Leadership

DC EcoWomen is an exclusively volunteer-run organization. We are who we are today thanks to our Executive Board members and the help of volunteers beyond our Board. Learn about the committees that make DC EcoWomen a well-oiled machine and the rock-star women who run them.

DC EcoWomen Board

Co-Chairs

Treasurer

Communications Committee

Membership Committee

Professional Development Committee

Programs Committee

Interested in joining the Executive Board for DC EcoWomen? Learn more about the commitment and opportunities by reading our volunteer and board member handbook.

April Martin; Co-Chair

April MartinApril D. Martin attended the Notre Dame of Maryland University, an all women’s liberal arts school in Baltimore, Maryland. She received her BA in International Business and worked in the financial industry after graduation. Shortly after completing her undergraduate degree she received her Masters from Johns Hopkins University.

Throughout her professional career, April has worked to expand her knowledge of education and best practices through the various organizations she has had the opportunity to serve. From designing and implementing innovative curriculum for youth with Harvard University’s W.E.B. Dubois Institute for African and African American Studies, to managing an evidence-based pregnancy prevention program with The Children’s Aid Society of New York, she has dedicated her career to helping students and families.

April has worked closely with government agencies, foundations, schools, and partner organizations on the integration of environmental education programs. She is a fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program and part-time runner. She has a passion for outdoor education and sustainable food production. Besides enjoying running and biking around DC, she also enjoys college football (War Eagle) and good southern food.

April Daniels-Martin grew up in Alabama and is a life long Auburn Fan, War Eagle.

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Tamara Toles O’Laughlin; Co-Chair

TDTO 2015.3Tamara is an environmental advocate focused on health, equity, access, and justice.

She casts a wide net in service to community. Among her activities, she is the Executive Director of the Maryland Environmental Health Network (MdEHN), Co-chair of DC EcoWomen, and the Vice Chair and DC representative on the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Air and Climate Public Advisory Committee. Tamara also serves as a Director on the Board of Directors of Women’s Voices for the Earth based in Missoula, Montana.

Tamara graduated from the Vermont Law School in 2009, with a Juris Doctor and Masters of Environmental Law and Policy. She has worked for over fifteen years to embed the principles of environmental justice into environmental work, with attention to community capacity building, mobilization, equity of enforcement, and environmental health.

Prior to taking the helm at MdEHN she held various positions with distinguished organizations including the District Department of Energy and Environment in Washington DC, the Maryland Energy Administration, Advisory Council of Historic Preservation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Center on Race, Poverty and Environment, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, among others. Prior to relocation to the Mid-Atlantic Tamara served as the Senior Law Clerk to the Honorable Douglas A. Brady and Senior Sitting Judge Julio A. Brady.

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Tynekia Garrett; Treasurer

Tynekia Garrett is a native Washingtonian, with a passion to help others and the environment. Tynekia holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Studies with a minor in Economics from Towson University. As well as, a Masters of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School. Tynekia currently serves as a Management and Program Analyst for the District Department of Forensic Sciences, where she manages budget and performance. She is proud to work for a public agency, where women are at the forefront of science. She speaks highly of the scientists, examiners, procurement staff, and the budget team that is comprised of a diverse group of women.

Tynekia is committed to public service and serving others. She served in AmeriCorps for the Higher Achievement Program in Ward 8 of the District. During her time as a volunteer, Tynekia successfully helped 90% of the students gain acceptance into a Tier 1 high school. Fun fact, while being sworn in as an AmeriCorps volunteer she was featured in a picture with former President  Barack Obama. Tynekia has since continued to mentor students and give back to the community.

Tynekia also served as Capital City Fellow for the District Government. She completed various policy-related projects for the Office of the City Administrator, Metropolitan Police Department, and the District Department of Public Works (DPW). At DPW she worked with the Office of Waste Management where she led the agency grasscycling campaign and recycling educational outreach for multi-family units in the District.

Lastly, Tynekia is excited to have joined the board. If you see her at an event, she welcomes you to say hello.

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Alyssa Ritterstein; VC of Communications

Alyssa Ritterstein is a driven communications professional, with a proven track record of creating and executing successful communications and media relations strategies for nonprofit organizations, associations and a public relations firm. Her career spans various climate, energy and environmental communications work.

She’s currently a press secretary at Earthjustice, the nation’s original and largest nonprofit environmental law organization, where she develops and leads communication plans around current case work. Prior to Earthjustice, Alyssa was a press secretary at Green For All, an organization focused on building an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty, where she managed media relations and public relations projects. She has also worked at Tigercomm, a leading cleantech public relations firm, and the Solar Energy Industries Association, the national trade association for the solar industry.

Alyssa earned her M.A. in Public Communications and B.A. in Psychology from American University. She loves to read and write. She enjoys watching the latest blockbuster and finding new restaurants to try in DC’s bustling food scene. Find her on LinkedIn.

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Nikita Naik; Communications

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Nikita has been living in Washington, DC for over five years. She is currently a researcher at Food & Water Watch, where she works on climate and energy issues and advocates for clean air and renewable energy. Her prior experiences include working as a consultant for the Natural Resources Defense Council and as a researcher for Beyond Pesticides on issues ranging from particulate matter pollution to pesticide residues on food.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Emory University and a master’s degree in public health with a concentration in environmental health sciences from U.C. Berkeley. Nikita going to museums, reading, writing and drawing, and cooking in her free time. You can find Nikita on LinkedIn.

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Jennifer Perron; Communications

Jenn has worked on climate change for over a decade— in non-profits, and in academia. She has a strong background in the science & policy dimensions of global climate change, and holds a Master’s in Environmental Policy from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment, and a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science.

Her areas of interest include international climate policy and the UN climate negotiations, linkages between countries’ national climate targets and international development goals, stakeholder engagement and civil society access in climate policy decision-making, and the role of networks in advancing multilateral environmental governance processes.

She has conducted social science research on urban climate change adaptation and adaptive capacity, explored the uptake of scientific information on climate impacts by agricultural decision-makers, examined the effects of Latin American climate mitigation strategies on livelihoods, tracked the UN climate negotiations, and written on climate policy, finance, sustainable land use, and food security.

Originally from Vermont, Jenn enjoys camping, kayaking, yoga, gardening, travel, & meditation. She wishes she had a bigger garden, and escapes to the ocean every chance she gets. You can find her on LinkedIn and (very occasionally) on Twitter @jennmperron.

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Isabella Soparkar; Communications

Isabella Soparkar is passionate about addressing climate change and other environmental issues because they exacerbate all existing challenges for people and the planet. She thinks addressing these problems will require partnership and empathy across diverse groups. Currently, she works for Meridian Institute, which designs and manages collaboration on numerous environmental topics, providing services such as facilitation, mediation, convening power, and strategic planning. In addition to providing writing and research support, she is responsible for Meridian’s twitter presence.

Originally from Houston, TX, Isabella made the incorrect assumption that cold weather is bearable and received her BA in Environmental Studies from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. Having learned her climate lesson, she now enjoys living in mild DC and taking trips to its numerous free museums. Isabella feels fortunate to have found a strong community of environmentally-minded women in DC EcoWomen and looks forward to continuing to contribute as she can. When she is not working, she can be found reading, writing, or playing board games. You can also find her on LinkedIn.

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Adrienne Harris; VC of Membership

AdrienneAdrienne Harris is a proud Army “brat,” who grew up throughout the southern U.S., Africa and Europe. Her nomadic childhood allowed her to appreciate many cultures and environments. Adrienne earned a B.S. in Environmental Science from Spelman College and a Masters of Environmental Management from Duke University. Her love for water and public health has led her to a career as an environmental protection specialist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Adrienne is excited to lead the Membership and Outreach committee to help grow and sustain DC EcoWomen for the next phase of the organization. In her spare time, Adrienne enjoys exploring the city, learning new recipes, attending documentary screenings and travelling the world (her goal is to see every continent).

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Stacy Knight; Membership

Stacy Knight is a marine scientist with expertise in fisheries sustainability, ecosystem restoration, environmental science, and conservation biology. Much of her career has been in front facing science and has involved extensive interaction with the public. She has worked for Walt Disney World as an Aquatic Researcher studying coral ecosystems and fish health and has rehabilitated hundreds of injured sea turtles while working for Sea World’s rescue program. She has experience writing technical reports for Seafood Watch and as an Adjunct Professor in environmental science.

Stacy grew up in Des Moines, IA and moved to Orlando, FL for graduate school and a career in marine science. She recently moved to D.C. to apply her diverse science skills to the environmental policy arena, and currently, works for the Consortium for Ocean Leadership on the Political Affairs team. She is passionate about science literacy and enjoys making science and policy understandable to the public, politicians, and scientists.

A science nerd at heart, she loves nature, the ocean, and photography. In her free time, she can be found enjoying local restaurants, sampling craft beers, and taking landscape photographs.

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Larissa Walker; Membership

Larissa has spent her career working on a variety of environmental conservation efforts, ranging from protecting wildlife, to advocating for clean water and a healthier food system, to now working to safeguard some of our most cherished places – national parks.

Larissa is currently the Director of Outreach and Engagement for the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) where she works to protect and preserve national parks and cultivate a strong base of national parks advocates. Prior to NPCA, Larissa was a program director at Center for Food Safety, a national sustainable agriculture organization, where she ran campaigns focused on protecting bees and other pollinators. In previous roles, she has worked with Riverkeeper and the Nature Conservancy.

Larissa holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Policy and Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Philosophy. Originally from the Hudson Valley region in New York, Larissa is now a proud DC resident and a big proponent of visiting the National Arboretum, NPR HQ, the Postal Museum, and Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens. You can find her on Twitter @LarissWalker.

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Nicole Batemen; Membership

Nicole Bateman is a true west coaster, spending most of her life in Boise, Idaho and Seattle, Washington. From an early age, she spent many of her days outside hiking, camping, and swimming in lakes across Washington and southern and central Idaho. After a couple eye-opening courses on environmental policy and climate change during her senior year at Seattle University, Nicole realized protecting those natural places and the people who enjoy them through equitable and science-based environmental policy would be her lifelong passion.

This interest took her to the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, at the University of Washington, where she earned a Masters in Public Administration with a specialization in Environmental Policy and Management. Shortly after completing her MPA, she moved to D.C. to join the research team at the Brookings Institution.

After moving to D.C., Nicole found a welcoming and passionate community in D.C. EcoWomen and is excited to have a leadership role nurturing that community for existing and future members.

Outside of Brookings and DC EcoWomen, Nicole loves to explore D.C., travel, read, and root (from afar) for the Seattle Sounders. You can find her on LinkedIn.

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Maia Foster; Professional Development

Maia is environmentalist and concert enthusiast who recently moved into the downtown area. While a new DC resident, she has lived in the DMV for the past 10 years (but her hometown is Nashville, Tennessee!).

Currently, she is the Program Associate for The Climate Leadership Council, an environmental think tank that advocates for a carbon dividends policy. She graduated in 2017 from the University of Virginia with a degree in Economics and Environmental Thought & Practice. She enjoys visiting DC museums, finding the best coffee shops in the city, and watching shows at the Kennedy Center.

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Sara Murrill; VC of Professional Development

Sara is an outdoor enthusiast who loves to spend her time exploring trails, climbing mountains, and camping. Originally from Mechanicsville, Virginia, she got hooked on the Appalachian mountains while studying Natural Resources Conservation at Virginia Tech. Currently, Sara works for the National Park Foundation, with the Major Giving team. Previously, she has done social science research on federal lands across the country, including 11 national parks. From the lush green forests of Mt. Rainier, to the serene red desert beauty of Zion, to living a tent in the epic backcountry of Yosemite, Sara has been fortunate to live and work in some of our nation’s most treasured places. Sara loves pikas, mountain goats, wildflowers, poetry, writing, and spending time with friends and family. She and her husband foster guinea pigs for Small Angels Rescue. Sara is also the volunteer coordinator for the Bonobo Conservation Initiative.

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Claire Jordan; Professional Development

Claire got her start as an environmental advocate from spending her childhood summer and winter breaks in Hayward, Wisconsin, exploring the isolated wooded areas surrounding her family’s cabin and out on the lake. Originally from Chicago, Claire’s passion for environmental justice has taken her all over the globe and in and out of different intersecting environmental issues. She started her education studying plastic contamination of oceans and the impacts on sea turtle habitats, which brought her to food systems and food packaging. Claire holds a Bachleor’s of Science from Michigan State University in environmental science and women’s studies, where she focused on the intersections of social justice and agriculture. Since moving to DC, Claire has been actively involved in the local politics and is excited to continue that with DC EcoWomen. Claire currently works as the Advocacy and Outreach Manager for Trash Free Maryland and hopes to soon pursue a career as a librarian to continue her love of community-based solutions to environmental issues.

Claire loves to read, drink tea, ride her bike, cook, and hang out with furry friends. You can catch her at the Petworh Public Library or hanging out at the arboretum.

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Nira Sheppard; Professional Development

Nira grew up in Philadelphia, PA and fell in love with the environment as a young girl while attending summer camp at College Settlement in the suburbs of her city.  Since then, she has been passionate about recycling, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and waste reduction and she deeply desires to contribute to social justice and environmental sustainability.

Nira received her BA from Soka University of America. She has lived in China for two years, first studying abroad and then returning after graduation to teach English and study Mandarin. She holds an MA in Global Environment Policy from American University and a LEED Green Associate credential. Nira has worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs for over 10 years, assisting disabled service members and veterans in applying for benefits.

When she is not rescuing recyclables out of trashbins she can be found traveling the world, supporting young women in her Buddhist community, and eating good chocolate. She also enjoys reading, learning about health and nutrition, and spending time with loved ones.

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Jessica Marx; Professional Development

Tar Heel born and bred, Jessica has lived in the DC metro area for the past 6+ years. She currently works as an Associate Program Officer at the National Academy of Medicine where she provides support for initiatives focused on improving health for all. Prior to this role, she served as the research program manager at SESYNC, an environmental research center that brings together scientists and policymakers to tackle social and environmental issues through synthesis research. She has also worked for organizations focused on water management, natural resources, and conservation, as well as coexistence programming in the Middle East.

Jessica holds a BA in Anthropology from UNC-Chapel Hill and a Master’s degree in Human Ecology: Culture, Power, and Sustainability from Lund University. In Sweden, she gained a deep appreciation for bike-commuting, composting, advanced recycling systems, and people-centric rather than car-centric cities. She is passionate about social and environmental justice, and is interested in the social dimensions of environmental change and sustainability and how communities can be included in decision-making processes.

She enjoys baking, DC theater, BBC crime dramas, and buying more books than she can possibly read. Find her on LinkedIn.

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Melissa Lembke; VC of Programs

Leaving her Midwest roots, Melissa journeyed to Washington DC after studying at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. In addition to her passion for the environment, Melissa is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP). She currently works at the International Dairy Foods Association as the Director of Programs and Partnerships. Throughout her career, Melissa has worked at a handful of environmental organizations, an international law firm, and some of DC’s most icon venues including Union Station and the Folger Shakespeare Library. She has served on the Programs committee of the DC EcoWomen Board since 2014 and remains motivated to create a community for like-minded professional women in the DC area.

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Caroline Howe; Programs

Caroline Howe is a sustainability entrepreneur and educator, and is currently a Sustainability Innovation specialist at the University of DC. Her current work focuses on training and supporting the growing entrepreneurial workforce of both students and community members, specifically in food, food recovery and waste management businesses. She has started and mentored social enterprises in India, Nicaragua, Spain and the US.  Over the past 15 years, she has worked in diverse environmental sectors around the world — energy, water, waste, food and green events — engaging young people and communities in combining technical, social and economic solutions to solve their local challenges.

Caroline holds a Masters in City Planning from MIT, and degrees in Mechanical & Environmental Engineering from Yale. She has served on boards for the Indian Youth Climate Network, the Udall Alumni Association and SustainUS. She volunteers as a host for the Dinner Party, bringing together young people who have experienced loss, an organizer for the East Coast Greener Minds Summit, and as a community composter in her neighborhood community garden. She loves teaching and performing improv, dancing salsa, bicycling and kayaking. Find her on LinkedIn

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Julia Goss; Programs

Julia grew up in St. Louis, Missouri but, like many others in the ocean conservation field from landlocked states, annual trips to the coast inspired her passion to improve the overall health of our oceans. Julia earned a B.S. in biology from Rhodes College and a Masters in Coastal Environmental Management from Duke University. Her interest in international conservation motivated her to obtain a Fulbright scholarship to work for the World Wildlife Fund in Cambodia where she conducted research on the critically endangered Mekong River Irrawaddy dolphin population. After working abroad, Julia started at the Pew Charitable Trusts, first on their Global Shark Conservation Program where she advocated for better regulation of the trade in threatened species of sharks. She currently assists other nations create large-scale marine protected areas to safeguard vital ocean spaces and increase the future productivity of their fisheries. Julia’s favorite activities include anything outdoors whether it’s hiking, playing recreational sports, training for triathlons, or if lucky, scuba diving (especially with sharks).

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Kara Hsu; Programs

Kara combines her passion for the environment and events in planning programs for DC EcoWomen. With her background in hospitality and business, Kara enjoys solving environmental issues in the hospitality industry. Currently she works at Destination DC to bring conventions and tourism to DC and generate positive economic development. Outside of her career at Destination DC, Kara is an avid traveler and bike enthusiast.

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