Above: photo by Minesh Bacrania
As mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Tim Keller (MBA 2005) is focused on bread-and-butter initiatives that drive down crime and attract business. And he’s been successful on both counts since taking office just over a year ago: Crime is ticking downward for the first time in seven years, and companies including Facebook and Netflix are bringing much-needed investment and jobs to a metro region of just under one million people. But Keller, a former state senator and most recently state auditor, has an unofficial credit to his name that has drawn even more notice: heavy metal mayor.
A lifelong fan, Keller, 41, has earned that title by being openly public in his devotion to a musical genre not typically associated with the suit-and-tie lifestyle of elected office. “It’s the music of empowerment,” says Keller. “It’s kept me authentically grounded in every aspect of my life.”
Keller’s affinity shows up in subtle ways: In December, while signing a bill granting paid parental leave to city employees, he sported a Christmas sweater with the name of heavy metal band Pantera knit into the pattern. Sometimes, when introducing a heavy metal icon to a crowd of 20,000 fans, he’s louder: “Last week I got to say, ‘Scream for me, Albuquerque. Scream for Ozzy Osbourne.’ ”
Class of MBA 2005, Section A