Heather Balas Joins Thornburg Foundation as Good Government Reform Policy Officer

  • Ms. Balas is a recognized civic leader in efforts to advance positive policy solutions in government in New Mexico

SANTA FE, NM — April 16, 2019 — Thornburg Foundation, a family foundation that makes grants in the areas of good government reform, early childhood education, agriculture reform and community funding, today announced that Heather Balas, a recognized civic leader in New Mexico, joined the organization on April 15, 2019 as its new good government reform policy officer.

Ms. Balas is responsible for overseeing a $1 million portfolio of grants that support nonprofit organizations seeking to advance transparency and ethics in government, expand public participation and ensure that all New Mexicans have a voice in their government.

“As a leader, Heather has deep experience bringing New Mexicans together around common interests,” said Thornburg Foundation Executive Director Allan Oliver. “She also has a remarkable track record of bipartisan policy achievements, including helping pass a constitutional amendment to create an independent ethics commission, participatory research on sustainable journalism, and numerous other policy priorities as generated through public input. Heather will improve and strengthen the impact of our good government reform grant-making strategy, and we are thrilled to have her on board.”

“It’s an honor to join Thornburg Foundation’s excellent team of thought leaders,” said Ms. Balas. “Effective governance is the cornerstone of our society and warrants thoughtful investment of time and resources. I look forward to working on solutions to strengthen democracy in New Mexico.”

Ms. Balas previously spent 14 years at New Mexico First as the president and executive director. She joined New Mexico First after serving as an associate director for the California Center for Civic Participation, voter education director for the Commission on Presidential Debates in Washington, D.C., and as a program officer for the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Ms. Balas holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Eastern New Mexico University and a Master of Arts in political communication from the University of Maryland. Ms. Balas is a native of Portales, New Mexico.

According to a national study by the Center for Effective Philanthropy, grantees rank Thornburg Foundation in the top 10 percent of funders for impact in the nation. With assets of $112 million, Thornburg Foundation is one of the largest funders in New Mexico and makes more than $5 million in grants to high-performing nonprofits across the state.

About Thornburg Foundation

Thornburg Foundation is a family foundation that makes grants in the areas of good government reform, early childhood education, agriculture reform and community funding. We work to catalyze high impact outcomes using evidence to understand and solve systemic problems, engage stakeholders to drive policy reform, and create meaningful and lasting change.

Thornburg Foundation relies on independent research, data and analysis to guide its work. We collaborate with aligned funders, grantees, experts and stakeholders to leverage resources and create better results. We understand that systemic reform depends on investing in champions and strong organizations as well as acting with decisive and strategic timing. We work with integrity as an organization and as a philanthropic partner. Thornburg Foundation was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

To view the biographies of the Thornburg Foundation team, visit www.thornburgfoundation.org/about-us/staff/ or call 505-467-7919.

Media Inquiries
Allan Oliver
Executive Director
Thornburg Foundation Tel: +1 (505) 467-7919
Email: allan@thornburgfoundation.org   



Posted on

April 16, 2019