As director of programs, Brandie Balken manages the Gill Foundation’s team of program officers, ensuring efficient and effective grant-making across all priorities.
Previously, Brandie served as a senior program officer, responsible for the management of the national equal treatment and Florida portfolios.
Brandie served as the executive director of Equality Utah prior to joining the Gill Foundation team. During her 5 year tenure at the state’s largest LGBT advocacy and policy organization, Equality Utah was able to successfully implement more than 35 individual pieces of LGBT-affirmative policy.
Brandie helped form and lead Utah’s America Votes affiliate roundtable which worked to align labor, education, conservation, women’s organizations, and the LGBT community in their endorsement and advocacy goals.
She has deep experience in the nonprofit sector having volunteered for a diverse array of organizations including Food Not Bombs, the Western Shoshone Defense Project, the Inclusion Center for Community and Justice and as a volunteer radio host for KRCL – Utah progressive public radio. She has provided board service to Seeds of Peace, Envision Utah, the Utah Pride Center, Utah Diversity Connections, and served as co-chair of the Equality Federation board and the Utah Votes board.
Originally from rural Utah, Brandie graduated cum laude from Weber State University. Post graduation, she travelled throughout the West, working for environmental justice and indigenous people’s rights before coming out and returning to Utah to serve the LGBT community. She is thrilled to continue her passion for equality with the Gill Foundation team. When she’s not working, she happily shares her life with her wife, step-daughter, and the family’s dog, Bella.