All Speakers

Anita Fête Crews
Blessed Tomorrow ecoAmerica

About Anita:

Ani Fête Crews is the Director of Blessed Tomorrow, a coalition of diverse religious partners united as faithful stewards of creation. Prior to joining Blessed Tomorrow, Ani served as Senior Director of Member Engagement with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), where she led key leadership development and engagement programming for the nation’s state public health agency directors, their leadership teams, and other state public health partners. Prior to ASTHO, Ani was a founding member and the National Director of State Assistance and Partner Engagement for the non-profit Enroll America, a public education campaign that helped enroll millions of uninsured Americans in health coverage following passage of the Affordable Care Act. Ani has 15 years of experience in issue advocacy, coalition building, community outreach, and leadership development in both the non-profit and government sectors. Ani is a native Ohioan and a fervent Ohio State Buckeyes fan. She...
Day 2 - August 13, 2020
Anne Merwin
Vice President for Conservation
Ocean Conservancy

About Anne:

Anne has been part of Ocean Conservancy’s policy and advocacy work since 2014. She leads the organization’s commitment to ocean planning, ensuring that as our ocean becomes increasingly busy, we embrace smarter marine management for a healthy ocean, robust economy and vibrant communities. Spending her early years just a short stroll from the beach in southern California, and then later growing up in New Jersey passing summers weekends “down the shore,” Anne spent a lot of time playing in the ocean. But it was really the underwater photography of Cousteau and others that showed her the incredible worlds that lurked below the murky waves and got her hooked. Something about the sea, with its uncharted depths and wild and amazing creatures, stirred her imagination and has stayed with her ever since. A career environmental attorney, she has spent the last 15 years advocating for better management and planning of our...
Bill McKibben

About Bill:

Bill McKibben is an author and environmentalist who in 2014 was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the ‘alternative Nobel.’ His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has appeared in 24 languages; he’s gone on to write a dozen more books. He is a founder of, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, which has organized twenty thousand rallies around the world in every country save North Korea, spearheaded the resistance to the Keystone Pipeline, and launched the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement. The Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was the 2013 winner of the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize and holds honorary degrees from 18 colleges and universities. Foreign Policy named him to their inaugural...
Bishop Staccato Powell
Board of Bishops African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

About Staccato:

In July 2016 at the Fiftieth General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Staccato Powell was elected the One Hundred and Second Bishop in the line of succession in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (AMEZ). As the prefect of his episcopal class, Powell was the first Bishop elected from Eastern North Carolina since the venerable James Walker Hood in1872. As the Presiding Prelate of the Western Episcopal District, Bishop Powell’s episcopal leadership spans the Alaska, California, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon-Washington and Southwest Rocky Mountain conferences. With more than 40 years of experience in evangelism, ecumenism, and ecclesial growth, Bishop Staccato Powell, undeniably understands the desires and needs of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. Bishop Powell hails from Hallsboro, North Carolina where he accepted the call to ministry at age 16. Soon after, at age 18, he received his first assignment to pastor. Bishop pastored in several churches...
Bob Perkowitz

About Bob:

Bob Perkowitz is an entrepreneur, environmentalist, writer, investor and distance cyclist. Over the past 25 years Bob has been President of direct marketing and manufacturing organizations with revenues ranging to $600 million, including Cornerstone Brands, Smith+Noble and Joanna Western Mills. He currently is Managing Partner of VivaTerra LLC, Chairman of Potenco, Inc., President of Paradigm Management, Inc., a Director of SRAM, Inc., and a partner in Firebrand Partners, LLC and Arqua Equity Partners, LLC. In the non-profit sector, in addition to his work with ecoAmerica, Bob is also on the board of the Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Defense Fund of North Carolina and the Queens University Learning Society. He also serves on the Sierra Club’s National Advisory Council and served a Trustee of the Sierra Club Foundation from 2001-2007. Bob received a B.S. in Social Thought from Lake Forest College and an M.B.A. from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management....
Carlton Waterhouse
Professor of Law
Howard University

About Carlton:

Professor Carlton Waterhouse is an international expert on environmental law and environmental justice, as well as reparations and redress for historic injustices. He recently testified on the importance of reparations for African Americans before the Inter- American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States. He is a Fulbright research scholar and is a board member of the Environmental Law Institute. His views have been published in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other media outlets. His scholarship includes essays, articles, and book chapters focused on the ethical and legal dimensions of environmental justice and reparations. After completing law school at Howard University, Professor Waterhouse began his career as an attorney with the EPA, where he served in the Office of Regional Counsel in Atlanta, Georgia and the Office of General Counsel in Washington, D.C. At the EPA, he served as the chief counsel...
Celinda Lake
Lake Research Partners

About Celinda:

Celinda Lake is one of the Democratic Party’s leading political strategists, serving as tactician and senior advisor to the national party committees, dozens of Democratic incumbents, and challengers at all levels of the electoral process. Celinda and her firm are known for cutting-edge research on issues including the economy, health care, the environment and education, and have worked for a number of institutions including the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Democratic Governor’s Association (DGA), AFL-CIO, SEIU, CWA, IAFF, Sierra Club, NARAL, Human Rights Campaign, Planned Parenthood, The Next Generation, EMILY’s List, VoteVets Action Fund, and the Kaiser Family Foundation. Her international work has included work in Liberia, Haiti, Ukraine, South Africa, and Central America. In 2008, Celinda worked as pollster for Vice President Biden. Since its formation, Lake Research Partners has become one of the most respected Democratic polling firms in the country. The firm’s work has moved the progressive...
Chris Anderson
Head of TED

About Chris:

Chris Anderson is the curator of TED, a nonprofit media organization that leverages the power of ideas to make a better future. Chris was born in a remote village in Pakistan in 1957. He spent his early years in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where his parents worked as medical missionaries, and he attended an American school in the Himalayas for his early education. After boarding school in Bath, England, he went on to Oxford University, graduating in 1978 with a degree in philosophy, politics and economics. Chris then trained as a journalist, working in newspapers and radio, including two years producing a world news service in the Seychelles Islands. Back in the UK in 1984, Chris was captivated by the personal computer revolution and became an editor at one of the UK’s early computer magazines. A year later he founded Future Publishing with a $25,000 bank loan. The new company...
Christiana Figueres
Founding Partner/Former Executive Secretary
Global Optimism/United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

About Christiana:

Christiana Figueres is a Costa Rican citizen and an internationally recognized leader on climate change. She was Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from 2010 to 2016. During her tenure at the UNFCCC, Ms. Figueres brought together national and sub-national governments, corporations and activists, financial institutions and NGOs to jointly deliver the historic Paris Agreement on climate change, in which 195 sovereign nations agreed on a collaborative path forward to limit future global warming to well below 2°C, and strive for 1.5°C, in order to protect the most vulnerable. For this achievement Ms. Figueres has been credited with forging a new brand of collaborative diplomacy and received multiple awards. Since then Ms. Figueres has continued to accelerate the global response to climate change. Today she is the co-founder of Global Optimism, co-host of the podcast “Outrage & Optimism” and is the co-author of the...
Daniela Fernandez
Founder & CEO
Sustainable Ocean Alliance

About Daniela:

Daniela is an award-winning social entrepreneur, thought leader, and internationally sought-after speaker on the entrepreneurial mindset, ocean innovation, technology, youth empowerment, and sustainability. At the age of 19, Daniela founded Sustainable Ocean Alliance as a college-room idea at Georgetown University. Five years later, SOA has created the world’s largest network of young Ocean Leaders in over 150 countries and launched the world’s first Ocean Solutions Accelerator to support developing technological solutions to address the greatest threats facing our planet. Daniela has been recognized for her work by former U.S. Secretary John Kerry, U.S. President Bill Clinton, and E.U. Commissioner Karmenu Vella. She is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and a member of Friends of Ocean Action—a select group of leaders working to fast-track solutions to ocean challenges. She was awarded the 2020 Rising Star Visionary Award by the Silicon Valley Forum and named a 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30...
Day 2 - August 13, 2020
Dr. Bronson Griscom Ph.D
Senior Director of Natural Climate Solutions
Conservation International

About Bronson:

Dr. Bronson Griscom leads Conservation International’s science applied to reducing greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere through Natural Climate Solutions (NCS). These are actions to protect, restore, and improve the management of forests, agricultural lands, and wetlands while safeguarding biodiversity and food. Bronson and his team conduct research on NCS, to catalyze their effective implementation at global, national, and local scales. Prior to his role at CI, Bronson served as Director of Forest Carbon Science at The Nature Conservancy, where he led the research team that published the landmark study on NCS in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2017). Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, Bronson coordinated a successful effort at the U.S. Department of State, as an AAAS fellow, to make climate change funding available for forest-climate initiatives through the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). He completed a post-doc at the Canaan Valley Institute in West Virginia studying...
Dr. Jalonne L. White-Newsome
Senior Program Officer, Environment
The Kresge Foundation

About Jalonne:

Dr. Jalonne L. White-Newsome is a senior program officer at The Kresge Foundation, responsible for the Environment Program’s grant portfolio on Climate Resilient and Equitable Water Systems (CREWS). Jalonne is also a core team member of Kresge’s Climate Change, Health and Equity Initiative, supporting grantmaking across the public health sector. Before joining Kresge in 2016, Jalonne served as director of federal policy at West Harlem Environmental Action Inc. (WE ACT), where she led national campaigns to ensure that the concerns of low-income communities of color were integrated into federal policy, particularly on issues of clean air, climate change and health. She is an adjunct professor at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. As a researcher on climate, health and equity, Jalonne was a lead author for the human health chapter of the Fourth National Climate Assessment. She provides leadership on various boards, including the National Academy of Sciences Board...
Geof Rochester
GRC Advising

About Geof:

Geof Rochester runs GRC Advising, a social purpose marketing firm guiding for profits and non-profits on optimizing their messaging and strategy. Prior to that he was Managing Director and Chief Marketing Officer of the Nature Conservancy where he was responsible for steering the organization’s marketing, membership and visibility strategies. Geof has a deep and varied marketing background which includes positions as Executive Vice President for Marketing at World Wrestling Entertainment and Senior Vice President for Marketing at Showtime Networks. He has also held positions at Comcast Communications, Radisson Hotels International and Proctor and Gamble. Born in Barbados, Geof is a graduate of Georgetown University, and received his M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Georges Benjamin MD
Executive Director
American Public Health Association

About Georges:

As executive director of APHA since 2002, Dr. Georges Benjamin is leading the Association’s push to make America the healthiest nation in one generation. He came to APHA from his position as secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Benjamin became secretary of health in Maryland in April 1999, following four years as its deputy secretary for public health services. There, he oversaw the expansion and improvement of the state’s Medicaid program. Benjamin, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He is board-certified in internal medicine and a fellow of the American College of Physicians. He is the author of more than 100 scientific articles and book chapters. His recent book The Quest for Health Reform: A Satirical History is an expose of the nearly 100-year quest to ensure quality, affordable health coverage for...
Day 2 - August 13, 2020
Hon. Brian Schatz
U.S. Senator (D-HI)
United States Senate

About Brian:

Senator Brian Schatz has dedicated his career to public service as a strong advocate for Hawai‘i’s middle-class families, a clean energy economy, seniors, our veterans, and Native Hawaiians. As Hawai‘i’s senior United States Senator, Brian serves on four Senate Committees essential to the future of Hawai‘i: Appropriations; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; Commerce, Science, and Transportation; and Indian Affairs. Senator Schatz also serves as Chair of Senate Democratic Special Committee on the Climate Crisis as well as Chief Deputy Whip, a leadership position that gives him a greater role in shaping policy and communications for Senate Democrats. In the United States Senate, Schatz is working to create new clean energy jobs for Hawai‘i, strengthen the middle-class, enhance Social Security and Medicare, make college more affordable, support Native Hawaiian programs, and ensure our veterans receive the benefits they have earned. Senator Schatz was raised in Hawai‘i, and graduated from Pomona College...
Hon. Errick Simmons
Greenville, Mississippi

About Errick:

Mayor Errick D. Simmons began his career in municipal government in 2007. Before returning home to Greenville to start his municipal government career, Simmons graduated second in his class at T.L. Weston High School in 1995, second to his twin brother and law partner, Mississippi State Senator Derrick T. Simmons, who is the Senate Minority Leader for Democratic Party. Simmons later studied at Jackson State University, where he received a Bachelor in Business Administration in Economics in 2000. In 2002, he received a Master’s in Arts in Economics from Howard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and received his Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law in 2005. Currently, Simmons serves as a member of several local, state, and national boards and organizations, to name a few: President, Mississippi Delta Mayors Association, 1st Vice President of Mississippi Municipal League (MML) (will be sworn in as President in June...
Hon. Jackie Biskupski
35th Mayor
Salt Lake City, Utah

About Jackie:

Jackie Biskupski served as Salt Lake City Mayor from January 2016-2020. She served for 8 years in Salt Lake County Government administration and her political career also includes 13 years as a member of the Utah House of Representatives from 1998 to 2011, where she made history as the state’s first openly gay elected official. The Mayor’s top priorities included climate change, economic development, homelessness, air quality, affordable housing, transportation, and dissolving the school to prison pipeline. Her vision was to create an inclusive and welcoming city that fosters equity in opportunity for everyone. She also led the effort for Utah communities to obtain 100% renewable energy by 2030 through legislation and partnership. 24 communities in Utah are now on track to reach that goal. She has worked throughout her career to lift women up through two organizations she co-founded, Real Women Run and Utah Women in Law Enforcement. Both...
Hon. Jennifer Roberts
58th Mayor/Director, Path to Positive Communities
Charlotte, North Carolina

About Jennifer:

Jennifer Watson Roberts, the 58th Mayor of Charlotte, NC, has been a life-long champion of issues related to sustainability, education and equality. She is the first person to be elected to serve as both Chairman of the Mecklenburg County Commission and later as Mayor of Charlotte. While Chair of the Mecklenburg County Commission from 2006-2011, Roberts championed a Park and Recreation Master Plan, supported energy reduction and conservation in County operations, led the move to require new buildings be LEED certified, and headed a Clean Air Works initiative to reduce carbon emissions in area businesses and County operations. Under her leadership, Mecklenburg County first measured its carbon footprint and set annual reduction goals in line with the Paris Climate Accords. As Mayor of Charlotte, Roberts signed the Mayor’s Climate Pledge and became part of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. She introduced a Sustainability Resolution for the...
Hon. Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Senator (D-RI)
United States Senate

About Sheldon:

Rhode Islanders know they can count on Sheldon Whitehouse to fight for the middle-class values that matter most to us. Sheldon believes that every child deserves the opportunities provided by a good education, and that anyone willing to work hard should be able to find a good job. He believes in the promise of Social Security and Medicare to provide a basic measure of dignity for seniors when they retire. Sheldon has hosted more than 100 community dinners in every corner of the state to hear the concerns of Rhode Islanders. He is dedicated to helping small businesses grow, making health care affordable for every family, and fighting to break through the barricade of special interests in Washington that are blocking action on climate change. The Providence Journal described Sheldon as “a strong-willed and articulate member of the Senate on national issues and an energetic champion of Rhode Island economic...
James Woodley, BS, MS

About James:

Mr. James C. Woodley, graduated from Northampton County High School-East with honors despite being diagnosed with polio at birth and living in a home of poverty and domestic violence. Mr. Woodley ‘s father was a military veteran and committed suicide while he was in his mother’s womb. He received his B.S. degree in Zoology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). He also obtained his Master’s degree in Biology from Old Dominion University located in Norfolk, VA. Mr. Woodley continued his education at the Ph.D. level in Neurobiology at UNC-CH. However, prior to completing the Ph. D. program, he took a job, as a Biologist, at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, DC. In addition to his environmental biologist duties, Mr. Woodley also addressed work place diversity issues. He has published scientific and environmental documents; as well as, received numerous awards and accommodations for his work....
Jennifer Wilcox
Professor of Chemical Engineering
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

About Jennifer:

Jennifer Wilcox works on ways to test and measure methods of trace metal and carbon capture, to mitigate the effects of fossil fuels on our planet. Jennifer Wilcox is the James H. Manning Chaired Professor of Chemical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Having grown up in rural Maine, she has a profound respect and appreciation of nature, which permeates her work as she focuses on minimizing negative impacts of humankind on our natural environment. Wilcox’s research takes aim at the nexus of energy and the environment, developing both mitigation and adaptation strategies to minimize negative climate impacts associated with society’s dependence on fossil fuels. This work carefully examines the role of carbon management and opportunities therein that could assist in preventing 2° C warming by 2100. Carbon management includes a mix of technologies spanning from the direct removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to its capture from industrial, utility-scale...
Julio Friedman Ph.D
Senior Research Scholar
Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy

About Julio:

Dr. Julio Friedmann was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Fossil Energy, at the U.S. Department of Energy. His portfolio included R&D and programs in Clean Coal and Carbon Management, Oil and Gas systems, international engagements in clean fossil energy, and inter-agency engagements within the U.S. government. His earlier appointment as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Clean Coal and Carbon Management focused on clean coal and carbon capture, utilization, and storage. In his prior appointment as Chief Energy Technologist for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Dr. Friedmann’s research included smart grid and energy systems analysis, conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons, CCS, geothermal power, renewable power prediction and integration, and supercomputing applications to energy. Earlier, he worked for five years as a senior research scientist at ExxonMobil and as faculty at the University of Maryland. Dr. Friedmann has a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of...
Kat Lockwood
Organizing Director
CALPIRG Students

About Kat:

Kat Lockwood is the Director for CALPIRG Students. In this role, she trains and manages organizing staff, develops environmental campaigns at the University of California campuses, and works with the student Board of Directors. Kat has been organizing for over a decade to mobilize thousands of young activists to win real results for the environment. She has run successful campaigns to ban plastics to protect the Pacific Ocean, to defend global warming legislation at the ballot box from oil company attacks, and to pass the landmark commitment to 100% clean electricity. Kat graduated from UC Berkeley with degrees in Political Science, Public Policy, and Society and Environment, and lives in Los Angeles, CA.
Katharine Hayhoe
Texas Tech University

About Katharine:

Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist whose research focuses on understanding what climate change means for people and the places where we live. She is an endowed professor at Texas Tech University, she hosts the PBS digital series Global Weirding, and she has been named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People, the United Nations Champion of the Environment, and the World Evangelical Alliance’s Climate Ambassador.
Katie Eder
Executive Director
Future Coalition

About Katie:

Katie Eder, 20-years-old, is the Executive Director of Future Coalition. Built by youth activists for youth activists, Future Coalition is a network of youth-led organizations and youth organizers across the US that fosters community and collaboration while providing young people with the tools, resources, and support to power their ideas and amplify their impact. Since launching in fall of 2018, Future Coalition has been organizing young people around a variety of issues including climate change, voting, and gun violence prevention. Under Katie’s leadership, the coalition has grown to include more than 40+ youth-led organizations and thousands of youth leaders and changemakers across the country. As a major force in the youth climate movement, Future Coalition coordinates the US Youth Climate Strike Coalition, the group that organizes the national campaigns for the climate strikes in the US and led the coordination of the historic September 20 climate strike with nearly a...
Day 2 - August 13, 2020
Leah Schade
Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship
Lexington Theological Seminary

About Leah:

An ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for nearly twenty years, Dr. Schade earned both her MDiv and PhD degrees from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (now United Lutheran Seminary). Her recent book, Preaching in the Purple Zone: Ministry in the Red-Blue Divide (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019), explores how clergy and churches can address controversial issues of public concern using nonpartisan, biblically-centered approaches and deliberative dialogue ( Dr. Schade was recently awarded a $30,000 grant from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion for her project “Dialogue in the ‘Purple Zone’: Pedagogies for Civil Discourse in Online and On-site Settings.” Her new method of sermon-dialogue-sermon preaching is designed to help clergy and congregations engage on issues of public concern in productive, healthy ways. Her method involves preaching in tandem with a type of civil discourse called “deliberative dialogue” in order to enter...
Day 2 - August 13, 2020
Lindsay Harper
National Core Support Team Coordinator
Arm in Arm

About Lindsay:

Lindsay Harper began her work in environmental, economic and social justice in 2013 with the launch of her flagship global initiative GreenGoingForward. She recognized then that there is a need to engage diverse communities through various collaborations including new media, small businesses, and the nonprofit sector. One of the most successful outcomes of her efforts was a Go 4 Green Sustainability Tour held at Atlanta Metropolitan State College in 2014. Lindsay believes that in seeking economic development, utilizing a community-lead approach to business education can facilitate strong #InKind economies, create multi-generational wealth, and build leadership and capacity. Applying these principles will directly address the systemic economic issues perpetuating the climate crisis. Lindsay was appointed to the position of Executive Director for Georgia WAND (Women’s Action for New Directions) in 2018; the first African-American woman to hold the position. Lindsay is a native of Atlanta, GA, and a second-generation graduate of...
Day 4 - August 27, 2020
Lisa Renstrom
Bonwood Social Investments

About Lisa:

Lisa grew up on a Nebraska farm where crops were grown with the help of every pesticide and herbicide available. The concept of environmentalist was not in the region’s lexicon. When she ran the family hotel business in Mexico in the 1990’s her decisions were defined by the bottom line, and not by green. Nonetheless, a love of the land planted in Nebraska burgeoned into a career in environmental advocacy. Lisa owned and operated two family hotels in Acapulco, Mexico from 1983-1993 when she moved to Charlotte, NC, with her husband Bob Perkowitz. Seeking to ensure that Charlotte became neither Atlanta nor Mexico City, she became a force in greening Charlotte. She Co-Chaired the 1997 Charlotte Regional Environmental Summit, was the Interim Executive Director of Voices & Choices. During her time as President of the national Sierra Club from 2005 to 2007, Lisa transitioned the environmental organization from its traditional...
Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
Missioner for Creation Care
Episcopal Diocese of Western MA, United Church of Christ

About Margaret:

An Episcopal priest, author, retreat leader, and climate activist, Margaret Bullitt-Jonas serves as Missioner for Creation Care for both the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts and Southern New England Conference, United Church of Christ. She seeks to inspire and support a wave of religious activism to address the climate crisis, deepen reverence for God’s creation, and create a more just and sustainable society. After graduating from Stanford University (B.A. with honors in Russian literature) and Harvard University (Ph.D. in comparative literature), Margaret turned her life in a new direction: she entered seminary, earned the M.Div. from Episcopal Divinity School, and was ordained in the Episcopal Church. Her first book, the memoir Holy Hunger: A Woman’s Journey from Food Addiction to Spiritual Fulfillment (2000), describes how, during her years at Harvard, she overcame her food addiction and found her way to God. Margaret was ordained in June 1988, just as mainstream...
Day 4 - August 27, 2020
Matt Russell
Executive Director
Iowa Interfaith Power & Light

About Matt:

Matt Russell has spent his career advocating for social justice—the first 11 years training for and working in ministry, 16 years doing secular work focused primarily on economic and environmental sustainability, and since April 2018 has been drawing on both backgrounds to lead Iowa Interfaith Power & Light. He studied for priesthood with the Catholic Diocese of Des Moines from 1994 to 1996 and earned an M.S. in Rural Sociology from Iowa State University in 2003. Matt worked at the Drake University Agricultural Law Center (2006-2018) focused on a number of agriculture and rural development issues including the role farmers can play in helping to solve the climate crisis. He served on the USDA Iowa Farm Service Agency State Committee from 2010 through 2017. Prior to Drake, he was an organizer for Iowa Citizen Action Network, worked for Catholic Rural Life, and taught religion at Bishop Gorman High School in...
Meighen Speiser
Executive Director

About Meighen:

Meighen is ecoAmerica’s Executive Director, and has helped the organization achieve its mission since 2008. Before joining ecoAmerica, Meighen was the Brand Director for (RED). She was integral to the conception, launch and continued growth of the (RED) brand, and led collaboration with partners (Gap, Hallmark, Windows and more) on all consumer-facing expressions of their (PRODUCT) RED partnership. Meighen also worked at Mattel, Inc. where she held roles in brand and marketing for their consumer products division with over 1,000 worldwide licensees of the Barbie other Mattel brands. Her early career was in financial services, working in strategic and online marketing for American Express and as VP Marketing for Robertson Stephens Investment Bank. Meighen lives in San Francisco with her husband and two children.
Michelle Deatrick
Chair and Founder
DNC Environment and Climate Crisis Council

About Michelle:

Michelle Deatrick is the Chair and founder of the Democratic National Committee’s first-ever Environment and Climate Crisis Council. She advocates for the adoption of bold, science-based climate and environmental policy in the Democratic Party, and as Council chair has built a strong, diverse coalition for the Council’s policy recommendations. A policy analyst, editor and internationally honored poet, she is a proud union member and a delegate to her regional labor federation. She has served as vice chair of her county commission and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya. Michelle lives on her family’s 80 acre farm in southeast Michigan.
Day 4 - August 27, 2020
Nancy Faulstich
Executive Director
Regeneración - Pajaro Valley Climate Action

About Nancy:

Nancy Faulstich founded Regeneración in 2016 together with a small group of Pajaro Valley residents. Now Regeneración’s first Director, Nancy was motivated to work for climate action and resilience upon realizing the plight that younger generations, including her twelve year old daughter, will face. Her goal was for everyone in the Pajaro Valley to become fully aware of the reality of climate change and to move together to address the causes and strive for justice. Prior to her work with Regeneración, Nancy served as a bilingual preschool and kindergarten teacher and literacy specialist with the Pajaro Valley School District for 25 years. She has a BA in Women’s Studies and Masters in Education with a bilingual (Spanish) certification. In conjunction to her work as an early childhood educator, Nancy has led parent and women’s support groups, and organized to address and eliminate racism and anti-semitism. Nancy approaches her work with...
Naomi Oreskes
Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Harvard University

About Naomi:

Naomi Oreskes is Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. A world-renowned geologist, historian and public speaker, she is a leading voice on the role of science in society and the reality of anthropogenic climate change. Oreskes is author or co-author of 7 books, and over 150 articles, essays and opinion pieces, including Merchants of Doubt (Bloomsbury, 2010), The Collapse of Western Civilization (Columbia University Press, 2014), Discerning Experts (University Chicago Press, 2019), Why Trust Science? (Princeton University Press, 2019), and Science on a Mission: American Oceanography from the Cold War to Climate Change, (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming). Merchants of Doubt, co-authored with Erik Conway, was the subject of a documentary film of the same name produced by participant Media and distributed by SONY Pictures Classics, and has been translated into nine languages. A new edition of Merchants of...
Nathaniel Stinnett
Founder + Executive Director
Environmental Voter Project

About Nathaniel:

Nathaniel Stinnett is the Founder & Executive Director of the Environmental Voter Project, a non-partisan nonprofit that uses data analytics and behavioral science to mobilize environmentalists to vote. Named one of five global “climate visionaries” by The New York Times in 2018, and dubbed “The Voting Guru” by Grist magazine, Stinnett is a frequent expert speaker on cutting-edge campaign techniques and the behavioral science behind getting people to vote. He has held a variety of senior leadership and campaign manager positions on U.S. Senate, Congressional, state, and mayoral campaigns, and he sits on the Board of Advisors for MIT’s Environmental Solutions Initiative. Formerly an attorney at the international law firm DLA Piper, Stinnett holds a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Boston College Law School, and he lives in Boston, MA with his wife and two daughters.
Nicole Horseherder
Executive Director
Tó Nizhóní Ání

About Nicole:

Nicole Horseherder is Diné (Navajo) and executive director of Tó Nizhóní Ání (“Beautiful Water Speaking”) which works to protect the environment, land, water, sky and people of her tribal homeland in the Black Mesa region (Dził Yijiin) of Navajo Nation. Nicole’s climate advocacy work has been widely featured on NPR, PBS, and elsewhere. In 2019, Nicole was recognized by Elle magazine as one of the world’s leading female voices in the fight against anthropogenic climate change. Nicole holds a masters of arts in linguistics from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Nicole’s was raised by her grandparents. Both grandparents practiced a traditional life of ceremonies, ranching, farming, and Nicole has continued to follow the traditions of her people — traditions which inform her work as an activist. Currently, To Nizhoni Ani, under Nicoles leadership, is focused on transition efforts for the Navajo (Diné) Nation, which is impacted...
Phil Sharp
Board Chair

About Phil:

Phil Sharp served as director of Harvard’s Institute of Politics from 1995 to 1998 and again from 2004 until 2005. He also was a senior research fellow in Harvard’s Environmental and Natural Resources Program from 2001 to 2003. He served 10 terms as a U.S. Congress member from Indiana, from 1975 to 1995. Following his decision not to seek an 11th consecutive term in the House, Phil joined Harvard’s Kennedy School, where he was a lecturer in Public Policy from 1995 to 2001. Earlier, he taught political science at Ball State University, from 1969 to 1974. Phil earned a B.A. from Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Department of Government, also at Georgetown.
Day 4 - August 27, 2020
Piper Christian
University of Utah

About Piper:

Piper Christian is a Junior at the University of Utah. At age sixteen, Piper attended the COP21 UNFCCC Paris Climate Conference as a youth journalist, where she interviewed activists from around the world about their various efforts to protect the environment. In 2017, she gave the TEDx talk “Share Your Story, Protect the Planet” to speak about her experiences. She continues to gather and share stories from the climate movement as a recipient of the Yale Public Voices on the Climate Crisis Fellowship. As a senior in High School, Piper organized a student group which introduced and led the statewide campaign to pass HJR7 through the Utah Legislature, a resolution which recognized the impacts of climate change and encouraged emissions reductions within Utah. In 2018, Piper co-founded the Utah Youth Environmental Summit, which trained students from fifteen schools in climate activism strategies. As a college student, Piper founded a climate...
Day 2 - August 13, 2020
Rebecca Rehr
Director Climate for Health

About Rebecca:

Rebecca Rehr is the Director of ecoAmerica’s Climate for Health Program, a national initiative led by a diverse network of health leaders from across the sector. Rebecca is also currently serving on the National Recreation and Park Association Climate and Health Advisory Panel, and American Geophysical Union’s GeoHealth Section leadership. She was previously the Public Policy & Advocacy Manager for the Maryland Environmental Health Network, where she developed and supported statewide initiatives addressing climate change, pesticide use, lead poisoning, fracking, health impact assessments, and environmental justice. Rebecca completed a two-year fellowship in the Office of Children’s Health Protection at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and has previously served on the Maryland Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities and as Advocacy Chair for the Maryland Public Health Association. She holds a BA in Environmental Studies and Public Policy from Franklin and Marshall College and an MPH from the University of...
Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer
General Minister + President
The United Church of Christ

About John:

The Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer, author and theologian, currently serves as ninth General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ. John began his ministry serving First Congregational United Church of Christ and Zion United Church of Christ in rural Missouri. He then served as Associate Conference Minister in the Missouri Mid-South Conference, and then Conference Minister of the Southwest Conference of the UCC prior to his election as General Minister and President. Dorhauer received a B.A. in Philosophy from Cardinal Glennon College (1983), and has a Master of Divinity degree from Eden Theological Seminary (1988), the same year John was ordained in the United Church of Christ. John received a Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary (2004); his area of focus — white privilege and its effects on the church. With a personal theology shaped in the passionate conviction that God is love and God...
Rev. Michael Malcom MDiv MBA
Founder/Executive Director
The People's Justice Council

About Michael:

I am the Founder/Executive Director of The People’s Justice Council and a licensed and ordained UCC Minister. I pastor Rush Memorial Congregational UCC in Atlanta, GA and the Environmental Justice Representative for the Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ. My academic journey began at Beulah Heights University where I graduated May 2008 with an undergraduate in Biblical Education and Leadership. I was accepted to and began attending The Interdenominational Theological Center where he earned a Master of Divinity Degree in 2011. Due to my understanding of the role of a pastor I completed five units of Clinical Pastoral Education at The Atlanta VA Medical Center and AnMed Health Hospital in Anderson, SC. In May of 2016 I graduated from Terry School of Business MBA program at the University of Georgia. In October of 2017 I completed a post master’s human resource management course at Cornell University. I completed...
Day 2 - August 13, 2020
Sacoby Wilson Ph.D., M.S
Associate Professor
Applied Enviro Health (MIAEH) Univ. of Maryland

About Sacoby:

Dr. Sacoby Wilson is an Associate Professor with the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Maryland-College Park. Dr. Wilson has over 15 years of experience as an environmental health scientist in the areas of exposure science, environmental justice, environmental health disparities, community-engaged research including crowd science and community-based participatory research (CBPR), air pollution studies, built environment, industrial animal production, climate change, and community resiliency. He works primarily in partnership with community-based organizations to study and address environmental justice and health issues and translate research to action. Dr. Wilson is also Director of the Community Engagement, Environmental Justice and Health (CEEJH) Initiative. CEEJH is focused on providing technical assistance to communities fighting against environmental injustice and environmental health disparities in the DMV region and across the nation including projects in Bladensburg, Maryland, Langley Park, Maryland, Uniontown, Alabama, Mebane, North...
Sarita Turner
Vice President, U.S. Programs
Institute for Sustainable Communities

About Sarita:

Sarita Turner is ISC’s Vice President for U.S. Programs. In this role, she oversees all of ISC’s U.S.-based programming. Sarita’s focus also includes strengthening equity and inclusion in ISC’s U.S. based programs, and she is a key leader on advancing equity and inclusion through all of ISC’s internal systems and practices. Sarita has deep experience working with community-based organizations, city government, and a broad array of institutional partners to advance equitable solutions to the barriers and challenges facing many communities. Prior to coming to ISC, she spent over seven years in various roles at Oakland-based PolicyLink, where she worked throughout the U.S. to advance data-driven, inclusive community and economic development practices, and also to advance equity focused policies to improve access to economic opportunity. While at PolicyLink, she managed the organization’s work in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s $200 million Sustainable Communities Initiative. Prior to her work...
Seth Goldman
Founder + Chief Change Agent
Eat the Change

About Seth:

Seth Goldman is Founder of Eat the ChangeTM, a platform to inform and empower consumers to make dietary choices aligned with their concerns around climate and health. Seth is also the Co-founder of Honest Tea and Chair of the board of Beyond Meat. He has been widely recognized for his entrepreneurial success and impact, including Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in Greater Washington, the Washington DC Business Hall of Fame, Beverage Industry magazine’s Executive of the Year, Beverage World’s #1 Disruptor and Partnership for Healthier America’s CEO of the Year.
Sofia Gilani
Climate Action Advocate
Green Muslims

About Sofia:

Born and raised in Virginia, Sofia grew up experiencing all the nature the state has to offer. Due to her parents’ backgrounds, she also had the opportunity to experience nature in Pakistan and Nicaragua. This set the path for an appreciation of the outdoors. Sofia joined Green Muslims in the summer of 2019 as an intern and now holds a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science. Professionally, she works mostly in compliance and regulation, as well as outreach and education. Sofia will be using her outreach and education skills, plus her passion for climate change advocacy to work with Green Muslims. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, and snorkeling.
Day 2 - August 13, 2020
Tia Nelson
Climate Change Program Director
Outrider Foundation

About Tia:

Tia is internationally recognized as a tireless champion for environmental stewardship and climate change education. She spent 17 years with The Nature Conservancy in government relations, as a policy advisor for Latin America, and later as the first director of the Global Climate Change Initiative. For this work, she received the EPA’s Climate Protection Award in 2000. Tia returned home to Wisconsin to serve as Executive Secretary to the Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, which included a gubernatorial appointment as co‐chair of Wisconsin’s Task Force on Global Warming. She directs Outrider Foundation’s climate program.
Fan Tait M.D. FAAP
Chief Medical Officer
American Academy of Pediatrics

About Fan:

V. Fan Tait is a pediatric neurologist and brings years of experience in child health and wellness, family-centered care in medical homes, children with special needs and health care delivery systems. She is currently the chief medical officer of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) where examples of her leadership and oversight include: Global Child Health; Healthy Resilient Children, Youth and Families; health equity, the development of AAP policy; the AAP Pediatric Leadership Initiative; and Physician Wellness and Resilience. For more than 10 years, she directed the Department of Child Health and Wellness which included many of the strategic priorities of the academy such as: early brain and child development; the Institute of Healthy Childhood Weight; Bright Futures (which is the anticipatory, preventative guidance for children, adolescents and young adults from birth to 21 years of age) and the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness, which addresses health...
Day 2 - August 13, 2020
Vanessa Hauc
Senior Correspondent
Noticiero Telemundo

About Vanessa:

Vanessa Hauc is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and senior correspondent for Noticias Telemundo. From social, cultural and political events to natural disasters, Vanessa has been a valuable source of information for U.S. Hispanics, reporting the news from right from where it happens. From Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and Matthew in Haiti, to the earthquakes in Chile and Japan, to the Chilean miners’ rescue, Vanessa has covered the story. Recently she travelled to Rome to lead a conversation between Pope Francis and children from six countries affected by natural disasters. Her passion for environmental issues inspired her to create the “Alerta Verde” segment to inform and educate the community about the importance of protecting our planet. This segment was widely recognized and, due to its popularity, Telemundo adopted the concept as a company, putting itself at the forefront in the effort to disseminate information about the environment. Vanessa is the...