May 21, 2020

Udall Announces New Chief of Staff, Legislative Director

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) announced that Andrew (Drew) Wallace will serve as his new chief of staff in Washington, D.C. Wallace succeeds Bianca Ortiz Wertheim, who has been appointed secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. Wallace has served as Udall’s Legislative Director since 2013. Lauren Arias, Udall’s current Legislative Assistant on health care and education issues, will serve as Legislative Director.     

“Bianca has led my staff with incredible poise, passion, effectiveness, and a relentlessly positive attitude,” Udall said. “Her love for New Mexico – and her commitment to fighting for New Mexicans and for communities all across our state – are unwavering. And she has consistently delivered results, fighting to improve health care, education, and opportunity for New Mexico children and families, and standing up for immigrant and Native communities. I am particularly proud that Bianca was a trailblazer as one of the first Latina Chiefs of Staff in the United States Senate. She has been a mentor, advocate, and friend to so many in my office, and across New Mexico and Washington, D.C. I thank Bianca for her years of dedicated and indispensable service in my office, and I congratulate her on this next chapter of her public service.”

“I am very proud to announce that Drew Wallace will be taking over as my chief of staff,” Udall continued. “Drew has been an outstanding legislative director, expertly leading my efforts to fight climate change and protect our planet, reform our democracy, end endless wars and promote diplomacy, and stand up for New Mexico and Native communities. He is a savvy, skilled, and dedicated public servant, and his deep understanding of the legislative process and of the issues facing families across our state make him an exceptional asset in our work to serve the people of New Mexico and the nation.” 

“Lauren Arias will make an excellent legislative director, and I am confident that she will continue to be instrumental in advancing the priorities of New Mexicans in Congress,” Udall said. “A native New Mexican, she brings to this position a wealth of experience, good nature, and an unyielding commitment to fighting for the families of our state. In particular, I know that her deep expertise in health care policy will serve New Mexico well in this role, as we face down a public health crisis and work to protect the care of New Mexico families. She is an essential and deeply-valued member of my staff, and I am excited for her to take on this important responsibility.”

Before serving as legislative director, Wallace served as Senior Policy Advisor for energy and environmental issues, including the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, from 2009-2012. He has worked for the House Energy and Commerce Committee and U.S. Reps Ken Bentsen (D-Texas-retired) and Gene Green (D-Texas-retired). He received a B.A. from Kenyon College (OH) in Political Science in 2000 and a J.D. from George Mason University School of Law (VA) in 2008.

Arias has advised Senator Udall on healthcare and education issues since 2015. A native of Albuquerque, Arias has a B.A. in history from DePaul University. She has previously volunteered with AmeriCorps VISTA in New Mexico, and began working for Senator Udall on his 2008 campaign. She has worked in Udall’s Senate office since 2009, and has held several roles in the office previously including Assistant to the Chief of Staff and Correspondence Director.