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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.