Let's get to work
It's time to #BeeBold and take action in our own backyards and beyond.
Working to protect our environment for both people and wildlife requires many different skills and talents. Above all it requires a passion for the planet and everyone who calls it home. Our staff are all advocates for our planet and they bring with them a complex mix of skills and experience to help Friends of the Earth achieve its mission.
Lisa leads Friends of the Earth’s efforts to ensure food, consumer products and emerging technologies are safe for people and the environment. For more than a decade, she has developed and led successful corporate accountability, markets and legislative campaigns focused on environmental health and justice. She co-founded and directed the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition of women’s, public health, labor, environmental health and consumer groups moving the cosmetics industry toward safe, sustainable production while advocating for smarter laws to protect our health from toxic chemicals and building the movement for chemical policy reform. Prior to this, she led Friends of the Earth’s health and environment program, developing and running hard-hitting campaigns to prevent the environmental causes of cancer; challenge the introduction of untested, virtually unregulated genetically engineered food and nanomaterials into marketplace; and promote regenerative, sustainable, healthy and just farming practices. Lisa has appeared in numerous media outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, AP, Time Magazine, CNN, CBS, ABC and NPR. Lisa is a graduate of Green Corps, the field school for environmental organizing and holds a dual degree in International Relations and Economics.
Michelle Chan coordinates the Friends of the Earth's green investments project, which brings environmental advocacy to Wall Street. The green investments project engages in shareholder activism, promotes corporate environmental disclosure, provides outreach to financial analysts, and works with major financial institutions to develop environmental management systems. She is the founder of BankTrack, an international NGO network, and is currently coordinating Friends of the Earth's China-related work. Michelle has served on the Board of CERES, an investor-environmentalist alliance for corporate responsibility; the Council for Responsible Public Investment, and the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment. She is a founding member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Advisory Committee, and in 2002 received the Social Investment Forum's Service Award for outstanding contributions to the field of socially responsible investing. She graduated from the Division of Honors with degrees in Economics, Development Studies and Geography from the University of California at Los Angeles.
Kate Colwell is the Communications specialist for Friends of the Earth. She works with campaign teams and the communications department to identify media opportunities and rapidly contribute to national conversations about climate change action. Kate graduated from the University of Virginia with an English major and a minor in Global Sustainability, a program she helped launch. She spent three years on the news team for the Cavalier Daily student newspaper before shifting her focus to help journalists learn more about the arts, research and sustainability. Kate is a world traveler who has lived in Australia, studied in Ireland and drunk water straight from a Norwegian glacier -- she wants to make sure they are around for a long time to come. She loves reading dystopian novels, watching theatre and sci-fi movies, and writing comedy.
Jeff Conant directs Friends of the Earth's international forests program, which seeks to protect forests and the rights of forest-dependent peoples by addressing the root causes of forest destruction. Jeff comes to Friends of the Earth with nearly two decades of experience working on international environment and development issues. Prior to joining Friends of the Earth, he was communications director with Global Justice Ecology Project, where he advocated for climate justice at the United Nations and other global arenas. As an author and popular educator he developed educational materials on a wide range of issues related to ecological and social justice, from basic sanitation to multilateral development bank policies and from forestry to food sovereignty. He co-authored A Community Guide to Environmental Health (Hesperian Health Guides, 2008), a comprehensive community education manual which is being translated into numerous languages. As an independent journalist, Jeff has written frequently for outlets such as Alternet, Corpwatch, Earth Island Journal, Yes!, Race, Poverty and the Environment and Z Magazine. He is also the founding editor of synbiowatch.org.
Kate DeAngelis works on phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and encouraging the use of clean energy. Prior to joining Friends of the Earth, she was a research analyst at the World Resources Institute, where she focused on international climate change issues, including the creation of a new climate agreement. In addition, she lived in China teaching English and volunteering for an environmental non-profit. Kate received a B.A. in psychology and political science from the George Washington University and a J.D. from the University of Maryland.
Julie serves two key roles: one, as the director of the day-to-day operations of the organization and two, as the key link between the senior management of the organization and the board of directors. Previously Julie served as executive assistant to the president. Julie has a background in mediation and conflict resolution and has worked previously in higher education and as a judicial assistant. She has experience in project management, administrative support and event planning. She uses her previous experience to help increase efficiency at an organization that helps to defend the environment. She enjoys spending time with her husband and children at their home in western Loudoun County.
EA is a career communications professional devoted to advancing the causes of progressive and society-building organizations. At CRDF Global, he built and led an international team to advance the organization’s mission in nearly 50 countries. He served as a communications director at the Wilderness Society and held similar roles for ACNM, the Council of Growing Companies and ASAE. EA is a native of Washington, DC and has traveled to 32 states and 30 countries. He speaks passable Spanish and far less passable Japanese. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army, and an avid reader who enjoys cooking.
Tiffany is the food futures campaigner at Friends of the Earth. Prior to joining Friends of the Earth, she worked as a community health organizer at Many Languages One Voice, running campaigns to improve equitable access to affordable, culturally and linguistically appropriate health-related information, services, and care. She has also led labor solidarity and environmental stewardship campaigns and completed an independent research study in Bolivia focused on the impacts of climate change on bee populations and implications of pollinator declines for the food systems and global ecosystems. Tiffany hails from a seven generation organic family farm in Vermont which taught her the importance of protecting our local family farms and need to build a sustainable and just food system. She holds a B.A. in International Affairs with a Concentration in Contemporary Cultures and Societies from George Washington University.
Luísa Abbott Galvão is the climate and energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth. Prior to joining, she was a research assistant with the Family Planning 2020 initiative hosted by the United Nations Foundation. She also has experience working for the Alternatives to Violence Project (Britain) on penal justice, and as a research intern with the International Coffee Organization. Luísa holds a MSc. in Gender, Development and Globalization from the London School of Economics and a B.A. in Communication Studies from UNC Chapel Hill.
Kari Hamerschlag is a senior program manager with Friends of the Earth’s food and technology program, based in Berkeley, California. Kari carries out research and implements market and policy campaigns aimed at reforming animal agriculture, protecting pollinators and promoting sustainable, fair, healthy and resilient food and farming systems. Prior to Friends of the Earth, Kari worked for five years as a senior analyst with the Environmental Working Group where she focused on wide range of food and ag issues including the U.S. farm bill, GMOs, climate change, organic agriculture, food security and conservation policy. Kari has done extensive research on the links between food production and climate change and was the lead author on a comprehensive web-based Meateater’s Guide to Climate Change and Health, and numerous other blog posts, op-eds and reports. Prior to EWG, Kari worked for many years as a sustainable food policy and fair trade consultant. Kari began her career more than twenty years ago as an organizer, researcher and advocate for socially and environmentally sound development policy, focused in Latin America. Kari has a Masters from UC Berkeley in Latin American Studies and City and Regional Planning. She speaks Spanish, French and some Portuguese.
John Kaltenstein combines an environmental/natural resources law background with a passionate commitment to advocacy on behalf of the environment and social justice. He has done legal work and analyzed compliance requirements for smelting and metallurgy operations in Peru, written amicus briefs on impacts of a proposed mariculture operation in Costa Rica as well as a shrimp aquaculture project in Belize, research Endangered Species Act issues and developed conservation recommendations on groundfish bycatch. He has also worked for the SEIU Health Care Workers Union, conducting training and education work, and managed litigation involving complex antitrust, securities and health care issues. While in law school, he co-chaired his law school’s environmental justice advocacy group. He holds a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, OR and a B.A. from Swarthmore in Political Science.
Marcie Keever has a strong background in campaign implementation, expertise on air issues, and experience in dealing with agency relations and legislative initiatives. Previously, Marcie served as program director for San Francisco Beautiful where she implemented a campaign to stop the proliferation of digital billboards in California and prevented the placement of advertising on the Golden Gate Bridge. Prior to that she was a staff attorney and Equal Justice Works Fellow for Our Children's Earth Foundation, conducting air pollution case work, including lawsuits against the Tennessee Valley Authority for its dirty coal fired power plants. She has also done work for a number of environmental justice organizations including as a staff attorney at the Golden Gate University Environmental Law and Justice Clinic. Marcie holds a J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco with a certificate in Environmental Law, and a B.A. from U.C. Santa Barbara with a double major in Environmental Studies and Law and Society.
Marissa Knodel is a climate change campaigner and a member of the climate and energy team at Friends of the Earth. She graduated in May 2014 with a joint J.D. and Master of Environmental Management program from Vermont Law School and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where her focus was the climate justice implications of climate adaptation strategies among Alaska Native communities and South Pacific island nations. She has worked at a variety of domestic and international organizations, including Environment America, Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Environmental Law Centre, and participated in the 2012 United Nations climate negotiations in Doha, Qatar, as a member of the Grenada delegation. She received her B.A. in Environmental Studies and International Public Policy from Dartmouth College in 2009, after which she participated in The Big Green Bus as the Education Coordinator and served as Dartmouth’s sustainability programs specialist. When she’s not thinking about just ways to mitigate and adapt to climate change, she likes to run, hike, attend plays and concerts, cook, and teach wine pairing and tasting classes.
Carrie is the digital membership coordinator at Friends of the Earth. Previously, she worked for the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, where she supported sustainable development and green building projects. Carrie graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BA in Political Science and International Studies. She has studied and lived in China and traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia.
Josette Matoto is Friends of the Earth’s in-house graphic designer and video producer. She manages all visual aspects of the brand, including the design and layout of the organization’s quarterly newsmagazine as well as graphics for social media and the foe.org website. Josette has a long history of promoting the advancement of progressive causes, including Equality Virginia, Girls Rock! RVA and the DC Women’s Initiative. When she’s not busy advocating for change, Josette plays the drums, shoots photography at local events and reads comics. Josette attended Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia where she received her BFA in Filmmaking.
Damon came to Friends of the Earth in 2010 from Greenpeace USA where he was the global warming campaign director. Damon started his work on environmental issues in Washington, D.C. in 1984. Since then, he has worked on climate, energy and nuclear issues for nearly 20 years with Greenpeace International, Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Union of Concerned Scientists. He has also worked for the ACLU as a field director and for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids as their international advocacy director. He has extensive experience directing campaigns at local, national and international levels. He graduated with a BA from Yale in 1984.
For 18 years, Doug Norlen has conducted successful advocacy to achieve environmental, developmental and accountability policy reform of multilateral trade and finance institutions, export credit agencies and private banks. His work has been instrumental in successful efforts to achieve improvements in U.S. bilateral financing policies, beginning with reforms at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation announced in 1997 by President Clinton. More recently, his efforts have helped establish and implement climate change and accountability reforms at OPIC and the U.S. Export-Import Bank. Mr. Norlen is also a leader in international NGO coalition efforts to reform export credit agencies. His work has helped lead these agencies to adopt environmental and social policies that, since 2002, have been applied to over $130 billion in financing for environmentally risky projects worldwide. Mr. Norlen has also worked extensively with local communities to address environmental and developmental impacts of extractive and energy projects funded by public and private finance institutions. Mr. Norlen received a master's degree in International Studies from the University of Oregon.
Karen Orenstein’s work at Friends of the Earth U.S. focuses on international climate finance. In other words, she campaigns to get the U.S. and other rich countries to provide and effectively deliver -- in line with what climate science and justice demand -- funds to ordinary people living in developing countries to adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop along ecologically sound pathways. Karen came to Friends of the Earth with more than a decade of grassroots advocacy experience in environmental and international human rights campaigns. This included seven years at the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network, where she led Washington efforts to support genuine self-determination and justice for the people of East Timor and human rights protections for the peoples of Indonesia and West Papua; she continues to serve on ETAN’s board. Karen has done research and volunteer work for the Maasai Environmental Resource Coalition and PETS DC, and lived in Tanzania. Not unimportantly, she has two cute cats.
Read Karen's blog.
Dana Perls is the Food and Technology campaigner with Friends of the Earth. Prior to joining Friends of the Earth, she was the Northern California community organizer with Pesticide Watch, where she ran regional campaigns in agricultural counties to ban cancer-causing, unregulated strawberry pesticides from the market, to label GMOs in California, and to help reform the corporate control of our food systems with non-toxic, localized, and regulated practices. Victories included mobilizing agricultural regions to pressure international agribusiness, Arysta Lifesciences, to remove a carcinogenic pesticide from the national market. Dana brings a strong background in grassroots campaign organizing and environmental policy and combines them with her commitment to environmental justice. She has also worked on water contamination issues throughout California’s agricultural valleys, and on campaigns focused on issues ranging from human rights to water in Panama where she served as a Peace Corps volunteer. She holds a Masters in City Planning from UC Berkeley in CA, and a B.A. from Cornell University.
Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica is a nationally recognized expert on energy subsidies who for more than a decade has worked to reform U.S. tax and budget policy in ways that reduce pollution and spark a transition to clean energy.
Follow Erich on Twitter: @erichpica
Lukas Ross is a climate and energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth. He works on greening the federal budget and ending subsidies for polluters. Previously he was a research fellow at the Oakland Institute, a California-based think tank specializing in land investment and sustainable agriculture. There he worked on biofuel policy and financial sector investment in U.S. farmland. He has a masters in Politics from Cambridge University, England, and a joint degree in international relations and film studies from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.
Adam supports the communications team in its efforts to expand Friends of the Earth’s web, media and community reach. As a content specialist, Adam edits the organization’s quarterly newsmagazine and manages online content such as Friends of the Earth's blog. He previously has experience at the Pomona College Sustainability Integration Office, where he helped audit the school’s sustainability efforts, and with the Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club, where he provided support for campaigns in southern Maryland. Adam attended Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., where he received a B.A. in Environmental Analysis and a minor in Spanish.
Madelyn fills Friends of the Earth’s key financial position. She brings to Friends of the Earth 12 years of nonprofit accounting and over 25 years overseeing the financial management and reporting, IT, tax and legal matters in multi-company, non-profit and for-profit organizations. She has established and operated import and export businesses in the wholesale computer products and footwear industries, dealing with customers and manufacturers in Europe, South America, Russia, the Middle East and the Far East. She holds a B.S. in accounting from Frostburg State University. Her strength lies in overall business operations, automation and process improvement.
Kathy has more than 15 years experience raising funds for community-level, national and international nonprofits based in the D.C. metropolitan area focusing on peace, social justice, conservation and green building. She has extensive editing experience in a variety of print media. Kathy has a B.A. in French from Illinois State University and an M.A. in International Development from American University. She has lived and traveled extensively in Japan, Europe and Africa, as well as the Kyrgyz Republic. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering for local organizations, reading, writing, traveling and attending film festivals and live music.
Benjamin Schreiber is heading the climate and energy team, having previously served as the climate and energy tax analyst at Friends of the Earth. Prior to joining friends of the Earth he was a staff attorney at Environment America where he focused on energy issues. Ben received a B.A. in sociology from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis.
Sharon Smith is Friends of the Earth's accountant. She brings with her more than 20 years of accounting experience. Her tremendous organization and commitment to producing results above and beyond expectations are an asset to the organization. In her spare time she enjoys creating personal calendars, all occasions’ cards and photo collages. Sharon also has an interest in computers and electronic gadgets.
Peter Stocker directs our development program and has a wide range of development experience in Europe, Central America and the U.S. His experience includes delivering humanitarian aid to Bosnia, fundraising for women’s rights in Nicaragua, and managing the membership and institutional giving programs at Youth Radio in Berkeley and the Eviction Defense Collaborative in San Francisco. His development background includes in-depth experience with direct mail, online fundraising, grant writing, and data management. Peter is a graduate of U.C. San Diego and received his Master's in Rural Development from Sussex University in the United Kingdom.
Semhal Tekeste is the Sr. Digital Communications Strategist for Friends of the Earth. She works with the campaign staff and the communications department to expand the organization’s capacity to reach and engage online audiences. She brings years of analytical, relationship-building and technical experience working on digital teams focused on digital content and strategy. Raised abroad, Semhal is both Ethiopian and Eritrean. She loves to travel and learn about new cultures while thriving on creativity and giving back. She volunteers for a few different charity organizations, although the bulk of her time is spent with The Girls Gotta Run Foundation and Artists for Charity. A member of StartingBloc -- a community for like-minded social innovators -- Semhal is passionate about the art of expression and innovation, often contributing content to GOOD. Semhal graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelors in Marketing, and completed a graduate certificate in Digital Media from American University.
Bill Waren is a trade policy analyst for Friends of the Earth. He works to protect the environment from the negative impact of international trade and investment agreements. Bill contributes to the policy discussion about trade and environment issues as they arise in community forums, the U.S. congressional debate, the federal agency process, international negotiations, and litigation before international trade and investment tribunals. Prior to joining Friends of the Earth, Bill worked at the Forum on Democracy & Trade and its sister organization, the Harrison Institute for Public Law at Georgetown University. Earlier in his career, Bill served as federal affairs counsel for the National Conference of State Legislatures and as a staffer for the Illinois General Assembly. A native of rural, downstate Illinois, Bill is a graduate of the University of Illinois and Duke Law School.