New Mexico Appoints Cybersecurity Advisor

New Mexico has appointed its first senior advisor for cybersecurity and critical infrastructure. 

New Mexico governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the appointment of Annie Winterfield Manriquez on Friday 

Manriquez will work with key stakeholders across the private sector and government to improve New Mexico’s cybersecurity infrastructure and systems. She will also be tasked with devising statewide standards and best practices for communications, information-sharing and incident response.

“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 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.”

Winterfield Manriquez graduated from the University of California in Santa Barbara and began her career as a research assistant at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California.

Before accepting her new post, she worked for The MITRE Corporation, leading the Intelligence Analysis and Strategy Department and working with agencies across the Executive Branch to renovate multi-billion-dollar programs, including cyber systems.

Previous roles undertaken by Winterfield Manriquez include appointments at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, where she is a national security fellow, and at the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. 

“I am grateful the governor asked me to step into this role,” Manriquez said in the press release. 

She added: “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.”

When announcing the appointment, Lujan Grisham cited the invasion of Ukraine and pressure from the federal government on states to bolster their defenses against increasingly complex cyber-attacks.

“As the current geopolitical situation in Ukraine devolves and state-sponsored cyber-attacks targeting critical infrastructure in the US grow more sophisticated, the White House and federal agencies responsible for cybersecurity and critical infrastructure protection have called for states to take immediate steps to strengthen their defenses against potentially crippling Russian cyber-attacks,” said the governor’s office in a press release.

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