Kalila Barnett is the Executive Director of Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE), a leading environmental justice organization based in Boston. For over twenty years ACE has worked to build the power of low income communities and communities of color in Massachusetts and in the region. Kalila first got involved with ACE as a volunteer and a member then later served on the board of directors. Kalila has over a decade of experience in community organizing around affordable housing, land development and environmental justice. She is a Roxbury native and lifelong resident of Boston. Kalila graduated from Bates College with a degree in American Studies and Spanish. Prior to assuming this position, Kalila was a Senior Organizer at Community Labor United, and worked at Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation and Madison Park Development Corporation. Kalila serves on the board of the national Right to the City Alliance, and Mass Budget and Policy Center.
Actress and Producer
Jennifer Beals is an actress, activist, producer, photographer and parent. Born and raised in Chicago, she is an award winning actress known for her starring roles in many films and television shows, including her breakout role in Flashdance and more recently in the groundbreaking Showtime series The L Word, TNT’s Proof, and NBC’s Taken. Jennifer has been a tireless advocate for children’s health and for stronger rules to protect children and families from harmful chemicals. In addition to her health activism, Jennifer remains a strong advocate for LGBT rights. Following her work on The L Word, for which she was nominated for multiple NAACP Image Awards, she has published a book of her photography from the show, The L Word Book.
Senior Director, Sustainability, Autodesk, Inc.
President and CEO, Autodesk Foundation
With dual roles as Senior Director of Sustainability at Autodesk and President & CEO of the newly created Autodesk Foundation, Lynelle is committed to harnessing the power of design to create a better world. Under her leadership, Autodesk created the Sustainability Workshop, an online learning platform for teaching sustainable design that has reached over one million students worldwide, and launched two software donation programs, the Technology Impact program for nonprofit organizations, and the Clean Tech Partner Program for early-stage clean tech companies around the world. Since Lynelle joined six years ago, Autodesk has received numerous awards for effectively aligning internal business practices with the company’s commitment to creating a better world.
She brings over a decade of experience in both the nonprofit and private sectors, and has led pioneering efforts in the pursuit of enabling 7 billion people to live well and live within the limits of the planet. Lynelle believes in the power of partnership between business and civil society and has served on numerous boards. A published author and regular speaker, Lynelle has an MBA from UC Berkeley, an M.S. from University of Michigan, and a B.A. from Middlebury College.
Deputy Director/Director of Policy Initiatives
Cecil Corbin-Mark is the director of programs for WE ACT for Environmental Justice (WE ACT). Founded in 1988, WE ACT was New York’s first environmental justice organization created to improve environmental health and quality of life in communities of color. He works on campaigns that seek to: remove carcinogenic diesel soot from school bus cabins, bring fresh locally grown food into NYC public schools, combat global warming, and build market-based and legislative solutions to protect New York communities from toxic chemicals. Cecil comes from a family that is no stranger to the pursuit of social justice. He is the great nephew of Louis E. Burnham, a co-editor with Paul Robeson of the journal Freedom and a leader of the Alabama-based Southern Negro Youth Congress in the 1940’s. Cecil continues the work of his great uncle and several other family members today as he helps to lead WE ACT in its work with residents and the political establishment to create a more just and sustainable future. A lifelong resident of Harlem’s Hamilton Heights Historic District (aka Sugar Hill), Cecil holds a BA from Hunter College and a MPhil from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.
Senior Program Officer, Science and Technology for Sustainability
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Dr. Michael Dorsey is a recognized expert on global energy, environment, finance and sustainability matters. In 1997, in Glasgow, Scotland, Dorsey was bestowed Rotary International’s highest honor, The Paul Harris Medal for Distinguished Service to Humanity. In 2013 the National Journal named Dr. Dorsey one of 200 national “energy and environment expert insiders.” That same year he was made a “Full member” of the Club of Rome. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Yale and the Johns Hopkins University, presently Dr. Dorsey is Senior Program Officer for Sustainability at the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Dr. Dorsey is also the Senior Innovation Fellow and the Director of Energy and Sustainability Programs at Duke University’s Innovation and Technology Policy Lab (the ITPLab). Dr. Dorsey is a serial organization builder and active adviser to for-profit, non-profit and governmental concerns. He sits on a number of non-profit boards, most notably on the national board of the Sierra Club – one of the largest and oldest U.S. environmental organizations. In 2014, after more than two decades of collaboration and engagement with the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) – a specialized unit of UNCTAD (the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), Dr. Dorsey was designated UN-NGLS’s advisor on “climate, energy sustainability and SIDS (Small Island Developing States).”
Tina Eshaghpour (Chair)
Director of Evaluation and Organizational Learning, California Wellness Foundation
Tina Eshaghpour’s activism was shaped by her early experience as a political asylee and continues as she has championed the needs of underserved communities for well over two decades. Tina recently joined The California Wellness Foundation as its Director of Evaluation and Organizational Learning. The Foundation’s mission is to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention. Previously, she consulted with foundations and nonprofit organizations on a range of public health and social justice issues, including environmental health and justice, gender equity, reproductive rights, and immigrant and refugee health. From 2002-2010, Tina led the Women’s Foundation of California’s environmental health and justice program and spearheaded its grantmaking and capacity building work. She has pioneered efforts to increase awareness and funding to support the health of low-income families and immigrant workers in California’s Central Valley. Tina is a graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs and received a Master of Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles. In addition to her role at CEH, Tina serves on the board of the Center on Race Poverty and Environment and founded the greening and beautification committee at her children’s public elementary school.
Kathy Gerwig is Vice President, Employee Safety, Health and Wellness, and Environmental Stewardship Officer for Kaiser Permanente, one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans serving about nine million members. Kathy is responsible for developing, organizing and managing a nationwide environmental initiative for the organization. Under her leadership, Kaiser Permanente has become widely recognized as an environmental leader in the health care sector. Kathy has testified twice to Congress on the need for federal chemical policy reform, and she has appeared at numerous hearings on environmental issues. Kathy is also responsible for eliminating workplace injuries, promoting healthy lifestyle choices, and reducing health risks for the organization’s 185,000 employees and physicians. She is on the boards of several leading non-governmental organizations focused on safety and environmental sustainability in health care.
Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Los Angeles
Matt Petersen is the City of Los Angeles’ first Chief Sustainability Officer. In this role, he developed and is currently implementing the City’s first Sustainable City pLAn which is a data-driven pLAn that lays out the long and short term sustainability outcomes for the City of Los Angeles. Under the Mayor’s leadership, Matt led the City’s response to the Aliso gas leak and was able to bring together Mayors from other cities to combat climate change by playing a major role with organizations such as C40 and the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda. He also co-chairs the Mayor’s Water Cabinet, which is charged with meeting the City’s aggressive water conservation goals, and has resulted in Los Angeles residents reducing their water usage from 131 gallons to 106 gallons per capita daily. Before joining the Mayor’s office, Matt served as President and CEO of Global Green USA for 19 years. Passionate about improving the lives of those in need, combatting climate change and greening communities, Petersen focused the organization on greening affordable housing, schools and cities (including LA). Petersen led the organization in the green rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and later to communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Matt is a board member of Global Green USA and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles, as well as is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative.
In her philanthropic advising capacity, Arlene has assisted foundations, individual donors, and philanthropic affinity groups to establish strong board leadership and governance structures, build strategic vision, create clear and effective grant guidelines, tactically develop and implement major programmatic investments, and organize deep and effective funder-grantee collaborations. Previously, Arlene served as Senior Director of Programs and External Relations of the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN, responsible for the leadership, marketing and management of GLSEN’s core program areas. Prior to GLSEN, Arlene oversaw Living Cities’ knowledge management and evaluation work, and led the organization’s external relationships, communications and public relations. Arlene also directed the Environment program for The San Francisco Foundation for eight years. She has extensive experience in organizational development, program planning, and building extensive collaborative efforts. She has served as senior program officer for the environment at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, was the director of community programs and founding director of the Crissy Field Environmental Center with Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and served as Urban Program Director for the Western Region of The Trust for Public Land. Arlene has volunteered on many boards and was a commissioner for the city of San Francisco’s environment department for six years. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois; a Bachelor’s of Science in Landscape Horticulture and completed Masters’ level training in Landscape Architecture, with a minor in Urban Planning, at North Carolina State University.
Marni Rosen is a philanthropic and non-profit consultant with over 25 years of experience in philanthropy, non-profit and inter-governmental work. Marni served for over 16 years as the Executive Director of the Jenifer Altman Foundation (JAF), a private foundation supporting creative work in health, education, the environment and justice. Under Marni’s leadership, JAF provided advisory services to foundations and donors on environmental health and justice grants totaling over $50 million. While at JAF, Marni partnered with NGOs and other funders to create innovative funding vehicles that empower community leaders to participate in philanthropic decision-making. In 2005, in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Marni co-founded the Gulf Coast Fund, to support the sustainable and just recovery of the region. In partnership with the Global Greengrants Fund and four international NGO networks, she initiated the Global South + Program to support environmental health and justice work globally. Marni has co-founded numerous initiatives at the intersection of health, environment and justice, and continues to play a leadership role in the field.
Marni is co-founder of the Health and Environmental Funders Network (and a past co-chair) and the Funders Network on Trade and Globalization (now EDGE Funders Alliance). Currently, she serves on the Board of the Center for Environmental Health (former Board Chair), the Board of Clean Production Action, and the National Advisory Board of Healthy Babies Bright Futures. She has served on the Board of the Environmental Grantmakers Association, and as Environment Section Council member for the American Public Health Association. Marni also worked for the United Nations as an NGO Liaison for the City Summit, a global conference on urban development issues. Marni holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MPA in Policy Analysis from New York University.