UNM School of Law Alumnus Elected to City Council

January 17, 2024

Joaquin Baca, middle aged man with glasses dressed professionallyJoaquin Baca, a University of New Mexico Master of Studies in Law (MSL) alumnus was elected to serve on the Albuquerque City Council in 2023. Baca currently serves as City Councilor for District 2, an area that encompasses downtown, Old Town, Pat Hurley and the entire valley east of the river.

Baca served in the United States military from 2000-2005 working in environmental disaster zones, while also attending UNM where he studied environmental science. His development during that period led him to a career in conservation and inspired him to be a proponent of environmental sustainability. In 2010, he began his hydrology career for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, advancing in 2020 to serve as the Water Rights Program Manager at the U.S. Forest Service. From 2017 – 2023 Baca was a Board Director of the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District with involvement in several other distinguished nonprofit organizations that promote environmental stewardship.

To aid his career in water rights, in 2013 Baca enrolled in a course at the School of Law to expand his policy knowledge. The course Water Law, taught by Professor Reed Benson, inspired Baca to continue his studies and enroll full-time into the MSL program.

Baca explains that the MSL program, "is a great program and I recommend it to anybody who doesn't want to be an attorney. It’s a great resource we have here for our community that I’m not sure many other places have." Baca graduated from UNM with his MSL in 2020.

During his term as a city councilor, he hopes to use his expertise to advocate for Albuquerque by creating a safer community with more sustainable and equitable resources.

Read more about City Councilor Joaquin Baca