stokes. “His energy, insight and collaborative approach to UNM’s government and community relations efforts have been invaluable, and I look forward to his continued service to the University.”