Ray Suazo, a 23-year career federal employee and veteran, was installed on Feb. 14 as state director for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Arizona.

As state director, Suazo oversees nearly 500 employees and is responsible for managing more than 12 million acres of federal surface land and 17 million subsurface and split-estate acres.

Suazo was designated as BLM's Arizona state director in December of 2011, after serving for several months as acting state director. He replaces Jim Kenna, who was appointed BLM California state director.

Suazo previously served as associate state director, deputy state director, and chief information officer for the BLM in Arizona. He has also worked for the U.S. Forest Service in New Mexico, Washington, D.C., and Arizona. He served four years in the U.S. Air Force. He has a bachelor's degree in management information systems from New Mexico Highlands University.

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