Born and raised in the Washington, DC area, Tara has lived in Brooklyn for many years and considers New York City as her “base” for exploration. She has also lived in Brazil, France, and the Netherlands, and traveled throughout the world.
With a BA in Human Impacts on Ecosystems from the University of Virginia and a MA in Climate and Society from Columbia University, Tara’s formal education has focused on issues of sustainable development, society, and the environment. Professionally, her international experience includes work throughout Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe, working with colleagues throughout the world on creative community development, environmental education, social justice, policy and networking.
Tara founded the Human Impacts Institute in 2010, seeing a need for creative approaches to sustainability and global coalition building. Before starting the Human Impacts institute, Tara worked for 9 years as Director of Environmental Education and as Program Director for a NYC community-based organization--developing opportunities for inner-city youth to learn about, and develop responsibility for, their local environment. She has also served as a global representative of The ClimateRealityProject since 2006, presenting to thousands of people about climate change.
Tara’s international accomplishments include the development of capacity building trainings for international women participating in United Nations-sanctioned environmental conferences, representing stakeholders to the United Nations and working with lead officials on international policy development. Often Tara serves the role of “facilitator”, where she helps with creating and maintaining dialogues between different groups, such as scientists and politicians, or the general public. Tara is also an adjunct professor of Environmental Studies, Policy, Sustainable Development and Visual Arts the New School (NYC) and Webster University, Leiden (Leiden, Netherlands), and a guest lecturer at Columbia University (NYC).
Tara’s personal website can be found at http:// www.TaraDePorte.com
Melissa is pursuing her Master's in Business Administration in Sustainability at Bard College and has a BA in Environmental Studies from Eugene Lang College at the New School. She wrote her undergraduate thesis on creating a program model to facilitate street tree stewardship programs for high school students. In addition to this, she is a certified Citizen Pruner by Trees NY and has worked for many years in helping to develop and lead environmental education programs in NYC.
Melissa also has experience in providing consulting services to small businesses for "greening" their facilities, analyzing local incentive programs, and doing outreach about issues of sustainability and the environment. She has been working and interning with environmental non profits for the past three years in NYC.
In her free time, Melissa enjoys practicing and teaching Ashtanga yoga.
Melanie Griffin is a recent college graduate from Indiana University where she completed two degrees; a Bachelor of Arts in Human-Environment Interactions and a Bachelor of Science in Contemporary Dance (Kinesiology). Melanie moved to New York City after graduation to pursue her interests in a city where both dance and environmental initiatives flourish. She strives to develop ideas and methods that will help human life and the natural world coexist and develop, healthily, together. She feels very fortunate to have been able to study and pursue both dance and environmental issues and is excited to see where they lead her in life.
As she has had a more research and science based environmental education, Melanie is excited to be working with the Human Impacts Institute to develop effective community outreach and education programs about sustainability.
In her free time, Melanie enjoys taking dance classes, practicing yoga, educating herself on recent environmental issues, and reading.
Tess Clark is senior pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies and Philosophy at New York University. She is particularly concerned with issues surrounding animal agriculture, environmental ethics, and environmental decision-making.
Originally from the greater Philadelphia area, she has spent the past three years living and working in New York City. Past projects include grantwriting, fundraising research, developing videos for education and outreach, installing school gardens, performing compost demonstrations, and coordinating partnerships between youth agriculture programs.
Tess has recently become a novice vermicomposter. She's also working as Content Producer at Leave It Better, a food education organization.
Agathe Laure recently joined the HII team as a volunteer Environmental Services Specialist, and is currently a candidate for an M.A. in Environmental Policies and Sustainable Development at the Catholic University of Paris.
Environmental challenges first sparked Agathe's interest while volunteering for the CISM radio program Réfrac’Terre in Montreal, where she helped raise public awareness on climate change. Prior to joining HII, Agathe worked in Thailand for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) implementing the EC-FAO Food Security Program in Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Myanmar. From 2009-2010, Agathe worked on water, sanitation, and agricultural issues at the World Bank in Washington, DC, and at the International Center for Advanced Agronomic Studies in the Mediterranean (CIHEAM) in Paris. She received an M.A. in International Law and Administration from the University of la Sorbonne in 2009.
In her free time, Agathe enjoys dancing, swimming, playing with the bird who lives outside her kitchen window, and exploring her new home - NYC.
Eric has a B.S. in geology, specializing in marine geology from City College of NY and completed course work and thesis for M.S, in biology specializing in marine environmental studies from State University of NY, Stony Brook. He has worked for many years as an environmental analyst for engineering and land use planning consultants.
For over thirty years, Eric has been an environmental specialist with theUnited States Federal government, specializing in environmental compliance requirements for Federal program actions, such as the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act. Eric is considered a highly recognized government expert, with a high level of tenure and national responsibility in his field.
Amy Braunschweiger is the Web Communications Manager for Human Rights Watch, where she is responsible for the organization's electronic newsletter communications, and helps oversee its website and social media. Previously, Amy worked as a freelance journalist, her articles appearing in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York and Village Voice, among other publications. She also served as a financial reporter for Dow Jones, covering stocks and the stock market. Her book Taxi Confidential: Life, Death and 3 a.m. Revelations in New York City Cabs, is a collection of 50 gritty New York cab stories from the '70s through present day.
Amy has received the Congress-Bundestag scholarship and the Arthur F. Burns fellowship for journalists, and has also served on the advisory board for the nonprofit, Vietnam Relief Effort.
Langston James Goree VI, known by his Hawaiian nickname “Kimo”, has worked in the international environment and sustainable development sphere for more than 25 years.
Kimo is Vice-President of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Director of IISD Reporting Services and a founder of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB). The Reporting Services division of the International Institute for Sustainable Development was first conceived at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, and has since produced thousands of reports from hundreds of negotiations covering dozens of major multilateral environmental agreements. Its timely up-to-the-minute reports and comprehensive online archives are widely respected and relied upon by experts and officials from around the world. IISD Reporting Services is supported entirely by contributions from readers and their organizations.
Kimo is responsible for the fundraising and overall coordination of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin and IISD’s several knowledge management products, including Sustainable Development Policy & Practice and reports them through the UNCSD-L list. He also is responsible for the several worldwide “L lists” including CLIMATE-L, with more than 20,000 subscribers who receive the daily “Climate Change Daily Feed” reporting on all international activities on climate change. In addition to this, Kimo was recently named Senior Advisor for Information and Knowledge Management to the Bureau for Development Policy and the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda Senior Advisor for Information and Knowledge Management to the Bureau for Development Policy and the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda.
Kimo was born in Hawaii and raised in Berkeley, California. From 1971 through 1988 Kimo was an actor in films, television and radio (SAG/AFTRA), a stand-up comedian and professional clown while accumulating university degrees. In 1988 he moved to Brazil to work for UNDP in Brasília and later as the Director of IPHAE, a Brazilian Amazon-based applied research institute in Porto Velho, Rondonia.
Kimo is a citizen of the United States of America. He has lived in mid-town Manhattan since 1994, is a marathon runner and cyclist, riding about 300 km a week. When not on his bicycle, Kimo can be found in negotiations at UN Headquarters down the street from his office or between airports, attending many of the more than seventy international meetings that IISD is asked to report from each year.
Luisa Gui is an independent producer, project manager, and special events coordinator in visual arts, performance, and film with a background in administrative and curatorial work in galleries and museums. Luisa has initiated, fundraised for, promoted, and managed exhibitions, performances, video, and multimedia projects in NYC, Rome, and Beijing. Her collaborative work includes programmatic partnerships with: the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Performa, ICE Foundation, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Italian Academy at Columbia University, Asia Society, Italian Cultural Institute, Radisson Es. Hotel in Rome, and more.
Since 2010, Luisa has worked as a NYC producer for the documentary video project CRONE. In the Fall of 2011, Luisa was a development consultant for PERFORMA 11, the first biennial for visual art performance in the US. Earlier in the year, she became NYC Coordinator for the third annual DIVINAMENTE NYC Festival on spirituality in the arts.
Luisa aims to create unique projects that bring into the spotlight human interactions and universal issues; are fueled by the desire to achieve beauty and excellence; and ultimately promote individual realization, social responsibility, and spiritual awareness. Luisa is excited to collaborate with the Human Impacts Institute to bring vitality to the Creative Expression program and boost the organization's fundraising endeavors.
Luisa is also a vinyasa and prenatal yoga teacher currently teaching at Lila Yoga, Dharma & Wellness.
Originally from Rome, Italy, Luisa lives in NYC.
Tristan was raised on a sheep farm in Piedmont region of Virginia. He graduated from Oberlin College in 2007 where he was involved in teaching, labor activism, co-operatives, and ecology management at the environmental studies center. He moved to NYC in February 2008, and worked as a political canvasser with the Working Families Party. In 2009 he left the WFP to pursue a career in environmental activism
In January, 2009, Tristan established a Community Sponsored Agriculture project at Bluestockings -- a social activism book store and community center in NYC -- and a larger umbrella group of urban agriculture initiatives called the NYC Food Project. Tristan completed his M.A. in Climate and Society at Columbia University in 2010. His focus was on climate change and its effects on human societies, specializing in environmental ethics and environmental anthropology. He has worked as an Environmental Consultant for VF Sportswear, developing their environmental employee engagment programming, and also served as a Outreach Consultant for Green Depot, a green building and lifestyle supplies store. Tristan has also been a writer for the Earth Institute at Columbia University, writing public outreach materials on global issues of sustainability. He is currently a PhD candidatein Environmental Anthropology, with a focus on indigenous political critique and the constitution of alterity. He looks forward to growing as a professor, writer, farmer, and activist.
Tristan’s personal website can be found at http://iamtdj.com
Chiara Jovanovic is the Director of Business Development at Quidsi, an Amazon affiliate. Previously, she was Vice President in the Investment Management Division at Goldman Sachs. Prior to that, she was an Associate in the Mergers & Acquisitions group in the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs.
Chiara holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA from New York University in International Relations.
A native of Croata, Chiara speaks five languages and sits on the Board of Directors of ProyectArte, an arts and education non-profit in Argentina.
Allison Lucey graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Psychology from Elizabethtown College while captaining the women’s basketball team. Originally from Pennsylvania, Allison went on to receive an M.S. in Exercise and Sport Science in North Carolina which led her to an event planning and fundraising career in New York at the Women’s Sports Foundation. Following six years with this national nonprofit, Allison has continued in event marketing, branding and sponsorships for clients such as Nike, CBS Sports, the NCAA and MetLife. After working as Director of Client Services at Jet Set Sports, planning the hospitality for the London 2012 Olympic Games, Allison is currently serving as Director of Regional Marketing at Teach for America.
Allison continues to volunteer for the Women’s Sports Foundation, dedicates her time to raise funding for Pitt Hopkins Syndrome and works daily to lessen her impact on the environment and advocate for stronger environmental protections.
Akong is the Technical Officer at the World Health Organization Office at the European Union in Brussels, Belgium. In his role, he provides analytical, strategic and programmatic support to raise the profile of global health in EU policies, strategies and instruments for financing development cooperation including climate change. Previously, he worked in WHO Geneva as a Technical Officer in the Office of Assistant Director General Healthy Environments and Sustainable Development, where he provided analytical and technical support for the development of an overarching vision of sustainability in the different areas of the cluster.
Akong has several years of experience working on energy access issues in Africa and was elected member of the Global Village Energy Partnership (GVEP) Board from (2005-2008). He was International Consultant with the Energy and Environment Group of United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in New York.
Originally from Cameroon, Akong has a MA in Climate and Society from Columbia University and has spent much of his career analyzing climate risks at different levels of decision making. He also holds graduate degrees in public policy, economics and international relations.
He has a keen interest in developing effective policy responses including strategies, instruments to better address urgent sustainable development challenges such climate change mitigation, adaptation at local, country and global levels.
Sally Newman is originally from Montana and received her B.A. from Dartmouth College in Economics and Environmental Studies and her J.D. from NYU School of Law, where she was a Root Tilden Kern Public Interest Scholar. While in law school she founded NYU's Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project and traveled to Jordan twice while working with teams of law students and lawyers to assist Iraqi refugees in resettlement proceedings. She has also been an organizer and legal liaison for Code Pink, Women for Peace for three years and served as Legal Coordinator for the Gaza Freedom March in Cairo in 2009.
Sally has served as a legal fellow at Communities for a Better Environment, where she works on cases dealing with environmental racism in Oakland. In the Fall of 2011, Sally began her role as a Associate Attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center .
She also sits on the board of directors for Hollaback, an international movement to end street harassment and promote women's safety. She came to the Human Impacts Institute through community work responding to the BP oil disaster in 2010 and the broader issue of American addiction to oil.
Kate Offerdahl is studying international relations and sustainable development at Columbia University. As a former intern and Youth Leadership Coordinator for the Human Impacts Institute, Kate spearheaded NY+20, a youth-led conference on sustainability, and was instrumental in helping develop HII's MobilizeUS! coalition and worked with supporting youth's voices in the 2012 Rio+20 Sustainable Development Conference of the UN. As one of HII's delegates in Rio, she worked on pushing U.S. policy to include youth voices and ensure long-term sustainable development. After Rio, Kate joined the White House's Council on the Environment, where she continued her work on domestic environmental issues. Kate is currently interning with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) to help document the ongoing post-Rio negotiations and other UN sustainability meetings.
Kate hopes to one day see the world living with completely sustainable habits, and wants to pursue these ecological goals on an international level. She loves to travel and learn new things, for she loves to study different cultures, philosophies, and languages. She has been trained in dance since the age of three and the classical harp since the age of five. She loves the impact that the arts have had on her life, and shares this joy with others through teaching and performing.
Jan Peterson serves as the Chair of the Coordinating Council of the Huairou Commission. Her current role comes from 30 years of working in community development. She has been a groundbreaking leader in producing innovative community structures led by grassroots women. In Brooklyn, New York, she founded numerous community-based organizations and developed a Leadership Support Process to help grassroots women to build leadership while working across ethnic and racial lines. Supporting the knowledge and contributions of grassroots women, she also ran the national Institute for Women and Community Development and the Neighborhood Women College Program. Her experience spans from local and national to global work work; in the United States she founded the National Congress of Neighborhood Women. She moved from national to global work, playing a founding role in GROOTS International and then the Huairou Commission. She has taught in the faculty of Adelphi University School of Social Work, the Pratt Institute, LaGuardia Community College and more recently at the New School Graduate Program in International Affairs. Under the Carter administration, she worked as the Associate Director in the office of public liaison in the White House, as well as the Office of Policy and Planning and Action, with Peace Corps and Vista.
Ms. Peterson was awarded the UN-Habitat Scroll of Honor in September 2009 for her work that spans four decades of commitment to improving grassroots women's lives globally. Because of her strong advocacy, Jan has ensured that the global women's movement incorporates grassroots women's groups and that it takes heed of community development priorities for sustainable human settlements. In addition to raising more than USD 4 million for work with grassroots women, Jan has supported pioneering initiatives such as the Grassroots Academies held at each World Urban Forum and the Local to Local Dialogue Process.
Ana is the Founder of the Centre for Organisation Research and Education (CORE) and sits on the Board of the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture. Originally from India, over the last 30 years, Anna has been a global leader in women's, children's, and indigenous issues. She both works with communities on-the-ground and serves as an international representative in networking and advocacy to the United Nations. As the Founder of the Centre for Organisation Research and Education (CORE), Anna facilitated its' growth from a small, local NGO to an internationally-respected indigenous organization. Anna also serves as a Trustee of Land is Life, an indigenous-led organization that is at the forefront of the international struggle to promote and protect the rights of indigenous peoples.
Anna has written and collaborated in writing dozens of briefings, advocacy papers, reports, research articles on climate, water, biodiversity, armed conflict, land rights, culture, health, education and human rights. Throughout her work, Anna focuses on developing international standards, national legislation and policy guidelines on all these issues. She provides leadership to numerous international collaborative organizations, including serving on the International Steering Committee of GenderCC-Women for Climate Justice, a global network of women and gender activists and experts from all world regions working for gender and climate justice. She is also a Member-Partner of the Women's Learning Partnership and a Member of the Indigenous Research Network of DoCip.
David Lee Rubin began editing his colleagues' writing in 1963, as a Fulbright Fellow in Paris, and subsequently edited or co-edited numerous books of scholarship and criticism.
In 1987 he founded and for five years edited a themed, refereed annual, Continuum, followed in 1993 by EMF: Studies in Early Modern France. Throughout the '70s, '80s and '90s, he served on the editorial board of American, British, French, and German journals as well as Purdue University Studies in Romance Literatures. He also acted as an adviser to Oxford University Press, University of Chicago Press, and Yale University Press, among others.
After 32 years of service to the University of Virginia French Department, David now an Emeritus Professor teaches argumentation in seminars for first-year students and workshops for pre-law students, in addition to Great Books through the Charlottesville-Albemarle Senior Center.
A former Guggenheim Fellow, David has written three volumes of criticism and lectured on his research at many institutions, including the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, London, Chicago and California (Berkeley as well as Los Angeles).
Gradually phasing out as publisher of Rookwood Press, he recently launched a consulting practice Fox Hill Editorial.
Alex White was born in Nicosia, Cyprus in January, 1984, and grew up in Westbrook, Connecticut. In 2002 he enrolled in Rutgers College before transferring to Ithaca College and graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics in 2006. During those years he was a member of the crew team and was active in the arts and politics. Thereafter he traveled extensively before settling into life in New York City and work as a paralegal at an intellectual property law firm in Manhattan. During this time he also cultivated his interests in music. He's a graduate of the M.A. program for Climate and Society at Columbia University, during which time he focused on issues of climate vulnerability, sustainable development, and disaster mitigation. Alex also produces a climate blog, which can be found at climatewisdom.com
As former Director of Outreach and Advocacy for the Human Impacts Institute, Alex looks forward to continuing his role in coalition building and improving communications with partner organizations for HII. He also looks forward to continuing to travel, work, learn, and promote understanding of natural systems their significance and consequences to humanity.
The Human Impacts Institute is supported by a talented group of interns and volunteers. They bring innovation and fresh ideas to our programs. We couldn't do it without you!
Born and raised in northern Mexico, Mariana moved to Spain at 19. After completing a BA in Communications and a Certificate in Ibero-American Studies at Saint Louis University in Madrid, she moved to the Netherlands to finish a second degree in Psychology.
She has worked as an English teacher for three years, two as an online trainer, where she enjoys talking to people all over the world. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, writing, yoga, and trying to improve her dutch. Working with the Human Impacts Institute, she hopes to learn more about sustainability and how to change our current culture of consumption.
Elaine Baker, Trinity College Dublin, NGO Management Intern
Celia Cui, Beijing University/Clemson University, Environmental Services and Retrofit Internn
Sunny Du, Iowa State, Environmental Retrofit Intern
Sarah Fackler, UPENN/Columbia University, Climate and Coalition Building Intern
Julia Goldstein, Teaching Professional, NGO Management Intern
LeAnne Harvey, Bard College, Environmental Leadership
Jila Keshavarz, Florida Atlantic University, PR and Marketing Intern
Lauren Lavitt, Business Professional/New York Law School, Climate Coalition Intern
Eugénie Lejeune,University of Pennsylvania, NGO Management and PR/Marketing Intern
Dominique Murray, McGill University, Environmental Services Intern
Rachana Patel, University of Michigan, Environmental Education Intern
Brendan Schoenman, Marymount Manhattan College, Environmental Leadership
Adam Sheperd, NYU Wagner School, Environmental Education and Services Intern
Melanie Sluyter, NYU, Environmental Leadership Intern
Grant Smolen, Columbia University (SIPA), Environmental Services Intern
Klas Svensson, Linnaeus University/Boston University, NGO Management and PR/Marketing Intern
Alex Turek, Ohio State University, Environmental Services and Education Intern
Elisabetta Di Matta, Luciano Manara High School (Rome, Italy), Environmental Education Intern
Jenny Cheng, Brandeis University, Climate Change and Coalition Building Intern
Ronald Comstock, Pace University, Business Environmental Sustainability Intern
Hoa Do, Seattle University, PR and Marketing Intern
Arianne Donar, Climate and Water Educator, Environmental Education Intern
Emily Gilbert, New York University, Environmental Leadership Intern
Alex White, Columbia University, Environmental Leadership Intern
Marc Jourdan, Law and Policy Specialist, Environmental Leadership Intern
Jennifer Kanter, Environmental Outreach Specialist, Climate Change and Coalition Building Intern
Moua Lo, Media and PR Professional, Media Consultant
Melissa Mitchell, The New School, Environmental Education Intern
Peter Tzannes, CUNY, Environmental Services and Education Intern
Mugzy Undemir, Columbia University, Climate Change and Coalition Building Intern
Brigette Walsh, Hunter College, Environmental Services Intern
Moua Lo, Media and PR Professional, Media Consultant
Kate Offerdhal, New York University, NGO Management Volunteer