Senior Director, National Criminal Justice Reform Strategy and State Director, New Mexico
Emily Kaltenbach is a Senior Director for DPA’s National Criminal Justice Reform Strategy and State Director for DPA’s New Mexico Office. As Senior Director, Emily co-leads an internal process to generate criminal justice reform strategies to guide DPA’s efforts in the field. One of these strategies is to challenge local communities to work from a public health, racial justice and human rights framework. She is the primary author of the report, Municipal Drug Strategy: Lessons in Taking Drug Policy Reform Local.
Based in New Mexico, Kaltenbach also manages the staff of the New Mexico Office. As state director since 2011, she helped start the second Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program in the nation, was deeply involved in reforming New Mexico’s asset forfeiture law, a model for the rest of the country, and currently serves as the chair of the City of Santa Fe, NM’s Municipal Drug Strategy Task Force.
Kaltenbach joins the organization following 15 years working in New Mexico implementing rural community-based health centers, helping reform the long-term care system, and setting the stage to implement federal health care reform in the state. Prior to joining DPA, she served as the director of Policy and Planning at the New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department and served as the acting director for New Mexico's Office of Health Care Reform.
Born and raised in rural New Mexico, Kaltenbach graduated from Beloit College with a BA in sociology and a minor in health care studies. She later completed a master’s degree in health administration at the University of Washington's School of Public Health before returning to New Mexico.
Emily’s expertise and views on drug policy issues have been featured by Rolling Stone, U.S. News & World Report, ABC News, The Nation, VICE, Al Jazeera, Huffington Post, Denver Post, Filter Magazine, NM in Focus, Albuquerque Journal, and more.