Timothy “Tim” Keller was born and raised in Albuquerque. He graduated from St. Pius High School and went on to receive his BA in Public Service and Finance from the University of Notre Dame. He worked as an investment advisor for various companies in California before heading to Asia.
In 2001 Keller lived in Cambodia where he ran Digital Divide Data, the nation’s first IT social enterprise, which focused on hiring landmine victims and other disadvantaged workers. The company worked to digitize international publications and books, like the Harvard Crimson, Harvard University’s student newspaper.
Keller returned to the states in 2003 and graduated from Harvard Business School in 2005 with an MBA. Soon after returning to his home state from Harvard, Keller got involved in state politics. He was a policy advisor in the New Mexico State Legislature and moved on to serve in the State Senate for two terms from 2009 to 2014, representing the International District. While in the senate, Keller served as the Democratic Majority Whip.
In 2014 he was elected as the state auditor, and at 37 years old was the youngest serving auditor in the state’s history. During his tenure he focused on a special audit of New Mexico’s backlog of untested Sexual Assault Evidence Kits, commonly known as “rape kits.” That focus continued into his first term as mayor when he was elected in 2017, defeating Republican Dan Lewis in a runoff. When Keller first came into office, his administration found that the Albuquerque Police Department had a backlog of more than 5,000 rape kits. He made it a goal to reduce that number by the end of 2020. Keller’s administration says the backlog is 100 percent cleared.
Upon entering office Keller earned the moniker “The Heavy Metal Mayor,” after a feature profile in the New York Times detailed his love for heavy metal music. Keller has introduced several metal bands on stage at various Albuquerque venues.
He has served as a lecturer at Lewis University and the University of New Mexico and is an advocate for dyslexia after being diagnosed himself and re-learning reading skills as an adult. He and his wife, Elizabeth Keller, have two young children, Jack and Maya.