The state Department of Cultural Affairs announced Wednesday that Billy Garrett will head the New Mexico History Museum on a permanent basis.
Garrett has served as the museum's interim director since May, replacing Andrew Wulf, who was fired in February 2019.
Wulf made $91,441 a year as executive director, according to the state’s Sunshine Portal, while Garrett's annual salary is $93,599.50.
Garrett said in an interview Wednesday he didn’t fill the interim position with the intent to stay on, but he changed his mind over the summer.
“The more time I spent working here in the museum, I thought I could offer the secretary and the museum board of regents some continuity, and to continue to build the relationships I have in the community,” he said. “I decided to put my name in and go with the process.”
Garrett is a graduate of Las Cruces High School and holds degrees from Arizona State University.
A former two-term Doña Ana County commissioner from 2010-18, Garrett also worked at the National Park Service for 26 years, developing guidelines for the agency’s management of its cultural resources.
He will continue to oversee daily operations for exhibitions and public programs for the New Mexico History Museum, the Palace of the Governors, the Palace Press, the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library, the Palace Photo Archives and the Native American Artisans Program, the Department of Cultural Affairs said in a news release.