OUR TEAM: UNITED BY A COMMON VISION
Our talented team of change-makers is as diverse as the problems are that we tackle. But we do have one or two things in common. We are hard working, innovative, entrepreneurial, smart, and dedicated to making the world a better place by helping to solve your toughest sustainability problems.
Dave Feldman is a social entrepreneur, community builder and sustainability thought leader. He brings 30+ years of expertise and leadership to the Center’s collaborative work. As Director, Dave oversees strategic development, the launch and management of Innovation Networks and operations. He also leads the Center’s stakeholder engagement with businesses, NGOs, and donors seeking scalable change.
Dave is co-founder and current partner of Livability Project, a consultancy that builds local and regional solutions to accelerate the sustainable economy. In 2007, Livability Project was awarded a contract to make Bethesda, Maryland a model sustainable community. Dave led Bethesda Green, a green business incubator, education hub and solutions accelerator for seven years. Dave was named one of “The 25 CEOs You Need to Know” by The Gazette of Politics and Business and as “Innovator of the Year” by The Daily Record. In 2010, the Montgomery County Council named him one of the “40 Environmentalists in 40 Years”.
Prior to Livability Project, Dave was Consul, Trade & Investment at the British Embassy, the economic development agency that fostered economic ties and collaboration between U.S. companies and U.K. organizations. His team covered multiple sectors and Dave was directly responsible for a portfolio that included renewable energy and clean tech. Earlier in his career, Dave served as VP of Sales and Marketing for a wireless software company and co-founder of a team of consultants providing strategic and marketing planning to the global IT industry.
Dave holds an M.B.A. from the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland in International Management and Finance. He is a graduate of Leadership Montgomery and was on the Board of Sustainable Business Network of Washington.
For thirty years, Alisa Gravitz has led Green America, the national green economy organization. Green America develops marketplace solutions to social and environmental problems with a key focus on tackling climate change, building fair trading systems, stopping corporate abuse, and growing the green economy. Alisa brings her years of experience and knowledge of sustainability to the Center team. She is deeply involved with the development of strategy for the Center and co-chairs several of the Innovation Networks.
Alisa is a nationally recognized leader in the social investment and solar industries. She authored Green America's acclaimed Guide to Social Investing and the popular Guide to Community Investing. She co-convened the Solar Circle and co-authored several solar thought-leadership papers including the Solar Opportunity Assessment Report (SOAR), the Solar High-Impact National Energy (SHINE) Project, and the Utility Solar Assessment (USA) Study: Reaching 10% Solar by 2025.
Alisa's board service includes Ceres, Positive Future Network, Network for Good, and the Underdog Ventures Foundation. She was on the founding boards of Business for Social Responsibility and the Social Investment Forum. Prior to Green America, Alisa worked on renewable energy and energy efficiency for the Carter administration, and small business and economic development issues in both the public and private sectors. She earned her MBA from Harvard University and her BA in economics and environmental sciences from Brandeis University.
Krista Kurth, Ph.D.,
Innovation Network Development
Dr. Krista Kurth has been working towards a sustainable society in different forms for most of her career. Since 2010, she has played a variety of roles at Green America, including Board Member, Treasurer, Senior Program Associate. She was interim Director and has been the acting Program Director of the Clean Electronics Production project. Krista currently participates in the strategic development of the Center, its Innovation Networks, and staff. She also is involved in stakeholder engagement with companies, NGO’s and donors who are interested in the work of the Center and its Innovation Networks. She has been also the acting Program Director of the Clean Electronics Production project.
Krista has an extensive background in business, organization development, and psychology. Prior to joining Green America, she was the co-founder of Renewal Resources, a consulting firm dedicated to the renewal and revitalization of individuals and organizations. She spent a decade there focused on coaching, consulting and speaking about how to lead more renewing and productive lives at work. She has designed and delivered a wide variety of training programs, as well as co-authored the book Running on Plenty at Work: Renewal Strategies for Individuals. She also wrote and consulted on emotional intelligence, regaining balance at work, enhancing leadership skills, moving through organizational transitions, and improving team communications. She has been featured in the national media and spoke internationally on these topics. Some of the organizations she spoke at include: American Society of Training and Development, Food and Drug Administration, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, IBM – Life Sciences Division, Perot Systems Government Services, and the World Bank.
Prior to co-founding Renewal Resources, Krista had a private consulting practice and also held a range of other managerial and consulting positions, including one with KPMG Peat Marwick. She has also taught graduate level Leadership courses at the University of Maryland University College and is a contributing author in The Handbook of Workplace Spirituality and Organizational Performance (M.E. Sharpe, 2003).
Krista received a doctorate in Organizational Development from George Washington University, and her M.B.A. and B.A. from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. She is currently on the Boards of three charitable foundations and she has participated in a number of professional associations.
Strategic Design and Facilitation
Russ Gaskin is a social entrepreneur, consultant, and teacher who helps people who don't know each other, and often don't work well other, solve complex social problems. His consulting firm, CoCreative, specializes in designing collective impact networks to solve complex social problems in international development, sustainability economy, and social challenges.
As a Senior Fellow with the Center, Russ designs and facilitates our Innovation Network meetings, provides strategic advice on new opportunities for applying the Center's approach to collaborative innovation, and leads collaborative strategy development in our existing innovation networks, from rebuilding non-GMO food supply chains to eliminating harsh toxins from electronics manufacturing.
Russ speaks and teaches around the world on changing complex systems, human-centered design, and leveraging conflict and diversity as sources of strategic innovation. He teaches workshops and graduate courses on leading social innovation, designing collective impact initiatives, polarity thinking, and creating shared value. Prior to launching CoCreative, Russ served as the chief business officer of Green America, a national leader in leveraging economic strategies to advance social equity and environmental sustainability; served as managing director of US SIF, the trade association for financial firms and institutional investors doing impact investing; and grew Green America’s Green Business Network, the country’s first network of triple-bottom line businesses.
Russ has served on numerous leadership and advisory boards. He currently serves on the Expert Panel on Social Innovation & Design at the UN Development Program and on the advisory board of Engineers Without Borders Canada. He has also served on the Leadership Board of the National Education Association, Good Housekeeping’s Green Seal of Approval Advisory Board, and eBay’s World of Good Advisory Board.
Center for Sustainability Solutions
Charis serves as Coordinator for both the Center and the Sustainable Food Supply Chain Innovation Network, where she facilitates operations, research, special events, and stakeholder engagement.
Previous to Green America, Charis served as Sustainability Coordinator and Partnership Manager for the corporate office of a growing organic grocery chain based in the Mid-Atlantic region before moving to her home state of Ohio. She specializes in benchmarking sustainability, sustainability reporting, training, and communications.
Charis has a passion for sustainability and social justice, particularly as it relates to food. While living in Maryland, Charis was nominated and elected as Councilmember for the Montgomery County Food Council in Maryland, where she served as the co-chair of the Food Economy Working Group. Through her volunteer work, she is exploring opportunities to sustainably grow the local food economy and increase food literacy and access throughout Northeast Ohio with the Summit County Food Coalition and the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition.
Charis holds a M.A. in Political Science from the University of Connecticut and B.A. in Political Science from Heidelberg University in Tiffin, OH.
Sustainable Food Supply Chains
Ed Barker is a nonprofit leader with 25 years of experience in agriculture, environmental education, and social enterprise. He is currently the Director of Sustainable Food Supply Chains for the Center. In this role he directs a multi-stakeholder process to restore robust and reliable non-GMO supply chains for grains, meat, and dairy in the US while simultaneously enhancing organic and sustainable food systems.
Previously, Ed was the executive director at Land’s Sake, a land stewardship organization and community farm in the Boston suburbs. While there, Ed led a complete organizational turnaround and reestablished Land’s Sake as a keystone organization within its community. He was also the director of corporate partnerships for Earthwatch Institute, a pioneering organization that supports scientific field research with volunteers and funding. He has led organizational change efforts within the nonprofit sector nationwide as a senior consultant at Community Wealth Ventures, a social enterprise consulting firm specializing in advancing nonprofit performance through alternative revenue generation, business planning, and market innovation.
Ed holds a master’s degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where his studies included work with collaborative change, leadership, and communication. He also holds a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Dartmouth College. He is the Vice Chair of the board of directors at the Chewonki Foundation.
Jessica Hulse Dillon
Non-GMO Supply & Midwest Grains
Jessica has worked throughout her career to bring together diverse actors to create system wide changes. As the Manager for Non-GMO Supply Working Group and Midwest Grains she will focus on working with the participants of the Non-GMO Supply Working Group to support the work they outline as being crucial to ensuring a sustainable national supply chain. Jessica will also be focusing on the launch and operation of the Midwest Grains initiative.
Jessica began her career working to support and build relationships in Central Asia, Africa, and Latin America in support of US energy companies. She continued this work when transitioning to the non-profit world, working on behalf of women and children around the world to bring together experts, practitioners, and local community members to build best practices around Early Childhood Education and Maternal and Newborn health in developing countries. Jessica has also worked to support local and sustainable agriculture in the Washington, DC, region as well as community markets allowing those within the community to access fresh produce.
Jessica received her BA in US Foreign Policy, focusing on US-Arab relations and the role of women in the Arab world. She then received a MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution, focusing on children’s nutrition in post-conflict society as well as a Certificate in Peacebuilding with a focus on maternal health.
Sue Ellen Johnson
Northeast and Northwest Dairy Initiatives
Sue Ellen Johnson has worked in the intersection in agriculture, food and the environment for her entire career. Her experience advising and developing agricultural systems on the farm and in the marketplace is built on innovative interactive approaches to learning and technological change.
Her passion for crop-livestock integration dovetails with her lifelong commitment to sustainable farms and food. Using her BS in Dairy Science from Iowa State, she worked with and for commercial farmers on dairy husbandry, forage management and fluid milk processing in New England and Malaysia. Sue Ellen’s MS in Forage Agronomy from University of Florida and PhD in Crop and Soils from Michigan State focused on practical farming systems. She created on-farm, field scale research methods to accelerate the use of interseeded cover crops in corn and soybeans. As the Agro-ecologist for IITA, Sue Ellen’s team developed village poultry and swine systems and studied the eco-physiology of intercrops and cropping sequences across the Humid Forest.
At the New England Small Farm Institute, she coordinated research and field programs including a project to capture expert farmers’ management of crop rotations, resulting in an NRAES book. She brought together diverse actors for the first time to address grazing in the watershed that is Boston’s water supply. Concurrently, at UConn, she initiated an award-winning Farmer Research Network that evaluated farmer’s ideas: grass silage, fertility and manure/nutrient management. As NCSU Forage Specialist from 2007-2011, she worked with conventional and organic farmers and their advisors on mixed pastures; high-value year-round grazing; and hay system profitability. Dr. Johnson’s responsibilities at the Piedmont Environmental Council included designing an economically viable multi-farm approach to environmentally responsible ag production and distribution. She also supervised Virginia’s Buy-Fresh-Buy Local program. She subsequently led the Virginia Association for Biological Farming while consulting with an array of local farms, dairies and ag organizations; always seeking to increase agricultural and food system sustainability.
Central States Dairy
Sarah Andrysiak has reconnected with Green America in the role of Manager, Central States Dairy, having served as Interim Director of the Northeast Dairy project in 2015. She brings a wide range of strategic and tactical skills to the development and implementation of the Central States Dairy market initiative.
With a career that has spanned the for-profit and non-profit sectors, Sarah has most recently been providing consulting services to enterprises seeking to build a more just and sustainable food system. Her clients have included impact investors, food system entrepreneurs, and farmer advocacy organizations. Earlier in her career, Sarah provided strategic management consulting to Fortune 500 companies and worked for seven years as the assistant director of the Rural Land Foundation, a non-profit land conservation organization.
Sarah holds an BA degree from Yale University and an MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. She has completed additional coursework in food policy at the Boston University School of Gastronomy. Sarah lives in the Boston suburbs with her family, 2 dogs, 9 laying hens, and a large garden.
Clean Electronics Production
As Director of the Clean Electronics Production Network, Sarah supports leading industry stakeholders to identify and pursue collaborative initiatives to address the harmful health and environmental impacts of electronics production.
Previously, as Director of Global Stakeholder Engagement for the Green Electronics Council, Sarah worked with manufacturers, private and public purchasers, resellers and retailers using the EPEAT® environmental certification system to reduce the environmental impact of their operations. She served as an expert on environmentally sustainable purchasing on the stakeholder development team that created the original EPEAT criteria and system, and for more than a decade, engaged with purchasers and manufacturers around the world to ‘green’ their production and procurement of electronics.
As Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program Manager for H2E/Hospitals for a Healthy Environment, and Senior Outreach Associate with the US national nonprofit INFORM, Sarah assisted large health systems and healthcare Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs), state, local and federal government agencies, education and enterprise purchasers to improve their environmental performance through policy and contract development, identification of alternative solutions, education of end users, and other purchasing initiatives. Her work supported the inclusion of environmental specifications in billions of dollars of government, healthcare and institutional purchasing contracts.
Previously, as an environmental health advocate for the National Wildlife Federation and Vermont Public Interest Research Group, Sarah was involved in legislative advocacy and public education efforts around toxics issues throughout the Northeast United States, with a specific focus on mercury reduction measures.
Sarah is an honors graduate of Yale University, with a MA in anthropology from Temple University, and a former Board member of the US National Pollution Prevention Roundtable.
Clean Electronics Production
Jennifer serves at Green America as an Associate Manager for the Clean Electronics Production Network (CEPN), a multi-stakeholder group working to reduce worker exposure to toxic chemicals in electronics manufacturing.
Jennifer has always had a passion for innovations in the tech sector, and has spent her career in pursuit of driving sustainable change within the complex systems of the electronics industry. Prior to joining Green America, she worked at a startup on product development strategy after her graduation from the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and the Environment, where she earned her Master of Science in Sustainable Systems and a Graduate Certificate in Industrial Ecology. Jennifer is passionate about leveraging interdisciplinary collaboration to successfully drive the creation of practical, innovative and sustainable technologies, and is thrilled to be working with this extraordinary group to develop marketplace solutions that are beneficial to companies' triple bottom lines: people, profit, and planet.
Clean Electronics Production
Rod “Rocket” Womer is a retired Program Manager, Test Pilot, and U.S. Navy Captain. He has extensive experience in program management, aerospace research and production processes, and working with multi-organization Integrated Product Teams (IPTs). As a Fellow on the Clean Electronics Supply Chain Program, he conducts interviews and research, writes reports, and organizes data about the complex issues involved in reducing toxins in the consumer electronics supply chain.
Before joining the Green America team, Rod led diverse teams of engineers, peers, and technicians. He managed cost, schedule, performance, and staffing for complex software and hardware development programs. He has hands-on experience with complicated Earned Value Management Systems (EVMS) and is adept at multi-year detailed planning and financial analysis.
Rod flew test flights, analyzed data, and wrote technical reports on the F-14 fighter aircraft and the X-29 forward swept wing aircraft. He is a graduate of the Navy Fighter Weapons School (Topgun) and was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal for inspirational leadership.
Carbon Farming Innovation Network
Mary Johnson is Director of Green America's Carbon Farming Innovation Network. It brings together cross-sector thought leaders and collaborators who, through collective impact, work to rapidly expand the number of farmers reducing emissions from agriculture and sequestering carbon as part of the global climate solution.
She is co-founder of Terra Genesis International, which guides leading-edge corporations in the natural products industry in transformational work needed to create eco-socially regenerative supply systems that provide food & nutrition security and climate justice. She is an international expert on sustainable agriculture, permaculture, and is a Holistic Management trainer. She was a researcher for the seminal book, The Carbon Farming Solution; A Global Toolkit of Perennial Crops and Regenerative Agriculture Practices for Climate Change Mitigation and Food Security by Eric Toensmeier. Mary holds an MS in Plant & Soil Science from the University of Massachusetts and a BS in Sustainable Agriculture from Cornell University.
Mary has worked on large scale climate change mitigation, adaptation and biodiversity conservation projects with several large global conservation organizations. She also provides one-on-one farm business planning and Holistic Management coaching for a diverse array of clients and farm businesses from around the world. She speaks Spanish, and English and has lived and worked throughout Latin American and the Caribbean.
Green Consumer Trends
Todd Larsen is Senior Fellow of Green Consumer Trends with Green America’s Center for Sustainability Solutions, where he provides the latest market research and consumer purchasing data to companies to help them see the demand for more responsibly sourced products and services.
Todd also serves as the Executive Co-Director for Green America. He directs Green America’s corporate responsibility and consumer engagement programs. Green America’s corporate responsibility programs educate consumers and investors about the environmental and social records of major companies and encourage them to take action to promote greater responsibility. In addition, Green America provides tools and resources to companies to help consumers, businesses and investors improve their impacts on people and the planet.
Todd also heads up Green America’s Climate Solutions Program which works to end polluting energy sources, map the future for clean energy, and engage Americans as investors in a clean energy future. He has 15 years of experience in public education and corporate campaign work and has a master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Within the Center for Sustainability Solutions, Fran serves as a Senior Fellow for Responsible Investing. She also serves as Executive Co-Director of Green America, focusing on Green America’s programs in the areas of green business, socially and environmentally responsible investing, and public policy. Fran joined the organization in 2000.
Fran’s work on impact investing addresses the integration of environmental, social, and governance factors into investment decision-making; community investing and banking; shareholder action; and fossil fuel divestment. She currently serves as Board Co-chair of the American Sustainable Business Council.
Fran worked with Peace Action and the Peace Action Education Fund for seven years before joining Green America. She holds a Master’s Degree from the Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame and earned her undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis in Political Science.
Innovation Network Development
Marilyn Levin is a social entrepreneur who has been engaged in several initiatives that are accelerating the global transformation that is underway. She is an award winning activist, a professional speaker, and trainer and the author of Experiential Activities for a Better World.
Her current passionate focus is serving as the Managing Director of KINS Innovation Networks, which brings together high integrity servant leaders to catalyze a globally just and sustainable world. KINS empowers change agents to manifest their bold life missions of service to humanity in ways that contribute to the well-being of all concerned.
Marilyn founded a number of organizations including Rainbow Alliance for Youth, a statewide coalition of GLBTQ youth groups and Global Sufficiency Network, serving the cultural shift out of the mindset of scarcity and served as Commitment Campaign Director for Four Years Go, an initiative to put humanity on a just, sustainable, and fulfilling path by 2014.
Key Initiator Innovation Networks (KINS)
Susan Davis is the visionary developer of Key Initiator Innovation Networks (KINS) and has helped introduce sustainability to more than 40 networks over 40 years. KINS are self-organizing networks of key, collaborative, high-integrity leaders in widely diverse fields who come together by invitation to achieve inspiring innovations while enjoying their kindred spirits. Network focus areas include: social institutional investment, corporate social responsibility, economic empowerment of women, solar, micro-enterprise financing, organics, and sustainability leadership overall.
Started in 1975, the KINS model was gifted to Green America in 2012. The Center draws heavily from this model.
Davis was key to the founding of four social ventures: Boston’s African-American newspaper in 1965, John Naisbitt’s urban affairs publishing company in 1968, a national news magazine for women in 1971 and the first U.S. neighborhood development bank in 1973.