My job with the Department of State was no political appointment, but rather a grueling selection process to become part of the U.S. Diplomatic Corp, where I carried a top secret clearance. During my training, I became fluent in German, and worked at the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt, Germany for two years. One of the highlights of this assignment was a volunteer stint for 30 days leading the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy in The Gambia, West Africa.
My next assignment was at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada in the consular section once again where I was Deputy Director. In the last 6 months of my tour I volunteered for hardship duty at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, one of the three high threat posts in the world. This is where I got most of my cyber threat and security training.
I was a Consular Officer for most my time in the foreign service, working day in and day out doing many things the County Clerk does. I worked at a window five hours a day providing service to customers. I handled records of American births in-country and supervised administrative staff. I worked hard to try to build high performance teams that were customer focused within a government agency. And I tried to make the work place a great place.
When my mother was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, I wanted to be with her, so I made the decision to return home to Corrales to be with her for the last year of her life.
In May of 2015, I launched New Mexico Open Primaries, a non-profit focused on educating voters and elected officials on innovative ways to increase voter turnout and improve government responsiveness. It is the only non-partisan election reform group in New Mexico with a Board of Directors from all parties plus independent voters. As a U.S. Diplomat, I spent over five years talking to foreigners about U.S. democracy and the American dream. It was an intensely patriotic experience. When I came home I wanted to create a non-partisan effort that could help bridge the divide between the left and right. Today the non-profit is called New Mexico Open Elections focused on passing a range of reforms with the goal of getting more people from every walk of life committed to participate in our great democracy.
My wife, Joan, and I live in Corrales. I have lived, recreated and worked throughout Sandoval County for the last 30 years and she is a native Corraleño.
SPECIFIC SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE APPLICABLE TO COUNTY CLERK:
- The Consular section of an Embassy or Consulate keeps all records of foreign births of Americans and makes a determination of U.S. citizenship eligibility. I worked in and/or led Consular sections at the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt, Germany, the U.S. Embassy in The Gambia (West Africa) and the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada.
- I issued visas to foreign nationals who wanted to visit or live in the U.S. making complex decisions about who was qualified.
- Vetted many applicants for possible terrorist and criminal connections working closely with many U.S. Federal agencies.
- Issued emergency passports to Americans.
- Performed much of the record keeping and document evaluation and organization that our County Clerk’s office does.
- Led the Federal Voting Assistance Program for two years in Frankfurt, Germany where I helped register our military and Americans living abroad to increase voter turnout.
- Worked as Deputy Director of Fraud Section in Frankfurt trained to detect falsified documents.
- Trained and certified to be a Voter Registration Agent currently.
I look forward to serving all communities within Sandoval County in the years to come as your Clerk.
I ask for your vote in the June, 2020 primary election. I do have primary opposition and I need your help, contributions and support.