Mariana Padilla

Photo: Mariana Padilla

Director of the Children's Cabinet

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Mariana Padilla supervises coordination between every department that touches on the lives of children in New Mexico. She is the newly appointed director of the Children’s Cabinet, a department that was reintroduced by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham after years of lying dismantled by her predecessor. It’s a position that wields great influence — not least because it affords direct access to the governor.

Padilla taught elementary school in the Albuquerque Public Schools. With a graduate degree in community planning, she headed Lujan Grisham’s New Mexico congressional office for six years. Padilla is the mother of three young girls, all of whom attend public school in Santa Fe. She grew up in the South Valley of Albuquerque, where her parents — both schoolteachers — still live.