Governor appoints Melanie A. Kenderdine as Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department secretary 

State Agency Press Release – From the Office of New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has appointed Melanie A. Kenderdine as Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department. 

Kenderdine currently serves as the co-founder, Principal and Executive Vice President of the Energy Futures Initiative, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit dedicated to harnessing the power of technology and policy innovation to accelerate the clean energy transition. She will commence her service as EMNRD Secretary-Designate on May 8, 2024. 

“Melanie has proven herself to be a strategic thinker in the realm of energy policy, and her expertise is this area is recognized both nationally and internationally,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “I look forward to the positive impact she will have in helping New Mexico shape our clean-energy future.” 

Before co-founding the Energy Futures Initiative, Kenderdine held high-level positions at the U.S. Department of Energy in both the Obama and Clinton administrations. 

In the Obama administration, Kenderdine helped create Mission Innovation, now a 24-country initiative that supports transformational clean energy research, development, and demonstration; North American grid integration and security; and the modernization of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. 

During the Clinton administration, she was a primary architect of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve oil exchange of 2000, the creation of the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve, and the return of the Naval Oil Shale Reserve No. 2 to the Ute tribe in Utah, the largest land transfer back to Native Americans in the lower 48 in over 100 years. 

“I am honored to join Governor Lujan Grisham’ s administration as Secretary of the Department of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources,” Kenderdine said. “The governor has committed New Mexico to be a national leader in the country’s journey to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions – I look forward to joining her outstanding team.” 

Though she has spent much of her career in Washington, D.C., Kenderdine’s roots are in New Mexico. She graduated from Albuquerque’s Manzano High School and the University of New Mexico.