Ivalis Meza Gonzalez (second from right) will become Mayor Ron Nirenberg's new chief of staff effective June 1, replacing Jim Greenwood (right). Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

Ivalis Gonzalez Meza, who comes from a family of political activists and joined the mayor’s office in 2018, will become Mayor Ron Nirenberg’s new chief of staff effective June 1, officials said Friday.

Meza currently serves as the mayor’s director of policy and public engagement.

“Ivalis has continually demonstrated her value and commitment to the city from the
day she walked into the office,” Nirenberg said in a press release.

Meza will replace Jim Greenwood, a former Valero executive who became chief of staff shortly after Nirenberg won reelection last June. Greenwood has decided to retire, according to the press release.

“I am deeply appreciative of Jim’s willingness to devote his time and considerable talents to our team,”’ Nirenberg said. “Jim’s contributions have been significant.”

Meza holds a juris doctor degree from the St. Mary’s University School of Law, and previously worked in intergovernmental and community relations for the San Antonio River Authority. She has also worked on educational programs for Spurs Sports & Entertainment and served on the boards of Healthy Futures of Texas and the Martinez Street Women’s Center. She’s also a member of the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women.

“Ivalis brings a unique combination of skills to the job,” Nirenberg said. “She has keen insight into the needs and mood of our diverse community and is adept at working the levers of city government to move our policy goals forward.”

Meza’s mother, Choco Meza, ran several successful political campaigns in San Antonio, including the City Council campaign of María Berriozábal, the first Latina Council member, and Raul Rivera’s judicial race. Choco Meza, who was elected Bexar County Democratic chair in 2011, also served as Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales’ chief of staff, worked an organizer for the Hilary Clinton campaign office in San Antonio, and worked for former Mayor Henry Cisneros when he was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Ivalis Gonzalez Meza also serves as a Democratic Party precinct chair. Her older brother, Danny, is the chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-San Antonio).

Avatar photo

Iris Dimmick

Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick covers public policy pertaining to social issues, ranging from affordable housing and economic disparity to policing reform and mental health. Contact her at iris@sareport.org