2006 EcoHour Speakers

January 2006; Mary Frances Repko

Senior Policy Advisor; Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

Mary Frances Repko serves as a Senior Policy Advisor on the minority staff of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, working for retiring U.S. Senator James M. Jeffords (I-VT). The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is the primary Committee of jurisdiction in the Senate for our nation’s environmental laws, including: the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Resource Conservation Recovery Act, and the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (Superfund).

Prior to her work in the Senate, Ms. Repko worked in the policy program at World Wildlife Fund on marine conservation, climate change and pollution prevention issues. Ms. Repko also worked for the Great Lakes Commission, an eight-state interstate compact agency that focuses on resource management issues in the Great Lakes region.

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February 2006; Elizabeth Shogren

Reporter, National Desk; National Public Radio

Elizabeth Shogren came to NPR in February 2005 to cover environmental issues on the National Desk. Prior to NPR, Shogren spent 14 years as a reporter on a variety of beats at The Los Angeles Times. For the last four years she reported on environmental issues in Washington, D.C., and across the country. From 1993 – 2000, Shogren worked from The Los Angeles Times’ Washington bureau covering the White House, Congress, social policy, money and politics, and presidential campaigns. Starting in 1988, Shogren worked as a freelance reporter based in Moscow, publishing in a variety of newspapers and magazines, including Newsweek, The Dallas Morning News, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Washington Post. During that time, she covered the fall of the Berlin Wall and the peaceful revolution in Prague.

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March 2006; Ellen O. Moyer

Mayor; City of Annapolis

Mayor Ellen O. Moyer’s election as the first woman Mayor of the City of Annapolis culminates a career in public service spanning more than 35 years. She came to Annapolis as a district coordinator for the Girl Scouts of America. Later, as first lady of the City, she spearheaded a number of initiatives in beautification, recreation and the arts. As a community activist, she was the founder of Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, served as president of the Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre, and developed the Parks and Paths for People program. She represented Ward 8 on the City Council since 1987. During her tenure as alderman, she was responsible for founding GreenScape and the Maryland Maritime Heritage Festival, initiating the Street End Parks, promoting the Barge House Museum and the Eastport Historic Walking Trail, developing an innovative zoning overlay to protect the maritime industry, and bringing the world famous Whitbread yacht race to Annapolis.

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April 2006; Barbara Bramble

Senior Program Advisor, International Affairs; National Wildlife Federation

Barbara was recently featured in “Buyer, Be Fair,” a film that explores the potential overlap for free and fair trade through examining product certification for timber and coffee products. Barbara is no novice at certification issues. She was involved in the development of Forest Stewardship Council from its early years and is now the FSC-US Board Chair.

Barbara also has a long and distinguished track record working on international trade and environmental conservation issues. She was a key organizer of the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and the Rio + 5 Conference in 1997. Also, Barbara was a U.S. representative on a tri- national team of authors reporting on the operations of a commission created a NAFTA environmental side agreement. At the Society for Environmental Journalists conference in 2005, she spoke on a panel titled: “10 Years Later: Is NAFTA delivering?”

Barbara is currently the Senior Program Advisor for International Affairs at NWF. She is also an environmental lawyer. She received her juris doctorate degree at George Washington University.

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May 2006; Dr. Mamie Parker

Assistant Director, Fisheries and Habitat Conservation; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Personal experience informs her style. Dr. Mamie Parker is people-oriented in her manner of management. She knows that behind successful partnerships with government agencies or private endeavors, people make them happen. To that end, she advocates employee development; she encourages her employees to plow new ground in the field of opportunity – to cultivate news experiences. Dr. Parker has behind her, 28 years of experience in the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and still looks boldly into the future.

Armed with degrees in wildlife and fisheries biology, Dr. Parker has plied the trade at a number of Service facilities, starting as a fish health practitioner at the Genoa National Fish Hatchery in Wisconsin. From there she went to the New London National Fish Hatchery and then a stint at the Green Bay Ecological Services Field Office before returning to the National Fish Hatchery at Lake Mills, Wisconsin. Never one to shy from something new, Dr. Parker worked in the Section 404 program and the Partners for Wildlife Program out of Columbia, Missouri, helping private landowners improve wildlife habitat.

The north had its pull again on this native southerner; she eventually became the Regional Division Chief of Habitat Conservation and the ecosystem and NEPA coordinator for the Great Lakes – Big Rivers Regional Office in Minneapolis. Opportunity knocked to return south in 1996 to the Southeast Regional Office in Atlanta, where Dr. Parker served as the Deputy Geographic Assistant Regional Director, and Deputy Assistant Regional Director – Fisheries where she supervised Ecological Services, Fisheries offices and National Wildlife Refuges in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

The road to leadership eventually wended its way to Washington in 1998. Dr. Parker served the Director’s Office as the Special Assistant, providing expert advice and analysis on national policies. In 1999, she became the Deputy Regional Director and eventually the Regional Director for the 13-state Northeast Region, in Hadley, Massachusetts.

Dr. Parker returned to Washington in 2003 to serve as the Assistant Director – Fisheries and Habitat Conservation. She has taken the Division to new heights, growing new partnerships, creating new Friends groups, and pushing habitat restorations, coastal and marine mammals protection, fish passage, wetland mapping, planning on military lands, strategic planning and outreach. As the co-chair of the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, she has led the group through planning and into action. Under her guidance, the Fish Technology Centers are thriving and the Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership is getting new drugs approved by the FDA – benefiting conservation, commerce, and people.

Dr. Parker stands at the fore of habitat conservation, marshalling the National Fish Habitat Plan into action, a plan that will create an unparalleled opportunity to set national goals for cooperation and communication among all levels of interested parties, in the interest of conservation.

Dr. Parker’s successes were recently recognized by her home state; she was inducted into the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame, by Governor Mike Huckabee. She also received the Service’s distinguished Ira Gabrielson Award given to one outstanding leader in the Service each year. Dr. Parker is a member of the Links, Inc. Rotary Club, International, and Alpha Kappa Alpha.

Relevant experiences pre-date Dr. Parker’s Service career. She is the youngest in a family of 11 children, and no matter how high she may rise, she will always look up to her employees and but also her older siblings. It was only natural then that she should make mentoring a significant part of her management methods. Dr. Parker owes the greatest debt of gratitude to her favorite mentor, her mother Cora, the avid angler. She and her husband Artist make a home in the Washington, D.C. area.

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September 2006; Dr. Mishkat Al Moumin

Former Minister of the Environment; Interim Iraqi Government
Futrell Visiting Scholar; Environmental Law Institute

Anja S. Caldwell is an architect born and trained in Germany. Since she relocated to the United States in 1997, sustainable design has been her professional focus of choice.

Caldwell established the Green Building Program for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) in Maryland in 2003 and received the Board of Educations “Distinguished Service to Public Education Award” of 2006, given annually to three of the school systems twenty thousand staff members. She introduced and implemented a plan for high performance design and the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system for school construction at MCPS, and coordinates the greening of the MCPS Architectural Design Guidelines.

Her most recent projects include Maryland’s first LEED certified school, Great Seneca Creek ES in Germantown, which was awarded the Gold rating from the US Green Building Council.

In 2006 Caldwell initiated a national design challenge for a green portable classroom for National School Building Week involving students and the modular building industry.

She is a member of the US Green Building Council’s core committee for LEED for Schools and member of several green building committees in Montgomery County and Washington, DC working on green building legislation. She was appointed to the Green Building Task Force of DC Council Member Jim Graham in 2006 to help draft the DC Green Building Act.

She is also an active member of the Intergovernmental Green Building Group (IGBG) that coordinates green building policies, training and events for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG).

Anja Caldwell was one of the first five to become accredited as LEED Professionals in Washington DC in 2001 and has applied LEED to all her projects ever since. She has worked as an architect on commercial and institutional projects in Germany and the US for clients like Marriott, Intelsat, Proxicom and the University of Maryland University College (UMUC). She was the project architect for a green addition to the Inn and Conference Center of UMUC, the first LEED certified Marriott in the United States.

In Germany she was editor of the German quarterly architecture magazine “Architektur + Wettbewerbe – AW” and has published a book about efficient starter homes, “Starterhäuser”, in 1998.

Caldwell was trained as an architect in Stuttgart, Germany, and holds a Masters degree from the University of Miami, where she studied traditional neighborhood and urban design under Duany and Plater-Zyberk as a Fulbright scholar. She is a licensed member of the German Institute of Architects (Deutsche Architektenkammer) since 1994.

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October 2006; Michele L. Roberts

Michele has over twenty years experience of working for a more just environment with an emphasis on community involvement. Her background includes: working as an Environmental Scientist in regulatory agencies; in the transportation sector she worked as a Community Liaison focusing on Title VI; as an Environment and Health Specialist she worked for a more sustainable approach to brownfield re-development; and former Campaign and Organizing Director with the Center for Health, Environment and Justice. In 1999, she was key in the creation of the Community Involvement Advisory Council, a process used to increase community involvement for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

Michele holds a Bachelors degree in biology from Morgan State University (1983) and a Master degree from the University of Delaware School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy (2000), where she focused on creating a broader framework for environmental justice by incorporating sustainable community building practices.

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November 2006; Debbie Sease

Campaign Director; Sierra Club

Debbie Sease is the Sierra Club’s National Campaign Director. She is responsible for overseeing the Sierra Club’s legislative, public policy and political programs, and manages its Washington, D.C. office.

Sease has been with the Sierra Club for more than 25 years. As National Campaign Director, she has coordinated Sierra Club campaigns on energy, clean air, clean water and wild forests. Prior to becoming the National Campaign Director, she directed the Sierra Club Public Lands Program, and in that capacity, led the Club’s efforts on a variety of wilderness and park protection measures.

Sease takes a hands-on approach to leading the National Campaign Office, applying her strategic skills and years of political experience to help senior staff and volunteer leaders develop, design and implement effective lobbying, grassroots and public education campaigns.

In addition to work with the Sierra Club Sease has had a distinguished record of environmental activism and leadership. Before coming to Sierra Club she worked for a coalition of environmental organizations (including the Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, and Friends of the Earth) to lead a joint effort on the Bureau of Land Management’s wilderness review of the public lands.

During her years at the Sierra Club, Sease has contributed to successful campaigns to protect millions of acres of wilderness and parks and forests and gain stronger standards to protect public health from soot and smog. Sease led the Sierra Club’s successful campaign to protect more than 8 million acres in the California Desert in 1994, and led the launching the Sierra Club’s Building Environmental Community Program in 2003. Her current focus is working with Club volunteers and staff to develop and implement the Conservation Initiatives.

Debbie grew up in New Mexico where she developed a love of deserts, wilderness and wild rivers. To balance her conservation and political work, she paints, builds furniture, kayaks, gardens and cooks.

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