Head of Strategic Partnerships
A fifth-generation New Mexican, Heather W. Balas brings over 25 years of experience in public policy, including policy research, citizen deliberation, legislative advocacy, voter education, and coalition-building. In addition to her work with Issue One, Heather actively collaborates with the Election Reformers Network and the Carter Center. She was previously the President and Executive Director of New Mexico First, a crosspartisan public policy organization co-founded by U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Pete Domenici. Other prior employers include the Thornburg Foundation, where she managed a $1.2 million portfolio of good government investments, as well as the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Commission on Presidential Debates, and the California Center for Civic Participation. Heather holds a master’s degree in political communication from the University of Maryland and a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She is married and mom to two busy college students.