WON Landing Page March 2022

New Mexico Game Commission chooses Alexandra Sandoval as agency director

ALBUQUERQUE — The New Mexico Game Commission on Thursday selected a 20-year veteran of the state Game and Fish Department to serve as the agency’s new top administrator.

Alexandra Sandoval was announced as department director during the commission’s regular meeting in Albuquerque. She was among four finalists being considered for the position following a national search for candidates.

 

Alexandra Sandoval

 

Sandoval is currently the agency’s chief financial officer and head of its Administrative Services Division. She began her career with the department as a game warden in Roswell and Clayton and worked her way up to a wildlife specialist and a federal grant manager before taking over the department’s financial responsibilities.

Sandoval will be the second female director in the department’s 101-year history. She will oversee more than 300 employees and an annual budget of more than $38 million.

The other finalists were Edward “Ted” Koch, a supervisor with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Nevada; Brian Wakeling, wildlife management branch supervisor for the Arizona Game and Fish Department; and Mathew Wunder, chief of the state Game and Fish Department’s ecological and environmental planning.

The New Mexico Wildlife Federation and other sportsmen said they were pleased with the commission’s decision.

“Our experience with Alexandra Sandoval has been that she’s very frank and open and seems really committed to transparency in the operations,” said John Crenshaw, president of the New Mexico Wildlife Federation.

Going forward, some sportsmen said they hoped the agency and commission would be more open to new ideas and offer more opportunities for public comment as wildlife managers consider changes to New Mexico’s hunting and fishing rules.

Sandoval will replace Jim Lane, who resigned last year after a couple of years on the job. The department has remained tightlipped about his departure.

Sandoval has a master’s degree in business administration from New Mexico Highlands University and a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management from Colorado State University. She is also a graduate of the National Conservation Leadership Institute.

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