Lawyer and nonprofit chief executive Pamelya Herndon was appointed to the New Mexico House of Representatives on June 22, 2021.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Howard University, and then attended the University of Texas Law School where she received her J.D. degree. Herndon began her career with a major accounting firm and next was hired by the Internal Revenue Service as a senior litigation attorney. Herndon moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, during her work with the IRS.
Attorney General Patricia Madrid appointed Herndon to serve in New Mexico’s Litigation Division. There, she provided legal representation to state officials and agencies, before being appointed general counsel for the State Regulation and Licensing Department of New Mexico. In this position, Herndon supervised and managed the legal bureau of the Regulation and Licensing Department, as well as provided advice to the Office of the Superintendent.
She went on to serve as deputy cabinet secretary for New Mexico’s General Services Department, overseeing the administration of the government agency that housed the Risk Management, Building Services, Property Control, Transportation Services, and Administrative Services Divisions.
She was then hired by the Southwest Women’s Law Center in 2012 to work as their executive director until October 2018. At that time she founded the KWH Law Center for Social Justice and Change and became their president and CEO. Herndon has also taught courses on the main campus and in the law school of the University of New Mexico. Additionally, she helped train paralegals and legal secretaries at Brookline College in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Herndon was elected as a member of the New Mexico Electoral College in 2008, and is a member of the Albuquerque chapter of the American Association of University Women, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She has served on the boards of Emerge New Mexico, the African American Performing Arts Center Foundation, the Con Alma Health Foundation, and the United States Eagle Federal Credit Union.
She has also received numerous awards for her work as a lawyer, including the 2012 Public Lawyer of the Year, presented by the Public Law Section of the New Mexico State Bar. In 2015 she was named Lawyer of the Year, presented by the Albuquerque Bar Association. In 2019 she was named as a W.K. Kellogg Fellow. In 2020 she was recognized on the list of 100 Outstanding Democratic Women in New Mexico, and also received a Purple Ribbon Award for her outstanding work for survivors of domestic violence. In 2021 Herndon received the prestigious Everyday Hero Award.
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