Who We Are


Jihan Gearon
Executive Director

Jihan Gearon is Diné (Navajo) and African American from Old Sawmill, Navajo Nation. She is Tódích’ií’nii (Bitter Water) clan, and her maternal grandfather is Tl’ashchí’í (Red Bottom People) clan. She is a graduate of Stanford University with a Bachelors of Science in Earth Systems with a focus in Energy Science and Technology. Throughout her career Jihan as worked to build the capacity and collective strength of Indigenous communities throughout North America who are impacted by energy development and climate change, first in her position as Coordinator of the Native Energy & Climate Campaign at the Indigenous Environmental Network, and now as Executive Director of the Black Mesa Water Coalition. She is a board member of the Center for Story-based Strategy and Steering Committee of the Climate Justice Alliance. In these roles Jihan leads broad coalitions of communities and organizations in connecting the issues of energy development in Indigenous communities to larger social justice movements and common strategies. Jihan is currently based out of Flagstaff, Arizona. Jihan writes a blog at ww.navigatingcontradictions.com.

Jihan works out of BMWC’s main office in Flagstaff, Arizona. As Executive Director she oversees our staff, coordinates our board, manages administrative needs, fundraises, and significantly contributes to our No Coal & Environmental Justice, and Movement Building & Leaderships Development Programs.

Roberto Nutlouis
Restorative Economy Program Coordinator

Roberto Nutlouis is Diné (Navajo) from Pinon, Navajo Nation. He is of the Tódích’ií’nii (Bitter Water) clan, born for the Tótsohnii (Big Water) clan. Roberto received his Bachelors of Science in Applied Indigenous Studies from Northern Arizona University (NAU) in 2005, and he is currently pursuing a Masters of Arts in Sustainable Communities from NAU. Through his involvement with Native Movement, the Indigenous Youth Coalition of Pinon, Indigenous Community Enterprises, and BMWC Roberto Nutlouis has been actively involved in the sustainable evolution of Black Mesa and the Navajo Nation for several years. His experience and expertise includes work in environmental justice, food security, energy efficiency, housing, and youth leadership development. In his spare time he likes to work on food security issues and traditional knowledge in agriculture with local Native youth, and he enjoys hiking, river rafting, camping, and reading.

Roberto works out of BMWC’s field office in Pinon, Arizona. In his position he oversees BMWC’s field office and the Restorative Economy Program, which includes the Food Sovereignty and Navajo Wool Market Improvement Projects.

Mariah Ashley
Operations Manager

Mariah is Diné (Navajo) from Chichiltah, New Mexico. She is Tsi’najinii (Black Streaked Wood People) clan, born for the Ta’neeszahnii (Tangle People) clan. Mariah received her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science with a Geology emphasis from Northern Arizona University in May of 2016. She also received an Associate of Science degree from Diné College in 2013 and has a strong background in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) capabilities and remote sensing techniques from her previous professional experiences working with the Navajo Nation Water Management Branch and NAU’s Remote Sensing and Geoinformatic Lab. Mariah has also been involved with a number of youth organizations; both as a participant and as a coordinator with RezRefuge. Through Mariah’s work, she stresses the importance of cultural significance and environmental sustainability because she believes that by incorporating indigenous ecological knowledge with the scientific methods is key to combating today’s environmental issues.

Mariah works out of BMWC’s main office in Flagstaff, Arizona. As Operations Manager she manages administrative needs, all BMWC communications with sister organizations, staff and board coordination, as well as program and fundraising support.