Board of Directors

Chris Ford, President

Chris Ford is a retired attorney. His legal career included private practice and 15 years as a prosecutor in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. After his first retirement in 2002, his continuing interest in public and nonprofit administration, as well as service on nonprofit boards, led to a certificate in nonprofit administration at The Bader Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2005. Thereafter, he served as President of the Board and Interim Executive Director for three years at Centro Legal, a nonprofit legal service provider on Milwaukee’s south side. Upon re-retirement a few years ago, he moved to Santa Fe and currently serves on the board of the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, CVNM’s affiliate in Wisconsin, and is a strong supporter of the Santa Fe Conservation Trust. Chris and his wife, Jude, a retired psychotherapist and writer, enjoy their family, their land, and their two dogs.

I’m a conservation voter because as a grandfather I share the most basic concern of all parents and grandparents: our children’s futures. There’s little enough we can do to really help those who follow us. Choosing a future world that helps our progeny, not hurts them, seems the best way to put what small influence I have to its best purpose.

Oriana Sandoval, Vice President

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Oriana Sandoval is the chief executive officer at the Center for Civic Policy, a nonpartisan organization that strives to involve everyday New Mexicans in the public policy decisions that affect their lives, with the goal of achieving positive and lasting change. A native of New Mexico, Oriana received her Bachelor of Arts in diplomacy and world affairs from Occidental College; a master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of California — Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy; and a Juris Doctor from UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). She is currently a member of the New Mexico Bar Association.

Oriana has worked on economic development, environmental justice, conservation and civil rights issues for more than a decade. Oriana worked with the UC Berkeley Labor Center to provide leadership development trainings to Latino immigrant grassroots organizers in California’s Central Valley. She clerked at the Center on Race Poverty and the Environment where she conducted research for litigation on climate change issues and cases involving the violation of air quality standards in California’s Central Valley. Oriana also clerked at the Oakland, CA, Centro Legal de la Raza where she provided legal services to low-income community members in the areas of housing, employment and immigration.

In 2011, Oriana served as the founding executive director of New Mexico Vote Matters, a non-profit organization committed to the empowerment and participation of historically disenfranchised communities in New Mexico. At the Center for Civic Policy, Oriana leads the organization’s policy and civic engagement campaigns.

Charles de Saillan, Treasurer

Charles de Saillan is an environmental attorney in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He moved to New Mexico in 1993 to work for then Attorney General Tom Udall. Since June 2018, he has been a staff attorney with the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, a non-profit, public-interest environmental law firm.

Before moving to New Mexico, Charlie worked at the Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department in Washington, D.C., handling enforcement litigation under federal hazardous waste laws, the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. At the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General, Charlie helped develop the state’s natural resource damage program. He also led a national attorney general work group on amendment of the Superfund law, urging Congress to retain strong liability and cleanup provisions. In 1999, Charlie moved to the Environment Department where he handled enforcement and permitting actions involving air quality, water quality, hazardous wastes and site remediation. He successfully took on hard rock mines, petroleum refineries, electric power plants and national nuclear weapons laboratories. He negotiated a settlement agreement for comprehensive investigation and cleanup of pollution at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Charlie holds a Bachelor of Arts from Boston University, a Juris Doctor from Boston University School of Law, and an LL.M. in Energy and Environmental Law from Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium. He has numerous publications in the field of environmental law.

Charlie enjoys cycling, hiking and backpacking, skiing and photography (he still shoots film!). For several years he was a volunteer with St. John’s College and Atalaya search and rescue teams. He is a certified scuba diver.

Mary A. Laraia, Secretary

Mary A. Laraia is a specialist in public policy, philanthropy, the environment and banking. She has held executive management positions in the corporate, government and nonprofit sectors, and received numerous honors for her leadership, creativity and management of programs in community and sustainable development. Known as an innovator in corporate management, she has headed compliance, community development, sustainability and philanthropic functions for three of the nation’s largest financial institutions.

She most recently served as the Deputy General Superintendent of the Forest Preserves of Cook County, Illinois, and on the Board of Directors of Standard Bank and Trust Company of Illinois, and is on the Advisory Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists. She attended Northwestern and Loyola Universities and was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University. She has been honored with the Motorola/Crain’s Excellence in Public Service Award, “100 Women Making a Difference” by the Chicago Tribune and also by Crain’s Chicago Business, and was named to Northwestern University’s first “Council of 100” top women graduates, and the Fellowship of the British American Project.

In her spare time, Mary volunteers at the Humane Society, and loves making art, reading, cycling and riding her horse, Copper.

Theresa Pasqual, Director

Theresa Pasqual is the former Director of Acoma’s Historic Preservation Office. Her work over 8 years concentrated on protecting the cultural, archaeological and historical resources of the Pueblo. She successfully led a three-year, multi-tribal effort in the nomination and designation of Mt. Taylor to the New Mexico State Register of Cultural Properties as a Traditional Cultural Property (TCP) which was affirmed by the NM State Supreme Court in February 2014. The designation gives tribes a voice in all proposed development that has the potential to affect the TCP. Ms. Pasqual is active in advocating for the protection of all cultural resources, including languages of Pueblo people in the Southwest. She serves as advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and was honored in 2011 to receive a Heritage Preservation Award by the New Mexico Cultural Properties Review Committee for her work in preservation with Tribes.

Currently Theresa is a student at the University of New Mexico pursuing an Archaeology degree. In her off time she can be found with her dog Dexter hiking the mountains and mesas of NM, searching for the next adventure.

Tannis Fox, Director

Tannis Fox is a lawyer who devoted much of her 30+ year career to protecting New Mexico’s environment, both as Deputy General Counsel for the New Mexico Environment Department and an Assistant Attorney General with the New Mexico Attorney General.   

She had served as an Assistant Attorney General under then-Attorney General Tom Udall and, since 2016, has worked in the United States Senate as Senator Udall’s speechwriter. 

Over her career, Tannis has directed complex litigation in environmental enforcement, permitting, and rulemaking matters, and worked to protect groundwater at New Mexico copper mine sites and the federal labs, to clean up hazardous waste sites, to protect surface water in wilderness areas, and to protect air quality.

In 2018, she received the Karl Souder Award from the New Mexico Environmental Law Center for her work to protect New Mexico groundwater.

Tannis graduated from Williams College with a B.A. and a major in economics.  She received her J.D. magna cum laude from Indiana University Law School, and was awarded Order of the Coif.  She clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for the Honorable Thomas Tang in Phoenix, Arizona.

Tannis enjoys running, swimming, biking (and very occasionally competing in triathlons), hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, and yin yoga.