As experts in climate science, public policy, economic and social analysis, and strategic philanthropy, our staff understands the multi-faceted challenges and opportunities of climate change. We are researchers, strategists, collaborators, and grant-makers who care passionately about our mission.
Associate, Global Intelligence
Laura is an Associate for ClimateWorks’ Global Intelligence team. She supports the maintenance, expansion, and integration of the Mitigation Landscape, a set of assets that map out the solution space of climate mitigation. In this role, she provides quantitative analysis and modeling on greenhouse gas emissions across sectors and geographies.
Laura has more than five years of experience in data analytics and research. Before joining ClimateWorks, Laura worked as a Data Analyst at Trying Together, and as a Jr. Researcher at the Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas (PIPE-CIDE). Laura has an M.S. in Public Policy and Management, with a concentration in Environmental Policy from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.A. in International Relations from the Universidad de las Americas, Mexico.
Executive Director, Climate and Land Use Alliance
A lifelong environmental and human rights advocate, Lindsey Allen has engaged some of the world’s largest companies in cleaning up their environmentally destructive practices while inspiring powerful mobilizations for environmental and social justice.
Lindsey most recently served as Chief Program Officer at Greenpeace USA where she oversaw strategy and climate, forests, oceans, and democracy campaigns. Lindsey previously spent almost a decade with Rainforest Action Network, serving as the Executive Director during a time of significant growth and increased focus on diversity and justice reform. Lindsey began her career as a forest campaigner, working to end destruction of the Amazon rainforest and North American Boreal forest. Motivated by the urgency to accelerate justice and climate action,
Lindsey is deeply committed to protecting forests, lands, and the rights of Indigenous and frontline communities to create a just and liveable future. Lindsey graduated from Humboldt State University with a BA in Anthropology.
Director of Development
Jennifer Alley has more than 20 years of fundraising and leadership experience in the nonprofit sector. She has a track record of securing transformational gifts for institutions, building and leading major gifts and development programs, and training and partnering with volunteer leadership and staff at all levels.
Jennifer joins ClimateWorks Foundation from Campbell & Company, where she served as a senior consultant, working with a number of nonprofit organizations, including the UC Berkeley School of Law, serving as interim Dean of Advancement, and the Seattle Symphony, working as Campaign Director.
She has strong experience in the environmental community, having served as the Director of Development, Northern California at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and leading the regional major gifts program for the Trust for Public Land’s Mid-Atlantic Region. While at NRDC, Jennifer created the “Growing Green Awards” and led regional fundraising efforts and solicitations for the organizations $400 million “Partnership for the Earth” campaign.
Jennifer’s professional background also includes experience in the arts and culture and higher education sectors, having held key development positions at 92nd Street Y, Sarah Lawrence College, the New York Botanical Garden, and the French Institute/Alliance Francaise. Jennifer is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College.
Director of Special Projects Operations
Director of Planning
Laura Birx is the Director of Planning for ClimateWorks Foundation. She is responsible for priority setting, learning and evaluation, and strategic planning processes. Laura joined ClimateWorks in 2022 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she was the Deputy Director for Strategy, Planning, and Management on the Agricultural Development team. In this role, she led the development of a strategic plan for the foundation’s climate adaptation efforts in agriculture, and oversaw their work on monitoring, learning, and evaluation. Prior to her 8 years at the Gates Foundation, she worked for the United States Agency for International Development on food security issues and served in Washington DC and Tanzania. Laura has a Master of Public Health from George Washington University and a BA from Colby College.
Director, Special Projects
Jessica Brown is an internationally recognized expert and policymaker with over 15 years of experience working at the nexus of climate change, development, and poverty reduction in the global South. She has led policy, finance, grantmaking, research, and consulting activities for foundations, NGOs and the United States government.
At ClimateWorks, Jessica supports the Foundation’s efforts to advance racial and social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion across all aspects of the organization. Jessica’s interests lie in building equitable and unbiased internal systems and grantmaking approaches as well as people-centered climate solutions. She previously was director of the Clean Cooling Collaborative (formerly named Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program), a $60M+ global program to advance efficient, climate-friendly cooling for all.
Before joining ClimateWorks, Jessica was a foreign affairs officer at the U.S. State Department, where she led the international climate finance negotiations. She has also held various positions at the Overseas Development Institute, Climate Policy Initiative, and California Environmental Associates.
Examples of Jessica’s work include: designing equitable governance arrangements for bilateral and multilateral climate funds; leading efforts within the U.S. government to increase overall contributions to international climate aid, including the Obama Administration’s initial $3 billion pledge to the Green Climate Fund; managing the U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Finance Initiative; and research commissioned by international development agencies critiquing the distributional benefits of REDD and carbon offset projects to local communities.
Jessica holds a Masters in International Development Studies from the London School of Economics, a Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs, and a Bachelors in Political Science from Barnard College.
Director, Systems & Processes
Associate Director, Justice and Equity
Makeeba Browne is the Associate Director of Equity and Justice at ClimateWorks Foundation. She brings over 16 years of experience working with foundations, academic institutions, nonprofits to transform ideas into effective strategies and policies that address pressing social issues. Makeeba applies her leadership and operational acumen to engage stakeholders and support programs firmly rooted in equity and justice.
Makeeba rejoined ClimateWorks in 2021 after five years of consulting with various institutions. Through her consulting practice, Makeeba has facilitated small and large group sessions related to diversity, equity, and inclusion for nonprofit, academic, philanthropic, and private organizations. She has also worked with institutions to revamp strategic plans, implement new programs, and design initiatives across many topics, including youth leadership development, equitable climate solutions, accessing arts in youth detention centers, and equitable evaluations for environmental philanthropies in the U.S. and abroad. From 2008-2016, Makeeba was at ClimateWorks, where she provided strategic portfolio management, grantmaking, and operations support.
Makeeba holds a BS in American Studies with an emphasis on race and pop culture from Dickinson College and a certificate for grant writing from Temple University. Outside of the climate and philanthropy space, Makeeba advocates creating inclusive environments on college campuses. She is also a storyteller, using narratives to imagine equitable, thriving futures for BIPOC communities across the globe.
Acting Development Manager, Climate and Land Use Alliance
Poe Browne manages CLUA’s planned funder proposals and reporting, as well supports teams through coordinating planning and monitoring activities.
Before joining CLUA, Poe worked as Development Manager at Bread and Roses Community Fund, a small non-profit that seeks to make grants to grassroots organizers doing work that is often underfunded by larger foundations and organizations. Prior to that, Poe managed and oversaw internal systems and donor databases as Deputy Director of Grants & Compliance at Justice at Work.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a concentration in dystopian and utopian literature, poetry, and their relevance to current social unrest. Poe believes deeply in the power of youth, community, and resistance in the form of joy. She is based in Philadelphia, PA.
Leigh Ann Bustamante
Training & Implementation Specialist
Director, Information Technology
Director, Finance and Grants Management
Associate Director, Beijing Office
Senior Executive Assistant
Executive Assistant to the CEO and President
Onyinye Chukwuanu is a Development Manager at ClimateWorks Foundation. She has more than 11+ years’ experience working to increase the impact of rights-based organizations that center the wellbeing and health of people, communities, and the planet by delivering impactful development and fundraising strategies that sustain and support the financial health of organizations.
Most recently, she worked to advance the global climate movement through strategic development and donor relations and was responsible for managing a large portfolio of funders to support climate mission-based initiatives. Prior to this, Onyinye has worked across social justice movements including environment, Indigenous rights, women’s rights, and food sovereignty.
Onyinye has also worked and consulted with large scale public education institutions including universities and school districts, working as part of a contracts and grants department team at University of San Francisco. She holds a JD from University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and a BS in Business Administration from University of Missouri-Columbia.
Associate Director, Program Marketing & Communications
Senior Associate, Global Intelligence
Josefina is a Senior Associate for ClimateWorks’ Global Intelligence team. She co-manages a cross department initiative, the independent Global Stocktake which secretariat resides at ClimateWorks. As part of the Global Intelligence team, Josefina leads the development of new workstreams on climate impacts and the expansion of social, political, and economic work in Latin America and the Caribbean. She also manages exploratory work on AI and digital infrastructure and technologies.
Josefina has more than 7 years of environmental work experience in government, private, and non-profit sectors in Mexico, Japan, Honduras, Ecuador and the US. Prior to ClimateWorks, she worked on climate change and forest policy as a project manager for the federal Commission of Forestry in Mexico and as an independent consultant with Mexico and Honduras. Additionally, she was a forest policy fellow at the Environmental Defense Fund where she co-wrote a paper published in Forests journal. Josefina holds a Master of Environmental Management degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and an Environmental Engineering degree from ITESO University in Mexico. When not working on climate change issues, she enjoys traveling, exploring the bay area, baking and painting.
Senior Technical Support Specialist
Program Director, Food & Agriculture
Avery Cohn leads food and agriculture activities at ClimateWorks as well as the Healthy Diets/Healthy Planet workstream of the Climate and Land Use Alliance, a grantmaking strategy promoting a future for protein consistent with climate and development goals. Avery joined ClimateWorks in 2019, following over 15 years of research and policy work on a food system compatible with a livable climate. During the period, Avery served as a professor at Tufts University, where he retains an affiliation, advised international organizations, and held additional roles at Stanford, Brown, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. Avery holds a B.S. from the University of California Davis, a master’s from the Yale School of Forestry, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.
Chief Operating Officer
Sue manages ClimateWorks Operations and Planning functions, to ensure the organization is empowered by highly efficient and effective systems, processes, and operating practices. In this role, she works with internal teams, as well as the broader philanthropic and climate communities. Sue has more than 25 years of experience in a variety of executive strategic and operational roles in high tech. She was the co-founder of Spearfish Innovation, helping clients — including for-profit start-ups, Fortune 50 companies, and non-profit organizations — achieve their goals through innovation in business products, services, and processes.
Director, Global Intelligence
At ClimateWorks, Casey Cronin’s primary responsibilities include management of Global Intelligence team activities as well as providing a holistic view of ClimateWorks’ grantmaking portfolio and to provide advice and insights into philanthropic opportunities and risks. Further, he leads aligned Global Intelligence and programs workplans related to international policy and the UNFCCC, especially in areas related to Global Intelligence efforts tracking collective progress toward long term climate goals.
Prior to ClimateWorks, he was a Senior Account Executive at Antenna Group, a strategic communications agency representing clean technology companies focused on alternative energy, energy efficiency, storage, pollution remediation, etc. While there, he developed industry experience with silicon and thin film PV, concentrating PV, utility-scale solar thermal, algal biofuels, and other emerging clean energy technologies. Mr. Cronin has an M.Sc. in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University and a B.A. in Development Studies and Economics from Brown University.
Director of Strategic Communications, Climate and Land Use Alliance
Communications Manager, Drive Electric
Jess Daniels is a Senior Associate on the Marketing and Communications team. Prior to joining ClimateWorks, she directed communications and a grassroots membership program at the nonprofit organization Fibershed, growing a global movement at the intersection of agriculture, climate, and textiles. She has a decade of experience advancing resilient and regenerative systems by creating strategic and educational messaging, producing digital media and events, launching advocacy campaigns, and supporting impact litigation. Her work has been published online and in the journals Agriculture and Human Values and Making Futures. Jess holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Visual Art from Brown University, where she completed coursework at Rhode Island School of Design and studied with the International Honors Program “Rethinking Globalization” field school in India, Tanzania, New Zealand, and Mexico.
Grants Associate, Climate and Land Use Alliance
Liesel Davis is the Climate and Land Use Alliance’s Grants Associate. Before joining CLUA, Liesel served as International Programs Coordinator with Eden Reforestation Projects, supporting global efforts to restore forest habitats and protect existing ecosystems. With a strong interest in environmental conservation, she also previously worked with the Environmental League of Massachusetts and Costa Rica Wild Sun Rescue Center.
Liesel graduated with a Bachelor’s of Ecology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is based in Pasadena, California.
Program Director, Industry
Rebecca Dell directs the Industry program for the ClimateWorks Foundation. Previously, she worked at the U.S. Department of Energy in the Obama administration, where she coordinated implementation of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and was a lead analyst and author of the U.S. Quadrennial Energy Review. Before her federal service, Rebecca was a scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, studying the interaction between the ocean and land-based ice sheets like those in Greenland and Antarctica. She has a Ph.D. in climate science from MIT.
Special Assistant to Executive Director, Climate and Land Use Alliance
Isis serves as the Special Assistant to the Executive Director. Prior to joining CLUA, Isis worked for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids as an Executive Assistant providing high-level administrative and operational support to the Vice President and the State Advocacy team. In that role, she provided key support for contract coordination, meeting management, preparing reports and correspondence, processing invoices and payments and calendar management. Isis also previously served as an Operations Associate at the Washington DC Economic Partnership. In that role, she supported the Manager, Operations and assisted in preparing, editing, and distributing correspondence, reports, studies, forms, and documents, and worked collaboratively with other team members in management of administrative needs and operations.
Isis holds a Master of Arts in Management with a Specialization in Marketing from University of Maryland Global Campus and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Trinity Washington University. She is based in Charles County, Maryland.
Development Manager, Operations
Sara Dermody is Development Manager of Operations, where she manages key elements of the department’s stewardship, funder/prospect proposals and reporting activities; overseeing, and leading the Development team’s work with the Program and Finance teams to track and report grant-related activity. She also identifies opportunities to streamline processes to support the Development and Program teams in achieving fundraising goals.
Sara spent the last five and a half years at the San Francisco Foundation in the Philanthropic Advising and Fundraising team, leading the transition from Raiser’s Edge to Salesforce CRM for the organization, as well as process improvement across the Finance, Program, and Development departments. Prior to the San Francisco Foundation, she spent four years working in fundraising at museums around the bay area including the Museum of Craft and Design, the DeYoung, the Legion of Honor, and the Oakland Museum of California.
Sara received bachelor’s degrees in History, Anthropology and Sociology with an emphasis on Archaeology from the University of Redlands, and a Master’s Degree in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester in England.
After hearing Al Gore speak on his documentary on the Inconvenient Truth at her University and reading Living Green: A Practical Guide to Simple Sustainability, she has always strived to live as green as possible. She is excited to finally mesh her personal interests with her professional career.
Associate Director, Global Intelligence
Mirka Della Cava
Head of Policies, Standards, and Programs, Clean Cooling Collaborative
Mirka della Cava has returned to ClimateWorks Foundation, now serving as the Head of Policies, Standards and Programs for the Clean Cooling Collaborative managing a diverse grantee portfolio. Formerly, Mirka was a Senior Program Manager for the Colorado Energy Office, leading the state’s Energy Performance Contracting program. She also supported development of the state’s energy efficiency legislation, testifying on behalf of the New Appliance Energy and Water Efficiency Standards bill which was signed into law in May 2019. Mirka has been involved, both globally and domestically, in energy efficiency, climate change, and energy policy her entire career with senior positions at ClimateWorks Foundation, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the US EPA. Most recently, Mirka was honored to receive the Colorado Governor’s 2019 Public Service Recognition award. Mirka holds a Masters of International Affairs degree in Environmental Policy from Columbia University and a BA in Political Science from Duke University.
Xia (Karen) Ding
Operations Manager, ClimateWorks Beijing Office
Xia Ding is the Operations Manager of ClimateWorks Foundation’s Beijing Office. She has 14 years of experience working at foreign and domestic NGOs, including the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative and the Earthworm Foundation. She holds a Bachelor of Textile Engineering and Business from the Beijing United University, Business College.
Senior Director, Transportation
Anthony Eggert is a director at ClimateWorks Foundation which mobilizes philanthropy to solve the climate crisis and ensure a prosperous future. Anthony comes to ClimateWorks with 20 years of public and private sector experience working on clean energy technologies and policies. Prior to ClimateWorks, Anthony served as the founding director of the UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy dedicated to leveraging university expertise to inform better policy. Anthony public sector experience includes serving as an appointee of Governors Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger including as Senior Advisor to the Chair of the California Air Resources Board, Commissioner of the California Energy Commission and Deputy Secretary of California Environmental Protection Agency where he helped implement California’s landmark clean energy and climate policies. Anthony’s started his career as an automotive engineer and program manager at Ford Motor Company working on regulatory compliance and advanced vehicle technology development. Anthony received a bachelor degree in mechanical engineering at University of Wisconsin-Madison and master degree in transportation technology and policy at UC Davis.
Senior Associate, Marketing & Communications
As a Senior Associate of Marketing and Communications at ClimateWorks, Emily Espinosa helps to promote the important work of various program teams.
Prior to joining ClimateWorks, she specialized in donor communications at Room to Read, an education-focused international organization. There, she used her writing and marketing skills to engage supporters by creating compelling publications, informational materials, presentations, grant reports and proposals.
Emily earned dual B.A. degrees in English and Spanish from Santa Clara University and holds a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Oregon.
Program Associate, Industry
Program Manager, Transportation
Lina Fedirko is a Program Manager on the Transportation Program at ClimateWorks Foundation, where she is working to advance a sustainable, affordable, and zero-emissions mobility system for people and goods movement. Lina leads research and strategy on sustainable battery supply chains, urban mobility, and transport decarbonization in Indonesia. She also leads organizational thinking on behavior change and sustainable lifestyles.
Lina’s research and programmatic work to date has focused on urban climate change and transportation policy globally. Prior to joining ClimateWorks, Lina contributed low-carbon policy research to Climate Change and Cities, Second Assessment Report of the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN), and advanced programs on transportation, access, and climate at several New York state non-profits.
Lina earned an MS in Urban Policy Analysis and Sustainability Strategies from the New School University. She holds a BFA from Pratt Institute. Lina is a native Ukrainian speaker.
Associate Director, Road Transport
Rebecca Fisher is the Associate Director of Road Transportation. She has almost a decade of experience in sustainable international development, climate finance, and electric vehicle technology and policy.
Before joining ClimateWorks, Rebecca worked on light-duty EV grant programs and policy development at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Prior to moving back to the west coast, Rebecca was a climate finance negotiator for the Obama Administration, representing the United States during the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals negotiations. She serves on the National Board of Directors of the Electric Auto Association, where she supports the Association’s mission to accelerate widespread adoption of EVs.
Rebecca holds a Master of Environment Economics and Sustainable International Development from Duke University and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Brandeis University.
Product Manager, Business Applications
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Victoria Marie Gonzalez
Program Associate, Carbon Dioxide Removal
Victoria is Program Associate for the Carbon Dioxide Removal Program. Victoria is actively involved in advancing justice and equity priorities both within ClimateWorks and in the CDR sector. Prior to joining ClimateWorks, she spent time as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer advancing funding opportunities, equitable philanthropy, and climate justice at the St. Croix Foundation for Community Development in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Previously, Victoria worked with the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative’s Banking Team in Switzerland, helping to facilitate the launch of the Principles for Responsible Banking.
Victoria holds a Master’s in International Development with a focus on environment, sustainability, and resources from the Graduate Institute of Geneva and a B.S. in Human Social Development and International Studies from the University of Miami.
Program Manager, Global Energy Transition initiative
Senior Program Associate
Program Manager, Maritime Shipping
Senior Director, Marketing & Communications
Patty is an entrepreneurial, creative marketing leader, known for crafting and executing strategies that grow organizations and increase their profile in the market.
Before joining ClimateWorks, Patty was a marketing executive and consultant to both large, established software companies and emerging, high-growth businesses in the tech start-up world, including Autodesk, Intuit, Xora, and Neoforma. In this capacity, she’s led both corporate marketing and the launch, management, and promotion of dozens of products and services across multiple sectors.
Patty has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has completed Executive Education Programs at the Cranfield School of Management in Cranfield, England and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Associate Director, Development
Jessica Harris is an Associate Director of Developmentfor the Philanthropy team. Prior to joining ClimateWorks, she was a Program Assistant in the Urban and Higher Education Program at the Carnegie Corporation of New York, where she helped to manage a large portfolio of grants focused on teacher and principal training, support, and development. Jessica also served as a Policy Fellow for the New York City Council, and as a Technical Advisor and Systems Reviewer for Pure Earth, an international organization focused on the remediation of toxic pollution sites worldwide. Jessica holds a BA in English from Skidmore College, and received an MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy from New York University, with a focus on environmental policy.
Program Director, Clean Cooling Collaborative
Noah Horowitz is Program Director of the Clean Cooling Collaborative at ClimateWorks Foundation. Before joining ClimateWorks, Noah’s work as a Senior Scientist with Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Director of the Center for Energy Efficiency Standards aimed to make buildings and the equipment inside them more energy efficient.
Noah has worked on the state, federal and international levels and his areas of expertise include residential lighting and appliances, consumer electronics, and energy-saving “cool” roofs. Noah co-authored model regulations issued by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) for use by developing countries for air conditioners and refrigeration equipment. He also served as the World-wide Manager of Environmental Programs for the Quaker Oats Company.
Noah holds a BS in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and a MS in environmental engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Application Platform Associate
Jihoon Im serves as a Development Manager with the ClimateWorks Foundation. He joins ClimateWorks from the global development organization, BRAC, where he helped mobilize resources from private philanthropy to underpin the organization’s international poverty alleviation and humanitarian response programs. Jihoon previously worked in higher education advancement at the University of California, San Diego, and in partnerships for the International Food Policy Research Institute’s HarvestPlus program, which supports farmers and fights malnutrition in the global South through the development of more nutritious, climate-smart staple food crops. Jihoon earned a B.S. in International Agricultural Development from the University of California, Davis, where he worked with the Agricultural Sustainability Institute and the Land Use and Natural Resources extension program.
Senior Associate, Global Intelligence
As Senior Associate with the Global Intelligence team, Karolina works collaboratively using climate philanthropy related data to develop compelling, integrated, and accurate analyses and visualizations to meet the information needs of key internal and external audiences. Karolina joins us from New York City Parks, where she worked as an analyst with the agency’s Wildlife Unit. Karolina served as the primary data steward and analyst for New York City’s Deer Impact Management Plan and worked on issues related to NYC’s urban wildlife population, including for species threatened by climate change. She holds a B.A. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland and a M.A. in Geography and Regional Studies from the University of Miami, where her thesis focused on quantifying forest loss and identifying drivers of deforestation the in Northeastern Ecuadorian Amazon.
Senior Associate, Clean Cooling Collaborative
Xiaoyi Jin joined ClimateWorks in 2018 and serves as a Senior Associate for the Clean Cooling Collaborative. Prior to ClimateWorks, Xiaoyi was a Program Associate at The Asia Foundation where she supported the Foundation’s annual plan and budget process and researched on international development aids to Advanced Middle-Income Countries (AMICs) in Asia. Xiaoyi holds a Master of Development Practice degree from UC Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources.
Program Associate, Food & Agriculture
Teresa is Program Associate for the Food & Agriculture Program. She is based in Washington, D.C., where prior to joining ClimateWorks she worked for the Environmental Investigation Agency as a Latin America campaigner, with a focus on forests. Her work in this capacity involved investigating deforestation in Brazil, Colombia, Nicaragua, and Peru, as well as projects related to Chinese importers. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology & Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame, as well as a Master of Law in China Studies, (Politics and International Relations) from Yenching Academy of Peking University, in Beijing. For a year following her studies, she remained in China working for the Global Environmental Institute as an external relations coordinator, where she initiated her Latin America anti-deforestation work. Teresa speaks fluent Spanish and is also proficient in Chinese and Portuguese.
Senior Administrative Assistant, Programs
Senior Development Associate
Ashley Kiel is a Senior Associate on the Development team. Prior to joining ClimateWorks, she was a Development Operations Manager at the Institute for Sustainable Communities. In this role, she supported organization-wide fundraising efforts to foster equitable climate solutions that build healthy, resilient communities. Ashley holds a Master of Environmental Policy from Vermont Law School and a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Delaware. When not working on climate change issues, you can find her on mountain trails with her two pups. She is based in Montpelier, Vermont.
Irene leads development and donor relations, working with generous philanthropists to ensure that ClimateWorks’ programs and services have the resources to address the climate crisis. She has decades of experience working with major philanthropists to realize visionary goals and solve complex problems, collaborating with diverse colleagues, and managing large organizations. Irene came to ClimateWorks after a long career in development at UC Berkeley, where she played a number of leadership roles, and was part of three university campaigns. Irene played a pivotal role in the $120 million Hewlett Challenge committed during Berkeley’s last campaign and the creation of the Berkeley Endowment Management Company. As Associate Vice Chancellor – Advancement and Executive Vice President of the UC Berkeley Foundation, Irene led a team of 100 staff, and was part of the leadership team that doubled annual fundraising totals over four years. Irene served as the campaign director for the quiet phase of Berkeley’s current $6 billion Light the Way Campaign, working with academic and programmatic units, development and campus leaders, faculty, Trustees, and donors to develop campaign infrastructure, set priorities, and raise the nucleus fund of the campaign. Prior to UC Berkeley, Irene worked at Project Athena at MIT. She holds a B.A. from Wellesley College.
Associate Director, Food & Agriculture
Soojin is an Associate Director for ClimateWorks’ Food and Agriculture Program. She brings 15 years of international experience from a variety of sectors including the United Nations, private sector, and non-profits.
Before joining ClimateWorks Foundation, she was a Senior Researcher at Solutions for Our Climate (SFOC), a South Korean non-profit organization where she was a founding director. Prior to SFOC, Soojin had her own consulting business, serving a variety of environmental non-profits worldwide and the United Nations on climate, forestry, agriculture, and land-use projects. Soojin has also worked as an Analyst at the Global Climate Program of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) where she was focused on market-based mechanisms. Prior to her role at EDF, Soojin was a Climate Change Officer with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), supporting 48 countries in the Asia Pacific region on climate adaptation and mitigation. She began her career as Research Engineer at LG Electronics, developing GHG emissions reduction programs on energy efficiency.
Soojin holds a Master of Environmental Management from Yale University, a Bachelor of Agriculture in Forestry, and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Seoul National University (SNU). Soojin speaks English, Korean, and Spanish, and is conversant in Portuguese, Vietnamese, and Thai.
Prior to this, she led the analysis and advocacy on migration, labour rights and agri-food systems at the Open Society Foundations EU office in Brussels from December 2016-May 2022. From 2013-2016, Laganà was a senior adviser on migration, asylum, human rights and international affairs to the president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies in Rome. She spent four years with the United Nations, working for UNHCR and UNDP in Italy and Brussels, with frequent travel to Africa.
Giulia was awarded a First for her BA in Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, and subsequently completed a Masters in human rights and humanitarian aid at the University of Bologna, Italy.
Tim is the Editorial Manager at ClimateWorks Foundation. Previously, he worked on editorial strategy and production at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Brennan Center for Justice, and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Tim holds an MA in Geography from CUNY Hunter College and a BA in English Literature and International Relations from Wheaton College.
Program Manager, Industry
Senior Associate, Marketing & Communications
As a member of the Marketing and Communications department, Steven works to raise the profile of various programs at the ClimateWorks Foundation. Before joining ClimateWorks, Steven directed online engagement at a local book publishing nonprofit. He is also a veteran of the environmental health and justice fields, having served in development and communications roles. Steven earned a master’s degree in communication from San Francisco State University and taught communication at the same institution.
Senior Contracts Associate, Climate and Land Use Alliance
Janene joined CLUA in 2015 and serves as its Grants and Contracts Associate. Prior to joining CLUA, Janene worked for Humana Insurance Company in an outside sales executive role for Northern California. Janene studied Business with a concentration in Marketing at San Francisco State University and California State University, Hayward.
Associate Director, Global Energy Transition initiative
Rui Luo is an experienced energy and climate professional with a background across the private and public sectors. He leads ClimateWorks’ Power Program (Global Energy Transition initiative) in partnership with philanthropic foundations, governments, and institutions to advance clean energy transitions globally. Rui Luo is currently based in Singapore.
Before joining ClimateWorks Foundation, he was the Acting Head and the Deputy Head of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) Secretariat, housed in the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris. Rui was instrumental in implementing a “shared leadership” model in CEM governance, in which the major developing economies under G-20 (China, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Brazil) initiate and lead the international clean energy cooperation with industrialized countries. Prior to the CEM, he worked in the International Finance Corporation (IFC), advised private sector clients on clean energy project development and finance. During his time in ICF (NASDAQ: ICFI) China office, he had a broad portfolio of consulting business development in the energy, government, industry, and aviation sectors. Rui started his professional life as a carbon project originator in an European carbon trading firm.
He currently serves as Associate Editor for a Springer Nature journal Climate Action. Rui received a master’s degree in Environmental Management, a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science, and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Peking University, China.
Associate, Global Intelligence
Elin Matsumae is an Associate for ClimateWorks’ Global Intelligence team. Prior to joining ClimateWorks, Elin was a research team member at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) Japan Program at Stanford University, where she conducted research on innovation and entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley and in Japan. Elin holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Kenyon College.
Jan Mazurek, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Carbon Dioxide Removal
Jan Mazurek, PhD directs the Aviation and Carbon Dioxide Removal initiatives. She has worked on energy and environmental initiatives at the federal and state level for 30 years. Prior to ClimateWorks, Dr. Mazurek was appointed by then-Governor Schwarzenegger to serve as Science and Technology advisor to the California Air Resources Board. Dr. Mazurek recently served in her spare time on the Biden Climate/Energy/Environment Policy Committee. Before CARB, Dr. Mazurek was a member of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team, advising on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency toxics, pesticides, and children’s health issues. She has published two books with the MIT Press and Johns Hopkins University presses, respectively, and more than 100 other publications, including op-eds in major U.S. newspapers. Dr. Mazurek has testified on environmental policy matters before U.S. Congressional subcommittees. She holds a doctorate from UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs.
Acting Director of Programs, Climate and Land Use Alliance
Chief Financial Officer
Brian McCracken is the Chief Financial Officer at ClimateWorks Foundation. He has over 20 years of experience in finance roles and has led ClimateWorks’ finance team since 2012. Prior to joining ClimateWorks, Mr. McCracken worked as an independent financial consultant, helping establish financial and reporting infrastructure at for-profit start-ups in addition to several emerging San Francisco-based non-profits, including ClimateWorks Foundation, Taproot Foundation, and Tipping Point Community. Mr. McCracken was also a key member of the senior executive team at iSyndicate, a digital syndication company, where he held leadership positions in finance, products, and business development, Mr. McCracken helped lead iSyndicate from pre-launch to $12 million in annual revenues, and then brokered the sale of the company. Earlier, Brian managed the budgeting process and financial planning for Adobe. Brian holds a M.B.A. from the Darden School at the University of Virginia and a B.A. in economics from Whitman College.
Charlie McElwee is the Vice President of Programs at ClimateWorks Foundation. At ClimateWorks he helps direct funding to support public policies that prevent dangerous climate change and promote prosperity in the geographic regions that have the greatest potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. McElwee practiced environmental and energy law for over 25 years at an international law firm, including five years in Shanghai. He developed an expertise in Chinese environmental and energy law and policy and served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Shanghai Jiaotong University’s School of Law. He won the President’s Prize, the University’s highest award, for extraordinary contributions to the University, and was awarded the Shanghai Municipal Government’s Magnolia Award, the highest honor the city bestows upon foreigners. He is a board member of the International Council on Clean Transportation, the Climate and Land Use Alliance, and serves on the China Advisory Board of the Environmental Defense Fund. His book, Environmental Law in China, was published by Oxford University Press in 2011.
Melissa Mendoza is a Recruitment Specialist at ClimateWorks Foundation. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology.
VP, Global Intelligence
Dr. Surabi Menon is a leading climate scientist with over 20 years of experience in the field of climate change and vice president of Global Intelligence at ClimateWorks Foundation. She has published over 60 peer-reviewed publications and co-authored the 2007 IPCC report that was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.
At ClimateWorks, Surabi’s work supports climate philanthropy by providing a global context for climate mitigation, identifying investment flows, funding gaps, and high-impact investment opportunities. She has helped to co-launch global consortiums such as Camda, a global community of over 30 organizations that seeks to support credible climate action in cities, states, businesses, and investors.
Surabi is currently a member of the advisory council of the Integrated Assessment Modeling Consortium, the Climate Leadership Initiative, the UN Emissions Gap Report, and the donor steering committee for the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency. She was a charter member of the U.S. EPA’s Science Advisory Board (2012-2018) and a former board director of the Global Buildings Performance Network and the Institute for Industrial Productivity.
Before joining ClimateWorks, Surabi was a staff scientist and leader of the Heat Island Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California. She also started an environmental NGO in India in 2008. Surabi was a climate scientist at Columbia University and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. She has a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science and an MBA in Sustainable Management.
Grants Specialist, Programs
Strategist, Global Intelligence
Seth Monteith joined ClimateWorks in 2013. He maps out the solution space of climate mitigation by directly engaging with the scientific & research community on extracting and communicating out insights. This includes developing scenarios in climate models, analyzing GHG mitigation technologies & policies, and evaluating the multiple benefits of climate action. His work allows for informed discourse on how and where philanthropic investments might be most effective.
Seth is a former Peace Corps volunteer having served in Kazakhstan. He holds a B.A. from Portland State University and a M.Sc. in Policy Analysis from Carnegie Mellon University. And when not quantifying the many ways of addressing climate change, he is out climbing the mountains and exploring the trails of the Pacific Northwest with his adventurous wife and kids.
President and CEO
Helen Mountford is the president and CEO of ClimateWorks Foundation. She brings over 25 years of global experience at the intersection of environmental action, economic development, and climate policy to her role.
Before joining ClimateWorks, Helen was the vice president of climate and economics at World Resources Institute where she led global teams to advance policies and economic approaches to successfully address climate change. Helen was also the program director for the New Climate Economy project, a flagship initiative of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate that provides independent and authoritative evidence on actions which can both strengthen climate ambition and deliver social and economic benefits.
Helen previously was the deputy director of environment for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). She worked at OECD for over 16 years advising governments on policy reforms and overseeing work on green fiscal reform, climate change finance and economics, fossil fuel subsidy reforms, green growth, water pricing, biodiversity incentive measures, and economy-environment outlooks and modeling. Prior to joining the OECD, Helen managed recycling schemes in England and worked for an NGO in Australia.
Helen holds Masters degrees in Environmental Economics from University College London and Environmental Management from the University of Melbourne. She has a BA in Philosophy and History.
Senior Program Associate, Finance
Alekhya Mukkavilli is a Senior Associate on the Finance team at ClimateWorks Foundation, where she supports the programs’ capital markets and public finance strategies.
Prior to ClimateWorks Alekhya worked at Citigroup for three years. She first started as an Investment Banking Analyst in the Financial Institutions Group where she covered insurance companies, asset managers, and financial technology firms. After a year, she worked for two years in the Office of the CEOs of Citi’s Banking, Capital Markets, and Advisory division.
Alekhya holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Barnard College, and a Master of Regional Planning from Cornell University.
Executive Assistant, Programs & Global Intelligence
Deborah Mulvaney is the Executive Assistant to the VP of Global Intelligence and Program Team, supporting various initiatives including Sustainable Finance, Mission Investing, China and India strategies. Deborah has over 10 years’ experience as an investment and portfolio analyst in the alternative investment sector. Prior to joining ClimateWorks, she was a Client Relationship Manager at a financial technology consulting firm. Deborah holds a BA in Biological Anthropology from Binghamton University.
Senior Director, Human Resources
Grants Specialist, Programs
Executive Coordinator, Programs
Program Officer, Natural Carbon Capture, Climate and Land Use Alliance
Director a.i., Finance Program
Leo is the Director a.i. of ClimateWorks Foundation’s Finance Program.
Previously, Leo worked for the Green Climate Fund at its Private Sector Facility and acted as the inaugural Corporate Sustainability Officer. Additionally, Leo serves the Republic of Korea’s Presidential Committee on Carbon Neutrality as a member. Leo spent most of his career in climate/sustainable finance, including with the Korea Development Bank. He also led design and legislation of the Emissions Trading Scheme at the Republic of Korea’s Presidential Committee on Green Growth.
Leo holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer and Business Studies from the University of Warwick, U.K., and an M.B.A. degree from New York University. He recently received his Ph.D. degree in Sustainability Management and Sustainable Finance from Inha University in the Republic of Korea where Leo also serves as adjunct professor. Leo is a co-author of the book “Are you ready to trade carbon?”.
Director, Mission Investing
Shilpa Patel comes to ClimateWorks Foundation with a development banking, project finance, and climate policy background. Prior to joining ClimateWorks, she was an independent consultant for a number of organizations on climate finance and was Principal Advisor to the Finance Center at the World Resources Institute. Shilpa started her career in the World Bank, where she worked on private sector development across a number of sectors, regions, and economies in transition, including agriculture in the Maghreb. She headed the International Finance Corporation’s work on climate strategy and metrics, including understanding the climate change impacts of its activities, as well as the impacts of climate change on private business and IFC’s operations. She has also managed IFC’s investments in petrochemicals, as well as health and education, and run an experimental incubator for environmental business. She helped launch IFC’s first green bond and worked with institutional investors and other stakeholders to define green bond criteria and standards. Shilpa holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and has taught courses on Project Finance at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.
Manager, Donor Communications
Elisa Perez-Selsky is the Donor Communications Manager at ClimateWorks. She is an experienced fund development professional, having worked on annual fund campaigns, major gifts, donor communications, planned giving, and capital campaigns for organizations like the ACLU, Habitat for Humanity, and Voice of Witness.
Prior to joining ClimateWorks, Elisa was a major gifts officer for APLA Health, a public health organization committed to providing care and redressing health inequities for the LGBTQ+ community. Elisa holds a BA in History and Music from Chapman University.
Associate Director, Global Intelligence
Dan Plechaty is an Associate Director of the ClimateWorks Global Intelligence team, where his primary responsibilities include the management of the Progress Tracking landscape as well as data analysis, policy modeling, and data visualization. This work spans across ClimateWorks’ program areas and includes the management of the Carbon Transparency Initiative, as well as supporting programmatic initiatives on carbon dioxide removal, food systems transformations, and scoping opportunities for climate mitigation philanthropy in Indonesia.
Prior to joining ClimateWorks, Dan was a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Analyst in the World Wildlife Fund’s Private Sector Engagement team and was an Economist at RCF Economic and Financial Consulting, where he focused on environmental and energy economics. Dan holds bachelor degrees in Economics and Environmental Studies from the University of Chicago and received a Master of Environmental Management degree from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.
Grants Manager, Climate and Land Use Alliance
Julia comes to the Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA) from the Internet Society Foundation (ISF) where she served as the Grants Manager. In her role with ISF, Julia supported grantmaking operations across the foundation, leading to the adoption of alternative and more equitable grantee reporting practices, and streamlined processes across the foundation’s programs and operations.
Prior to ISF, Julia has held positions with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in New Zealand, US Department of State, and a variety of project management roles in the public, private, and non-profit sectors throughout her career.
Julia is committed to leading and supporting organizations to embrace diverse practices and alternative ways of working, to reduce the power gap between funders and grantees, and to continually work towards a trust-based, human-centered approach to grant-making.
Julia holds a Bachelor of Physical Education from the University of Otago, New Zealand. She lives in San Antonio, TX with her family, and in her spare time works on the never-ending renovation projects on her 86 year-old home and dabbles in musical theatre and dance.
Assistant to President & CEO, Coordinator of Staff Engagement
Grants Specialist, Finance
Monique Rao is a Grants Specialist on the Finance team at ClimateWorks Foundation, where she supports grantmaking, project management, and monitoring and evaluation for the team’s growing portfolio which aims to green the financial system.
Monique has over 6 years’ experience spanning across sectors — supporting for-profits, local governments, nonprofits, NGOs, and UN Agencies alike in areas such as research, monitoring and evaluation, grant writing, facilitation, and strategy. Most recently, she was grantmaking sexual and reproductive health projects across Latin America and East Africa at the Erik E. and Edith H. Bergstrom Foundation. She completed the last credits of her master’s degree interning with the Evaluation Section at UNICEF Cambodia, where she made recommendations to incorporate child-led participatory methods for their upcoming Child Protection Evaluation.
Monique has an MA in International Policy and Development with a focus on Program and Policy Research and Evaluation from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. She holds a BA in Political Science with a minor in Ethics from California State University, Chico.
Director, Executive Office
Gretchen Rau joined the ClimateWorks Foundation in 2008. In her current position Ms. Rau manages the activities of the board of directors and internal leadership teams, coordinates the annual organizational goal-setting process, and contributes to other cross-functional projects on an ad hoc basis. Prior to joining ClimateWorks, Ms. Rau’s diverse professional experience included a career in civil engineering with a specialization in geotechnical structures. She served a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Zen Center and holds three degrees related to civil engineering: a B.S. from Humboldt State University, an M.S. from Virginia Tech, and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.
Senior Director, Funder Collaborations
Mary Raftery joined ClimateWorks Foundation in 2013, standing up and staffing flagship collaborations among philanthropies funding climate mitigation globally, including the Funders Table. Mary leads the Funder Collaborations department to strategically manage a suite of best-in-class collaborations that support climate funders to increase individual and collective impact.
Mary has more than 25 years of experience with organizational leadership and change management, developing and sustaining innovative collaborations, strategic planning, consulting, and executive coaching – specializing in supporting transformative growth and change in mission-based programs, coalitions, and start-ups. Mary is a natural “connector” and in her previous work, she developed and strengthened strategic new cross-discipline programs and campaigns, as well as innovative “unusual ally” collaborative efforts in local and international organizations, including at Stanford University, Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts, Environment California, California Certified Organic Farmers, and the BlueGreen Alliance.
Mary holds a B.A. with honors in International Relations from Brown University. She grew up living in National Parks across the U.S., has been a meditation practitioner on several continents, and serves on the board of trustees for Green Century Funds, the first family of mutual funds to divest from fossil fuels.
VP, Strategy Collaborations, and Brand / Acting VP, Program Strategy
Shawn Reifsteck is the Vice President of Strategy, Collaborations, and Brand for ClimateWorks Foundation. Shawn has extensive leadership experience in the fields of philanthropy, environmental conservation, and civic engagement, and has built a reputation in the climate philanthropy community over much of the past decade as a strategic and collaborative leader. He has held numerous leadership positions with organizations over the past 20 years including with Points of Light, Philanthropy Associates, The Ocean Foundation, and the food bank system in the US. Shawn earned his Masters in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco, holds a B.A. in Urban Studies from Macalester College, and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at the Wharton School—University of Pennsylvania.
Director, Funder Collaborations
Anna Richter is the Director of Funder Collaborations at the ClimateWorks Foundation. She brings over fifteen years of experience at the intersection of social impact, technology, and community engagement.
Prior to joining ClimateWorks, Anna worked as the Client Experience Director and a Community Strategist helping clients such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and Walton Family Foundation develop community engagement visions and strategies to increase collaboration and their impact.
She holds a BS in Applied Engineering Science from Michigan State University and an MBA in Sustainable Systems from Presidio Graduate School.
Public Affairs Director
Finance and Grants Associate
Grants Manager, Climate and Land Use Alliance
Accounting Manager, Climate and Land Use Alliance
Associate Director, Programs Operations
Heather Sarantis is the Associate Director, Programs Operations where she manages key components of operations for the Programs team, including the Explore, Develop and Scale process, Results Framework & Architecture and the Fast Start Fund.
Prior to ClimateWorks Foundation, Heather was a campaigner at Rainforest Action Network and, for the past 15 years, worked on environmental health and justice issues with Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and Commonweal where she built capacity for community based participatory research and was the manager and lead co-author of Paths to Prevention: California Breast Cancer Primary Prevention Plan.
Heather received her B.S. in Resource Economics from the University of Maryland and an M.S. in Environmental Studies at the University of Montana as the Doris Duke Conservation Leadership Fellow. She was also a Changemaker Fellow at Pacific School of Religion.
Charis Shafer (she/they) is Grants Manager at ClimateWorks. Charis comes to ClimateWorks from the Open Society Foundations where they worked in the Office of the General Counsel as senior assistant to the general counsel and later as a legal specialist. Charis has a B.A. from New York University in art history and two Masters’ degrees: one from the University of Essex in film and literature and the other from Columbia University in oral history. While not working at ClimateWorks, they enjoy cooking, long-distance running, playing the piano, and volunteering for an organization that assists in resettlement efforts for refugees from Afghanistan.
Director of Operations, Climate and Land Use Alliance
Kelly joined CLUA in 2014 and serves as its Director of Operations. Prior to joining CLUA, Kelly worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration in a program officer and grants management role serving the states of Illinois and Wisconsin as the agency’s point of contact. Kelly also previously served as a Community Relations Specialist in Kaiser Permanente’s National Community Benefit office, supporting Kaiser Permanente’s national grantmaking programs. Kelly has an MBA from San Francisco State University and a BA in Sociology from State University of New York, College at Geneseo.
Senior Program Associate
Cherono Sego is a Senior Program Associate in the International Engagement and Non-CO2 portfolios where she brings over four years of experience in global environmental policy and multi-lateral environmental engagement. At ClimateWorks, Ms. Sego co-ordinates the Non-CO2 Initiative’s campaign to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and Black Carbon from maritime transportation and shipping and helps to co-ordinate strategic climate policy initiatives for the International Engagement portfolio. She also provides technical assessments for grant-making in both portfolios. Ms. Sego was previously based at the global headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi where her work focused on strategic communications and global environmental policy.
Ms. Sego holds a Master’s in Environmental Management from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies with a concentration in Energy and Climate.
Associate Director, Industry
Accounting & Reporting Manager
Executive Assistant, Funder Collaborations
Josh Smith joined ClimateWorks Foundation in 2019, serving as the Executive Assistant for the Funder Collaborations team. In this role Josh staffs leading funder collaborations.
Prior to joining ClimateWorks Foundation, Josh served six years in the United States Navy aboard the USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, operating in the western Pacific region. Josh was a Petty Officer First Class and Leading Petty Officer of the Combat Gunnery division, managing ship wide weapon systems, operations, related work-center teams, and weapon training of ship’s crew, as well as liaising with high-ranking officers on gun evolutions. Josh was the Assistant Boarding Officer for the Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure team during maritime security operations.
After leaving the Navy, Josh, with a love for Hawaii, decided to stay on Oahu and complete his degree. He received his BA in Geography and Environment, with a focus on paleoclimatology and earth systems, from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Program Manager, Aviation
Anna Stratton is the Aviation Program Manager, and is located in Madrid, Spain. Prior to joining ClimateWorks, Anna worked for Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) where she focused on aviation decarbonization. Outside the world of aviation, Anna supported the implementation of Canada’s climate action plan as a policy analyst for the Government of Canada, and has worked as a researcher for a number of ENGOs and think tanks. Anna holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours), Biology-Psychology Specialization from Queen’s University, and an interdisciplinary Master of Environmental Sustainability from the University of Ottawa.
Data Management Associate
Stephanie Suttenberg is a Data Management Associate at Climateworks, focusing on managing the grants data that feeds into the Dashboard from our partner organizations. She previously worked with Waste Management in their recycling department. She has a B.S. from SUNY-ESF in Conservation Biology.
Executive Assistant, Programs
Associate Director, Clean Cooling Collaborative
Axum Teferra is Associate Director of the Clean Cooling Collaborative at ClimateWorks Foundation. She brings over a decade of experience in climate and energy policy, strategic planning, and program implementation.
Prior to joining ClimateWorks, Axum spent several years overseeing efficiency, renewable energy and electrification programs in state and regional government. Most recently, she was on the climate team at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, where she launched the agency’s first building-sector decarbonization strategy. Axum previously worked as Clean Energy Planner at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council of Greater Boston, producing energy-reduction plans and advising cities on various sustainability solutions, including clean heating and cooling technologies. She also served as an Industry and Innovation Support Consultant at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, where she facilitated international cleantech partnerships.
She holds a BS in Environmental Conservation from Texas Tech University and an MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University.
Manager, Funder Collaborations
Courtney Thomas (she/her) joined ClimateWorks Foundation in 2018 and is Manager, Funder Collaborations. In this role, Courtney supports the design and planning process for successful climate funder sessions and collaborations. She manages and leads on key collaborative systems, development of joint work as well as funder community engagement, all designed to meet the strategic needs of an increasingly complex ecosystem.
Courtney is a natural connector who believes that building empathic relationships and trust are critical to addressing the world’s most pressing problems. She brings over ten years of experience in consulting, community engagement, and strategic communications in the nonprofit and private sectors. In previous roles, Courtney facilitated inclusive dialogue across diverse stakeholder groups to solve complex environmental problems. She has served on the board of directors for multiple environmental education and regranting groups.
Courtney holds a B.S. from Texas A&M University and a Masters of Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School at UCSB.
Associate Director, Grants Management
Kathy Tryce joined ClimateWorks in 2012 as Grants and Contract Manager. She has more than 15 years’ experience in the nonprofit sector, including Project S.I.S.T.E.R. and the Healing Woman Foundation, which she transitioned from a sole proprietorship to a public charity. Ms. Tryce also worked for 10 years at the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, first in the Conservation and Science Program and later in Grantmaking Operations, where she developed her deep love of tax-code compliance. She has a B.A. in Government from Pomona College and a J.D. from Santa Clara University.
Communications Director, Climate and Land Use Alliance
Melissa Tupper is the Climate and Land Use Alliance’s Communications Director.
For over 15 years, Melissa has worked with non-profit organizations focused on protecting the planet – by tackling climate change, conserving forests and oceans, protecting wildlife, making transportation more sustainable, and getting children outdoors and engaged in caring for nature.
Before joining CLUA, Melissa led communications for the World Wildlife Fund’s global Forest and Climate Initiative and for WWF-Canada’s marine conservation work on the Pacific Coast of British Columbia. While studying sea turtles in Greece, Melissa realized she was not a particularly good scientist. She’s been dedicated to environmental communications ever since.
Melissa has an MA (Environmental Education and Communications) from Royal Roads University and a BSc (Biology) from the University of British Columbia.
Program Manager, Carbon Dioxide Removal
Before joining ClimateWorks, Frances worked for three years in interdisciplinary environmental research with a focus on action-oriented solutions. As a Research Associate for McGill University, she helped to lead and design innovative monitoring and evaluation frameworks for climate adaptation governance. Frances also worked on renewable energy research at Oxford University’s Low-Carbon Futures Program as part of the Horizon 2020 Projects and green growth strategies at the United Nations Environment Program in Geneva, Switzerland. She is the author of multiple academic and U.N. flagship publications. Frances holds an M.Sc. in Environmental Change and Management from Oxford University with a focus on energy policy and practice and a B.A. in Economics from McGill University.
Associate Director, ClimateWorks Beijing Office
Monica Wang is Associate Director of ClimateWorks Foundation’s Beijing Office where she leads to nurture and enhance an enabling environment for China to accelerate its climate actions, in the areas of climate finance, strategic communications, and field building.
Prior to joining ClimateWorks Foundation, Monica had worked with several environmental NGOs over a decade in China, including WWF, GSCC/ChinaDialogue, WRI, and Greenpeace, in the fields of climate, energy, waste, water, and sustainable cities.
Monica holds a M.A. in International Development Policy from Duke University, and two degrees both in communications from Fudan University and the Communication University of China.
Tao Wang is a China Strategist at ClimateWorks Foundation, where he advises the organization and its partners on climate and energy philanthropy in China. Dr. Wang is also a guest lecturer at Tsinghua University.
Prior to joining ClimateWorks, Dr. Wang was assistant dean of the Yicai Research Institute; a scholar in the energy and climate program of Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy; senior program manager at World Wildlife Fund’s China program; and a researcher at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.
Dr. Wang holds a PhD in Environmental Economics from the University of York and a BA in Environmental Science from Fudan University. He is author of articles in journals such as Climate Policy, Energy Policy, and Science of the Total Environment, and is a regular contributor to the New York Times, Financial Times, the Diplomat, People’s Daily, China Daily, and other publications.
Director, Evaluation and Learning
Associate Director, Planning & Development, Climate and Land Use Alliance
Johanna works withCLUA’s member foundations and Initiative teams on strategic planning, monitoring frameworks, and funder analyses to facilitate robust strategic and organizational planning. She additionally manages CLUA’s development efforts, building partnerships with aligned and member foundations, as well as with key partners and government agencies.
Prior to CLUA, Johanna held clinical and field research positions at UCSF, Harvard Forest, and Cornell University, as well as researched land use conflict in Tanzania with the School for Field Studies. She has also engaged with the Student Conservation Association for over a decade, working in various field leadership positions and serving on SCA’s Alumni Council. Johanna holds a B.A. in biology with minors in chemistry and dance from Oberlin College.
Associate Director, Marketing & Communications
Senior Programs Coordinator
Catherine Witherspoon advises ClimateWorks on the linkages between air quality management, short lived climate pollutants, and climate mitigation. Previously, she served as the program director for ClimateWorks’ non-CO₂ fast action campaign. She has 26 years of regulatory, legislative, and management experience in the air quality field. Ms. Witherspoon started as a student assistant at the California Air Resources Board in 1981, and eventually rose to Executive Officer (2003-2007). In that role, she managed a staff of 1,100 and an annual budget of $350 million. Ms. Witherspoon was directly involved in the drafting of the California Clean Air Act and California’s landmark Greenhouse Gas Solutions Act. In the mid-1990s, she left state government and servedbriefly as an Expert Consultant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Region 9), Legislative Director for the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and sole proprietor of her own consulting firm, before returning to CARB in 1999 as Senior Policy Advisor to the then-Chairman Dr. Alan Lloyd. Ms. Witherspoon has a BA in Politics from the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Senior Program Associate, ClimateWorks Beijing Office
Program Associate, Beijing Office
Senior Program Associate
Zeki is the Senior Program Associate for Indonesia where he provides high-level project support to ClimateWorks Foundation’s recently launched initiative to advance climate action and philanthropy in Indonesia. The initiative collaborates closely with a number of ClimateWorks programs, including Finance, Transportation, Cooling, and Forests and Land Use.
Prior to this role, Zeki was an Analyst at Climate Policy Initiative (CPI). He contributed to a range of CPI research on the energy sector and sustainable finance, and he also led the CPI’s tracking and analysis work of private climate finance in Indonesia.
Zeki has more than four years of experience in energy and climate advisory work and another six years of experience in green field project development and financial modeling in energy-intensive industries. Zeki holds a MSc in Energy Management from École des Mines de Paris and BSc in Electrical Engineering from Universitas Indonesia.
Transportation Program Assistant
Grace Zhang is the Program Assistant for the Transportation Program, where she manages communications efforts and provides overall support to road and shipping teams. Before joining ClimateWorks, Grace was the Director of Event Management for Code for San Jose, where she oversaw civic tech projects and conference planning. She also worked as a practice development specialist at Ropes & Gray and utilized her array of tools, processes, and collaboration expertise to address the business needs of attorneys. Grace holds a B.A. in comparative government politics and English literature from Wagner College.
Funder Collaborations Coordinator
Kathy is a Coordinator for Funder Collaborations where she supports processes, tools and systems that help funders collaborate to drive climate impact.
Prior to joining ClimateWorks, Kathy worked in the insurance industry where she specialized in sales and product administration, and helmed various projects including product development, marketing strategies, and print design. She brings over six years of connecting and building interdisciplinary teams across geographies and cultures with a focus on effective communication and supportive relationships.
She holds a M.S. in Information Systems at Santa Clara University and a B.A. in Business Economics at UC Santa Barbara.
Chief Representative, ClimateWorks Beijing Office
Xiaohua is the Chief Representative of ClimateWorks Beijing Office where he manages the overall operation of the office and our direct grantmaking to support climate action in China.
Prior to joining ClimateWorks Foundation, he was the senior policy advisor on climate action and cooperation in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, headed the International Cooperation Department of China’s National Centre for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation and served as program officer of UNFCCC secretariat. He started his career as the assistant researcher in Tsinghua University.
He has a Ph.D in nuclear engineering from Tsinghua University.