Our Expert Staff

WRA’s team of policy experts, scientists, economists, engineers, and attorneys has three decades of working where decisions are made, sweating the details, creating evidence-based solutions, and holding decision makers accountable.

Maria Nájera

Government Affairs Director


Senior Leadership, Government Affairs

Office Location

Boulder, CO

Area of Focus:

As the Government Affairs Director, Maria serves as WRA’s senior liaison to state and local elected officials and works to create partnerships with diverse stakeholders to promote and advance conservation policies in the Intermountain West.


A native of Albuquerque, NM, Maria has spent the past 14 years in the nation’s capital advancing western policy issues as a communications and government relations specialist. Most recently, she served as the Director of the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs under Interior Secretary Sally Jewell where she collaborated with governors, mayors and state legislators on key White House priorities, including the designation of 12 national monuments, historic greater sage-grouse conservation efforts and safeguarding water resources in the West. Prior to her work at Interior, Maria served as press secretary to U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman. She also served as deputy press secretary for Governor Bill Richardson’s 2002 gubernatorial campaign.


B.A. in Political Science from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque

Favorite Thing About the West:

Big skies, the smell of rain in the desert and mountain landscapes.

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