CO-CHAIRS> > >
Women's Voices for the Earth
TAMARA TOLES O’LAUGHLIN
Tamara is an environmental advocate focused on equity, access and justice issues at the local, regional and national level. She lives in Washington DC and hails from Brooklyn, New York. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from The City College, City University of New York, as well as a Masters in Environmental Law and Policy and a Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School.
Tamara is the Executive Director of the Maryland Environmental Health Network (MdEHN) based in Baltimore, Maryland. MdEHN improves health by minimizing exposure to environmental threats and toxic chemicals through coalition building for effective legislation and policy development.
Tamara casts a wide net in service to the environmental community with over fifteen years of cross sector work and volunteer experience. She is an executive board member and President elect of the DC chapter of EcoWomen. DC EcoWomen is a community of 6,000 professional women who inspire each other to create a healthy and equitable society. Tamara has produced the organization’s signature salon and monthly educational forum—EcoHour for over two years. Tamara is the Vice Chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments: Air and Climate Public Advisory Committee.
Tamara’s cross sector environmental experience includes a legislative fellowship with the District Department of Energy and Environment where she led an Environmental Justice (EJ) Working Group, and developed legislative and policy recommendations on EJ, childhood lead screening and reporting, municipal storm water, renewable energy and waste disposal programs. Tamara previously worked as the Energy Communications Manager at the Maryland Energy Administration where she was a liaison for local and community outreach with Maryland state agencies and the Office of the Governor.
Tamara developed her aptitude for environmental and justice advocacy through internships with the Advisory Council of Historic Preservation, The Environmental Protection Agency, the Center on Race, Poverty and Environment, Natural Resources Defense Council, and employment with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.
The thread among Tamara’s activities is the development of capacity building programs and multimedia campaigns to dismantle privilege and increase opportunities for vulnerable populations to access healthy air, clean energy, and a toxic free economy.
Tamara’s hobbies include travel, yoga, and slowly reading boring books about energy, politics, and neuroscience, and writing about civil society.
Friends of the Earth
Arturo manages the New York Community Trust’s national and New York City environmental grantmaking program. He came to the Trust from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, where he oversaw the environmental justice grant program and chaired the State’s Sea Level Rise Task Force Community Resilience Work Group. Before that, Arturo worked with the United Nations Development Program, where he ran a global funding initiative focused on helping developing countries implement the Rio Conventions. He has also promoted sustainable development in the Americas with several nonprofits including the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Alliance to End Childhood Lead Poisoning. Over the course of his career, Arturo has worked for Congress and for a Clinton appointee at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington D.C. He earned an undergraduate degree from the City University of New York in International Affairs and Theater, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School, where he focused on international and environmental law.
Center for International Environmental Law
Environmentalist and Human Rights Activist, Dianne Dillon-Ridgley has worked for thirty years on issues of the environment and sustainability, and gender and CSR, both domestically and internationally. Since 1997 she has been a director at Interface, Inc., global manufacturer of modular carpet and a leader in sustainable design. She was a director at Green Mountain Energy for the first six years and still chairs the Environmental Integrity Committee for the company.
For eighteen years she was affiliated with Population Connection/ZPG, serving as both President and Board Chair ( four times). Currently she is in her second year as chair of the CIEL Board and her second term on the NWF Board. She is founding chair Emerita of PLAINS JUSTICE, an environmental law center for the Great Plains and currently ED of WNSF (the Women’s Network for a Sustainable Future).
STEERING COMMITEE > > >
Clean Water Fund - Transition Berkeley - Common Vision - Mycelium Youth Network.
Aya serves on the Boards of Common Vision, which installs school gardens across California; Transition Berkeley, a local Transition Town initiative to bring neighbors together to build a more equitable, sustainable, resilient future for Berkeley; Clean Water Fund, to develop strong grassroots environmental leadership and to bring together diverse constituencies to work cooperatively while focused on health, consumer, environmental and community challenges; and the Mycelium Youth Network, empowering youth with skills in the age of climate change. In 2019, Aya was appointed as council member to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC). Aya is a graduate of UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Legal Studies, received a J.D. from Fordham Law School, and a L.L.M. in Tax from Golden Gate University. She is licensed to practice law in CA and NY, and is Managing Attorney at Midori Law Group, P.C.
Pallavi Phartiyal serves as the Deputy Executive Director at Rainforest Action Network (RAN), a nonprofit organization that seeks to preserve forests, protect the climate and uphold human rights. RAN achieves its mission by challenging corporate power and systemic injustice through frontline partnerships and strategic corporate campaigns including research and public pressure. Pallavi oversees the overall management of the organization and guide RAN’s racial equity and justice commitment in its operations, programs and campaigns.
Prior to joining RAN, Pallavi helped launch the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), where she advocated for science-based decision-making in the democratic system. Earlier, she was the project director and senior program associate at the Research Competitiveness Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) where she worked with research and policy professionals to provide review and guidance for higher
education academic institutions and federal agencies.
Pallavi holds a Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an M.S. in agronomy from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a B.S. in agriculture from G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in India. Pallavi has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and spoken on issues concerning science policy and diversity in the environmental movement at national and international conferences. She serves on the steering committee of the Center for Science and Democracy and on the board of American Rivers.
Natural Resources Defense Council & Ceres
Michel has over 25 years of experience in energy, sustainability, and social justice work in policy-making, research, advocacy, and business. He is presently working with the Packard Foundation on sparking innovation in climate policy-making, and was most recently a founder of BuildingEnergy.com, a cloud-platform for the world’s building energy data. Prior, Michel Gelobter served as the Chief Green Officer for Hara, the leading enterprise energy and environmental management software startup, and remains Chairman/Founder of Cooler (www.climatecooler.com), a company whose mission is to connect every purchase to a solution for global warming.
Michel also has a long history in research and teaching, policy, and advocacy. He is a lecturer at U.C. Berkeley and presently serves on the Boards of the Natural Resources Defense Council and Ceres, as well as the Advisory Board of Vice-President Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection. He led Redefining Progress in designing the world’s most aggressive climate legislation (AB32 — signed into California law in August of 2006 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger), was a Congressional Black Caucus Fellow with the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee; Director of Environmental Quality for the City of New York, and founder and director of the Environmental Policy Program at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He also served as Issues Director for Mayor Dinkins’ first and successful bid for Mayor of New York.
Sierra Club Foundation
Allison Chin (she/her, they/them) is based in Los Angeles, CA. They are a retired biologist and, since 2008, have been immersed in non-profit governance, and organizational development. Allison is particularly excited about working with organizers, activists, change makers and non-profit boards to facilitate the deep individual and group work that is transformational and long-lasting. Past experience includes service as director and board chair for both Sierra Club and Sierra Club Foundation. They are currently serving on the Training for Change Board and Women in Conservation Leadership Advisory Committee. Allison is nourished by being outdoors, gardening, and carving wooden spoons.
AMERICAS FOR CONSERVATION
Vilar is a Guggenheim Award author, social and environmental justice worker, motivational coach, consultant, and artivist combining over two decades of Non Profit, Cultural Brokerage, and Creative and Outdoor Economies experience. She is the Puerto Rican Latina founder of the Colorado based environmental nonprofit Americas for Conservation + the Arts 501c3, growing healthy communities through cultural and environmental stewardship development, leveraging arts and culture for conservation gains. She has launched numerous education-driven initiatives including Mandel Vilar Press, the annual Americas Latino Eco Festival, and Promotores Verdes (winner of the 2018 CAEE Innovative Program Award & 2020 SHIFT Award). The flagship Promotores program is dedicated to advancing a culture of recreation, conservation, and public health anchored in nature experiences and a sustainable outdoors economy.
Vilar is the recipient of the City of Denver Office of Sustainability Community Builder 2016 Love This Place Award as well as the 2017 Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in Arts & Culture Imagine 2020. She is also a member of the advisory council of the Colorado Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry since the launch of the office in 2014 and served four years in the advisory council of the City of Denver Office of Sustainability. She has been an active public speaker for multicultural and environmental literacy.
Since the publishing of her first book in 1996, she has given numerous academic lectures and workshops on advancing eco-cultura, the social cohesive fabric that fosters a culture of authentic and bottoms up civic engagement with the creative and outdoor economies. An award-winning cultural worker, writer, and Guggenheim Award fellow, Vilar is a story finder as much as a storyteller, constantly feeling the call to help bring the best out of everyone as they work to grow into changemakers roles. Her books have been translated into six languages and won the 2000 Mind Book of the Year Award, the 2010 IPPY Gold Medal for Best Memoir/Autobiography, and the 12th Latino Book Award for Best Women’s Issues. Her writings explore generational and national trauma and have been featured in numerous interdisciplinary doctoral dissertations, academic books, and higher academic course adoptions. As of 2019, her books have been cited in three hundred and twenty-nine dissertations and forty-two books.
Vilar’s work has been featured in the cover of The New York Times Arts section, The
Washington Post, Los Angeles Time, Forbes, Vogue, NBC News, ABC, Huff Post, Latina, and many more media outlets. And her nonprofit work has secured grants from the Hispanic Federation, the Annenberg Foundation, USDA, The Nature Conservancy, Milton A. & Charlotte R. Kamer Charitable Foundation, The Morning Star Foundation, Maine Community Foundation, The Oscar & Evelyn Overton Charitable Foundation, among other national and international entities.
Vilar, the proud mother of two Colorado born Latina teenage daughters, is a Latina
in love with the Colorado Great Outdoors. She is a sailor who has crossed the Gulf Stream
current fifty-two times and an avid long-distance hiker in love with Colorado fourteeners.
Born in the coastal town of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, Vilar went to outdoor education boarding school in Orford, New Hampshire between the ages of 10 and 13 and to a catholic convent in Valencia, Spain until the age of 15 when she entered Syracuse University in upstate New York and later on Bennington College in Vermont. Vilar has been a resident of Boulder, Colorado since 2003.
STAFF > > >
Francisco “Paco” Ollervides
Francisco Ollervides is better known as “Paco,” a common nickname in Mexico where he was born and raised. For over 18 years, Paco has enjoyed helping nonprofit organizations think and act strategically by improving their efficiency and efficacy. He joined Green Leadership Trust as interim Executive Director in May 2019. He focuses his work on building power in the environmental arena. He leads capacity building and development support to people of color and indigenous people serving boards of environmental groups across the country. Paco’s main interest is to strengthen these leaders to ensure organizations’ continuity and success.
Prior to joining Green Leadership Trust, Paco advised groups in the areas of strategic planning, fundraising, board development and succession planning as Leadership Development Manager with River Network. He served as Senior Field Coordinator with the Waterkeeper Alliance advising nonprofit advocacy groups throughout Latin America. He directed the School for Field Studies in San Carlos, Mexico and was a resident lecturer and adviser in the areas of Economic and Ethical Issues in Sustainable Development, Coastal Ecology, and Resource Ecology and Management. Paco is a biochemical engineer and a bioacoustician by training. He assessed the impacts of boat noise on gray whale behavior. Paco holds both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences Department at Texas A&M University. Paco is based near Columbus, Ohio. In his free time, he likes to go on long walks in the woods with his entire family, travel, and savor local cuisine and history.
VICE PRESIDENT OF PROGRAMS
Karen is the Director of Programs for Green Leadership Trust. She supports the work of our Membership and Capacity-Building Committees, which are tasked with growing and equipping our members with the skills they need to lead. Karen joins Green Leadership Trust from Los Angeles. There she worked at Liberty Hill Foundation, a public foundation supporting community organizing and advocates at the frontlines of change. With Liberty Hill, Karen managed a campaign geared toward improving outcomes for boys and men of color and developed competency in coalition-building, local policy engagement, and leadership development.
Karen also serves as Director at The Raben Group. In her capacity there, she works with a number of clients. Most notable include working with Green 2.0 to increase diversity in the mainstream environmental movement; supporting Union Theological Seminary in highlighting the role of faith in politics; and assisting the University of Chicago in convening civil rights leaders, scholars, and activists to discuss inequality in American cities. Karen’s pursuit of justice and creating a more equitable world inspires her to go the extra mile for any client.
Karen holds a master’s degree in Social Entrepreneurship and Change and a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in International Studies, both from Pepperdine University.
DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS
Laura is an Associate in the Raben Group’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) practice. She supports clients in creating and implementing company-wide cultures that foster a sense of belonging and maximize impact.
At Raben, Laura supports the efforts of Green 2.0 and the Green Leadership Trust. She also supports clients in research, data analysis, and strategic planning. This includes clients like US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment and the Diverse Asset Managers’ Initiative (DAMI), an initiative dedicated to increasing the number of assets managed by diverse-owned asset management firms.
Prior to Raben, Laura worked as the Marketing and Member Services Manager for the East End Food Co-op in Pittsburgh before she took over office administration and operations for a large financial consulting firm.
Laura graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Political Science and a certificate in International Studies. Since relocating to Washington, D.C., Laura has become an avid patron of the many museums and art galleries in the city. When not in a museum, Laura enjoys reading. She has a passion for literature that explores historical inequities and the social change needed today.
Christopher Hopson is an associate in The Raben Group’s Issue Campaigns & Movements practice area. With a strong background in writing, interviewing, and research, he helps clients create, sustain, and build on movements for policy change.
Before joining Raben, Christopher was a research fellow with the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, conducting interviews and community outreach in cities across California to better understand the challenges faced by low-and-moderate-income communities. He was drawn to that work by his advocacy for social inclusion during college, where he served as an undergraduate representative on a university-wide task force charged with reforming administrative procedures and campus culture to better serve staff, students, and faculty. In addition, Christopher served as co-chair for inclusivity and outreach on the board of the Black Students Association. In the classroom, Christopher conducted research on ethics and social theory, which culminated in a senior thesis project on racial integration as a question of political philosophy.
A native of the Washington, DC, area, Christopher was drawn into politics during the 2008 presidential campaign of then-Senator Barack Obama. His own family’s history of resilience in the face of institutionalized discrimination has given him the drive to help make the world a more just place. Christopher graduated from Harvard College in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Social Studies and African American Studies. When he’s not reading or writing, Christopher is most likely playing piano, cooking, or watching reality television.
Communications Associate (ANOMI)
Erik Prieto is an associate in the communications area. With a solid experience in communications and development in digital projects from his Anomi organization. From his experience, he proposes what the organization wants to project.
Before creating his own company Anomi, he was coordinator of the engineering project for the Colombian university UNILATINA from which he managed software development, augmented reality, academic programs and mobile application development.
A native of Bogota, Colombia, Erik became involved in working with youth communities and music, his work and certain social circumstances established him in 2018 in the United States.