2012-2013 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.
Valerie Denney established Valerie Denney Communications (VDC) in 1989 to offer professional public relations services to organizations and individuals working for positive social change. Valerie works with government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector to develop communications strategies for complex issues such as the environment, affordable housing, community development, education, community finance, and solutions to poverty. Valerie’s current work includes projects with The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development, The Chicago Community Trust, the Joyce Foundation, Metropolitan Planning Council, Chicago Public Schools, and Housing Illinois.
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.
Melissa L. Bradley is Chief Executive Officer of Tides. Melissa has a strong track record of creative and innovative leadership and a background as a social entrepreneur. Prior to Tides, Melissa founded and served as managing director of New Capitalist, an organization that leverages human, financial and social capital to create economically profitable and sustainable individuals, businesses, and communities. In this role, she facilitated over $20 million in venture capital transactions for seed stage companies, generated an average of 20 percent return on behalf of investors, and created proprietary investment vehicles instrumental in capital sourcing for minority-owned firms.
Jee Kim has been active in various social justice, immigrant rights, and (new) media efforts since the early 90s. He was a senior editor at Stress Magazine, managed social networking software development efforts at Community Connect (BlackPlanet.com, AsianAvenue.com, MiGente.com) 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 civic engagement and social movements. He is currently helping launch a national, Asian American online organizing project, 18millionrising.org
A renowned visionary, Jigar Shah is committed to renewable energy and sustainable solutions that enable prosperity beyond the carbon economy. As CEO of the Carbon War Room, Jigar is dedicated to identifying business-as-usual practices and replacing them with low-carbon solutions. Prior to the Carbon War Room, Jigar founded SunEdison in 2003. Under his leadership, SunEdison revolutionized the solar industry by introducing a business model to sell solar as a service. The transformation to solar power service agreements is responsible for turning solar services into a multi-billion dollar industry.
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.
Antha Williams is Senior Vice President at Corridor Partners, a firm that advises donors on advocacy and electoral strategies to support climate action. Antha has deep experience with public policy campaigns and the individual and institutional donors that support them. Antha worked as Advocacy Executive at Atlantic Philanthropies in New York, where she managed the largest-ever advocacy grant to support Health Care for America Now, the successful health care reform legislative campaign, as well as election-related funding. As Program Officer at Beldon Fund, Antha built support for environmental issues by policymakers through grassroots organizing at the state level. Outside of philanthropy, Antha has worked as a campaigner and organizer, directing large-scale voter protection efforts and working as an Organizing Director with Green Corps, a training program for aspiring environmental advocates. Antha serves on the Boards of Rock the Vote Action Fund and Greenpeace. She graduated from Dartmouth College and lives in New York.
2012-2013 Greenpeace Fund, Inc. Board of Directors
Jeffrey Hollender, Chair
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.
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