New Mexico Environmental Law Center is a non profit, public interest law firm that provides free and low-cost legal services on environmental matters throughout New Mexico. Founded in 1987, the Law Center works with clients — often individuals, neighborhood associations, environmental organizations, Tribes and Pueblos — seeking to protect the environment.
The New Mexico Environmental Law Center's mission is to protect New Mexico's natural environment and achieve environmental justice for New Mexico's communities through legal representation, policy advocacy and public education.
The Law Center's effective legal advocacy and representation on environmental and environmental justice issues will protect New Mexico's communities and cultures, and ensure clean air, land and water for all.
The work of the Law Center is made possible by tax-deductible contributions from individuals, business, foundations and limited earned income.
Douglas Meiklejohn, Executive Director, dmeiklejohn at nmelc.org
Jonathan Block, Staff Attorney, jblock at nmelc.org
Eric Jantz, Staff Attorney, ejantz at nmelc.org
Jaimie Park, Staff Attorney, jpark at nmelc.org
Juana Colón, Communications & Public Education Officer, jcolon at nmelc.org
Shelbie Knox, Development Officer, shelbie at nmelc.org
Elizabeth Lee, Director of Philanthropy, elee at nmelc.org
Janiece Jonsin, Administrative Assistant, jjonsin at nmelc.org
Yana Merrill, Director of Administration & Finance, ymerrill at nmelc.org
The Board of Directors governs the Law Center, establishes policy, hires the Executive Director, and determines which cases the Law Center will handle. The members of the Board, their date of association, their occupations, and affiliations are:
Michael Casaus, President, 2010, Albuquerque
A native of Silver City, Michael is The Wilderness Society’s New Mexico State Director. Prior to this he was the Sierra Club’s senior field organizing manager. He brings to the board his knowledge of environmental justice issues in the Southwest and his experience as a community organizer and scientific researcher.
Eileen Gauna, Vice-President, 2011, Albuquerque
Eileen is a Professor of law at the University of New Mexico and teaches courses in environmental law, environmental justice, climate law and energy law. She regularly speaks on environmental law issues, has testified before the Congressional Committee on climate Change and Energy Security, and spoke at the White House Forum on Environmental Justice in 2010.
Ramon Padilla, Secretary, 2016, Las Cruces
Ramon is a college instructor at the New Mexico State University. He has spent a large part of his professional life as an educator. He worked for many years with the Dona Ana County Colonais Development Council as their youth and community organizer. He brings to the board his experience working with communities, political organizing and community education.
Harry Browne, M.A., Treasurer, 2010, Silver City
Harry is the business manager at the Aldo Leopold High School. He was the Executive Director at the Gila Resources Information Project in Silver City for eight years and worked closely with the NMELC on the Chino Mine case. He brings administrative and public policy expertise to the board.
Myron Armijo, 2007, Santa Ana Pueblo
Myron is a former Governor of Santa Ana Pueblo, and currently serves as the Tribal Liaison for the Office of the State Engineer of New Mexico. He provides us with his perspective as a tribal leader.
Stuart Bluestone, 2007, Santa Fe
Stuart has held senior positions in New Mexico State Government for over 20 years, including being the Chief Deputy Attorney General for over eight years. He is currently semi-retired and serves part-time as the Attorney General's Senior Counsel.
Sandy Buffet, 2013, Santa Fe
Sandy was the Executive Director of Conservation Voters New Mexico for over 8 years. She had 100% success rate of defeating every anti-environmental bill for 8 sessions of the NM Legislature. She brings her love of the environment, her successful fundraising ability, her knowledge of nonprofit boards and her advocacy experience to the Law Center.
Susanne Hoffman-Dooley, J.D., 2004, Santa Fe
Susanne currently contracts with the Office of the State Engineer. Previously, she retired from a full‐time position with the Office of the State Engineer, where she headed the Active Water Resource Management regulations project for that office. She brings with her expertise in water law and water issues.
Donna House, 2006, Alcalde
Donna is a Botanist/Ethnobotanist consultant to Indigenous organizations and communities. She was a key designer of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian and was a member of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Team for Endangered Plant Species. She brings to the board her wide experience working on indigenous justice issues.
Renee Ingold, 2001, Cerrillos
Renee retired from operating her own horse boarding and training facility. She was active in our Ortiz Mountain gold mining reclamation fight, and has been a strong financial supporter of the Law Center for over a decade.
Paul Mitchell, 2012, Las Cruces
Paul is currently a semi-retired CPA and founding former partner of the CPA firm Beasley & Mitchell & Co. in Las Cruces. He brings with him expertise in accounting and finance and a love of the environment. He has been a founding board member and treasurer of not-for-profit boards as well as a long time supporter of the Law Center.
Terry Odendahl, 2014, Boulder, CO
Terry has been the CEO of Global Greengrants Fund in Co since 2009. Prior to this she was President of the NM Association of Grantmakers and the co‐founder and CEO of the Institute for Collaborative Change. She brings to the board her experience with fundraising as well as her knowledge of nonprofit capacity building and social justice issues.
Juan Reynosa, 2016, Albuquerque
Juan is an organizer with the Southwest Organizing Project with a focus on environmental justice issues in New Mexico. Prior to SWOP, he worked for the Sierra Club, the NM Youth Organized and the Green for All Fellows organization. He brings to the board his knowledge about the issues facing communities subject to polluting industries.
Kitty Richards, 2012, Albuquerque
Kitty is the principal of Healthy Places Consulting. Previously, Kitty worked for Bernalillo County and the State’s Department of Border Health Office. Throughout her career, Kitty has advocated for the health and environmental quality of New Mexico communities. She specializes in health impact assessments on proposed land‐uses.
Frank Sanchez, 1994, Roswell
Frank is the Executive Director for the Needmor Fund. He brings to the Board his expertise as a nationally recognized grassroots community organizer on civil rights and environmental issues in New Mexico.