Karissa Culbreath - Bio

Karissa Culbreath is a scientist whose passion for community has led her to service, advocacy and leadership. She was appointed by Mayor Gregg Hull in December, 2020 to the Rio Rancho City Council, District 5. She is passionate about serving the community and bringing voice to the needs of the people with compassion, strategic thinking and equity.

She is a microbiology expert and leader throughout the scientific community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Karissa has been a local and national. She has been featured by local media, The Today Show, CNN, the New York Times, Roland Martin Unfiltered and numerous other national media outlets.

Karissa is a fierce advocate of science education and has worked to develop science education and experiential learning programs for K-12 students in STEM. In line with her passion for STEM enrichment for children, Karissa is a member of the Board of Directors at Explora, an innovative STEM experiential learning center in Albuquerque. She has been a featured speaker for Explora, the New Mexico Out of School Time Network and others, discussing how STEM education advances opportunities for individuals and communities.

She is an Associate Pastor at New Covenant Worship Center supporting ministry activities and community engagement. She is a member of Iota Xi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority where she has served on various committees. In 2016 she authored her first children’s book Daddy’s Little Girl, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.

Karissa has been recognized for her leadership and community service with awards including Albuquerque Business First 40 Under 40, Fisk University Sesquicentennial Woman of Prominence Award and Supercomputing Challenge of New Mexico Women in STEM Awardee. She is a sought after speaker within the community and nationally. By far, her greatest achievement is in her personal life – she is blessed to share her life with her husband, daughter and son.