Cynthia has served as District 1 Commissioner and Vice-Chair of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (“PRC”) since January 1, 2017, following her election in November, 2016. She was elected in her wholly-urban district with a 15-point margin and a strong mandate to support clean, affordable energy. As a Commissioner, she initiated a successful rulemaking to require storage be considered as a resource in the Integrated Resource Planning process, and she supports market-based mechanisms that increase the use of renewable energy and reduce rates.
Cynthia previously served as associate general counsel in the PRC and as associate general counsel, hearing officer, felony insurance fraud prosecutor, and staff attorney in the New Mexico Office of Superintendent of Insurance. Previously, she served as assistant staff counsel in the New Mexico Public Service Commission, precursor agency to the PRC, and in the New Mexico Energy and Minerals Department.
Cynthia has worked in private practice in medical malpractice and tribal law, and as a corporate attorney in the general counsel’s office of Sandia National Laboratories, where she was the first woman attorney, and in the general counsel’s office of the United States Navy’s Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Western Division, which oversees naval facility construction and maintenance in eight western states. At both Sandia Labs and the Navy, Cynthia’s primary focus was environmental, land use, and regulatory compliance law. At the outset of her legal career, she was law extern for the Honorable Terry J. Hatter, Judge, United States District Court for the Central District of California, and law clerk for the Honorable Oliver Seth, Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
Prior to her law career, Cynthia worked as a research supervisor of multi-generational toxicology research at the Raltech Scientific Services Division of Ralston Purina Company, as a contract researcher in air and water pollution, and as ka research technician in neurochemistry in the Pharmacology Department of Washington University Medical School. Cynthia is a former board member and vice-president of the Renewable Energy Industries Association of New Mexico and a former Bernalillo County Planning Commissioner. She founded and led two non-profit advocacy organizations, one achieving the public purchase of 96 acres of open space in Albuquerque and the other achieving a doubling of music and art elementary education in Albuquerque Public Schools. She holds a J.D. from Southwestern Law School, an M.S. in Physiology from St. Louis University, and a B.A in Biology from Washington University.