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Derry Allen

Board Member, EPA Alumni Association

Frederick W. (Derry) Allen served at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in various roles for 37 years, focusing on a wide range of environmental and sustainability issues. He was presented with the agency’s Distinguished Career Service Award upon retirement. He also served at several other federal agencies and as elected leader of three nonprofit organizations in Washington, DC. He presently serves on the Board of the EPA Alumni Association, co-chairing the Association's project team that is working with American University to examine the future of environmental protection and EPA. He is a contributing author to the recent book from the Yale Environmental Dialogue: A Better Planet: 40 Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future. He is a graduate of Yale College and the Harvard Business School. He lives in Washington, DC.

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Paul Bledsoe

Strategic Advisor, Progressive Policy Institute and Adjunct Professorial Lecturer, American University 

Paul Bledsoe is strategic advisor at the Progressive Policy Institute, and adjunct professorial lecturer at American University’s Center for Environmental Policy. He is also president of Bledsoe & Associates, a strategic public policy firm specializing in energy, natural resources, tax policy and climate change.  He was director of communications of the White House Climate Change Task Force under President Clinton from 1998-2001, communications director of the Senate Finance Committee under former Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and special assistant to former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt.  Previously, he worked in legislative and communications positions in the US House of Representatives. A widely recognized expert on climate change politics and policy, his writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Financial Times, Politico, The Hill, Reuters, Roll Call and other leading outlets, and he appears frequently on CNN, BBC, MSNBC, NPR, FOX and other broadcast networks.

Juliet Eilperin

Juliet Eilperin

Senior National Affairs Correspondent, Washington Post

Juliet Eilperin is The Washington Post's senior national affairs correspondent, covering how the administration is transforming federal environmental policy and the agencies that oversee it. She is the author of two books, "Demon Fish: Travels Through The Hidden World of Sharks" and "Fight Club Politics: How Partisanship is Poisoning the House of Representatives." Eilperin has worked for The Post since 1998. She previously served as The Post’s White House bureau chief, national environmental reporter and House of Representatives correspondent.

Thomas Easley

Thomas Easley

Assistant Dean of Community and Inclusion, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Thomas Rashad Easley is the Assistant Dean of Community and Inclusion at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. He assists with enhancing diversity by promoting access to education, and developing programming around workplace equity. Before Yale, he served as the diversity director of the College of Natural Resources at North Carolina State University for 13 years, where he taught courses, advised students, engaged in community activism, and consulted with faculty and staff on programming inclusive to all populations.

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Daniel C. Esty

Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy, jointly with Yale Law School; Director of the Center for Environmental Law and Policy

Dan Esty is the Hillhouse Professor at Yale University with primary appointments in the Yale Environment School and the Law School and a secondary appointment at the Yale School of Management. He also serves as Director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and on the advisory board of the Yale Center for Business and the Environment, which he founded in 2006. Professor Esty is the author or editor of ten books (including the prizewinning guide to corporate sustainability, Green to Gold) and dozens of articles on environmental and energy policy—and their connections to regulatory policy, corporate strategy, sustainability performance measurement, competitiveness, trade, and economic success. 
From 1989-93, Professor Esty served in a number of senior positions in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC.  During this time, he led EPA’s regulatory review process and helped to negotiate the 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change. From 2011-14, he returned to government service as Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.  Known for his innovative work at the business-sustainability interface, Professor Esty has also provided strategy advice to companies, governments, international organizations, NGOs, and foundations around the world. 

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Daniel Fiorino

Director, Center for Environmental Policy and Distinguished Executive in Residence, Department of Public Administration and Policy, American University

Daniel J. Fiorino is the Director of the Center for Environmental Policy and Distinguished Executive in Residence in the School of Public Affairs at American University. As faculty member in the Department of Public Administration and Policy, he teaches courses on environmental policy, energy and climate change, environmental sustainability, and public management.

Dan is the author or co-author of seven books and some fifty articles and book chapters. Most recently, Dan wrote  “A Good Life on a Finite Earth: The Political Economy of Green Growth,”  which was awarded the 2019 International Political Science Association’s Levine Prize. 
Dan joined American University in 2009 after a career at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) where he served in multiple positions including Associate Director of the Office of Policy Analysis, Director of the Waste and Chemicals Policy Division, Senior Advisor to the Assistant Administrator for Policy, and Director of the National Environmental Performance Track. The Performance Track program was selected as one of the top 50 innovations in American government 2006 and recognized by Administrator Christine Todd Whitman with an EPA Silver Medal in 2002. In 1993, he received EPA’s Lee M. Thomas Award for Management Excellence.

Erin Fitzgerald

Erin Fitzgerald 

CEO, US Farmers & Ranchers Alliance

Erin Fitzgerald serves as CEO of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), a farmer and rancher led organization committed to encouraging stakeholder and consumer dialogue about how food is grown and raised. Fitzgerald’s thought leadership in the sustainability space convenes food and agriculture stakeholders in an inclusive dialogue on the sustainable food systems of the 21st century. Prior to USFRA, Erin Fitzgerald served as Senior Vice President, Global Sustainability for the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, where she conducted an environmental impact assessment that led to an industry-wide voluntary carbon reduction goal of 25 percent by 2020. Erin has been recognized in Chicago’s 40 under 40 and is an avid voice for sustainability and social responsibility (White House Champion of Change for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Agriculture, Aspen Institute First Movers Fellow). 

Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper

Global Director, Environment, Energy and Sustainability Policy, Intel

Stephen Harper is Global Director, Environment, Energy and Sustainability Policy, at the Intel Corporation. In that capacity, he is responsible for advising senior management and leading company influencing efforts on a wide variety of topics, ranging from chemicals management to energy efficiency, water policy and the role of Intel’s products in helping meet society’s toughest sustainability challenges.  Outside Intel, Harper is widely known as a connoisseur of all things Irish, both solid and liquid.  Harper serves on a number of outside boards (including the Energy Foundation, Energy Foundation China, the Chesapeake Conservancy, the Center for Innovation in Conservation, and the Center for Environmental Policy at American University).  Prior to Intel, Harper served in senior positions at Amoco Oil Company, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ICF Consulting, and the California State Coastal Conservancy. He has served in these positions while continuing to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a professional rodeo clown.  Stephen has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado, where he graduated with highest honors.  He also has a Master’s in International Affairs from Princeton University, an MBA from the University of Chicago, and has conducted graduate studies in city and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania.

Karl Hausker

Karl Hausker

Senior Fellow, World Resources Institute

Dr. Karl Hausker is a Senior Fellow in WRI’s Climate Program. He leads analysis and modeling of climate mitigation, electricity market design, and the social cost of carbon. He led the Risky Business study of clean energy scenarios for the U.S., and lectures widely on deep decarbonization. He has worked for three decades in the fields of climate change, energy, and environment in a career that has spanned legislative and executive branches, research institutions, NGOs, and consulting. He has led climate policy analysis and modeling projects for USAID, USEPA, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the Western Climate Initiative, and the California Air Resources Board. Much of his work has focused on the electricity and transportation sectors, and on low carbon, climate resilient development strategies.

From 2007-2013, Karl was a Vice President at ICF International. He previously served as Deputy Director at the Center for Climate Strategies and as a Principal with Hagler Bailly. Karl lived in India all of 1999 as a Visiting Fellow at TERI. His experience also includes: serving President Clinton as Deputy Assistant Administrator in EPA’s Policy Office where he represented EPA in interagency climate policy development and at COP-1; and serving as the Chief Economist for the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, where he worked on a diverse set of issues including electricity restructuring, CAFE standards, alternative fuels, western water policy, nuclear power, and energy security.

Karl holds an M.P.P and Ph.D. in Public Policy from University of California, Berkeley, and received his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Cornell University.

Karl and his wife Kathleen are raising three daughters in Wayne, PA. He is an avid photographer and biker.

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Amy M. Jaffe

David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment and Director of the Program on Energy Security and Climate Change, Council on Foreign Relations

Amy Myers Jaffe is the David M. Rubenstein senior fellow for energy and the environment and director of the program on Energy Security and Climate Change at the Council on Foreign Relations. A leading expert on global energy policy, geopolitical risk and energy and sustainability, Jaffe previously served as executive director for energy and sustainability at the University of California, Davis and senior advisor for energy and sustainability at Office of the Chief Investment Officer of the University of California, Regents. She was also formerly a global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Prior to joining the University of California, Davis, Jaffe served as founding director of the Energy Forum at Rice University's James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy and its Wallace S. Wilson fellow for energy studies. She has taught energy policy, business, and sustainability courses at Rice University, University of California, Davis, and Yale University.

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Cornelius M. Kerwin

President Emeritus; Professor of Public Administration and Policy, American University

Dr. Cornelius M. Kerwin served as American University’s 14th president from September 2007 to May 2017. As president, he led an institution of about 13,000 students, 1,300 teaching and administrative faculty, and 2,500 staff in the nation’s capital; oversaw a $700 million operating budget and a nearly $600 million endowment.

Dr. Kerwin joined AU in 1975. He was dean of the School of Public Affairs from 1988 to 1997; provost from 1997 to 2005; and acting—then interim—president of American University from 2005 to 2007.

A nationally recognized specialist in public policy and the regulatory process, Dr. Kerwin is actively engaged in research and periodically teaches courses in administrative process, policy implementation, and American government. He founded AU’s Center for the Study of Rulemaking and is the author of Rulemaking: How Government Agencies Write Law and Make Policy. The fifth edition of Rulemaking is under revision. Dr. Kerwin is also the author of numerous scholarly articles and professional publications.

Dr. Kerwin is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration; a former president of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration; and founding chair of the Section on Public Law and Administration of the American Society for Public Administration. He received degrees from American University (BA), the University of Rhode Island (MA, political science), and Johns Hopkins University (PhD, political science).

Sarah Ladislaw

Sarah Ladislaw

Senior Vice President; Director and Senior Fellow, Energy and National Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Sarah Ladislaw is senior vice president and director and senior fellow of the Energy and National Security Program, where she leads CSIS’s work in energy policy, market, and technology analysis. Ladislaw is an expert in U.S. energy policy, global oil and natural gas markets, and climate change. She has authored numerous publications on the geopolitics of energy, energy security and climate change, low-carbon pathways, and a wide variety of issues on U.S. energy policy, regulation, and market dynamics. Her regional energy work includes publications on Chinese, European, African, and Western Hemisphere energy issues. She has spearheaded new work at CSIS on climate change, the electricity sector, and energy technology development.

Ladislaw formerly worked in Office of the Americas in the Department of Energy’s Office of Policy and International Affairs, where she covered a range of economic, political, and energy issues in North America, the Andean region, and Brazil. While at the department, she also worked on comparative investment frameworks and trade issues, as well as biofuels development and use both in the Western Hemisphere and around the world. She also spent a short period of time working Statoil as their senior director for international affairs in the Washington office. Ladislaw is frequently invited to speak at public conferences, advise companies and policymakers, and testify before congress. She is a member of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Strategic Analysis Technical Review Panel, the Strategic Advisory Council for Georgia Tech’s Strategic Energy Initiative, and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She has taught graduate courses on energy security as an adjunct professor at the George Washington University and is a frequent guest lecturer at other universities. She also comments frequently in print, radio and television media outlets. Ladislaw received her bachelor’s degree in international affairs/East Asian studies and Japanese from the George Washington University and her master’s degree in international affairs/international security from the George Washington University as part of the Presidential Administrative Fellows Program.

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Monica Medina

Founder and Publisher, Our Daily Planet

Monica Medina is a small business owner; she is the Founder and Publisher or Our Daily Planet, an environmental e-mail newsletter, and an independent consultant.  Medina is also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Previously Medina served as the Deputy Director of the Environment Program at the Walton Family Foundation, and she was the Senior Director of Ocean Policy at the National Geographic Society.  From 2012-2013, Ms. Medina served as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense. Previously, Ms. Medina served as the Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, where she led efforts on Arctic conservation, and restoration of the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. 

Ms. Medina has worked for nearly thirty years at the intersection of law and policy in Washington, D.C.  She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She attended Georgetown University on an Army R.O.T.C. scholarship, and began her legal career on active duty in the Honor’s Program of the Army General Counsel’s office. For her service in the Army, Ms. Medina was awarded an Army Commendation Medal in 1989, and a Meritorious Service Medal in 1990.  In 2013, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta awarded Ms. Medina the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Medal.  

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G. Tracy Mehan III

Executive Director, Government Affairs, American Water Works Association

G. Tracy Mehan, III is Executive Director, Government Affairs, for the American Water Works Association (AWWA).  He was an independent consultant and served as Interim President of the U.S. Water Alliance and national Source Water Protection Coordinator for the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities.  He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University and Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College.  He was Principal with The Cadmus Group, Inc., an environmental consulting firm, from 2004 to 2014.  Mehan served as Assistant Administrator for Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 2001-2003.  He served as Environmental Stewardship Counselor to the 2004 G-8 Summit Planning Organization (2004).  Mehan also served as director of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes (1993-2001) and as Associate Deputy Administrator of EPA in 1992.  He was director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources from 1989 to 1992.  Mehan is a graduate of Saint Louis University and its School of Law.  Mehan served on the Water Science and Technology Board and now the Committee on the Mississippi River and the Clean Water Act for the National Research Council of the National Academies.  He was also an independent expert judge for the City Water Conservation Achievement Award program (2006 & 2011) sponsored by The U.S. Conference of Mayors and its Urban Water Council. 

Mehan is a member of the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and a regular book reviewer for ELI’s flagship publication, The Environmental Forum.

Mehan served on EPA’s Environmental Financial Advisory Board (2014-2018) as well as the boards of the U.S. Water Alliance and the Great Lakes Observing System.  He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Environmental Policy, School of Public Affairs, American University and a past member of the board of the Potomac Conservancy (2006-2014).

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Richard Newell

President and CEO, Resources for the Future

Dr. Richard G. Newell is the President and CEO of Resources for the Future (RFF), an independent, nonprofit research institution that improves environmental, energy, and natural resource decisions through impartial economic research and policy engagement. He has held senior government appointments as the Administrator of the US Energy Information Administration and as the Senior Economist for energy and environment on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. Dr. Newell was previously the Gendell Professor of Energy and Environmental Economics at Duke and Director of its Energy Initiative, and is now adjunct professor. He has published widely on the economics of markets and policies for energy and the environment, including issues surrounding climate change and energy innovation. He is a board member or advisor at the National Academy of Sciences, the National Petroleum Council and several other institutions. Newell holds a PhD from Harvard and an MPA from Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School.

Janet Peace headshot

Janet Peace

Senior Vice President of Policy and Business Strategy, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

Janet Peace is the Senior Vice President of Policy and Business Strategy at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES). She manages the center's Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC), the largest U.S.-based association of companies devoted to climate-related policy and corporate strategies. The BELC contains mainly Fortune 500 companies with combined revenues of over $2 trillion and more than 3.5 million employees. She also manages the center’s resilience program and its analysis of market-based policy options.

Dr. Peace brings more than 20 years and a wide spectrum of experience on environmental issues to her work at C2ES. As a recognized expert on climate policy, she is a member of the Program Advisory Board for American University’s Center for Environmental Policy and a past member of both the National Research Council’s Roundtable on Climate Change Education and the Council of Canadian Academies on oil sands environmental technologies.

Prior to C2ES, Dr. Peace worked on climate policy in Alberta and taught environmental and natural resource economics at the University of Calgary. She also worked as a resource specialist with the U.S. General Accounting Office and as a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. She holds a Ph.D. and Master of Science in economics and an undergraduate degree in geology.

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William K. Reilly 

Former Administrator, US Environmental Protection Agency

William K. Reilly has held careers in public service, non-governmental organizations, and finance. Most recently, he served as a senior advisor to TPG Capital, LP, an international investment partnership. During his tenure with TPG, he was a founding partner of Aqua International Partners, a private equity fund dedicated to investing in companies in the water sector. Mr. Reilly served as the first Payne Visiting Professor at Stanford University, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, president of World Wildlife Fund, president of the Conservation Foundation, and director of the Rockefeller Task Force on Land Use and Urban Growth. He served as captain in the U.S. Army and as a senior staff member in the White House Council on Environmental Quality. He headed the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Earth Summit at Rio in 1992. In May 2010, Reilly was appointed by President Obama to co-chair the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.

Mr. Reilly is chairman emeritus of the board of the World Wildlife Fund, chairman emeritus of the board of the ClimateWorks Foundation, chairman of the advisory board for the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University, chairman of the board of the Global Water Challenge, He serves on the boards of Royal Caribbean International for which he serves as the chairman of the environment, safety and security committee,, and Energy Future Holdings, for which he serves as chairman of the Sustainable Energy Advisory Board. In 2007, Mr. Reilly was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He holds a bachelor's degree from Yale University, a law degree from Harvard, and a master's degree in urban planning from Columbia University.

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Dave Rejeski

Director; Technology, Innovation and the Environment Project, Environmental Law Institute

Dave Rejeski joined ELI in October 2016 after serving as director of the Science, Technology and Innovation Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

He co-founded the Serious Games movement in 2003 and Games for Change in 2004 and is interested in the use of video game technologies to help engage the public around complex system challenges facing policy makers.

Prior to the Wilson Center, he worked at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Council on Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency (Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation).

He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), a guest Researcher at the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria, a member of EPA’s National Advisory Council on Environmental Policy and Technology, and board member of American University’s Center on Environmental Policy. He has been a Visiting Scholar at Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and previously served on EPA’s Science Advisory Board and the National Science Foundation’s Advisory Committee on Environmental Research and Education.

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Jo Anne Shatkin

Founder and President, Vireo Advisors

Jo Anne Shatkin, Ph.D. is Founder and President of Vireo Advisors, an international SME focused on regulatory and safety strategies for novel bio-based and nanoscale technology commercialization. She develops state of the art analyses for public and private organizations toward safe and sustainable new product development. Dr. Shatkin is an environmental health scientist and recognized expert in environmental science and policy, human health risk assessment, emerging substances policy and nanotechnology. She combines her business acumen and technical expertise into strategies for sustainable innovation. Jo Anne works on innovation safety and acceptance at the intersection of science, policy and communication. She brings extensive experience in risk assessment, from assessing multi-media exposures to complex mixtures on hazardous waste sites and in drinking water, to bioavailability and dermal exposure research and emerging substances evaluations, and community based risk assessment.

Since 2005, Jo Anne has provided leadership on the responsible development of nanotechnologies, serving as an expert to the joint WHO_FAO Expert Panel on Nanotechnology in Food, the Canadian Council of Academies, the US/Russia Bilateral Commission for S&T Nanotechnology EHS Panel, and currently to the US National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Quadrennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. She serves as EHS Advisor to P3Nano, the US public private partnership to advance commercialization of nanocellulose. Her team coordinates several international collaborations working to advance adoption of alternative testing strategies and methods for new substance evaluations, including with the OECD, and a multinational public/private partnership to advance safety demonstration of cellulose nanomaterials. She also teaches courses, gives talks and publishes on topics of stakeholder acceptance and demonstration of nanomaterial environmental health and safety, and is working to advance life cycle approaches to risk analysis for new technologies, including for safer manufacturing. Dr. Shatkin is author of Nanotechnology Health and Environmental Risks Second Edition (CRC Press 2012). She received an Individually Designed Ph.D. in Environmental Health Science and Policy and her MA in Risk Management and Technology Assessment from Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Worcester Polytechnic University in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.

Jennifer Silberman

Jennifer Silberman

Founder and President, Creative Disruption

Jennifer Silberman is the Founder and President of Creative Disruption, a global strategy and change consultancy dedicated to helping brands unlock the potential of sustainability to create better products, better customer experiences, better communities and a better future. She is regarded as an expert in the fields of sustainability and social impact and has more than 25 years of experience working globally in the areas of sustainability, human rights and trafficking, women’s empowerment, responsible sourcing, economic development and youth opportunity. In addition to strategy and program design, Jennifer also has significant experience in consumer insights, stakeholder engagement, communications and advocacy for sustainability and social impact to generate business and brand value.

Jennifer most recently served as Vice President, Corporate Responsibility for Target where she led the company’s commitment to create positive economic, social and environmental impact in the local and global communities it serves. She had direct responsibility for the company’s sustainability and social impact strategy and priorities and created Future at Heart, Target’s first integrated approach designed to deliver market differentiation and strategic business value creation. Under her leadership, Target released an enterprise-wide chemical strategy regarded as the most comprehensive in the retail sector; developed SBTi-approved climate goals; created Target Clean, the brand’s first product standard for Essentials & Personal Care categories; and supported the implementation of the company’s first sustainable and responsible sourcing and product development goals across categories.

Ms. Silberman joined Target from Hilton where she served as Chief of Staff to the President and CEO as well as Vice President of Corporate Responsibility. She was hired as Hilton’s first Vice President of Corporate Responsibility, creating a formalized function focused on delivering long-term results for the company’s hotel and timeshare operations, societal impact and shareholder value. She led a global team responsible for the strategy, integration and implementation of Hilton’s sustainability and social impact initiatives across more than 4,500 hotels globally. Jennifer also led a multi-year, multi-stakeholder global initiative to uncover and embed Hilton’s purpose throughout the organization. Previously, she worked at APCO Worldwide, where as a Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, she consulted for Fortune 100 companies, NGOs, corporate and private foundations, government and trade associations.

Jennifer holds a M.A. in International Economics and Latin American Studies from The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a B.A. with honors in Latin American Studies from Mount Holyoke College. She currently serves on the boards of Net Impact and Keep America Beautiful.

Maggie Burnette Stogner

Maggie Burnette Stogner

Professor, School of Communication, Executive Director, Center for Environmental Filmmaking, American

Maggie Burnette Stogner is the Executive Director of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking and a professor of Film and Media Arts. She brings over 30 years of filmmaking experience to the Center and to the classroom. During her nine years at National Geographic, she produced, directed and wrote numerous documentaries, and was senior producer of the award-winning weekly programs Explorer and Ultimate Explorer. In 2005, she launched Blue Bear Films ( and continued to direct, produce and write internationally broadcast documentaries such as “Gold Mountain” (2016) and independent films such as “In the Executioner’s Shadow” (2017/18). She also produces films and immersive media for world-touring cultural and anthropological exhibitions for National Geographic, the Smithsonian, LucasFilms, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, and others. Her award-winning work includes two King Tut exhibitions; The Greeks; Real Pirates; Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures; Indiana Jones and Adventure of Archaeology; and Roads of Arabia. She is committed to creating opportunities for experiential learning through high-impact creative production labs that embrace diversity and inclusion. Her work embodies the belief that compelling storytelling and multi-format media have the power to inspire and to be a catalyst for meaningful change. Collaborating with the next generation of media makers is a critical part of this endeavor. Her scholarship explores engagement design in film, immersive media, and emerging media with a focus on exploring humanistic storytelling through 21st century media technologies. She has published articles in academic journals such as "Curator" and "The International Journal of New Media, Technology and the Arts”.

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sally tinkle

Senior Strategy and Policy Manager, Science and Technology Policy Institute

Dr. Sally S. Tinkle brings to STPI expertise in human health research, policy, and administration, especially as it relates to emerging technologies and environmental exposures. Before joining STPI, she served as the Deputy Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office of the National Science and Technology Council where she led strategic planning and implementation of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. As a Senior Science Advisor in the Office of the Deputy Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. Tinkle worked on health issues related to biofuels and the bioeconomy, application of global earth observations to human health monitoring, environmentally-induced pulmonary health conditions, as well as nanotechnology. Dr. Tinkle also served as a research laboratory Team Leader at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, focusing on the relationship of skin exposure to the development of occupational lung disease. Dr. Tinkle received her PhD from the Department of Physiology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Science.

Vicky Wilkins

Vicky Wilkins

Dean, School of Public Affairs, Department of Public Administration and Policy, American University

Vicky M. Wilkins is the Dean of the School of Public Affairs and Professor of Public Administration and Policy at American University. Her primary research interests include representative bureaucracy; bureaucratic discretion; gender and race issues; deservingness; political institutions and human resource management. Her research appears in the American Political Science Review, Public Administration Review, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Governance, Review of Public Personnel Administration, Administration & Society, Policy Studies Journal, and Legislative Studies Quarterly.

Vicky earned her BS in Political Science and History from Northern Michigan University, her MS in Human Resource Management from Chapman University, and her PhD in political science from the University of Missouri.

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Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, MPH

Executive Director, Children’s Environmental Health Network

Nse Witherspoon serves at the Executive Director for the Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN), where her responsibilities include organizing, leading, and managing policy, education/training, and science-related programs. For the past 19 years, she has served as a key spokesperson for children’s vulnerabilities and the need for their protection, conducting presentations and lectures across the country.

She is a leader in the field of children’s environmental health, serving on the External Science Board for the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) NIH Research work. She is a Co-Leader for the Science/Health initiative of the Cancer-Free Economy Network and on the Steering Committees of Clean Water for All and the National Environmental Health Partnership Council. Ms. Witherspoon is also a Board member for the Pesticide Action Network, the Environmental Integrity Project, and serves on the Maryland Children’s Environmental Health Advisory Council.

Ms. Witherspoon has held past appointments on the NIH Council of Councils, as Chair of the Science Advisory Board for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on the Health Protection Advisory Committee for the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Board for the American Public Health Association. She is a past member of the National Association of Environmental Health Sciences Council and the Institute of Medicine’s Environmental Health Sciences Roundtable. 

Ms. Witherspoon has a variety of publications and has the distinct honor of having one of CEHN’s leadership awards, the Nsedu Obot Witherspoon (NOW) Youth Leadership Award, named in her honor. She is also the recent recipient of the William R. Reilly Award in Environmental Leadership from the Center for Environmental Policy at American University and the Snowy Egret Award from the Eastern Queens Alliance.

Ms. Witherspoon has a B.S. in Biology Pre Med from Siena College and a M.P.H. in Maternal and Child Health from The George Washington University, School of Public Health and Health Services. She is a proud mom to 4 children!

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Jonathan Wiener

William R. and Thomas L. Perkins Professor of Law, Professor of Public Policy and Environmental Policy, Duke University 

Jonathan B. Wiener is the William R. and Thomas L. Perkins Professor of Law, and Professor of Public Policy and Environmental Policy, at Duke University.  He also co-directs the Duke Center on Risk.  He has been a University Fellow of Resources for the Future (RFF) since 2002.  He served as President of the international Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) in 2008, and as co-chair of the World Congress on Risk in 2012.  He has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Chicago, and several universities in Paris.  He is a member of the Administrative Conference of the US (ACUS) and the International Risk Governance Council (IRGC).  His publications include the books Policy Shock: Recalibrating Risk and Regulation after … Crises (Cambridge University Press, 2017) (with Edward Balleisen, Lori Bennear, and Kimberly Krawiec);  The Reality of Precaution: Comparing Risk Regulation in the US and Europe (RFF/Routledge, 2011) (with Michael Rogers, James Hammitt, and Peter Sand);  Reconstructing Climate Policy (AEI Press 2003) (with Richard Stewart);  and Risk vs. Risk: Tradeoffs in Protecting Health and the Environment (Harvard University Press, 1995) (with John Graham).  Before coming to Duke in 1994, he served in the US Government across two administrations, at the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and the US Department of Justice (DOJ); there he contributed to drafting Executive Order 12866 on Regulatory Review (1993), and helped negotiate the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) signed at the Rio Earth Summit (1992).  In 1987-89, he clerked for Judge Stephen G. Breyer, US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and for Judge Jack B. Weinstein, Eastern District of New York.  He earned degrees in economics and law from Harvard University, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.