The Alliance for a Better Utah announced that it has hired veteran Policy Advocate and Citizen Activist, Rob DeBirk, as its new Executive Director. For the past six years, Rob has worked as a Campaign Strategist and Policy Director for HEAL Utah, one of the state’s leading environmental organizations.
Josh Kanter, Board Chair of Better Utah, said “As HEAL’s policy director, Rob engaged with legislators to improve air quality, led bipartisan coalitions to support international arms control agreements, fought for more renewable energy, and worked with citizen activists to effectively lobby on issues directly affecting public health. Rob has the perfect background, relationships, and temperament to lead Better Utah in this next phase of our growth as an organization.”
In his new role as the Executive Director of the Alliance for a Better Utah, Rob brings his experience championing citizen activism to Better Utah’s work promoting smart policies like Medicaid expansion and government accountability.
Representative Becky Edwards (R-Bountiful) added, “I’ve worked with Rob on successful air quality legislation. He brings to this position the passion and ability to work across the aisle in the effort to improve our state.”
Rob is a native Utahn and earned a Masters of Arts from the University of Utah. Rob began his political career at HEAL Utah advocating for downwinders and campaigning for senate ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Rob’s mother and aunt were both sickened by the radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons testing in Nevada. In addition to his work at HEAL, Rob was the two time recipient of the Ploughshares Fund Grant, co-producer of KRCL: RadioActive’s five part series on Utah’s downwinders, and worked closely with GOP and Democratic Legislators to pass HB226, that allowed the State to craft Utah specific clean air rules.
The Alliance for a Better Utah is a non-profit organization that seeks to drive a public narrative that empowers Utah’s electorate and holds public officials accountable. The organization is best known for its role in filing the initial complaints that led to now indicted Attorney General John Swallow’s resignation. The group serves as an independent voice that is not aligned with a political party of elected official. Better Utah has played a key role in urging expansion of Medicaid, calling for campaign finance reform, and ensuring government transparency and accountability. More information can be found at www.betterutah.org.