2013 EcoHour Speakers

Jane Danowitz; January 2013

Director, U.S. Public Lands Program, Pew Charitable Trust

Jane Danowitz joined the Pew Environment Group in 2002 as a senior officer responsible for the U.S. public lands protection program, which seeks to preserve America’s wilderness areas and
undeveloped national forests through federal legislation and regulations. Danowitz also directs the Pew Campaign for Responsible Mining, a coalition effort to reform the 1872 Mining Law, a frontier-era statute that still governs the mining of gold, uranium and other hard-rock metals on public lands in the West.

Danowitz has more than three decades of experience in public interest education and advocacy at the federal level. Before joining Pew, she served as director of the Heritage Forests Campaign, a Pew-funded initiative to uphold the Roadless Area Conservation Rule protecting undeveloped national forests. She also was executive director of Americans for Our Heritage and Recreation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing funding for parks and conservation. In addition, she has significant experience in politics and public affairs, having served as vice president of Ogilvy Worldwide, as director of the bipartisan Women’s Campaign Fund and as an aide in municipal government and on Capitol Hill.

Danowitz holds a bachelor’s degree in American history from Cornell University and a J.D. from the
Columbus School of Law at Catholic University of America.

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Heather White; February 2013

Executive Director, Environmental Working Group

Prior to joining EWG, Heather served as Director of Education Advocacy for the National Wildlife Federation, Counsel for energy and environment issues for Senator Russ Feingold, General Counsel to EWG, a Florida Recount attorney for Gore 2000, Deputy Director for Women’s Outreach for Al Gore’s 2000 Presidential campaign, and an associate in the law firm of Bass, Berry & Sims in Nashville. Heather holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia in environmental science, and a J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law. Heather loves country music and playing in the backyard with her family.

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Teresa Durkin; March 2013

Senior Project Director for the Trust for the National Mall

Teresa Durkin is the Senior Project Director for the Trust for the National Mall. In this role, she is the Trust’s representative and director of the development projects on the Mall as outlined in the National Mall Plan. Current projects include the Washington Monument Grounds at Sylvan Theatre and Constitution Gardens In 2012, she served as adjunct instructor for the Capstone Studio at Temple Ambler for the School of Environmental Design leading the Capstone Studio for the Master’s program in Ecological Restoration. She has served a term as a member of the Board of Visitors for Temple University. She has served as Co-Chair of the Technical Advisory Committee for the STAR Community Index, a pioneering, strategic planning and performance management system that will offer local governments a road map for improving community sustainability.

With over 18 years of project experience as a Landscape Architect, Environmental Planner, Vice President and Sustainable Design Leader, Teresa has worked on a wide range of projects of all scales that have included park planning, design and implementation; civic engagement and community planning; green infrastructure planning and project design; institutional master planning and program development; site and landscape design forsustainability; ecological restoration design and management guidelines.

Ms. Durkin’s project achievements include planning and design for the Lewes Canal Front Park in Lewes,
Delaware, Venice Island Park and Recreation Center, Philadelphia, PA; Fairmount Park Comprehensive Trail
Master Plans, Philadelphia, PA; Avalon Park & Preserve in Stony Brook, New York; Brooklyn Botanic Garden,
Brooklyn, New York; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Virginia Institute of Technology, Emory
University and Howard University.

Teresa speaks frequently on the subject of sustainable design and coauthored, “The Role of the Landscape in
Creating a Sustainable Campus,” Planning for Higher Education v. 31 for the Society for College and University
Planning. Other publications include “Sustainable Architecture for Health. We All Live Downstream”, Wiley
Publishers and “Conservation Planning for Parks and Protected Open Space” for the APA Planning Standards.

Project awards include SCUP AlA Excellence in Planning Award, UNC Chapel Hill Master Plan, Cooper-Hewitt Design Award Finalist, Environmental Design, AlA Connecticut Design Award, Sterling Divinity Quadrangle Yale University, AlA COTE Top Ten Green Building Award, Adam Joseph Lewis Environmental Center, Oberlin College and the American Society of Landscape Architects Award of Excellence for the Greenline, Georgia Chapter.
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Elizabeth Wilmot, April 2013

Founder and President of Turtle Wings, Inc.

Elizabeth Wilmot is the founder and President of Turtle Wings, Inc., an environmental services company specializing in electronics recycling and data destruction. She started Turtle Wings / Data Killers at her kitchen table. Turtle Wings / Data Killers now has offices in Maryland, California and Kansas. The Data Killers division provides nationwide on-site destruction of any type of media including classified materials. The company is R2, ISO, WBENC and HUBZone certified. Customers range from Fortune 100 companies and large government agencies to small offices.

Prior to starting Turtle Wings / Data Killers, Ms. Wilmot was Senior Vice President of International Marketing at CitiGroup. She oversaw the marketing, sales and distribution of unsecured financial products in 13 countries for a division that had 102 people; operating income of $109 million and a marketing budget of $36 million. Ms. Wilmot’s diverse business career has included real estate and Internet ventures so she brings a broad array of skills and knowledge. She was awarded the March of Dimes Heroines in Technology award. She holds three patents and volunteers at several non-profits. Her interests include running, skiing, reading, swimming, biking, boating and gardening. She completed the 4.4 mile Chesapeake Bay swim. Elizabeth Wilmot graduated magna cum laude from Duke University.
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Jessica Weiss, April 2013

President and Director of growingSOUL

Jessica Weiss is a  seasoned communications and education professional with over 30 years of experience in all aspects of identifying needs and developing inspiring, creative programs to meet these needs. She is an open, direct, approachable high-energy team player with expertise in publishing, education, media, food systems, culinary arts, community building, and creative problem solving. Jessica was raised in California and moved to the DC area in 1990. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 1987 with a major in English Literature; FIDM in 1989 with a concentration in Space Planning; Loyola College and  the Washington Montessori Institute in 1993 with a Montessori Elementary Degree and Masters in Education and Curriculum Development; received her Yoga Alliance Certification at the 500 hour level in 1999; her Mat Pilates Certification from The Body College in 2001; and is currently working on her Leadership certificate from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with Alan Sultan, her husband of 20 years, Madison and Kendall, her 15 and 13 year-old daughters, and Miso, her 10-year old dog. When she’s not working on our regional food system or teaching wellness for Holy Cross Hospital, Jessica loves to sing and dance and explore the Chesapeake.
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Lisa Friedman, May 2013

Deputy Editor, ClimateWire

Lisa Friedman is the Deputy Editor of ClimateWire, helping to lead a team of 10 reporters covering the business and politics of climate change. She also covers international policy, including the global climate change negotiations and the intersection between climate, international security and development. In pursuit of those stories she has gone to the bottom of a Chinese coal mine, sat with families in flood-ravaged villages of Bangladesh and climbed the snow-capped Himalayan Mountains. Her stories have appeared in the New York Times and Scientific American, and she has been a guest on a wide array of radio and TV networks.

Before joining ClimateWire, Lisa spent 14 years in daily journalism in California, Nevada and Washington D.C., serving as the Washington bureau chief for the Oakland Tribune and later the Los Angeles Daily News. She is the recipient of a number of journalism honors including the 2009 American Association for the Advancement of Science Kavli Science Journalism Award and the 2010 Edwin M. Hood Diplomatic Correspondence Award. Most recently she was selected to be a fellow for the 2013 Pakistan U.S.-Journalism Exchange. A New Jersey native, Friedman is a graduate of Columbia University.

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Kelly Aylward, June 2013

Washington Office Director, Wildlife Conservation Society

Kelly Aylward is the Washington Office Director for Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society and has run their Federal Affairs Program for the past eight years. She works on domestic and international conservation policy and federal budget issues with the US Congress, the Administration and key stakeholders. Prior to working at the Wildlife Conservation Society, Kelly worked as the Director of Government Affairs for the National Environmental Education & Training Foundation in Washington, DC. As Legislative Counsel to Rep. Michael McNulty (D-NY), Kelly’s Capitol Hill work focused on appropriations, the environment, energy, education, agriculture, and animal welfare issues. After earning her Juris Doctor at Albany Law School of Union University, in Albany, New York she clerked for the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, specializing in environmental quality review and land use planning appeals. Kelly sits on the International Conservation Caucus Foundation Advisory Council, Teaming with Wildlife National Steering Committee, the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Coalition Steering Committee and the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders Board. Kelly and her husband Kevin reside in Falls Church, VA and have two sons Conner and Kyle.

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Nancy Stoner, July 2013

Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)


Since February 1, 2010, Nancy Stoner has been serving as the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water at the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Effective February 13, 2011, she has been serving as the Acting Assistant Administrator for Water.

Ms. Stoner’s extensive career in environmental policy and law began in 1987 as a trial attorney in the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Following her time at the Department of Justice, she served as Director of the Office of Policy Analysis in the office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency where she contributed to development of EPA’s environmental auditing and self-disclosure policies.

Most recently Ms. Stoner served as the Co-Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) Water Program. As the Director, she was responsible for supporting the development of sound environmental policies and practices to protect water resources under the clean Water Act. Among her many responsibilities, Ms. Stoner spearheaded NRDC’s work to clean up the Anacostia River in Washington, DC including facilitating the use of green infrastructure and low-impact development measures that reduce stormwater flows and sewer overflows into the Anacostia. Ms. Stoner is a 1986 graduate of Yale Law School and a 1982 graduate of the University of Virginia.

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Julia Philpott, September 2013

Senior Manager, Environmental Sustainability Solutions, Hitachi Consulting

Julia Philpott is a sustainability and climate risk, resilience and adaptation professional with 25 years of research, analysis, implementation and consulting experience in the fields of sustainable energy policy, technologies, and incentives; urban community development, transport systems and alternative fuels; international climate policy and financial mechanisms; greenhouse gas (GHG) quantification, accounting, and reporting; and sustainability assessment and strategy. Her service delivery includes climate risk, resilience, and adaptive capacity assessment, strategy, and KPIs at the program, project, enterprise, and facility levels. Julia provides services to government and commercial clients. International experience includes working in Asia and Africa to design, implement, and manage GHG mitigation and sustainable development projects funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Ford Foundation, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. Specialties include:

– Sustainability SWOT analysis, risk assessment, business intelligence
– Value chain and supply chain climate risk assessment and adaptation strategy
– Sustainability-integrated urban planning; infrastructure and community resilience indicators
– Carbon offset verification and monetization, carbon finance, environmental markets
– GHG accounting at the enterprise, facility and project levels; financial services carbon footprinting

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Elizabeth Ban; October 2013

Acting Director of Communications, NOAA’s Sea Grant Program

After working in advertising for 10 years, Elizabeth returned to school to get her graduate degree at Yale University. There she received her Master’s degree with advanced study areas in conservation biology of coral reef ecosystems and social ecology of natural resource users.

She has worked with the NOAA Ocean Service International Programs Office on socioeconomic issues relating to Caribbean MPAs, the National Marine Fisheries Service with their Ecosystem Observation Program and also as a Sea Grant Extension Agent in the U.S. Virgin Islands, focusing on engagement with the local fishermen. She is the co-founder of the VI Coral Conservation Consortium and the Virgin Islands Network of Environmental Educators. She also served on the steering committee of the Caribbean Regional Association for CariCOOS.

Prior to joining Sea Grant’s National Office, Elizabeth most recently worked as the COSEE Senior Ocean Science Education Specialist for the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History Sant Ocean Hall. She is currently working on her Ph.D. at George Mason University in climate change outreach and engagement.

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Carol Werner; November 2013

Executive Director,  Environmental and Energy Study Institute

Carol Werner serves as Executive Director of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute in Washington, DC – a non-profit education and policy organization. EESI is dedicated to sustainable development, believing that a sound environment and a sound economy go hand in hand. Ms. Werner came to EESI in late 1987 as director of EESI’s Energy & Climate Change Program through January 1998 when she was named Executive Director. Ms. Werner has more than 30 years of public policy experience on energy and environmental issues. She has organized dozens of Congressional briefings on science, technology and policy issues and has been a frequent speaker at many conferences and workshops on energy and environmental issues in EESI’s program areas.

Before joining EESI, Ms. Werner served as the legislative director of the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition, the legislative representative for the National Consumer Law Center, and as a legislative assistant to Rep. Neal Smith (D – IA).Carol serves on the steering committee of the Sustainable Energy Coalition, the Environmental Advisory Committee of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, and the Policy Committee of the American Solar Energy Society. She also serves on the board of the National Center for Appropriate Technology, the editorial board of BioCycle magazine, the Advisory Board of Planet Forward, and is an Advisory Member of the President’s Climate Action Project (PCAP). She was a member of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) State Energy Advisory Board for six years, served on the World Council of Churches Task Force on Climate Change, and was a stakeholder in the DOE/USDA Bioenergy Initiative. Carolalso was a member of DOE’s Federal Advisory Committee on the Commercialization of Renewable Energy Technologies and was a founding member of the U.S. Climate Action Network.

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