Michael promotes the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) to raise public awareness of the corporate use of toxic chemicals and of the many viable, pragmatic solutions to this pervasive threat to public health. He founded CEH in 1996 and since then has helped lead national efforts to stop toxic exposures and protect public health. He has also pioneered the groundbreaking legal work that has won landmark victories to protect the public from hazardous consumer products and toxic emissions. Michael has worked in Washington D.C. for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management, and the US EPA's Working Group on Environmental Equity. Michael designed a solid waste management plan for the Tibetan refugee community in Dharamsala, India, and cared for the sick at Mother Teresa's mission in Calcutta, India. He was awarded the California Wellness Foundation's annual Leadership Award, as well as the prestigious Compassion in Action Award which is presented jointly from the Dalai Lama Foundation and the Committee of 100 for Tibet each year. He has testified in front of Congress, serves on numerous boards of directors, and is frequently quoted in national and international media. Michael has an MS in Natural Resources and an MPP in Public Policy, both from the University of Michigan.
Charlie supervises the operations of CEH. Before coming to the organization, he spent twelve years helping attorneys unearth and decipher the facts necessary to defend people facing the death penalty. In this little-known corner of the law, human rights advocates witness the unfortunate collision of the most pressing social justice issues of our day – race, poverty, employment, education, health, and of course, the environment. He is pleased to contribute to solutions to the environmental ills that have devastated the lives of countless families and communities across the nation.
CHANGE Campaign Director
Kathryn serves as the California Policy Director for the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) and as the Campaign Director for Californians for a Healthy and Green Economy (CHANGE). Kathryn has almost 15 years of experience working at the intersection of environment, health, and social justice in the private, government, and non-profit sectors. She joined CEH after two years of consulting for the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors while completing her joint Master’s in Public Health and Public Administration in Environmental Health Science and Policy at Columbia University. Kathryn completed a two-year fellowship at the San Francisco Foundation where she managed the Environmental Health and Justice Initiative and supported their $2 million annual environmental grant-making portfolio. As part of her work with Latino Issues Forum, the Greenlining Institute, and WE ACT for Environmental Justice, she has experience in policy and advocacy at the local, regional, state, and federal levels. The central goal of Kathryn’s work is to build power in low-income communities of color to engage in policy development that transforms their health, environment and economic opportunities. She is a Senior Fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program and has a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from U.C. Berkeley.
Sue Chiang, MPP, MPH
Pollution Prevention Co-Director
Sue leads CEH's work to create market incentives for the electronics industry to design, manufacture, and dispose of their products in a way that protects public health. Before she joined CEH, Sue was a consultant to the San Francisco Foundation's Environmental Health and Justice Initiative and was a community health advocate at Greenaction. Sue was also the program coordinator of the California Urban Environmental Research & Education Center (CUEREC), which works to support applied environmental research at the grassroots level. Sue also spent over four years at Environmental Defense researching community right-to-know issues, investigating Proposition 65 cases, and conducting grassroots outreach for EDF's Chemical Scorecard. Sue received a B.A. degree in environmental science from Barnard College, Columbia University and completed a double-masters program at University of California Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy and the Graduate School of Public Health.
Caroline leads CEH's research on toxic exposures, identifying, analyzing and substantiating the scientific bases for our work to eliminate threats to children and others exposed to dangerous chemicals in consumer products. Previously, she worked for sixteen years as staff scientist at the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP) in Oregon. She was also editor of NCAP's Journal of Pesticide Reform and has co-authored numerous papers in scientific journals. Caroline represents CEH on the Steering Committee of Californians for Pesticide Reform and currently serves as a public interest representative to the U.S. EPA's Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Beyond Pesticides. She writes and speaks regularly as a national expert on the toxicity of and alternatives to pesticides. Caroline has a master's degree in entomology from Oregon State University and is a graduate of Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.
Rick explores legal avenues to address environmental health issues, including representing CEH in Prop 65 litigation. He has devoted his career to representing plaintiffs injured by corporate wrongdoing or negligence. Before joining CEH, Rick practiced with Sher Leff LLP representing public water providers in litigation against major oil companies for MtBE contamination of drinking water. Previously, he represented more than 100 Santa Clara County homeowners whose groundwater supply was contaminated with perchlorate. Those lawsuits settled following a five-week trial of 4 bellwether cases in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. Rick was with Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein LLP from 1995-2003, and became a partner of the firm in 1998. While at Lieff Cabraser, his practice included class action and mass tort cases involving injuries caused by toxic releases from Bay Area oil refineries and chemical plants, as well representing people injured by defective medical devices and pharmaceuticals. Rick graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Political Science and received his J.D. from Hastings College of the Law in 1993.
Online Communications Coordinator
Ali manages the website and coordinates the online communications of CEH. She works with the communications and development staff to create messaging strategies and public education content for CEH’s supporters and online audience. A Bay Area native, Ali attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where she received a B.A. in Sociology and Cultural Studies. This allowed her to live abroad in Argentina, where she studied Latin American history and learned valuable Spanish language skills. Ali is thrilled to be part of an organization that advocates for healthy communities so effectively.
Manager of Corporate and Foundation Relations
Laura manages our grants portfolio and coordinates CEH’s foundation and event fundraising activities. She brings a background in international economic development, microfinance, and donor stewardship to CEH. She is an active member of the Northern California chapter of Women Advancing Microfinance and also serves as a loan committee member for Working Solutions in San Francisco. She serves as an Executive Committee member of the Hamlin School Alumnae Board. She enjoys learning about other cultures through language and travel and is currently studying Arabic. Laura holds diplomas from Leningrad State University and the Sorbonne University and received her B.A. in Russian and Soviet Studies at U.C. San Diego.
Financial and Administrative Manager
For the past five years PJ has seen to CEH's Finance, Administrative, Human Resource, and Information Technology needs. Previously he worked with at-risk teenage girls at Above the Line as a group home counselor. PJ employs humor, attention to detail, and grace under pressure to balance his roles and meet organizational goals. PJ is a graduate of University of California Santa Cruz with degrees in Community Studies (LGBT focus) and Theater Arts (Modern Dance focus).
Pollution Prevention Co-Director
Judy works to shift Bay Area hospitals to environmentally preferable purchasing practices, particularly for electronics. Before coming to CEH, she was the co-founder of Family Support Services of the Bay Area and has worked in the non-profit arena for 25 years. Judy received her B.A. degree in social work from the University of California at Berkeley and her Masters Degree in social work from the University of Michigan.
Communications Director and Food Program Director
Charles coordinates CEH's efforts to promote sustainable and organic food to hospitals and other major institutional food buyers. He also manages CEH's media outreach. Prior to joining CEH, Charles was the lead campaigner for Greenpeace USA's Genetic Engineering Campaign for five years. He currently serves as CEH's representative on the Steering Committee of Californians for GE Free Agriculture. He is also a board member of the Sunshine Project, an international nonprofit that works to expose the hostile use of biotechnology in weapons development and to strengthen the global consensus against biological warfare. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley in Peace and Conflict Studies. He is also a graduate of the California Culinary Academy and was a long-time professional baker.Christina Medina
CHANGE Program Coordinator
Christina Medina is the Program Coordinator for the CHANGE coalition. Prior to this, she was the Environmental Health Specialist at Ma’at Youth Academy in Richmond working with youth, WIC participants and subsistence fishing communities around local environmental justice issues particularly around mercury in fish. In earlier work, she organized outreach events with the African American Community Health Group of the Central Coast, a small community health group in Santa Cruz and worked on issues of accountability within the FDA as a Policy Fellow at National Research Center for Women and Families in Washington, DC. Christina also has some years of experience as a K-12 teacher. She attended UC Santa Cruz and earned a BA in American Studies with a focus on history, public health and the environment.
Eastern States Director
Ansje Miller is the Eastern States Director for the Center for Environmental Health. In that role, she represents CEH with elected officials and others in New York and Washington, as well as directs our Energy and Environmental Health program. Ms. Miller has led a number of successful legislative and regulatory campaigns that removed the use of toxic chemicals like lead and cadmium from consumer products. Her organizing efforts, research reports, and popular articles have also led to the creation of numerous policies on global warming including California’s AB32. Ansje currently serves on the board of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project (RHTP). Prior to her work at CEH, from 2001 to 2006, Ansje founded and directed the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative, a coalition that brought together the nation’s leading environmental justice, faith-based, and policy organizations to advocate socially just policies on climate change.
Eileen Moncouer joins CEH as Development Director, bringing 15 years of non-profit leadership experience from her previous role as Director of Programs at the American Himalayan Foundation. Eileen’s strategic thinking and visionary approach to projects led to the development of Project: STOP Girl Trafficking, where over 10,000 girls at risk of being trafficked benefit from the program. During her tenure at AHF, the Foundation grew its projects from 35 to 120, grants from $700,000 to $3 million, and the number of people benefiting from the projects from 5,000 to 20,000 per year. She raised funds for project partners, resulting in clean water and solar lighting for entire villages in the Himalaya, reproductive healthcare for underserved women and surgery for Nepal’s poorest disabled children. Her lifelong passion for social and environmental justice led her to the Center for Environmental Health, and she is committed to pursuing a world in which all people live, work, learn and play in healthy environments. Eileen has a BA from Smith College and serves on the Board of Partners Asia, formerly known as Foundation for the People of Burma. She lives in Oakland with her son Marcos.
Ryan assists the Research Director in product testing, research, and evidence collection for potential toxic exposures. Born and raised in the bay area, Ryan left to attend school in southern California where he graduated from the University of California Irvine with a degree in Earth and Environmental Sciences. Returning to the bay area with hope of making a difference Ryan interned for CEH. As part of the CHANGE coalition he worked to improve CHANGE’s visibility using social networking sites, and help disseminate information regarding California’s Green Chemistry Initiative. He is interested in improving the way people Interact with the environment and addressing the growing use of toxic chemicals in the products we use everyday.
Matt assists the Research Director in procuring and testing products for hazardous levels of lead and other toxic metals. In collaboration with the California Attorney General, he verifies compliance with CEH's past legal agreements setting strict limits for lead in jewelry. Originally from Sacramento, Matt attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he received his B.A. in Film Studies and enjoyed singing in an a cappella group in his extracurricular time. Matt first came to CEH as an intern, seeking to help eliminate the threat of toxic health hazards and to promote environmental justice. Before being assigned to the jewelry testing project, he worked to procure handbags, wallets, and other accessories that helped to later pave the way for the landmark settlement to end the threat of lead in such products.
Jody Parsons is the Executive Assistant at CEH. She brings a wealth of experience in non-profit and public administration, most recently as the Development Director at Brighter Beginnings, a family support agency in the East Bay. She spent 12 years in Monterey County as Alcohol and Drug Programs Administrator for the Health Department and as Administrative Aide for the Fifth District Supervisor. Prior to that, Jody was Contra County Manager for United Way of the Bay Area. She started her career in corporate social responsibility advocacy and is thrilled to be working in the field again. She has a Master of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion and a B.A. in Sociology from Macalester College.
Director of External Relations
Monica Walsh comes to CEH with over 15 years of professional experience in management and development strategy for non-profit organizations. She has an entrepreneurial spirit about her and was instrumental in the successful launch of several non-profit startups. She worked alongside Lawrence Lessig, founder of Change Congress, serving as the Development Director and Executive Director in its start-up phase for four years. From there, she worked with the leading funders in the Campaign Finance Reform movement to create a foundation dedicated to bringing resources to the most needed strategies and programs for reforming our democracy. In her most recent work, she has advised organizations, helping them to get crystal clear on their messaging and story and to develop smart strategic campaigns for fundraising around the narrative core to their mission. Her clients include, United Cerebral Palsy of the North Bay; Global Partners for Development and Educate Girls Globally; and Christensen Global Strategies, a strategic consulting firm creating solutions for businesses and organizations in the energy and climate change sector. The nexus of Monica’s work has been to assist organizations to think through and develop a mission-based message and strategy that maximizes fundraising capacity, sustainability and clear public communication. Monica has a BA in Political Science and a minor in Communications from St. Mary's University in San Antonio, TX. She lives in El Cerrito with her husband, Peter Walsh and two kids, Anna Clara and Jason Cameron.
Energy Program Associate
Ellen works in CEH’s New York office on initiatives relating to energy and environmental health. She is currently assisting with the development of a research report evaluating various energy sources based on a comparative assessment of the impact on the environment and human health. Ellen has over a decade of experience working at the intersection of health, science, and policy and has experience working in the private, government and non-profit sectors. Prior to joining CEH, Ellen worked on a range of environmental health initiatives including a study of toxic exposures in hospital environments. She worked with a variety of hospital governance structures in NYC coordinating planning efforts across private, federal and public hospitals for the purpose of improving New York City Hospitals' ability to respond to bio-terrorist attacks as well as other public health emergencies. Her past work includes the development of disaster preparedness guidance documents for hospitals to meet the special needs of New York City’s children and improve radiation disaster preparedness. Ellen has her B.A. in Health Sciences from Hampshire College and a M.P.H. in Health Policy & Management from Columbia University.
Maggie assists the Research Director in gathering, managing, and testing evidence for CEH’s Proposition 65 enforcement efforts. She monitors if manufacturers and retailers are in compliance with legal agreements with CEH that set strict limits for lead in women’s fashion accessories. Maggie received her B.A. from UC Berkeley in International Development, with a concentration in Environmental Justice. While at Cal, she was involved with the Magnolia Project, a student group that supports disenfranchised communities of post-Katrina New Orleans, and she focused much of her academic work on examining the impact of Hurricane Katrina and the rebuilding process through an Environmental Justice framework. Maggie also volunteers for Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace (FFIPP). Prior to joining CEH, she spent six months living in Palestine, where she worked for FFIPP, studied Arabic, and researched how the water crisis in Palestine has been deepened by Israeli restrictions on Palestinian water access. Maggie is happy to support CEH in advocating for a healthy environment and healthy communities.