Board of Directors
Lauren Baer is a nationally-recognized civic leader who has built her career generating social impact at scale. An attorney and foreign policy expert, her varied experience includes advising Secretaries of State, litigating at the U.S. Supreme Court, and running for office in a ground-breaking campaign for U.S. Congress. Innovative and results-oriented, Lauren is a problem-solver at heart, combining a passion for justice with a strategic mindset that enables her to drive organizational growth and incite social change. With deep experience in major donor, small dollar, and corporate fundraising and partnerships, Lauren expertly forges coalitions to finance bold ideas and has successfully raised sums in excess of $650 million. Her savvy advocacy and stakeholder engagement fuel initiatives with support from the grassroots and the grasstops. Having worked in the private sector and non-profits, policy and politics, Lauren possesses an expansive network and a unique ability to work across sectors. Lauren is a collaborative leader with a strong commitment to diversity and integrity who takes pride in having successfully managed teams of 100+. Lauren holds a B.A. from Harvard University, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and an MPhil from the University of Oxford, where she was a Marshall Scholar. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her wife Emily, her daughter Serena, and their dog Biscuit.
Whitey Bluestein, Bluestein & Associates, LLC
Whitey Bluestein is a strategy advisor to high-tech start-ups, focusing on mobile technology, applications, connectivity services. Over his 30-year career in corporate development, he has worked in every facet of telecommunications, and is an internationally-recognized expert on wireless market trends, pricing and wholesale carrier deals. He has appeared several times on CNBC Fast Money as an mobile industry expert. In 2014 he was named a judge for the Verizon Powerful Answers Award in the Sustainability category. A lifelong environmentalist, he was the second Executive Director of Vermont Public Interest Research Group, where he focused on utilities and nuclear power. He worked at the U.S. Department of Energy in renewable fuels, detailed to the Secretary of Energy on several assignments. Before joining the Friends of the Earth board, he was board president of Bluewater Network. Whitey received his B.S. in Business from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University (Bloomington) and his Juris Doctor with Honors from George Washington University Law School. He also completed the prestigious NARUC Advanced Regulatory Studies Program, at the Institute of Public Utilities, Michigan State University, in East Lansing. Bluestein lives in Sonoma County, California.
Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project
Judith Browne Dianis is the Executive Director of Advancement Project, a Washington, D.C.-based multi-racial civil rights organization known for its pioneering, grassroots work to end the school-to-prison pipeline. Most recently, Advancement Project has challenged the growing trend of public school closures and privatization in communities of color. Dianis joined Advancement Project at its inception in 1999 after serving as the Managing Attorney in the Washington, D.C. office of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund. A graduate of Columbia University School of Law, she was awarded a Skadden Fellowship, served as a Tobias Simon Eminent Scholar at Florida State University Law School and as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center.
Jayni Chase, Founder and CEO, Center for Environmental Education
Jayni founded the Center for Environmental Education, a nationally based non-profit organization which advances environmental education. She is also the author of Blueprint for a Green School, an environmental education resource guide. Jayni is the recipient of numerous awards from organizations such as The Audubon Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Environmental Media Association (EMA), Women For, U.S. Environmental Film Festival, and the Rainforest Alliance. Most recently Jayni participated in the Clinton Global Initiative and, along with Earth Day Network (EDN), she is launching a new ambitious initiative, GREEN reModel. She joined the Board of Directors of EDN in February 2008.
Cecil D. Corbin-Mark, Deputy Director/Director of Policy Initiatives, West Harlem Environmental Action
Cecil D. Corbin-Mark is the Deputy Director and the Director of Policy Initiatives at West Harlem Environmental Action in New York City. A life-long resident of Hamilton Heights in Harlem, New York, he is the former Vice-President of his neighborhood association, and the former Chair of the Landmarks Preservation Committee of his Community Planning Board. He serves as a mentor through the Friends of Island Academy — a program to assist formerly incarcerated teens. He is also a big brother to several young men and women from his neighborhood. Cecil earned a degree in political science from Hunter College, C.U.N.Y., and completed graduate work in political science at Oxford University in the U.K., focusing on radical political traditions of Africans of the Diasporas in the Americas. He has lectured on the environment and environmental justice at Hunter College, Teacher’s College, The College of Mount St. Vincent, Buffalo State, Cornell University, Yale School of Forestry, and Columbia University School of Public Health. Cecil currently, or has in the past, served on the following boards, coalitions and committees: New York Jobs with Justice, Center for Environmental Health, Urban Wet Weather FACA for the U.S. EPA, the New York State DEC Urban Air Toxic Committee, New York State Cumulative Risk Assessment Work Group, New York City DEP Water Quality Citizen Advisory Committee, Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board, Clean Air Network, Association for Clean Water Action, Clean Products/Clean Production Network, Environmental Justice Fund, Organization of Waterfront Neighborhoods, the NYC Environmental Education Advisory Council. He is also a member of the Steering Committee for the Northeast Environmental Justice Network.
Harriett Crosby, Co-founder & President of Institute for Soviet American Relations
Secretary, Audit committee chair
ISAR supports the work of environmental activists in the former Soviet Union. Harriett has worked as an instructor for the Colorado Outward Bound School and taught at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School, Aspen Community School , and at the Putney School in Vermont. She worked at the White House Council on Environmental Quality for the first five years of the Clinton Administration. Harriett has a Master’s degree in Psychology from Temple University and has been trained as a Jungian analyst at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich. She attended Pitzer College and just received their distinguished alumni award. She manages Fox Haven, a farm and retreat center in Maryland, and currently serves as secretary for the board of Friends of the Earth.
Dan Gabel, Chairman and CEO, Hagedorn & Company
Dan and his wife, Bunny, have been involved with Friends of the Earth since 1970. He served on the Board of Friends of the Earth Foundation as Director and Treasurer for about 15 years. He joined the Board of Friends of the Earth in 1995 and served as Chairman of the Board for many years. Dan and Bunny graduated from Duke University where he is on the Board of the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment Earth Sciences. He is also on the board of Waterkeepers Alliance, Cary Institute, Cheshire Academy, Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, Insurance Brokers Association of New York (where he is the current president), Hundred Year Association, Abtec Industries, and Tekkote Corporation. Since 1979 he has been Chairman and CEO of the New York based insurance brokerage firm, Hagedorn & Company.
Arturo Garcia-Costas, Program Officer, New York Community Trust
Arturo manages the New York Community Trust’s national and New York City environmental grantmaking program. He came to the Trust from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, where he oversaw the environmental justice grant program and chaired the State’s Sea Level Rise Task Force Community Resilience Work Group. Before that, Arturo worked with the United Nations Development Program, where he ran a global funding initiative focused on helping developing countries implement the Rio Conventions. He has also promoted sustainable development in the Americas with several nonprofits including the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Alliance to End Childhood Lead Poisoning. Over the course of his career, Arturo has worked for Congress and for a Clinton appointee at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. He earned an undergraduate degree from the City University of New York in International Affairs and Theater, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School, where he focused on international and environmental law.
Jeffrey Glueck, Head of Digital, Hawkfish LLC
Jeff helps to lead Hawkfish, a digital tech and data platform for progressive campaigns and causes, based in New York City. Hawkfish was founded in 2019 to improve the capabilities of progressive campaigns and advocacy groups for digital engagement with citizens and voters, to level the playing field with efforts backed by right-wing special interests such as the Republican Data Trust. In 2019 he was named to Business Insider’s list of leaders inventing the future of marketing technology.
Previously, he was CEO at Foursquare, the location technology company, and CEO at Skyfire Labs in Silicon Valley, which built technology to make mobile networks more efficient around the world. He previously served as Chief Marketing Officer for Travelocity, where he launched the Travelocity Roaming Gnome, and “Travel for Good” including the first carbon offset program of any online travel agency. He has held positions advising Latin American governments on sustainable development and as a White House Fellow in the Clinton administration working on green trade and renewable energy financing. He is married and lives in New York, and on the weekends enjoys hiking and spending time with his three young children.
Michael J. Herz, Founder, San Francisco Baykeeper
Nominating committee chair
A research scientist and environmental activist for more than 30 years, Mike was an associate professor in residence at the University of California at San Francisco & has published numerous books and papers on the effects of toxics on the brain & behavior. He co-founded and was Executive Director of the San Francisco chapter of the Oceanic Society & Executive Vice President of the national organization. He was a member of the Alaska Oil Spill Commission following the Exxon Valdez oil spill & has served on numerous technical review committees for the National Research Council, Department of Interior & State of California. He is past-President of the Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association, a Maine land trust that also protects endangered Atlantic salmon, a current board member of Maine Rivers & the Putney School & a former commodore of the Singlehanded Sailing Society. Mike received a Master’s degree from San Francisco State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.
Chloe Maxmin, Founder, First Here, Then Everywhere
Chloe Maxmin (24) became a climate activist when she was 12 to fight a development proposal in her home state, Maine. She founded the Climate Action Club in high school, galvanizing a movement in her school and community. At Harvard College, she co-founded Divest Harvard–a campaign calling on Harvard University to divest its endowment from fossil fuels–and helped grow DH from group of 3 into a movement of over 70,000 people. Chloe also founded First Here, Then Everywhere to empower youth climate activists. After graduation, Chloe was a Fellow at The Nation. She currently lives and organizes in Maine. Her achievements as a youth activist have been recognized both nationally and internationally, including the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, the Brower Youth Award, being named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone, and being featured on Real Time with Bill Maher. You can follow her on Twitter at @chloemaxmin and visit http://www.chloemaxmin.com.
Stephen Nemeth, Founder and CEO, Rhino Films
Stephen Nemeth formed and heads up Rhino Films, the independent film company that originated as a division of iconoclastic record label Rhino Records. He has produced ten films, including “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” and executive produced fourteen others. He is also working with Amnesty International through Artists for Amnesty on developing and producing human rights related projects. He serves on the boards of the Woodstock Film Festival, the Wildlife Ecostation, Wheels For Humanity, Children Uniting Nations, Shine On Sierra Leone, OneVoice, the Hollywood Film Festival, the Veggie Van Organization, the One Second Film Foundation, the advisory board of the Full Frame Documentary Festival, the dean’s board of UC Santa Cruz’s School for the Arts, and is a consultant for Admetech, a prostate cancer research foundation at the Harvard Medical School.
Chris Pabon, Director of Development, Project On Government Oversight
Chris Pabon is the Director of Development at Project on Government Oversight. Prior to joining POGO, Chris worked at Friends of the Earth for over 10 years. He has worked within the development offices of the College of Pan American Agriculture and Ashoka: Innovators for the Public. Chris also served for four years as the coordinator for DC Fundraisers, an organization with 500 members whiched organized monthly brownbags for its members. Chris was elected as a delegate for Washington, D.C., to the Non Profit Congress in 2006. Chris has worked in all aspects of fundraising including event organizing, direct mail, donor relations, combined federal campaign, planned giving and was also an instructor with the Social Action and Leadership School for Activists. Chris received a B.A. in Political Science (Summa Cum Laude) from the University of Tennessee and has taken specialization courses through the Institute for Policy Studies, National Society of Fund Raising Executives and the Foundation Center. He has served as a judge for the Council on Foundations Wilmer Shields Rich Award, a prize that every year chooses the best communication tools (web sites, annual reports, special reports, newsletters) produced by foundations. Chris is fluent in Spanish and has been quoted in numerous publications such as the Washington Post, New York Post, The Chronicle of Philanthropy and radio interviews. He has hiked through the peaks and valleys of the Bolivian segment of the Andes. In his spare time he enjoys attending Cons, cheering for the U.S. men’s soccer team, cooking and watching movies.
Chris Paine, Director
Chris Paine is a filmmaker best known for his documentaries “Who Killed the Electric Car?” (2006) and “Revenge of the Electric Car” (2011) about startup Tesla Motors which he wrote and directed. His most recent film as executive producer (EP) is “Bikes vs Cars”(2015) featuring front line struggles in Los Angeles, Copenhagen, Toronto, and Buenos Aires to rebalance transportation priorities. Other films as EP include “Charge” about electric motorcycle racing in the UK with Ewan McGregor, “Faster!” and “No Maps for These Territories” with U2 frontman Bono. His work as an environmentalist include campaigns against the expansion of freeways south of San Francisco, stopping expanded fracking of the Monterey Shale in California, and nuclear testing moratoriums. He co-founded the site counterspill.com in response to industry efforts to spin media on the BP oil disaster. Counterspill won 3 Webby Awards in 2012. His technical background includes his start-up firm Internet Outfitters (sold in 1999). Currently, he serves on the board of Friends of the Earth and Impro Theater.
Arlie Schardt, Founder and Director, Environmental Media Service
Arlie Schardt is Chair of Friends of the Earth. He covered the 1960s civil rights campaigns for TIME magazine, was a staff writer for Sports Illustrated, Associate Legislative Director for the ACLU (where he co-chaired a national campaign to impeach Richard Nixon, one year before Watergate), executive director of the Environmental Defense Fund, News Media editor at Newsweek, chief of the News Service at Sports Illustrated, National Press Secretary for Al Gore’s 1987-88 presidential campaign, and editor of Foundation News magazine. He has written features and op-ed pieces in numerous national magazines and leading dailies. He has also contributed to three books on politics and national issues, including “Investigating the FBI.” His book, “Amnesty, the Unsettled Question of Vietnam,” went through three printings and was a factor in President Jimmy Carter’s granting amnesty to hundreds of thousands of Vietnam war resisters.
Soroush Shehabi, CEO, Washington Life Magazine
Doria Steedman, Dir. of Partnership Development
Doria has had a very distinguished career in the advertising field, having been chosen as 1996 Advertising Woman of the Year by Advertising Women of New York. Previously, she worked for Geer DuBois Advertising, where she served on the Executive Committee; produced and directed two award-winning films for People Magazine; was selected as one of Advertising Age’s “100 Best and Brightest”; and was elected to the Board of Directors of Advertising Women of New York (AWNY). She served as president of AWNY from 1993 to 1995, and as chair of the AWNY Foundation from 1995 to 1997. She became Creative Director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America in 1992, where she was responsible for the quality and the quantity of the Partnership’s anti –drug advertising, both the exclusively pro-bono work and the Office of National Drug Policy’s paid media campaign.
Marc Zionts, an executive and entrepreneur has been successfully leading companies since 1987. Zionts is currently the Executive Officer and Board Member of Precision Nutrition, a BV Investment Partners portfolio company.
Zionts earned his Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Zionts is also an Independent Board Director for Pivot 3 and TEOCO.
Brent Blackwelder, Ex-officio and president emeritus
Brent was most recently president of Friends of the Earth, from 1994 to 2009. In his 40-plus years of environmental advocacy he has been active in campaigns to reform foreign aid, save forests, protect rivers and advance human rights. He was an architect of significant legislation to protect natural resources and clean up pollution. Brent is a leader in the effort to save rivers — he helped expand the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System from eight rivers in 1973 to more than 250 today and helped eliminate more than 200 dams and stream dredging projects, which would have destroyed rivers, wetlands, wildlife and areas of significant scientific value. He founded American Rivers, the Environmental Policy Center and Environmental Policy Institute, and was the chairman of the board of directors of the League of Conservation Voters. Brent holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a master’s from Yale University in mathematics and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Maryland. He current serves as ex-officio and president emeritus of Friends of the Earth.