We’re proud to announce that Jarel LaPan Hill is joining the team to continue the Foundation’s work on Good Government Reform. Jarel is an experienced and dynamic leader who brings extensive experience at the local, state, and national levels making her a valuable addition to the team. She is a collaborative leader and consensus-builder with proven skills and experience in strategy development, program execution, relationship management, and team development. In this role, Jarel will be responsible for leading a five-year Good Government Strategy and managing an annual $1 million grant-making portfolio.   

“Good Government Reform has been a long-standing focus of the Foundation’s grantmaking, and we couldn’t be happier that Jarel is joining the team to lead this initiative,” said Allan Oliver, Executive Director of Thornburg Foundation. “Both her understanding of the local landscape in New Mexico and her state and national experience in government makes her perfectly suited to implement our renewed and updated five-year strategy.” 

Jarel most recently served as the City Manager for the City of Santa Fe, a tenure shaped by COVID-19 and all its challenges and opportunities. In that role, she oversaw the entirety of city operations with a focus on transforming the organization into a better-managed and efficient operation. Prior to that, she served in the Obama Administration for both terms as Senior Advisor and Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In that role she developed a keen understanding of the nature of internal organizational management especially as it relates to developing programs and initiatives, setting priorities to achieve goals, fulfilling the core mission and setting a vision rooted in change management principles.

“I’m excited to join the Thornburg Foundation as it supports organizations who are striving to make our democracy stronger and more effective here in New Mexico, ” said Jarel LaPan Hill, the Foundation’s Good Government Reform Policy Officer. “I’m looking forward to bringing my experience in public service to the philanthropic sector, ensuring that we’re building capacity and driving policy reforms to create meaningful and lasting change.” 

For the past nine years, the Thornburg Foundation has made grants in Good Government Reform by supporting organizations that work in areas like ethics and lobbying reform, campaign financing, redistricting efforts, and ethical journalism. This is one of the Foundation’s five key strategic initiatives. The Foundation renewed its commitment to Good Government Reform by authorizing a new five-year strategy in September 2022. 

Jarel has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and, most recently, completed the Master in Public Leadership program from the University of Texas at Austin which is focused on leadership development for nonprofit and public professional leaders. Jarel grew up in Santa Fe and is a proud graduate of the Santa Fe Public schools.