‘Future Chief’ Christopher Ruszkowski Now Acting Secretary in New Mexico

Chiefs for Change
June 23, 2017

Chiefs for Change CEO Mike Magee today applauded the appointment of Christopher Ruszkowski – an alumnus of the Chiefs for Change Future Chiefs program – to serve as Acting Cabinet Secretary in New Mexico following the departure of Secretary Hanna Skandera. Governor Susana Martinez named Ruszkowski Acting Secretary when Skandera announced she would step down after nearly seven years as New Mexico’s education chief.

“We are thrilled to see Christopher take the helm of New Mexico’s schools, building on the solid foundation and progress that Hanna has achieved,” said Magee. “Our Future Chiefs program is designed to help emerging leaders develop the skills and networks they will need to build on their existing success and prepare them for the challenge of their roles ahead. Christopher is talented, experienced, and ready to take this on. New Mexico students and families remain in great hands.”

Skandera hired Ruszkowski as her Deputy Secretary for Policy and Program at the New Mexico Public Education Department in April 2016. Prior to his service in New Mexico, Ruszkowski worked as a middle school social studies teacher and served for nearly six years at the Delaware Department of Education under former Governor Jack Markell. He’s worked in schools, districts, and education non-profits from Miami to Louisiana to San Francisco and is an alumnus of Teach For America and Education Pioneers.

Skandera was a bold and innovative leader of New Mexico’s public school system, transforming it from one lagging behind the nation to one that is experiencing remarkable growth across every objective measure of student success. She exits office with one of the most impressive records for a state education leader, having overseen sustainable progress that will continue delivering results for New Mexico’s students long after her tenure. She has also been part of the fabric of Chiefs for Change since its inception, nominating Ruszkowski, her deputy, for the Future Chiefs program.

In spring 2016, Chiefs for Change announced that it had selected Ruszkowski as one of eight Future Chiefs in the program’s inaugural cohort. Chiefs for Change is helping to build a diverse pipeline of Future Chiefs by identifying bold and innovative state and district education leaders. They participate in a year-long program of coaching, mentorship, and collective learning, with the support of some of the nation’s most successful state and local Chiefs.

As Acting Secretary, Ruszkowski will begin the state’s implementation of its ESSA plan.

Read more about Ruszkowski in an interview with Education Post.



Chiefs for Change is a coalition of state and district education Chiefs dedicated to excellence and equity for all students. Chiefs for Change members lead education systems serving 5.3 million students, 350,000 teachers, and 10,000 schools.