Ann is the Development Director for Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), a family of numerous tribes and voices who are rooted in sustaining tradition and building cultural wealth. With a background in new business development and communications, Ann has been in working in development since 2001, developing and managing a diverse suite of fundraising activities including foundation, corporate, individual and membership programs as well as event management. Previously, Ann served as Marketing Chair on the Board of Directors of the Willamette Valley Development Officers, on the Board of Directors at Hands On Greater Portland. After finishing her studies in art and music at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Ann traveled along the west coast and through parts of Europe as a member of Balafon Marimba Ensemble. A believer in the importance of artistic expression, Ann enjoys playing accordion with friends.
An alum of Center for Diversity in the Environment’s E42 Leadership Program, Ann is passionate about changing the dominant paradigm, creating equitable distribution of power and inviting all voices to the conversation.
As the Senior Vice President of Conservation Ventures at The Conservation Fund, Evan Smith adds an entrepreneurial twist to classic conservation. Evan oversees programs that invest in green businesses and working forests to generate both economic and environmental return. Since joining the Fund in 1995, Evan, a trained forester, has worked to demonstrate that nonprofits can successfully acquire and sustainably manage large tracts of forestland, most recently through the Working Forest Fund. He serves on the boards of directors for the Center for Diversity & the Environment, the Natural Capital Investment Fund, the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts, and Walker Range Fire Protection Association. He is a member of the Committee for Family Forestlands for the Oregon Board of Forestry and the Advisory Council for the College of Forestry, Oregon State University, and is a frequent speaker on conservation finance topics. Evan resides in Portland and takes great pride in his daughters’ fondness for biking, wildflowers, and ice cream. He has B.S. in Geology and Master of Forestry degrees from Yale University.
Peter is a Certified Public Accountant who currently works in public accounting. He is a graduate of The University of Oregon, and holds a Masters in Business Taxation from the University of Southern California. Professionally, his interests include corporate and partnership tax compliance, consulting, and provision work.
Peter was born and raised in Portland Oregon, and has had a lifelong interest in the environment stemming from his days camping and enjoying the outdoors with his family. Peter feels fortunate to live in a place with four seasons of outdoors activities, and is committed to the environmental well being of the community, both locally and further afield. As stewards of this gift, Peter believes it’s important to work together to sustain the natural world for future generations.
Marisa Aurora Quiroz:
Marisa is the Senior Program Officer for Environmental Conservation at the International Community Foundation where she manages all aspects of the foundation’s marine and terrestrial conservation program with an emphasis on Mexico’s Baja California peninsula and coastal communities of the Gulf of California, as well as the Eastern Tropical Pacific region. Prior to the International Community Foundation, Marisa directed The San Diego Foundation’s Opening the Outdoors Initiative where she worked with donors, volunteers and nonprofits to advance regional conservation efforts, ensure that all communities have access to clean air, water and nature, as well as to promote action on climate change. She serves as a member of the California Structural Pest Control Board and is certified by the International Association of Public Participation. Marisa has a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and Sociology from Mills College and a Master’s in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of San Diego. In 2010, she was selected as one of San Diego News Network’s, 35 Under 35 Community Leaders. She is a graduate of the 2012 HOPE Leadership Institute, and co-founded The Latina Giving Circle – a regional group of woman engaged in culturally relevant philanthropy.
Marisa is also a Certified Massage Therapist and Doula, with over ten years of experience in bodywork. For relaxation you can sometimes find her stilt walking in the park.
Alexandria is the Director of Environment and Sustainability at Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), the premier advocacy and policy organization for the world’s leading innovation companies. In her role, Alexandria develops and advocates positions on domestic and international policies related to energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainability. Prior to ITI, Alexandria coordinated the re-launch of the Tishman Environment and Design Center, an academic hub based at The New School that utilizes design, policy and social justice approaches to solve pressing environmental issues. She was also a manager at The Engine Room, an international NGO using technology and data to support social and environmental causes, and a Chief Financial Officer at Groundswell, a D.C.-based nonprofit aimed at unlocking communities’ economic power to grow sustainability on the local level. Alexandria holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Environment from Howard University and a M.S. in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy.
Neal is the Director of Pacific Region Field Operations for the National Parks Conservation Association, and has worked on and led numerous campaigns to protect, expand, and create national parks since 2004. Those campaigns include the protection of Drakes Estero within Point Reyes National Seashore as the first marine wilderness on the west coast, the creation of the Port Chicago National Memorial to remember the racial discrimination during WWII that led to the desegregation of the armed services, the restoration of public access at Santa Rosa Island within the Channel Islands National Park, and the protection of the Presidio’s Main Post and Crissy Field from large-scale, inappropriate development proposals. Neal works to organize and build diverse public and political support for national parks. Prior to joining NPCA, Neal worked in Burlington, Vermont with the Community and Economic Development Office and the AmeriCorps*VISTA program. He received a degree in Management Information Systems and Marketing from the State University of New York, Albany School of Business.
David is honored to join the board of CDE after serving on the advisory council for many years. He is excited to help maintain, build, share, and hone the vital work CDE is championing. David has worked for the National Parks Conservation Association for nearly a decade. He has held increasingly responsible jobs ranging from field representative, to program manager, to Associate Director, and is currently the director of California Desert and Wildlife Programs. In this role, David works on policy, legislation, media, building community, and connecting desert voices to the administration and congress. David has worked to protect tens of thousands of acres adjacent to California desert parks from inappropriate development. He also worked to designate 3 new national monuments, including the creation of a new national park service unit. David is a published author and photographer who worked to develop the Tortoises Through the Lens program to teach diverse youth about the desert through photography. The result of that program was a published book of the student’s work telling the conservation story of the desert tortoise. That book was recently printed in the Spanish language. David formerly worked in the fields of wildlife biology and environmental science. He sits on the boards of several desert based organizations.
Gabe Sheoships, citizen of the Cayuse and Walla Walla Nations, of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Gabe is the Education Director for the Friends of Tryon Creek, and an Adjunct Faculty Member at Portland State University, where he teaches courses focused on Indigenous Knowledge Bases and Science Education. Previously, Gabe worked on behalf of native fish culture and conservation for 12 years. As a biologist, professor, author, and social activist, Gabe’s world intertwines cultural tradition, education and ecological questions.
Gabe engages both scientific knowledge and traditional ways of understanding to address problems within the natural world, to ultimately restore, protect, and enhance first foods for Indigenous people.
Gabe earned a Master’s Degree in Fisheries Biology from Oregon State University.
Ruchi Sadhir is the Associate Director for Strategic Engagement & Development at the Oregon Department of Energy. She most recently served as Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s energy and climate change policy advisor, where she participated in UN Climate Change Conferences in Paris and Bonn and several clean energy legislative accomplishments during the 2015, 2016, and 2017 sessions such as coal to- clean, clean fuels, and an electric vehicle rebate. Ruchi also served as senior policy advisor at the Oregon Public Utility Commission, working on a range of matters related to the energy industry, transition to cleaner sources of energy, and climate change. Before her work in Oregon, Ruchi lived in Washington, D.C. where she helped lead development of renewable energy and electric transmission siting and permitting policy in the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of the Interior, staffed the Obama Administration’s “Rapid Response Team for Transmission,” and was a law clerk at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Ruchi holds an L.L.M. in Environmental Law from the George Washington University Law School, a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and a B.S. from the University of Michigan College of Engineering. She enjoys traveling and hiking in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband and dog.
Andrew is the director of content at Grist, a nonprofit media organization working toward a planet that doesn’t burn and a future that doesn’t suck. Since joining Grist in 2013, Andrew has overseen the launch of special projects including the Grist journalism fellowship and the Grist 50. He began his career as a music journalist. He was an editorial assistant at Rolling Stone, a deputy managing editor at VIBE, and the managing editor at Complex Media. In 2008, he switched his focus to sports and joined ESPN The Magazine as a senior editor. In 2012 he became a senior editor at Fast Company, where he oversaw editorial franchises like Fast Talk and the Most Creative People in Business. He is co-author of the book Racing While Black: How an African-American Stock Car Team Made Its Mark on NASCAR. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.