SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez says Department of Indian Affairs Cabinet Secretary Kelly Zunie will be stepping down to pursue other opportunities.

Effective this Friday, Deputy Secretary Suzette Shije will serve as acting cabinet secretary.

Martinez appointed Zunie as cabinet secretary in November 2014.

Zunie was the first woman to lead the department that works with tribes, nations and pueblos throughout the state.

In a statement Wednesday, Martinez says Zunie’s leadership helped strengthen schools, improve healthcare and create more economic opportunities for Native American families in New Mexico and her skills and experience will be missed.