New Mexico governor names cyber adviser, cites Russian threat

Michelle Lujan Grisham speaks outside the U.S. Capitol on June 13, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Toya Sarno Jordan / Getty Images)

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With an eye on Russia, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday named Annie Winterfield Manriquez, a former nonprofit leader, as her senior adviser for cybersecurity and critical infrastructure.

Manriquez is tasked with bolstering the state’s cybersecurity posture by working with “key stakeholders across government,” developing statewide standards and “best practices for information-sharing, communications, and incident response protocols,” according to a press release. Lujan Grisham’s announcement mentions the Russian invasion of Ukraine and “state-sponsored cyberattacks targeting critical infrastructure in the U.S.” as motivation for states to stretngthen their defenses against “potentially crippling Russian cyberattacks.”

Annie Winterfield Manriquez

“I am grateful the Governor asked me to step into this role, it could not have come at a better time – protecting New Mexico’s vast intellectual and physical capital from rapidly evolving cyber threats has never been more urgent,” Manriquez said in the press release. “I am ready to get to work.”

Manriquez most recently held a senior leadership role with Mitre Corporation, a federally funded research and development group. Manriquez led Mitre’s intelligence analysis and strategy department.

Before Mitre, she also held appointments at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars and the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

New Mexico holds the distinction of being the first state this year where a local government disclosed being hit by a successful ransomware attack. On Jan. 5, Bernalillo County, New Mexico, reported an incident that led to extended disruptions of numerous services and functions, including an outage of technology used by the county jail, prompting officials to keep inmates in lockdown.

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Michelle Lujan Grisham, New Mexico
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