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-Presidents

Treasurer

Membership Committee

Communications Committee

Professional Development Committee

Programs Committee

Jessica Marx; Co-President

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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Jennifer Perron; Co-President

Jennifer Perron has worked on climate change for over a decade— in non-profits, and in academia, and currently at a think tank. 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. She also serves as the Director of the Discussion Group Program for Young Professionals in Foreign Policy. Her areas of interest include U.S. and 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.

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Anna Brent;  Treasurer

Born and raised in Colorado, Anna is an environmentalist and outdoors-enthusiast who relocated to DC in 2019 after graduating from Colorado College with a degree in Economics and Business. She is currently the Program Associate for The Climate Leadership Council, a climate policy institute that advocates for a carbon tax and dividend. When she’s not debating the complexities of effective climate policy, you can find Anna teaching yoga, reading in Rock Creek Park, and finding the best vegan food in The District. You can find her on LinkedIn.

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Ivory Clarke;  Vice President, Membership

Ivory Clarke is a proud Texan who currently resides in Washington, DC. She is an avid explorer of the natural world, which was fostered by her many summers spent camping. She enjoys traveling the world off the beaten path and exploring various cultures and foods. In her professional life, Ivory is an Associate Program Officer at the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). She has been with the Academies for more than 5 years supporting a range of projects focusing on environmental health, risk assessment and toxicology, one-health initiatives, education and population health. Currently, she co-directs the NAM Culture of Health Program, a multiyear collaborative effort funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to identify strategies to create and sustain conditions that support equitable good health for all those living in America. She previously directed the Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth through Age 8: Pathways to Implementation project. In this role she worked directly with state teams to develop actionable implementation plans, grounded in the science and recommendations from the 2015 IOM Report Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A unifying Foundation. Prior to joining the Academies, Ivory was a high school math and science instructor in Atlanta, GA. While teaching she was very active in improving educational outcomes for her students and enhancing their potential as future innovators through interactive learning and challenging curriculum development. Ivory nurtures her passion for fostering improved educational and health outcomes for all Americans through the lens of environmental health and sustainability through her professional and volunteer activities. She holds a master’s degree in Environmental Planning and Management from the Johns Hopkins University, Whiting School of Engineering and received her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with a focus on economics and policy from the University of Chicago.

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Raven Gomez,  Membership

Raven is a native Marylander who, in typical DMV fashion, recently made the big move into the city (and is loving it!). She has a deep passion for wildlife conservation, addressing anthropogenic climate change, and advocacy. Her passions grew from her lifelong connection to nature and her time as an undergraduate at Binghamton University, where she received degrees in Environmental Science with an ecosystem focus, and Sociology.

Currently, Raven works at Families USA where she advocates for and advances equitable health care policies and legislation. Prior to her current role, she spent time working at the Ross Park Zoo and for Broome County Community Organizations Active in Disaster in New York.

In her free time, you can find Raven exploring the DC food scene, hiking in the mountains, playing volleyball, or trying, and sometimes even succeeding, in keeping her plants alive.

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Anna Hedlund,  Membership

Born and raised in Minneapolis, Anna Hedlund is a proud Midwestern transplant here in Washington, DC. Currently, a Senior Coordinator in Development at Conservation International, Anna manages stewardship of priority donor relationships which support innovative global conservation initiatives. Prior to CI, she worked with the DC Environmental Film Festival on fundraising, event management and partnership efforts and led fundraising efforts for GWU’s Alternative Breaks Program. A lifelong lover of nature, Anna found her true passion for conservation, particularly the role it can play in building resilient communities and livelihoods, after studying abroad in Panama and traveling through Latin America. She holds a B.A. in International Affairs and Geography, with a focus on Sustainability, from The George Washington University. You can find Anna around town consuming copious amounts of coffee, spending time outdoors with friends, or adventuring beyond the DMV region to see the sights of the world. Connect with her on LinkedIn or via email at [email protected].

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Sierra Dakin Kuiper,  Membership

Sierra grew up in Alberta, Canada — where the mountains meet the prairies. She is passionate about community-based conservation, rural livelihoods, and outdoor recreation. A public outreach and development professional, Sierra currently works as a Senior Associate on the environment team at Waxman Strategies. Prior to Waxman, Sierra worked for five years as a Park Ranger in the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, generating impactful messaging and inspiring thousands of visitors to connect with the area’s rich cultural and natural resources on ranger-led programs. She has also served as a Community Advisor for Harvard University’s Graduate Commons Program and a Board Fellow on Land’s Sake Board of Directors, a community farm in Massachusetts. Sierra holds a research-based master’s in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from Brandeis University. For her graduate studies, she conducted fieldwork to explore the social dimensions of land management practices related to tribal sovereignty, national park creation, and large landscape conservation in the Northern Rockies. She enjoys gardening, rock climbing, fly-fishing, and skiing.

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Nikita Naik;  Vice President, Communications

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Nikita has been living in Washington, DC for over five years. She is currently a senior 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 loves going to museums, reading, writing and drawing, and cooking in her free time. You can find Nikita on LinkedIn.

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Ngozika (Gozi) Egbuonu;  Communications

Ngozika is a professional fundraiser and content creator with more than ten years of experience working in a variety of communications roles. Currently, she serves as the Community Engagement Manager at Network for Good. Before that role, she was the Development Manager for Waterkeepers Chesapeake based in Takoma Park, Maryland, and the Development and Communications Manager at The Fishing School located in Northeast, Washington, DC. Born in Enugu, Nigeria and raised in Cheverly, Maryland, Ngozika moved back to the Washington, DC area after spending seven years in Los Angeles working in the fashion and ecommerce industries for organizations like HauteLook and BCBGMAXAZRIA. Prior to moving west, she attended Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art. Ngozika also holds a master’s degree in Psychology from Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology and a Master of Science in Medical Humanities and Bioethics from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. When she’s not working, Ngozika can be found hiking trails throughout the greater Washington area, finishing up an art piece or painting, or trying out some standup comedy at a local open mic. Ngozika also enjoys meeting new people and welcomes the opportunity to make connections on LinkedIn.

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Rachel Lehman;  Communications 

Rachel is originally from Minnesota, growing up in the land of 10,000 lakes led her to develop a passion for protecting the environment. Some of Rachel’s specific interests are environmental justice, climate resilience, and zero waste living. After graduating from the University of Minnesota in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management she moved to DC and started working as a federal government contractor. Rachel is currently working for Aveshka as an onsite contractor at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). At HHS she serves as a communications lead for an office working on public health emergency response. Prior to her current position she worked for Oak Ridge Associated Universities as an onsite contractor at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). At the EPA she supported chemical assessment teams within the Office of Research and Development. Some of Rachel’s favorite activities include kayaking, biking, city farming, going to concerts, and exploring DC.

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Jessica Miles;  Communications

Jessica grew up in Northern Virginia. She discovered her passion for the environment at a young age, after reading Philip Pullman’s book The Golden Compass, which kicked off her love affair with polar bears and the Arctic. Jessica holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University with a concentration in Nature Writing. She holds a BA in Environmental Studies from the University of Michigan. She is a creative and strong writer with a background in undergraduate scientific research and communication experience in state and federal government and an environmental nonprofit. Jessica has traveled above the Arctic circle to Svalbard, Norway to conduct undergraduate scientific research. She hopes to return there someday. In her free time, Jessica is an avid baseball fan.

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Artisha Naidu;  Communications

Artisha Naidu is a Government and Public Sector Consultant with Deloitte LLC. She has an extensive background in energy, environmental sustainability, and urban policy. Artisha is launching the Girls’ Leadership Apprenticeship and Mentorship (GLAM) Program, which provides workforce development to high school girls in Ward 8 of D.C. She also tutors and mentors youth from disadvantaged communities and is a Community Outreach Coordinator for IMPACT Now. She holds a Masters of Public Administration from the George Washington University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Community and Regional Development from UC Davis. In her spare time, Artisha loves to travel, hike, read, and laugh.

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Darya Minovi,  Co-Vice President, Professional Development

Darya was born and raised across the river in Arlington and is passionate about the intersection of environmental conservation and public health, with a specific interest in environmental justice, climate resilience, and food systems. Her love of nature was sown by summers spent camping, hiking the Billy Goat Trail, and traveling, but her desire to spend her life as an environmental advocate was sparked by watching An Inconvenient Truth as a child (yes, really). Darya currently works to protect and strengthen regulatory safeguards for health, safety, and the environment in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and beyond. Prior to this, she worked on U.S. healthy food access and at a non-profit that delivers health care and restores rain forests in Indonesian Borneo. Darya graduated from the College of William & Mary in 2014 with a degree in Environmental Policy and Public Health, and received her Master of Public Health from Harvard University in 2019. When she’s not reading journal articles, you can find Darya at the farmers market, hiking and biking around the city, and flipping through one of her many cookbooks.

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Elizabeth Schuster;  Co-Vice President,  Professional Development

Elizabeth Schuster is the Energy Policy Manager for the Climate & Energy program at Food & Water Watch. She advocates for energy and water issues.

Elizabeth Schuster is the Energy Policy Manager for the Climate & Energy program at Food & Water Watch. She advocates for energy and water issues. She is a licensed attorney in the District of Columbia, New York and Florida, and previously worked as a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, where she represented seniors, children, disabled and the impoverished in state court.

She holds a B.B.A. from Loyola University in Maryland, a J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law, and an LL.M. in law and government with a specialization in environmental law and policy from American University Washington College of Law. She can be reached at eschuster(at)fwwatch.org.

Follow @LizSchusterFWW

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Kaley Beins;   Professional Development

Kaley Beins is a public health practitioner from the DC area. Originally a budding ecologist, Kaley transitioned to working in public health after witnessing the community impact of drinking water contamination while on a Fulbright fellowship. She’s worked in four countries and previously taught undergraduate global health courses but is happy to be home and focusing on domestic environmental policy and human health risk assessment. She is passionate about improving public health through education, policy, and empowerment. Kaley holds a Master of Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences from the University of Maryland and graduated from Georgetown University with a bachelor’s in environmental biology. When she’s not working on toxicology research, Kaley is the host of a medical education podcast and writes DC theater reviews for an online publication. You can find her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Chetna Chandrasekaran;  Professional Development

Chetna Chandrasekaran leads business development at Environmental Incentives, a small business focused on biodiversity and conservation both domestically and internationally. Chetna holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Johns Hopkins University and is passionate about integrating environmental and public health programming. In her role at Environmental Incentives, she helps maximize public investments in the environmental sector to improve outcomes for both people and nature through strategic partnerships and strong donor stewardship.

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Ryanne Waters,  Professional Development

Ryanne Waters, LEED Green Associate and TRUE Advisor, is the Manager of Event Sustainability and programs at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) where she leads global environmental and social responsibility programs including waste management, carbon reduction and offsetting, sustainable sourcing, and stakeholder engagement for USGBC’s global event portfolio. Ryanne spearheaded USGBC’s first global sustainability plan for meetings and events and developed sustainable sourcing policies for venues, hotels, and food and beverage. She is an engaging and passionate storyteller and experience producer with a background in environmental advocacy and public relations. She previously was the Events Associate for a renowned news publication, Education Week and spent the first three years of her career as Media and Campaigns Officer at Food & Water Watch as well as Media Relations Associate at Mercury Public Affairs. Ryanne holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in International Relations from the University of Southern California, with a focus on international environmental policy.

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Melissa Lembke;  Vice President 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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Benay Brotman;  Programs

Benay’s connection to conservation stems from strong ties to the San Miguel Mountains of Colorado and to the outdoors she experienced growing up in and around Washington, D.C. While working in higher education and corporate communications, she spent her free time volunteering for environmental causes. Now, she is thrilled to have transitioned her personal interests into purposeful work at The Nature Conservancy and is grateful to spend each day working alongside colleagues driven by a common mission. Prior to TNC, she worked as an account director for Sage Communications, a marketing/PR agency, where she managed marketing communication projects for a variety of non-profit, for-profit, and government clients. There and in previous roles in design and publishing, she developed a particular love of working with creative teams. Originally from Washington, D.C., Benay lived in Colorado, Alaska, New York and Italy before making her way back to her hometown. In her free time, she works at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, volunteers with the Sierra Club DC’s Zero Waste Committee, Circular Economy Working Group, and DC Environmental Film Festival, and loves to travel, try new foods, go forest bathing, and teach others how to compost.

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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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Erica Meier;  Programs

A tree hugger since childhood, Erica’s interest in environmental protection was inspired by the magical discovery of watching plants, flowers, and fruit grow from a single tiny seed — and the wildlife who shared in the garden bounty, including a rabbit family rooting their home under her backyard shed. In college, Erica studied and engaged in environmental policy interests, narrowed her focus into animal protection advocacy, and has been vegan for over 25 years. Having spent her career working for non-profit animal protection charities, including serving as an animal control officer in DC, Erica is currently the president of Compassion Over Killing. Under her leadership for the past 14 years, the organization has grown into one of the most powerful, national voices for farm animals; going undercover inside factory farms, fighting for animal justice, and promoting plant-based eating. Her passion for turning lawns into gardens still runs strong, and she also nourishes her soul through hiking and other adventures in nature. She lives in Takoma Park with two feline family members.

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