2011 EcoHour Speakers [ARCHIVE]

Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Esq.; January 2011

Executive Director & General Counsel; Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators

Alexandra Dapolito Dunn is Executive Director and General Counsel of the Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators (ASIWPCA), headquartered in Washington, DC. Prior to ASIWPCA, Dunn served as Dean of the nationally ranked Environmental Law Program at Pace Law School (NY); as General Counsel of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (DC); as Counsel to the American Chemistry Council (VA); and as an environmental attorney at Winston & Strawn (DC). Dunn is a published author in the areas of water quality and sustainability, and has represented parties, intervenors, or amicus curiae in over 25 environmental cases, many focused on the Clean Water Act. She is Vice Chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. Dunn is admitted to the bars in D.C., Maryland, and New York. She received her J.D., magna cum laude, from the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America, DC, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. She earned her BA, cum laude, in Political Science & French from James Madison University. She serves on the Alliance Board of Directors.

Back to Top

Joelle Novey; February 2011

Director; Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light

Joelle Novey is the director of Greater Washington Interfaith Power & Light. Most recently, Joelle worked at Green America (formerly Co-op America), where she wrote dozens of articles about greener living for the organization’s newsletter and magazine. She is a founder of Tikkun Leil Shabbat, an independent Jewish community in Washington DC which has hosted speakers from environmental and social justice organizations. She is the co-author of Green and Just Celebrations, a purchasing guide for local congregations for assisting families in making greener purchasing decisions around weddings and bar and bat mitzvah celebrations. Joelle is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University where she received a BA in Social Studies, and completed the coursework for a minor in the Study of Religion. For more than a year, she counseled hospital patients of all backgrounds and led interfaith worship services through a chaplain training program at Washington Hospital Center.

Back to Top

Dr. Jennifer Sass; March 2011

Senior Scientist; Natural Resources Defense Council

Dr. Sass is a Senior Scientist in the Health and Environment program of the NRDC, an environmental non-profit organization, and a Professorial Lecturer at George Washington University, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health. She is an expert in US chemical policy and regulations. Dr. Sass has degrees in Anatomy and Cell Biology from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, and Toxicology from the University of Maryland. She has published over three dozen articles in peer-reviewed journals, presented testimony in the U.S. Congress, and participated in U.S. government scientific advisory committees.



Back to Top

Dr. JoAnn Milliken; April 2011

Senior Advisor for Research Policy and Acting Geothermal Technologies Program Manager; U.S. Department of Energy

JoAnn Milliken has over 15 years of experience in research and development of energy technologies, having managed DOE programs in batteries and fuel cells; hydrogen production, storage and delivery; and wind and solar technologies. Prior to joining DOE in 1994, she was a research chemist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and a program manager at the Office of Naval Research where she conducted and managed mission-related materials research.

She earned a B.A. degree in Chemistry from LaSalle University and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania under Nobel Laureate Professor Alan MacDiarmid. She also worked on carbon materials as a post-doctoral fellow under Professor Jack Fischer at the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, JoAnn is a Senior Advisor and Acting Geothermal Program Manager in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at DOE.

Back to Top

Caron Whitaker; May 2011

Campaign Director; America Bikes 

Caron Whitaker, Campaign Director, America Bikes. As Campaign Director for America Bikes, Caron Whitaker coordinates and implements America Bikes federal policy agenda.  Prior to joining America Bikes, Caron spent eight years at the National Wildlife Federation as Coordinator of the Smart Growth Campaign, Manager of the Population & Environment Program, and Director of Community Engagement.   In addition, Caron worked as a Community Land Use Planner for the State of North Carolina Division of Coastal Management, providing technical assistance to local governments and staffing a stakeholders’ council responsible for revising state planning regulations.  Caron has a Masters in Environmental Management for Duke University, Nicolas School of the Environment and a Bachelors of Arts from Williams College.


Back to Top

Dr. Brandie Smith; June 2011

Senior Curator and Curator of Asia Trail and Giant Pandas; National Zoo

Dr. Smith joined the National Zoo’s Animal Care staff in 2008. She came to the zoo after ten years at the Association for Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), where she was vice president of animal conservation, and responsible for facilitating, promoting, and supporting the cooperative conservation and scientific activities of AZA’s more than 200 member institutions and almost 1,000 animal programs. Brandie was an active participant in the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), where she served on WAZA’s conservation committee. She was a steering committee member of the World Conservation Union’s Conservation Breeding Specialist Group and served on the Tapir Specialist Group. She has written many articles and book chapters on how zoos and aquariums can plan and manage their animal collections, and has also served as an advisor for a series of children’s books on animals.

When growing up, Brandie loved animals and always said she wanted to work in a zoo. Although her parents were a little startled by her career choice, she got her start in college as a research intern at the Pittsburgh Zoo, where she studied animal behavior. While in graduate school, Brandie was selected to be a curatorial intern at the National Zoo’s campus in Front Royal, Virginia. Since that time, she dreamed of getting a job with the National Zoo.

Brandie’s research background is in population genetics. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, focusing her research on how management can slow the loss of genetic diversity in a population. Specifically, she looked at ways to manage “groups” of animals—the herds and flocks and tanks of animals where it’s not always possible to select specific breeding pairs or even know who is related to whom. Her hope is that her research will allow for the development of breeding strategies for wild populations that are being managed due to conservation concerns.

She is a member of the AZA Small Population Management Advisory Group, and has been an instructor in the population biology courses for the AZA Professional Training Programs and the studbook keeper and population manager for the tiger quoll (Dasyurus maculatus). One of her proudest moments is having a baby quoll named after her while interning in Front Royal.

She reports to the Associate Director for Animal Care and works with the teams for Giant Pandas, Primates, Asia Trail, Asian Elephants, African Savanna, Small Mammals, and Great Cats.

Back to Top

Dr. Annie Kammerer; July 2011

Senior Seismologist and Earthquake Engineer; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Dr. Kammerer is a senior seismologist and earthquake engineer in the Office of Research of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, where she coordinates the NRC’s Seismic Research Program. She also undertakes her own in-house research on seismic hazard and risk and is responsible for the update of earthquake-related guidance, including Regulatory Guide 1.208, which describes the seismic hazard requirements for new nuclear plants in the US.

Prior to joining the US NRC in 2006, she was a consultant in the Risk and Advanced Technology groups in the international design firm, Arup. As seismic hazard lead for the Americas, her consulting work encompassed a wide variety of areas including geotechnical earthquake engineering, structural dynamics, seismology and risk assessment. Her work focused principally in the energy, industrial and transportation sectors and included dozens of projects around the world.

Annie holds three degrees from the UC Berkeley, including a BS in Civil Engineering, an MS in Geotechnical Engineering, and a PhD in Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering, with minors in Seismology and Structural Engineering. Dr. Kammerer has authored dozens of technical and research publications over her career.

Back to Top

Monica Murphy; September 2011

Manager; Advanced Technology Demonstration Programs for General Motors

Monica Murphy was appointed Manager, Advanced Technology Demonstration Programs for the Eastern Region located in Washington D.C. in August of 2007.  In this role she manages GM’s fleet of Chevrolet Equinox Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicles and the new electric vehicle the Chevrolet Volt. Activities that fall under her responsibility in the metro-Washington, D.C. area, include test drives, loan deployments, and educational outreach with government officials, national and local media, school groups and other community organizations and leaders.  Murphy was the primary GM representative supporting the D.C. area public drivers participating in the world’s largest hydrogen fuel cell market test fleet- GM’s Project Driveway.  In the fall of 2010, Murphy’s team also supported drivers in the DC area as GM launched the Chevrolet Volt Advisory Board to gain feedback on the Volt prior to production

Prior to her current assignment, Murphy was the Chevrolet Marketing Manager in the Washington, Baltimore, Harrisburg and Philadelphia markets beginning in June of 2006, where she worked with retail Chevrolet dealer groups on marketing initiatives along with advertising creative and placement.  In her 21-year career with General Motors, Murphy has worked extensively in marketing regions for General Motors as a District Sales Manager, wholesale selling of cars and trucks to dealerships and as a District Service Manager improving dealership service departments and creating customer satisfaction programs.

Murphy also spent a number of years of her career focused on customer assistance activities including representing GM at Better Business Bureau hearings and working at Chevrolet’s Customer Assistance Center.

Murphy earned a bachelor degree in Management with a minor in Business Administration from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, in 1989.  Murphy resides in Laurel, Maryland.

Back to Top

Kennedy Lawson Smith; October 2011

Principal; Community Land Use + Economics Group,  LLC

Kennedy Lawson Smith is one of the nation’s foremost experts on commercial district revitalization and main street economics and is a prominent spokesperson for economically and environmentally sustainable community development.

Kennedy has been a leader in downtown economic development for 25 years. After serving as director of Charlottesville, Virginia’s downtown revitalization organization in the early 1980s, she joined the staff of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center in 1985 and became its director in 1991, a position she held for 13 years. During her tenure the Main Street program was recognized as one of the most successful economic development programs in the US, generating $18 billion in new investment and stimulating development of 226,000 new jobs and 56,000 new businesses and expanding to a nationwide network of almost 2,000 towns and cities, with additional programs in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, and the UK.

In 2004, Kennedy and several colleagues launched the Community Land Use and Economics Group, LLC, a private consulting firm that helps civic leaders gather and apply market information to successfully cultivate locally owned businesses, strengthen community development programs and policies, improve main street revitalization efforts, and enliven downtowns. The CLUE Group focuses on practical implementation plans that translate economic development strategies into achievable action steps. Kennedy is also an occasional columnist for several planning and economic development journals, including Planning Commissioners Journal, Communities and Banking, Journal of Town and City Management, and Main Street News. She teaches a graduate course in historic preservation economics at Goucher College.

Kennedy has been featured in news media ranging from the New York Times, Business Week, Forbes, Governing, NPR and Red Herring to “Donahue,” “CBS Sunday Morning,” and Public Radio International’s “Marketplace.” She has written numerous articles on the economic dynamics of traditional business districts and is a popular international speaker on small businesses, retail development policy, and commercial district development issues. In March 2002, Fast Company magazine named her to its first list of “Fast 50 Champions of Innovation,” recognizing “creative thinkers whose sense of style and power of persuasion change what our world looks like and how our products perform.” In May 2004, the National Trust for Historic Preservation recognized her achievements with its President’s Award, for her “leadership and vision … in creating one of the most admired and successful preservation programs in the country.” In 2009, Planetizen.com included her on its first list of “100 Top Urban Thinkers”. She was a 2005-06 Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Back to Top

Amy Smith; November 2011 (panel)

Senior Program Officer; World Wildlife Fund’s Global Forest and Trade Network-North America (GFTN-NA)

Amy Smith is senior program officer with World Wildlife Fund’s Global Forest and Trade Network-North America.  (GFTN-NA).  She has 15 years’ experience in tropical forestry, forest products manufacturing and marketing, and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.  In her role with GFTN-NA, Amy assists companies in understanding the sources of their forest products, implementing responsible sourcing policies, increasing the amount of credibly certified products in their supply chain, and in making market linkages between wood buyers and suppliers that share a commitment to responsible forestry and trade. Prior to her work with GFTN-NA, Amy was Director of PaTS, as well as held other positions at WWF in the U.S. and in Peru, where she provided fundraising and technical assistance for forest conservation projects.

Back to Top

Lisa Stocker; November 2011 (panel)

Sustainable Business Manager; Domtar

Lisa Stocker is the sustainable business manager at Domtar, a member of the GFT-NA and the largest integrated producer of freesheet paper in North America.  Domtar aims to facilitate Forest Stewardship Council certification for the private landowners who provide the bulk of their fiber.  Lisa began her career as a forester with International Paper, responsible for land management and wood procurements.  Lisa has also served as director of forest policy and management with the American Forest and Paper Association, and was regional director of public affairs for Potlatch.  Most recently she was forestry program manager for the Rainforest Alliance TREES U.S. program.

Back to Top


Trackback e pingback

  1. Car Talk: Did electric vehicles withstand a DC EcoWomen interrogation | dc.ecowomen.org
    [...] post discusses our September EcoHour with Monica Murphy, Manager of the Advanced Technology Demonstration Program at General [...]
  2. October EcoHour Recap: Community History & Revitalization | dc.ecowomen.org
    [...] This is a recap from the 2011 October EcoHour with Kennedy Lawson Smith. [...]
  3. Keeping Women Confident in a Declining Economy | dc.ecowomen.org
    [...] resume workshop last week was my second DC EcoWomen event. My first was to hear Dr. Jennifer Sass speak…