Senate unanimously confirms Kari Armijo as secretary for Human Services Department

SANTA FE – Today, the New Mexico Senate unanimously confirmed Kari Armijo as the Cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD).  

“The transition of the Human Services Department to the Health Care Authority to centralize purchasing and deliver high quality health care, regulation and policy is in solid hands,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. 

“Kari Armijo has spent her entire 23-year career at the Human Services Department, and New Mexico has benefitted from every single day of her service. As we continue this transition to bring the New Mexico Health Care Authority online, Secretary Armijo’s leadership will ensure the continued thriving of state programs and initiatives. Having someone of this caliber and level of experience as our new Secretary is something New Mexico should be very proud of,” said Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth, who sponsored Secretary Armijo. 

“Leading the Human Services Department is both an honor and privilege. Representing the needs of half the population of New Mexico is a responsibility I hold in the highest regard,” said Kari Armijo, cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Human Services Department. “Our daily interactions with customers, health care providers, and partners serve as a constant reminder of how our work positively helps people and transforms lives. I am grateful to the governor and state legislators for their confidence in my ability to lead as we establish the Health Care Authority.” 

Prior to leading the Human Services Department, Secretary Armijo worked for the department for more than two decades. Named acting secretary in January 2023, she previously served as Deputy Secretary from 2020 to 2023. During her tenure with the New Mexico Medicaid program, spanning 20 years, Secretary Armijo held the position of Deputy Director, where she also served as the Affordable Care Act Implementation Director. Her responsibilities encompassed directing and coordinating Medicaid policy and program operations, including eligibility and enrollment, benefit package design, and provider rate-setting. Additionally, she served as the Special Projects Director and directed Medicaid child/adolescent health and school-based health center programs, culminating in her role as the Affordable Care Act Implementation Director since the law’s passage in 2010.