AP NEWS

Sen. Heinrich taps ex-Hispanic center head as chief of staff

November 12, 2019
FILE - In this May 29, 2014 photo, Rebecca Avitia, executive director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center, poses in Albuquerque, N.M. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico, announced in November, he has named Avitia as his chief of staff. She is now one of three Latino chiefs of staff serving in the Senate. (Roberto E. Rosales/The Albuquerque Journal via AP, File)
FILE - In this May 29, 2014 photo, Rebecca Avitia, executive director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center, poses in Albuquerque, N.M. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico, announced in November, he has named Avitia as his chief of staff. She is now one of three Latino chiefs of staff serving in the Senate. (Roberto E. Rosales/The Albuquerque Journal via AP, File)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich has named the former executive of the National Hispanic Cultural Center as his new chief of staff.

The New Mexico Democrat announced earlier this month that he appointed Rebecca Avitia, making her one of three Latino chiefs of staff serving in the Senate.

Avitia previously worked as Heinrich’s state director.

The 37-year-old Columbia University School of Law graduate led the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque for six years. She was asked to resign last year by incoming New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Avitia opted not to reapply for her position.

The former prosecutor was credited with turning around the long-struggling center after years of mismanagement.