NMELC Staff

Grace Aroha
Development Officer
garoha at nmelc.org

Jonathan Block
Staff Attorney
jblock at nmelc.org

Charlie de Saillan
Staff Attorney
cdesaillan at nmelc.org

Eric Jantz
Staff Attorney
ejantz at nmelc.org

Michael Jensen
Communications & Public Education Officer
mjensen at nmelc.org

Janiece Jonsin
Administrative Assistant
jjonsin at nmelc.org

Elizabeth Lee
Director of Philanthropy
elee at nmelc.org
Photo courtesy of School for Advanced Research

Douglas Meiklejohn
Executive Director
dmeiklejohn at nmelc.org

Yana Merrill
Director of Administration & Finance
ymerrill at nmelc.org
Photo credit: Don Usner

Nadine Padilla,
Corrine Wolf Fellow
for Transformative Advocacy
npadilla at nmelc.org

Kendra Palmer
Paralegal
kpalmer at nmelc.org

Jaimie Park,
Staff Attorney
jpark at nmelc.org

Board of Directors

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 – 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 teaches courses in environmental law, environmental justice, climate law and energy law at the University of New Mexico School of 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 New Mexico State University. He has worked for many years with the Doña Ana County Colonias 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 for the Aldo Leopold High School. He is the former Executive Director of the Gila Resources Information Project (GRIP) where he worked closely with the Law Center on the Chino Mine case. He brings administrative and public policy expertise to the board.

Johana Bencomo, 2018, Las Cruces – Johana is the Director of Organizing for NM CAFé. Before that she worked with Doña Ana PLACE MATTERS as their community engagement specialist and with TRiO student support services as their academic success coordinator. She brings to the board her knowledge of communities of color and low income in Southern NM and environmental justice issues in New Mexico.

Stuart Bluestone, 2007, Santa Fe – Stuart held senior positions in New Mexico State Government for over 20 years, including being the Chief Deputy Attorney General for over eight years. He brings to the board his legal experience, knowledge of government, love of the environment, as well as significant experience on non-profit boards.

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.

Juan Reynosa, 2016, Albuquerque – Juan is Deputy Director of the SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP) with a focus on environmental justice issues in New Mexico. Prior to SWOP, he worked for the Sierra Club, NM Youth Organized, and was a fellow at Green for All. 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.