New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has appointed Annie Winterfield Manriquez to a new role in state government – senior advisor for cybersecurity and critical infrastructure.

In the new role, Manriquez will work with stakeholders across the government and private sector to bolster New Mexico’s cybersecurity infrastructure and systems, as well as create statewide standards and best practices for information-sharing, communications, and incident response protocols.

“A robust cybersecurity framework has never been more important, and we are already seeing more sophisticated cyberattacks being carried out in New Mexico and the rest of the country,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “It is critical that the state continue to take action to make sure we are as prepared and protected as possible, and Annie is the leader the state needs.”

In a statement, Gov. Lujan Grisham’s office explained that creation of the new position is a response to the White House and Federal agencies responsible for cybersecurity and critical infrastructure protection calling for states to take immediate steps to strengthen their defenses against potentially crippling Russian cyberattacks due to the current geopolitical situation in Ukraine, and as state-sponsored cyberattacks targeting critical infrastructure in the U.S. grow more sophisticated.

Manrique previously served in senior leadership at The MITRE Corporation and has held positions with  the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars and Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

“I am grateful the Governor asked me to step into this role, it could not have come at a better time – protecting New Mexico’s vast intellectual and physical capital from rapidly evolving cyber threats has never been more urgent,” Manriquez said. “I am ready to get to work.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs