Mariel Nanasi

Executive Director

Mariel is the Executive Director and President of New Energy Economy. Mariel is New Energy Economy's chief strategist - she develops NEE's campaigns and leads its legal interventions before the PRC and NM Supreme Court. A civil rights and criminal defense attorney, she is licensed to practice in both the state and federal courts. Legal cases she has won and settled have been featured in the major media, including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Albuquerque Journal, Santa Fe New Mexican, and on many television stations, including a documentary, “End of the Nightstick,” on PBS. When Mariel realized the urgency of climate change, she came to work for New Energy Economy as the senior policy advisor. Two years later, she was asked to serve as executive director. A zealous organizer, Mariel’s can-do spirit is infectious. As comfortable with complex policy and legal challenges as on-the-ground organizing, she easily connects with the public, including young Hispanic artists, firefighters on the front lines, acequia caretakers, grassroots Native leaders, funders, and legislators. Mariel lectures on climate change and environmental justice at conferences and college classrooms and her essay, A Future Without Coal: In New Mexico Supreme Court, Again, can be read at She is also a rhythmic skier and enjoys having friends over for delicious meals and lively discussions.

Bianca Sopoci-Belknap

Associate Director

Bianca has been with New Energy Economy since 2013 when she decided to shift her work to focus on climate justice. As the Associate Director, she co-creates and co-directs NEE's strategy, develops its communications and campaign infrastructure, writes its grants, and manages NEE's staff. Originally from Santa Fe, Bianca has been involved in community development and organizing efforts in her hometown for over a decade. She brings years of nonprofit management and program development experience through her role as the Founding Director of Earth Care’s Youth Allies and Food Cadre Programs as well as her work for community & educational organizations throughout the country, including Antioch College, Global Exchange, Destiny Arts Center, the Border Network for Human Rights, Del Pueblo Inc., OffCenter Community Arts, and Local Energy. In addition to her work with New Energy Economy, Bianca is the Executive Director of Earth Care where she mentors an amazing staff to run youth empowerment, social justice, and environmental stewardship programs and projects in the community. With a background in global justice and youth organizing, she brings a passion for community empowerment and radical grassroots-led change. She has served as an advisor and consultant for a number of youth development and empowerment programs throughout the country. She is the former Chair of the City's Sustainable Santa Fe Commission and served on the Santa Fe Food Policy Council for 3 years. She holds a B.A. from Antioch College in Social and Global Studies with a focus in Sustainable Economic Development and is the mother of two little ones.

Kimberly Smith

Just Transition Campaign Co-Director

Kim hails from the Diné Nation in the southwestern part of the U.S. She has recently joined New Energy Economy to lead just transition organizing in the Four Corners. Kim's work engaging community members with an assessment of the impacts of the San Juan Coal plant on their health, livelihoods, culture, and environment as well as their vision for the future will inform New Energy Economy's legal work and the development of a health impact assessment led by indigenous and local communities. Kim has dedicated her life to fighting for indigenous human rights, water & land at a local, national and international level. In her Diné community her work includes advocacy work in environmental justice, food sovereignty, art & indigenous based knowledge. When she is not home Kim curates a national traveling exhibition called, “The Art of Indigenous Resistance” which highlights graffiti and indigenous art as a platform to raise awareness about indigenous resistance. Kim also travels to indigenous resistance communities around the world to reconnect intertribal relationships and build solidarity. This year alone Kim has helped raise over $20,000 for the frontline communities she has visited. Kim is the founder for the online collective indigenous feminist magazine, "Indigenous Goddess Gang". Kim works along side Winona Laduke as a board member for Honor the Earth & Diné Citizens Against Ruining our Environment, she is considered an expert on Climate Change for the United Nations and is a registered International Front line Defender.

Eric Makai Lewis

Just Transition Campaign Co-Director

Makai is a Diné tribal member from the Diné community of pinedale, NM. He has been a prominent servant in his community, fighting for environmental justice and cultural rights of his Diné community. Makai's passion is working in his Diné community. He has taken on the challenge of going into his community to educate about climate change, water and food from a decolonial grassroots traditional standpoint. As a fluent Diné speaker he finds innovative ways to educate youth and elders. From youth led information sessions, to painting murals, to growing ancestral foods, to organizing art shows, he has found innovative ways to educate and support indigenous rights. You are sure to find Makai alongside his partner Kim Smith. Together they are a force to be reckoned with. Their choice to work in their homelands lies in their desire to uphold the sacred responsibility and duties of Diné ancestors and for the generations ahead.

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600 Los Altos Norte

Santa Fe, NM 87501

Phone: (505) 989-7262

Tel: 505-989-7262