Joan Drake Named Chair of New Mexico First

Joan E. Drake, a Modrall Sperling shareholder, has been named Chair of the Board of Directors for New Mexico First, a non-partisan public policy organization that engages people in important issues facing their state or community. She recently undertook her one-year term at the group’s biannual First Forum, a bipartisan panel of New Mexico leaders who led a discussion moving the state from gridlock to good government.

“More than a decade ago, I volunteered as a facilitator in  New Mexico First’s 2003 Water Town Hall. We brought citizen leaders from around the state to work together and develop consensus on our water resources – an issue so important to our state,” she says. “I was hooked, and have worked with the group ever since.”

“Joan brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our board, and we are grateful for the opportunity to benefit from her leadership,” says Heather W. Balas, President and Executive Director of New Mexico First. “She brings a deep commitment to our deliberative work as well as an abundance of common sense that will see us safely through the next year.”

Joan’s legal practice focuses on utility regulation and environmental permitting matters. She currently serves as Chair of Modrall Sperling’s Utility Service Group and Co-Chair of the firm’s Renewable Energy Service Group.

Prior to her legal career, Joan was an environmental regulatory specialist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, where she worked to implement federal environmental laws. Joan’s experience at the Corps focused on large and controversial projects and enforcement matters. Joan offers clients the unique perspective of both a seasoned regulator and a knowledgeable lawyer.