Bianca Ortiz Wertheim. Courtesy image
Nambé Native Named Udall’s Chief Of Staff
Submitted by Carol A. Clark
WASHINGTON – Monday, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall announced that he has hired Bianca Ortiz Wertheim to serve as his new chief of staff starting Sept. 8.
A native of Nambé, north of Santa Fe, Ortiz Wertheim has worked for Udall for six years as the director of his state offices, supervising his constituent service work and team of local representatives. She will move to Washington with her husband, attorney and businessman John Wertheim.
She succeeds Michael Collins, of Taos, who is leaving for the private sector. Collins has worked in Udall’s U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate offices for 15 years, including three years as his Senate chief of staff.
“I want to thank Mike Collins for all of his years of service to New Mexicans — he joined my House staff fresh out of college and worked his way to chief of staff in the Senate office. While I’m sad to see him go, I’m proud of the work he has done for our state and happy for him as he moves on to a new career challenge,” Udall said. “At the same time, I am thrilled that Bianca Ortiz Wertheim will move to Washington and serve as my new chief of staff. Bianca has headed up the state offices for six years, overseeing constituent service and community representatives. She has deep roots in New Mexico, and her experience and knowledge of the state will help me continue to provide excellent service to New Mexicans. We’re all excited to have her step into this new role.”
Ortiz Wertheim graduated from the University of Oklahoma and earned an MBA from the University of New Mexico. She started in government working for U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman’s successful re-election campaign. Continuing her interest in public policy and community organizing, she worked with the American Cancer Society as director of government relations for New Mexico. She served in Gov. Bill Richardson’s administration as director of cabinet affairs, and in Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez’s administration as his legislative affairs director and chief of staff.