Navas Named New Mexico’s First Director of Outdoor Recreation

Axie Navas, a veteran journalist and outdoor enthusiast who has managed digital media and marketing for Outside magazine, is New Mexico’s first director of the Office of Outdoor Recreation. Navas assumed the position with the New Mexico Economic Development Department on Monday, Sept. 23 and will work in close partnership with Peter Mitchell, an EDD employee with a long history in business development.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the law on April 2 that made New Mexico the 15th state to create an Office of Outdoor Recreation. The bill passed the Senate 38-0 and the House 52-14.

“To the outdoor enthusiasts who don’t yet know about our rivers, our rapids, our mountains, our trails, our ski slopes — you will soon,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a written statement.

“Outdoor recreation is a key piece of our economic expansion efforts. We are building on what we have and creating job opportunities in a field where this state can, should, and will lead regionally and indeed nationally. This new office will take us to the next level.”

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Navas is a New Mexico resident and has worked as the digital editorial director for Outside magazine, where she managed a team of 25 writers, editors and website developers. She also led Outside’s online gear channel and worked as a reporter in South Lake Tahoe and at La Prensa in San Salvador, El Salvador.

Navas has degrees in journalism and Spanish from Northwestern University and lives in Santa Fe with her husband, John Clary Davies, executive editor at New Mexico Magazine.

“We’re going to be scrappy, at the start, and collaborate with the other governmental departments to break through silos and bring changemakers together to the table,” Navas told the Sun-News. “We’ll also be collaborating with (non-governmental organizations) and individuals that are already doing so much great work, both at the regional and national level.”