NM Voices For Children Promotes Amber Wallin to be New Executive Director

Amber Wallin Appointed to Lead Organization at Retirement of James Jimenez

Jan. 5, 2022

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—The Board for Directors of New Mexico Voices for Children has hired Amber Wallin, MPA, as executive director of the child advocacy organization, effective Jan. 1, 2022. The group’s former executive director, James Jimenez, MPA, retired at the end of 2021.

Amber joined NM Voices in 2012 as a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities fellow. She has worked in the public sector at the municipal, state, and federal levels, including in the government department at New Mexico State University and the budget department at the city of Las Cruces.

“We were pleased to promote Amber to this role after her many years of work for and dedication to NM Voices,” said Board Chair Kenneth Martinez, Psy.D. “Amber not only has the experience, skills, and leadership talent this role requires, but she also brings passion, determination, and heart to our work on behalf of New Mexico’s children and families. She and James worked closely to prepare for this transition, and we have no doubt that the organization is in very capable hands.”

After her year as a fellow, Amber was hired by NM Voices as a research and policy analyst and later as the director of the group’s KIDS COUNT program. She was promoted to Deputy Director in 2017. In that role she oversaw the organization’s research and policy work. Her own research was focused on education, tax and budget, hunger, and economic issues. Born and raised in New Mexico, Amber received her MPA from NMSU.

“Working with James and the incredible staff at NM Voices for the past near-decade has been so rewarding, and that work and our team continues to inspire me every day,” said Amber. “Leading the work that I’m passionate about, serving and fighting on behalf of the communities I came from, and getting to do so alongside the best team of people and partners is an incredible privilege,” she added.

“We know that many of New Mexico’s children and families face barriers to economic security and personal success. We also know that New Mexicans have a great resiliency, which is built on our many unique cultural traditions,” she said. “We look forward to continuing our work and building on our progress toward making New Mexico the best place to raise and be a child.”

Amber is a state and nationally recognized expert and public speaker on issues related to child and family well-being and fiscal policy. She has served on multiple fiscal policy and early childhood advisory committees among partners, philanthropic organizations, policy networks, and governmental bodies and regularly shares information, recommendations, and advisement on how to build greater equity and opportunity for children, workers, and communities in the state.

While he has retired from his primary duties at NM Voices, James will continue to serve as executive director for the New Mexico Pediatric Society, a role he took on when the two organizations formed an alliance in 2017, as well as directing the NMVC Action Fund, NM Voices’ 501c4 work.


New Mexico Voices for Children is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization advocating for policies to improve the health and well-being of New Mexico’s children, families and communities. 625 Silver Ave. SW, Suite 195, Albuquerque, NM 87102; 505-244-9505 (p); www.nmvoices.org