Staff

  Christopher Thomas, Executive Director

Christopher Thomas joined the HEAL Utah staff in September, 2006, as Policy Director and held that role for four years before becoming Executive Director in December, 2010.  In that time, he has made numerous presentations to the Utah Radiation Control Board and Utah Legislative Committees. He has been invited to participate in national meetings held by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In the Fall of 2010, he was invited to participate on a subcommittee of Utah Governor Gary Herbert's Energy Task Force.  Christopher graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Grinnell College in Iowa with degrees in English and Biology and received the English department’s top honor, the Beulah Bennett-Loring Prize for Excellence in English. He is also a computer and information systems consultant.

Christopher is the staff contact for general media inquiries, or specific questions about EnergySolutions' Utah nuclear waste dump, nuclear power, Utah legislation, regulatory matters, and whistleblowers.  He can be reached at christopher@healutah.org or at (801) 364-5110.

 

Sophia Nicholas, Development Director

Sophia works to increase the organizational resources of HEAL Utah through cultivating alliances with foundations and individuals, writing grants, and planning events. Her job involves building funding networks and interest in HEAL’s efforts to promote renewable energy and protect Utah from nuclear and toxic threats.  Prior to joining HEAL Utah, Sophia graduated cum laude in Political Science from Wellesley College. She also spent a semester traveling around the world studying indigenous cultures and the environment before graduating and coming back to her home state to work for HEAL Utah.

Sophia is the staff contact for foundations, general membership and donation questions, business sponsorship inquiries, and events. You can reach her at sophia@healutah.org

 

Matt Pacenza, Policy Director

Matt joined HEAL in Feb. 2011. His job is to manage our policy agenda on nuclear waste and energy policy issues. He works with the State Legislature, the Utah Radiation Control Board, the Utah Division of Radiation Control, and other state agencies and boards to advocate for the protection of Utah's health and environment. Other responsibilities include media relations, research, developing educational materials, community outreach and more. Matt has a BA from Cornell University in Environmental Policy and an MA from New York University in Journalism. Prior to working at HEAL, he worked in magazine and newspaper journalism and in advocacy and campaigns for health, environmental, theatre and human rights organizations. A native of upstate New York, he has lived and worked in Guatemala, New Orleans, New York City and Albany, N.Y. He now lives in the Sugarhood with his wife and two young sons.

Matt is our contact for media inquiries, questions about our legislative priorities, work with the Radiation Control Board and Division of Radiation Control and general inquiries about policy and lobbying. He can be reached at matt@healutah.org.

 

Robert DeBirk, Campaign Strategist

Rob joined the staff of HEAL Utah in September 2009 as the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) Campaigner.  Rob’s commitment to ending nuclear weapons testing is the result of years of sitting at his aunt’s dinner table and hearing countless stories of friends and family fighting, and far too often submitting, to the deadly effects of fallout from past nuclear weapons blasts.

In 2011 Rob transitioned from CTBT Campaigner to HEAL‘s Campaign Strategist, expanding his focus from nuclear weapons and nuclear testing to renewable energy policy and clean air. A native Utahn, Rob earned a BA in English with honors as well as an MA from the University of Utah. Prior to working for HEAL, Rob worked briefly as a writing instructor at the University of Utah where he was awarded the 2008-2009 University Writing Program’s Outstanding Instructor Award. Rob has been a volunteer and member of HEAL Utah for over a decade.

Email him with ideas, or questions about nuclear weapons, renewables, and air quality issues at rob@healutah.org or call him at (801) 355-5055.

 

Lindsay Beebe, Education and Outreach Coordinator

Lindsay began at HEAL as an intern in the Fall of 2012.  In June of 2013 Lindsay transitioned to join the HEAL staff as the Education and Outreach Coordinator. Lindsay works with and organizes HEAL's volunteers, outreach programs and education partnerships.  She also designs HEAL's outreach materials, including posters, brochures, videos and social media content.  Lindsay has a BS form the University of Vermont in Community and International Development.  In addition, Lindsay spent time living and working abroad on public health issues in Southern Kenya as part the Development, Health and Society Program at the School for International Training in Nairobi, Kenya. 

A New England native, Lindsay was drawn West by the lure of Utah's majestic landscape.  She is impassioned to protect the health of Utah's environment for the enlightenment of generations to come. Lindsay is the staff contact for volunteers, education partnership programs, outreach opportunities and materials requests. She can be reached at lindsay@healutah.org