2013-2014 Greenpeace, Inc. Board of Directors
Karen Topakian, Chair
After serving for 16 years on the Greenpeace Fund board of directors, the Greenpeace Inc board of directors elected Karen Topakian as their board chair. Karen started her career at Greenpeace in San Francisco in 1987, when she joined the newly created Nuclear Free Seas campaign. This international campaign worked to rid the world of naval nuclear weapons and to end below ground nuclear weapons testing. Karen simultaneously served on the Pacific campaign.
Guillermo’s work has focused on political, educational and community organizing, including playing a central role in the launching of two statewide Latino organizations on political participation and public education. He is Senior Program Officer of the Solidago Foundation (501c3) and the See Forward Fund (501c4), leading the Electoral Justice Program. He currently serves on the board of the Proteus Fund and the Proteus Action League; is the co-chair of the Funders Committee in Civic Participation and, of the Social Justice Infrastructure Funders, as well as, a member of regional funder networks in NY, MA and the Bay Area. He is also a member of NFG’s Working Group on Labor and Community. Guillermo holds a master’s degree in Urban Studies and Planning from MIT. He received his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras.
Jee Kim has been active in various social justice, immigrant rights, and (new) media efforts for many years. Jee has been involved in numerous start-ups, in both the public and private sector. He was a senior editor at Stress Magazine, managed social networking software development efforts at Community Connect and BET.com, and organized with CAAAV, which serves New York City’s low-income Asian communities. While at the Active Element Foundation, he edited the 9/11 anthology, “Another World is Possible” and “The Future 500,” a national youth organizing and activism directory. He received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University and his master’s from Oxford University. Jee recently completed an 8 year tenure as program director at the Surdna Foundation, where he supported youth civic engagement and social movements. He then founded 18MillionRising.org, an online civic engagement platform for Asian Americans. He is currently at the Ford Foundation, in the Democratic Participation and Governance unit. Jee is also a certified yoga instructor and lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Bryony Schwan is the Co-founder and Director of Strategic Partnerships of The Biomimicry 3.8 Institute (TBI) and served as the founding Executive Director for eight years. Prior to that Bryony worked for 11 years as the Executive Director and then as the National Campaigns Director for Women's Voices for the Earth (WVE) a non-profit environmental justice organization that she founded in 1995. From 2001 to 2004, Bryony co-founded and coordinated Coming Clean, a national alliance of health and environmental groups working to reform chemical policy and was also a co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Bryony is an affiliate faculty member at the University of Montana where she teaches in the Environmental Studies program.
Bryony was born in Zimbabwe and moved to the United States in 1981. She has a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Natal in South Africa and an MS in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana. Bryony’s work has taken her around the world from speaking on chemical policy in Europe to lobbying at the United Nations Treaty Negotiations on Eliminating Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in South Africa. She has received several awards for her work including Montana's Jeannette Rankin Peacemaker of the Year Award (2002). She has served on the board of many organizations including Greenpeace USA, the Social Justice Fund Northwest and the Alliance for Sustainable Jobs & the Environment (a national labor/environment alliance). She currently serves on the board of Montana‘s Saint Patrick Hospital Women’s Health Advisory Board.
Rajasvini Bhansali is the Executive Director of IDEX and a passionate advocate for participatory grassroots-led social change and movement building. In a wide-ranging career devoted to social and economic justice, she has led a national social enterprise, managed a public telecommunications infrastructure fund addressing digital divide issues and worked as a researcher, planner, policy analyst, management and strategy consultant. Vini also worked alongside community leaders as a capacity builder for youth polytechnics in rural Kenya for over two years. Born and raised in India, Vini earned a Master′s in Public Affairs (MPA) with a focus on technology and telecommunications policy from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and Bachelor′s degrees in Astrophysics and Interdisciplinary Studies from UC Berkeley. Vini has been involved in community organizing and volunteer board roles for the last two decades. She is currently active on the Board of Directors for Voice of Witness, an organization that works to illuminate human rights injustices through oral history projects; and the Rockwood Leadership Institute. Inspired by the potential of social justice philanthropy to support movements and community based organizations, Vini also serves on the steering committee for the Bay Area Justice Funders Network (BAJFN) and on the advisory board for the Agroecology Fund. Vini has spoken at various fora and universities and is also a published poet, essayist, storyteller and popular educator.
Larry Kopald is the Co-founder and Managing Director of Kopald Stranger, a consulting firm focused on helping companies achieve socially responsible business practices. Considered a leading brand architect, Larry has spent over twenty years at some of the world’s premier advertising agencies, representing the world’s largest companies and other important entities, including McDonalds, Patagonia, Target, NRDC, International Department of Labor, WILD, Oceana, and The United Nations. While Larry has helped launch such billion dollar brands as Acura automobiles, Huggies diapers, Oracle, and McDonalds's Chicken McNuggets, he has also been a leader in the environmental movement and is most likely the only person ever celebrated by both Adweek and the United Nations for his work for the planet. Larry has run ECO, Hollywood’s environmental organization, for over a decade. He has done the environmental communications for the Olympics and the United Nations. Currently Larry works with leading experts in the areas of energy, climate change, sustainable operations, food production and distribution, management of resources, while at the same time providing strategic advice to corporations on how to become more green, strengthen the bottom line, and build brand equity. Larry serves on the board of the Museum of Broadcasting, is a member of the Television Academy and has been nominated for Grammys and Emmys. Larry has served on non-profit boards and advisory boards as diverse as the Union of Concerned Scientists, the WILD Foundation, Oceana, the Center For Conscious Evolution and 1% for the Planet, but appears to have pared down his commitments to the latter two alone. His wife, Andrea sits on the Board of the Rabinovitch Foundation. Andrea also co-chaired the annual John Wayne Cancer Institute Odyssey Ball. The couple lives in Bel Air, California and served as hosts for Environment California’s Earth Day celebration.
Larry’s other life focused on making a difference. His extensive environmental work, where he has served on the boards of Oceana, 1% For The Planet, American Oceans, the National Marine Sanctuaries, the WILD Foundation, Hollywood’s ECO and others resulted in him being honored by the United Nations. His theatrical and television PSAs on behalf of the planet have been seen by over two billion people worldwide in 60 languages. He helped launch California’s First 5, a $1.5 billion organization that provides services and pre-school for children under five, has worked on numerous political efforts, from Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid’s senatorial races to John Kerry’s presidential run, and led the creative efforts on projects like the defeat of Yucca Mountain.
Today, Larry has combined those lives as Founder and Chief Optimist of Kopald/Stranger, a change agency that lives at the intersection of Societal Progress and Business Development. Built on the core belief that “Improving a business and improving the world are powerfully complementary goals,” Kopald/Stranger helps clients like Patagonia, Nike, Walmart, FMC, Target, the US Department of Energy, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, the City of Los Angeles, and the government of Mexico understand, adapt, and benefit from the global transformation to a CSR-driven world. Projects extend across a diverse area ranging from brand development and CSR strategies to original content for television and social media.
Larry has won over 400 advertising awards, and has been nominated for both EMMY and GRAMMY awards. Today he lives with his family in Bel Air, California.
Tracy Sturdivant is the Executive Director of State Voices, an innovative national network helping grassroots organizations win shared policy and civic engagement victories and build long-term power. Built from the states up, State Voices convenes fifteen "state tables" – networks of 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Before joining State Voices, Sturdivant served as the Vice President for External Affairs at the Center for Progressive Leadership, a national training institute dedicated to developing the next generation of progressive leaders, where she directed national partnership outreach and new state development efforts. Prior to her tenure at CPL, she worked as an Advisor to a philanthropist in Michigan – her home state – to help to build the capacity of the progressive community.
Betsy Taylor is President of Breakthrough Strategies & Solutions, a small consulting firm offering strategic services to philanthropic, business and non-profit clients. Her consulting practice focuses on high-impact, catalytic initiatives to address climate change and promote a sustainable culture and economy. She is co-founder and board president of 1Sky (www.1sky.org) a campaign launched in late 2007 to achieve bold federal climate and energy policy in the United States. 1Sky merged with 350.org in March, 2011, bringing with it 500 allied organizations, 4,000 volunteer congressional precinct organizers, over twenty state-based organizers and an online action network of 200,000 individual activists and supporters. Taylor currently chairs the 350 Action Fund board.
2012-2013 Greenpeace Fund, Inc. Board of Directors
Tom Newmark, Chair
Tom Newmark is a co-owner of Luna Nueva farm and lodge in the rainforest of Costa Rica. Luna Nueva’s spice estate is certified organic under the U.S. National Organic Program and Demeter-certified as Biodynamic®. Tom is a committed environmentalist. He is a founder of Semillas Sagradas, the Sacred Seeds Sanctuary, in Costa Rica dedicated to protecting endangered medicinal plants of the neotropics. This sanctuary is one of the New World’s largest and most comprehensive sanctuaries for endangered plant species. He is co-founder, president and chairman of the Sacred Seeds, a 501(c)(3) public charity creating a network of Sacred Seeds Sanctuaries in the United States and throughout the world.
Jeffrey Hollender is a leading authority on corporate responsibility, sustainability and social equity. More than twenty-three years ago, he co-founded Seventh Generation and went on to build the fledgling company into a leading natural product brand known for its authenticity, transparency, and progressive business practices. Today, as an author, speaker, consultant, and activist, Jeffrey's mission is to inspire and provoke business leaders to think differently about the role they and their companies play in society. Along the way, he's working to drive systemic change that makes it easier for businesses to become radically more sustainable, transparent and responsible.
Liz is a progressive political activist who has spent her life working with cutting edge NGOs that are about creating social change. For the first 15 years of her professional life, she worked as a civil rights and legal services lawyer in Mississippi, primarily as a federal litigator. She joined the Greenpeace fund raising staff in 1993, and in her capacity as Major Gifts Manager, spent the next seven years leading a team that helped establish the major donor and planned giving programs as vital components of the organization's overall financial health. After Greenpeace, Liz became the Gift Planning Director for the National Organization for Women (NOW), the largest grass roots feminist organization in the country with over 650,000 contributing members. Liz is currently Vice President, Operations and Administration, for Advanced Energy Economy, a national network of businesses that provide energy solutions that are affordable, clean and secure over the long term.
Alnoor's work focuses on the intersection of online organizing, brand strategy, policy and technology. He is a Partner and the Head of Strategy at Purpose, an incubator for new types of social movements. He oversees the organization’s strategic and creative output. He is also the co-founder of a new global anti-poverty organization called /The Rules, which aims to address the root causes of poverty (e.g. land rights, climate change, trade policy, tax justice) rather than simply focusing on aid. /The Rules is pioneering mobile organizing, especially in the Global South, with tools such as the mobile petition platform Crowdring. Prior to Purpose, Alnoor spent a decade creating pro-social organizational strategies in both the private and public sector. His clients have included Amnesty International, MTV Exit, Greenpeace, Global Zero, Conservation International, Google, the United Nations Foundation, Livestrong and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Adelaide Park Gomer is President of the Park Foundation and served as a Vice President since l995. In that capacity, she reviews and rewards grants for scholarships, independent media, and the environment. In addition to this work, the Park Foundation helps meet the needs of underserved populations in Tompkins County, New York to help alleviate the impact of poverty. The Foundation has also initiated a grants program focusing on implementing sustainable practices in Tompkins County with the intent of establishing this community as a model for the Northeast.
Ellen McPeake has spent most of her working life in the nonprofit sector in Washington, DC. She co-founded and co-directed the Green Door, a program for people with chronic and serious mental illness. She has headed the administrative and financial operations of such national organizations as the Center for Law and Social Policy, the Mental Health Law Project, and Public Citizen. She worked at Greenpeace and was its chief operating officer until 2007, when she left to assume the same position at the Center for Public Integrity until she left that position in 2012.
John Passacantando’s career has taken him from Wall Street to philanthropy to a leading role in the global fight to stop climate change. He worked for Jude Wanniski -the “high priest” of supply side economics in the US - and is a committed practitioner of non-violent civil disobedience as taught by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. He has a master’s degree in economics from New York University, as well as a record of a dozen arrests for engaging in peaceful protest. He has been quoted in every major newspaper, appeared on most major news programs and has been a regular commentator on environmental issues for Fox News programs. Passacantando completed eight years as executive director of Greenpeace USA in 2008, the longest serving director in the history of the organization. Prior to Greenpeace, Passacantando founded and ran Ozone Action (1992-2000), the country's first national non- profit focusing exclusively on global warming. He also served as the executive director of the Florence and John Schumann Foundation (1989-1992), where he directed resources to the grassroots renewal of democracy.