Michelle Lujan Grisham was elected to 113th Congress in New Mexico’s First District in November 2012.
Public service comes easily to Michelle, a twelfth generation New Mexican who has dedicated her life to serving her community, fighting for seniors and building an economy that works for all New Mexicans. Born in Los Alamos and raised in Santa Fe, Michelle graduated from St. Michael’s High School, then came to Albuquerque to attend the University of New Mexico for both undergraduate and law school. Her grandfather Eugene Lujan was the first Hispanic Chief Justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court. Her mother Sonja cared for Michelle and her disabled sister and now lives with Michelle in Albuquerque’s North Valley. Michelle’s father, Buddy Lujan, served his Santa Fe community as a dentist, often providing dental care free of charge so that all of Santa Fe’s residents could be provided services that were necessary for their well-being.
As a young attorney she worked for the Lawyer Referral for the Elderly Program of the State Bar of New Mexico. Michelle fought to protect seniors from scam artists, safeguard them from abuse and neglect, and helped them to remain in their homes. Because of her tireless work on behalf of seniors, four-term Governor Bruce King to appointed her to head the New Mexico State Agency on Aging; she served as the state’s first Secretary of Aging and Long Term Services when the department was elevated to a cabinet position.
As head of the State Agency on Aging under both Democratic and Republican administrations, Michelle implemented a system of undercover investigations while she herself went undercover to expose patient abuse and facility mismanagement happening in nursing facilities.
In 2004, Michelle was asked to head the New Mexico Department of Health, where she managed over 3,800 employees and a $440 million budget. During her tenure, she fought to require public health facilities to meet the same high standards as private sector facilities. She led the fight to ban the sale of junk food in schools and she pushed to make sure every child in New Mexico had access to primary health care.
Elected in 2010 as a Bernalillo County Commissioner she hit the ground running, leading efforts to bring more transparency and accountability to county government and sponsoring new ethics standards for county officeholders, contractors, and staff.
Michelle served as President and co-founder of the Delta Consulting Group, a small business that oversees New Mexico’s Health Insurance Pool and helps to provide access to health insurance coverage to New Mexico residents who have been denied health insurance.
Michelle was married to her college sweetheart, Greg, for 22 years before his sudden passing in 2004, leaving Michelle as a newly single mother of two girls, Taylor and Erin.
Michelle will serve on the House Committee on Agriculture, the House Committee on the Budget and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the 113th Congress.