A former oil and natural gas industry executive with Tulsa ties was appointed Tuesday to lead the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.
Ken McQueen previously served as a vice president of Tulsa’s WPX Energy, where he managed the company’s assets in the San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico and southern Colorado. McQueen holds a B.S. degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Tulsa, where he previously served as an adjunct professor in Petroleum Engineering.
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez praised McQueen’s background and lengthy industry career in petroleum engineering. McQueen will be in charge of a state energy plan that stresses job creation and supporting national efforts toward energy independence.
McQueen will lead an agency of 415 employees across the state that regulates everything from private oil well operations to forestry practices, wildfire preparedness and coal and copper mines.
The department manages 35 New Mexico state parks. McQueen is expected to oversee development of the new Rio Grande Trail, a recreational pathway that will extend for 500 miles across the Land of Enchantment.