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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.

Saraswati Kaur Khalsa

Program and Communications Director

Saraswati Khalsa worked for 15 years as Director of Admissions, Marketing and Fundraising at an international school, and recently pivoted her career to align with her passion for climate activism as Program and Communications Director for New Energy Economy. Saraswati contributes her skills in organization, writing, communications, and fundraising to support the work of the entire staff and help to educate the public about New Energy Economy projects. Outside of work she serves on the Board of Directors for Retake our Democracy and recharges her spirits in the mountains river rafting, snowboarding and hiking with her partner and three children. Saraswati holds a BSW from Northern Arizona University and an MSW from Portland State University with a focus on Community Organizing.

Danger Varoz

Social Media and Communications Manager

Danger K Varoz has been a touring rock and roll musician, an award-winning stand-up comedian, a stay-at-home dad, a film production technician and a freelance social media manager, copywriter and video editor. Danger was the creator, executive producer and host of The New Mexican Inquisition on public access and Youtube from 2016 to 2018 where he interviewed New Mexican public officials like Secretary Deb Haaland, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Mayor Tim Keller. He has since converted the show into a TikTok channel. A long time progressive and advocate for environmental issues, he is absolutely thrilled to find a home with New Energy Economy where he feels that his talents will be put to excellent use. Danger plays drums and sings in an oldies cover band called Mint Skylark. He is also the father of a very funny and talented teenager and the benevolent custodian of a cat named Steve.

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