The Alliance for a Better Utah has lost their second executive director in less than six months.
Rob DeBirk confirmed to UtahPolicy.com he resigned last week after being named to the position just last month. Previously, DeBirk was policy director for the environmental group HEAL Utah.
DeBirk replaced Maryann Martindale, who stepped down from ABU in May of this year after heading up the government watchdog group for four years. Martindale is now serving as the spokesperson for Jackie Biskupski’s mayoral campaign.
There have been suggestions by some close to ABU that DeBirk decided to leave because he was being pushed to take the organization in a more partisan political direction while he wanted to focus on policy. DeBirk would not comment on that speculation.
“I decided it wasn’t the best fit,” said DeBirk. “So I decided it was best to move on.”
Josh Kanter, chairman of the board of directors for ABU, said DeBirk’s departure was not due to a disagreement over the direction of the organization.
” Unfortunately for both Rob and the organization, it just didn’t work out and turned out not to be a good fit between Rob’s expertise and the work that the Alliance for a Better Utah does,” said Kanter in an email.
Kanter also bristled over the talk that DeBirk was being pushed to take a partisan role.
“I believe that our board and supporter demographic clearly demonstrate that ABU is bipartisan. I’m surprised that someone is characterizing this as any disagreement or pressure between Rob and the board as that is simply untrue.”
Kanter says the search for DeBirk’s replacement will begin immediately.