Speaker Biographies

( In alphabetical order by day of conference)

Friday Evening


Lucia Comnes

San Francisco native, Lucia Comnes, is an internationally recognized singer/songwriter and sustainability advocate. With a 'singular voice' (SF Chronicle), captivating songs, guitar and fiddle, Lucia has performed with Joan Baez, was a member of Kitka, has been a favorite at the San Francisco Irish Music Festival and has shared stages with countless legends such as Paul Brady, Linda Tillery, Taj Mahal and Anna Halprin. She has worked actively for environmental causes since her youth as a cofounder of STRAW (Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed, a project of Point Blue Conservation Science) and Seaflow: Protect Our Living Oceans. She writes songs that address environmental issues such as Burning Eden. Lucia attended UC Berkeley as an honors student and designed her own degree in Ethnomusicology called 'Music,Culture & Nature.' She sings in 30 different languages and has performed in more than 20 countries. Her new album - Love, Hope & Tyranny - comes out in summer of 2014.



Greg Dalton

Greg founded Climate One at The Commonwealth Club in 2007 after traveling to the Russian Arctic on a global warming symposium with climate scientists and journalists. Today Climate One is a leadership dialogue that serves climate leaders, professionals and engaged citizens in the room and on air. It produces a weekly radio show and a monthly TV show broadcast in Northern California, and a monthly radio show aired around the country.

Past guests include US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, US EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Chevron CEO Dave O’Reilly, Ford Motor Co. Chairman Bill Ford, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, and many other leaders. Greg previously was a journalist for 12 years in China and the United States for the Associated Press, South China Morning Post, McNeil-Lehrer News Hour, and Industry Standard magazine. 


Dan Jacobson

Dan Jacobson directs policy development, research, and legislative advocacy for Environment California. Based in Sacramento, he leads the organization's policy agenda and advocates before the state Legislature and Congress. He has been with the organization for 24 years. In 2012, Dan was named by Sacramento insiders as one of the most effective lobbyists in the Capitol. Capitol Weekly said, "Legislative Director Dan Jacobson and his crew at Environment California are punching above their weight." He has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel, and has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Sacramento Bee.


 Mark Jacobson

Mark Jacobson is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University and the Director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program there. He is a Senior Fellow with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and with the Precourt Institute for Energy. He has been professor at Stanford since 1994 where his work deals with the development of numerical models to analyze the effects of energy systems and vehicles on climate and air pollution. Besides pioneering work on black carbon and carbon dioxide domes, he has developed a plan, featured on the cover of Scientific American, to power the world 100% with wind, water, and sunlight (WWS). Jacobson is currently developing more detailed plans for all 50 states, and will present his California plan at the conference.  Author of two textbooks and over 130 peer-reviewed articles, he has testified three times before the U.S. Congress. In 2013, he received an American Geophysical Union Ascent Award, and the Global Green Policy Design Award for the "design of analysis and policy framework to envision a future powered by renewable energy." He has also served on the Energy Efficiency and Renewables Advisory Committee to the U.S. Secretary of Energy. Jacobson is co-founder of The Solutions Project along with Josh Fox, Mark Ruffalo, and Marco Krapels. He recently appeared on the David Letterman Show to talk about re-powering the world with clean energy.


Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben is an author and environmentalist. His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has appeared in 24 languages. He is founder of 350.org, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement. The Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was the 2013 winner of the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize, and holds honorary degrees from 18 colleges and universities; Foreign Policy named him to their inaugural list of the world's 100 most important global thinkers, and the Boston Globe said he was "probably America's most important environmentalist." A former staff writer for the New Yorker, he writes frequently a wide variety of publications around the world, including the New York Review of Books, National Geographic, and Rolling Stone. He lives in the mountains above Lake Champlain with his wife, the writer Sue Halpern.



Stephanie Wang

Stephanie Wang is Policy Director for the Clean Coalition, a nonprofit organization that accelerates the transition to renewable energy and a modern grid through technical, policy, and project development expertise. Previously, Stephanie advised Pacific Environment on California energy policy, and practiced project development and finance law in San Francisco and New York. Stephanie received her JD and BA from the University of Michigan.


Miya Yoshitani

Miya joined APEN in 1996 and has a long history of organizing in the environmental justice movement. APEN has been fighting--and winning--environmental justice struggles for the past 20 years and remains one of the most unique organizations in the country explicitly developing the leadership and power of low-income Asian American immigrant and refugee communities. APEN has been a trailblazer in bringing the voices of APA communities to the forefront of environmental health and social justice fights in the the Bay Area, winning real policy solutions for the community across a gamut of issues including occupational safety of high-tech workers, transportation and land use, and challenging multinational corporations to mitigate pollution that is devastating the health and well-being of countless low-income communities of color. Miya is currently serving as APEN's Executive Director and proudly driving APEN to be a leading force for transforming the energy economy in CA and for climate justice in all communities.




Hillary Aidun

Hillary Aidun is an Anti-fracking Organizer with the Center for Biological Diversity. She works on the Center's campaign to ban hydraulic fracturing and other unconventional fossil fuel extraction methods in California, on which the Center partners with Californians Against Fracking, a coalition of over 150 organizations fighting for a ban. Prior to joining the Center, Hillary lived in Ecuador as a Fulbright fellow, studying conservation in indigenous territories in the Amazon.


John Avalos

John Avalos represents San Francisco's District 11 on the Board of Supervisors, including the neighborhoods of the Outer Mission, Excelsior, and OMI. He has served as the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, leading the City's efforts to close a $1 billion shortfall while preserving jobs and services, protecting essential senior and children's services, and saving vital health programs. He passed the nation's strongest local hiring legislation, providing thousands of living wage jobs for San Francisco residents.  He also increased the real estate transfer tax on high-end commercial buildings, which has brought in $50 million in new revenue annually. His resolution urging the San Francisco Retirement Board to divest from fossil fuel companies was unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors. He also serves as Chair of the Climate Protection Committee on the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. BAAQMD recently passed his resolution to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.


Diane Bailey

Diane Bailey is a scientist in the Health & Environment program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Her work for the past 13 years has focused on reducing fossil fuel pollution, from tar sands crude oil to diesel exhaust and other air pollutants. Before joining NRDC, Diane worked at Citizens for a Better Environment in Chicago and a local transportation planning agency in Houston. She holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Washington University and a master's degree in environmental engineering from Rice University.


Marilyn Bardet

Marilyn Bardet has been a long-time civic activist for peace, social justice, nuclear disarmament, and toxic waste and military site cleanups in her hometown of Benicia, CA.  She is a refinery watchdog for public health and safety, a founding member of Benicia’s Good Neighbor Steering Committee, and a local activist for the post-carbon transition. In 1995, she helped lead a successful fight against Koch Industries’ proposal for a petcoke storage and shipping terminal at the Port of Benicia; in 2005 helped a successful fight against the Bechtel and Shell Oil proposal for a Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal and power plant in Vallejo.  She serves as board chair of Benicia Community Gardens, which has established two gardens, a local CSA program with Terra Firma Farm, and a first-ever community orchard. She is an artist, with BA and MA in painting from Boston University, and BA in the Humanities, University of CA, Berkeley


Shannon Biggs

Shannon Biggs is the Director of the Community Rights program at Global Exchange. She is the co-author of two books, Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grass Roots and The Rights of Nature. Her current work focuses on assisting communities confronted by corporate harms to enact binding laws that place the rights of communities and nature above the claimed legal “rights” of corporations. Over 160 communities have passed these new laws across the US, and have used this new understanding to stop working defensively against corporations and take courageous action to assert their rights to make governing decisions where they live.  She is also a leading international speaker, author and activist on the growing movement for Rights of Nature. Prior to coming to Global Exchange she was a senior staffer at International Forum on Globalization (IFG), and a lecturer in International Relations at San Francisco State University. Shannon holds a Masters in Economics/Politics of Empire from the London School of Economics (LSE).


David Braun

David Braun is a co-founder of Americans Against Fracking and New Yorkers Against Fracking, and has recently relocated back to his home state of California to fight fracking where he’s working with Californians Against Fracking, a coalition of over 150 organizations fighting for a ban.  While in New York, David founded and worked with several grassroots anti-fracking organizations including United for Action, Sane Energy Project, among others. Previously, he was the grassroots coordinator for the films, GASLAND and GASLAND II.   Before working on the fracking issue, he worked with MoveOn and has also engaged with numerous other social, environmental and economic justice campaigns.


Dave Campbell

David Campbell is the long-time Secretary-Treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 675, representing workers at Chevron, ExxonMobil, Phillips 66, Shell and Tesoro, as well as Carwasheros and other workers in Southern CA, NV and AZ. He is a former Board member of Communities for a Better Environment and a participant in both the Californians for a Healthy and Green Economy and the Blue Green Alliance.  He is also a former Board member of the Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras and of the Just Transition Alliance. Dave is a current Vice President of the 600,000-member Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.  Local 675 has also been active in immigrant rights, anti-war and international solidarity issues. It was the recipient of the Falkowski/Seqiun award for its leadership on environmental issues and the 2013 Karen Silkwood Award for leadership in health and safety issues.


Latrice Carter

Latrice Carter is a resident of Carson, California. She is actively involved in the community and has volunteered in a range of civic activities from community action groups, events, festivals, fundraisers, and political campaigns.  She is also a dedicated and committed activist, currently involved in bringing attention and opposition to the proposed Oxy oil-drilling project in Carson.  The city recently imposed an emergency moratorium on all new drilling, halting efforts to bore more than 200 wells near homes and a state university. She was an appointed member to the Carson’s Utility Users’ Tax Oversight Committee, which is designated to oversee the budget and expenses of the city of Carson. She has served as a member of the Carson Cultural Arts Foundation, the Carson Preservation Committee, and the Carson African American Empowerment Coalition. Latrice is a proud mother and overjoyed grandmother.


Rob Collier

Robert Collier spent two decades as a reporter and editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, covering international affairs and global energy trends from Central America to Mexico, Iraq, China, Canada and many points in between.  He is currently a writer/researcher and consultant for think tanks and NGOs about U.S. and international policies on energy, climate and the environment. He produces policy studies long and short, including in-depth white papers, investigative reports, newspaper op-eds and online content. He also works as consultant on labeling initiatives for best practices in extractive industries.  His recent indispensable six-part series on fracking in California can be found at http://thenextgeneration.org/about/people/robert-collier.  He publishes a blog on energy and climate policy.  You can follow him on Twitter at @rcollier .



Yana Garcia

Yana is a Staff Attorney at Communities for a Better Environment’s (CBE) Huntington Park office, where she supports CBE’s statewide, regional and local campaigns in Southeast Los Angeles and Wilmington. She joined CBE to re-engage in the work that inspired her to be an attorney.  Prior to law school, Yana worked with various indigenous communities throughout the country and into parts of Mexico as a Pilot Project Coordinator for Honor the Earth Foundation based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and as a Development and Programs Associate at La Plazita Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In law school her practice experiences were focused on Environmental Justice and Civil Rights. She was a fellow at the Texas Civil Rights Project in El Paso, Texas and a Legal Intern at Alternatives for Community and Environment based in Boston. Yana also externed for now retired Justice Carlos Moreno at the Supreme Court of California in 2009-2010.  She is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Northeastern University School of Law.


Richard Heinberg

Richard Heinberg is the author of eleven books including: Snake Oil (July 2013), The End of Growth (August 2011), Peak Everything, and The Party's Over.Richard is a Senior Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute and is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost Peak Oil educators. He has authored scores of essays and articles that have appeared in leading journals and on web sites. He has spoken to hundreds of audiences in 14 countries, including members of the European Parliament.  He has appeared in many film and television documentaries, including Leonardo DiCaprio’s 11th Hour, and is a recipient of the M. King Hubbert Award for Excellence in Energy Education.


Mark Hertsgaard

Mark Hertsgaard has reported on climate change from all over the world for outlets including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Mother Jones, The Daily Beast, Harper's, Scientific American, NPR, the BBC and The Nation, where he is the environment correspondent.  He is the author of six books that have been translated into sixteen languages, including, HOT:  Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth and Earth Odyssey:  Around the World In Search of Our Environmental Future. He speaks often before university, civic and activist audiences and is a co-founder of the group, Climate Parents, which seeks to awaken and mobilize parents (and grandparents!) to secure a livable planet for the young people he has termed "Generation Hot."  More information is at www.markhertsgaard.com/.


Vivian Huang

As a child growing up in a Chinese immigrant family, Vivian Yi Huang saw the injustices facing immigrant communities and was inspired to visit every country in the world to build connections across borders. Currently, she is Campaign and Organizing Director for Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), organizing alongside immigrant community members to develop collective power and leadership for justice. Prior to working at APEN, Vivian spent a decade advocating for policy, legislation, and budget funding for immigrants, communities of color, and migrant farmworkers at Asian Americans for Civil Rights & Equality, the California Primary Care Association, and Presidential Management Fellows Program.  For the past 11 years, she has been mentor for the Women’s Policy Institute, a training program for women activists in public policy.  True to her childhood dream, Vivian has gone on exposure trips with Anakbayan East Bay and the China Education & Exposure Program, and spent some time living abroad in Mexico, South Korea, and China.


Greg Karras

Greg Karras is a Senior Scientist for northern California Communities for a Better Environment.  He has extensive environmental science and policy experience, and expertise in the fields of industrial investigation, pollution prevention engineering, energy system planning and exposure assessment. In his 30 years with CBE he has led research in campaigns on water quality, air quality and food chain contamination; participated in pollution prevention audits of more than 100 industrial facilities; and, authored or co-authored 20 major scientific publications including CBE reports and formal peer reviewed work. Greg serves as an expert for CBE and other community-based groups and nonprofits on pollution prevention and sustainable energy projects in the oil and electricity sectors. He is committed to community participation in environmental science.


Hollin Kretzmann

Hollin Kretzmann is a staff attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity in San Francisco who works primarily on issues related to fracking in California. He has worked on multiple litigation cases involving fracking in state and federal courts. Prior to joining the Center, Hollin worked for the Clean Air Council, a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit combating air pollution resulting from fracking in the Marcellus Shale. He holds a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School.


Matt Krogh

With over 12 years experience in nonprofit work and advocacy, Matt Krogh joined ForestEthics in August 2013 to direct a new campaign targeting tar sands on the West Coast of North America, Tar Sands SOS. Most recently as the North Sound Baykeeper at RE Sources for Sustainable Communities in Bellingham, Washington, Matt has spent the last three years fighting against Gateway Pacific and other proposed coal terminals on the West Coast. As a freelancer, he and his father co-authored a book on integrity and principle-based decision making—both critical components of effective advocacy. His professional training and early work experience include environmental education and ecological modeling using remote sensing data. Matt holds a BS in environmental science and MS in geography from Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University. Matt’s family has roots in Seattle stretching back four generations; the glaciers, dark deep Cascades forests, and Salish Sea waters are the undercurrents of who he is.


Deborah Levoy

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Deborah Levoy, renowned for her lush voice, literary sensibilityand riveting stage presence, has taken on the greatest challenge of our time, climate change, in a new series of original songs.  The Time Has Come, Levoy’s recently released music video, celebrates the extraordinary actions taken by ordinary citizens in the fight for climate justice.  Through her music and activism, Levoy works tirelessly to inspire others to join the growing climate justice movement on behalf of future generations. Possessed with the voice of a diva and the soul of a poet, Levoy’s musical artistry reflects diverse influences, spanning the range from Joni Mitchell to Sarah Vaughn. Levoy has toured nationally and has won numerous prestigious awards for her songwriting.  Levoy lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she is recording her fourth album, Extraordinary Muse and serves on the leadership team of 350.org Silicon Valley.


Roger Lin

Roger Lin is a Staff Attorney at Communities for a Better Environment. He provides legal advocacy to achieve environmental health and justice by preventing and reducing pollution and promoting green, healthy and sustainable communities and environments. He has previously worked with the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, the United States Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division, and most recently advocated for the rights of low-income and disabled residents of Alameda County at the Homeless Action Center. Roger graduated from Stanford University in 2001 and from Golden Gate University School of Law in 2006, with a Specialization in Public Interest/Environmental Law.


Pennie Opal Plant

Idle No More is a group of Native American activists and allies ensuring the future of the coming generations.


Andres Soto

Andres Soto was raised in the shadow of the Chevron Richmond Refinery and has spent his life in the fight for social justice at the local, state, federal and international levels. Andres is currently the Richmond Organizer for Communities for a Better Environment, which has had a thirty-year presence in Richmond. The struggle for justice in Richmond has led Richmond to develop a grass roots mobilization that is challenging Chevron and the other historic power brokers who have run Richmond like a Third World country. This movement has led to lawsuits against Chevron, building coalitions to challenge corporate power, electing Progressive candidates who are implementing innovative new policies to improve community health and safety. Andres is a father, grandfather and a working musician in the Bay Area performing in a variety of genres and musical organizations


Madeleine Stano

Madeline Stano is the Luke Cole Memorial Fellow and staff attorney at the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment (CRPE) in San Francisco, California—a national grassroots environmental justice non-­‐profit. Madeline first became passionate about environmental justice while witnessing and organizing against water shutoffs in Detroit in high school. She attended the Roeper School and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Michigan Honors College and a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School. Madeline leads CRPE’s civil rights campaign and work on behalf of the Alaska Native Village of Kivalina. Her litigation focus areas include Title VI, climate change, and the intersection of environmental and racial justice. She serves on the Environmental Justice Leadership Forum on Climate Change, Californians Against Fracking and the Bay Area Rapid Transit Title VI and Environmental Justice Advisory Committee. She also writes an environmental justice blog on her work entitled, “Our People, Our Communities, Our Environment.” She is admitted to practice law in California.


Janet Stromberg

Janet Stromberg is a co-founder of 350 Bay Area.  She manages its Bay Climate Action Plan (BayCAP) campaign to transform the Bay Area's energy and economic infrastructure to get off fossil fuels and bring healthful air and a healthy environment to all. Janet studied Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley with a dual focus on Energy and the Environment. Her day job is at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.


David Turnbull

David Turnbull is the Campaigns Director of Oil Change International, managing campaigns to end fossil fuel subsidies, to slow the spread of dirty energy money, and to stop fossil fuel infrastructure from tar sands and fracking. Prior to his current position with Oil Change, David was Executive Director of Climate Action Network – International, where he worked to coordinate the Network of 700 hundred NGOs in dozens of countries to develop and advocate for global solutions to the climate crisis. You can follow him on Twitter at @david_turnbull





Al Weinrub

Al Weinrub is Coordinator of the Local Clean Energy Alliance (LCEA), the Bay Area's largest clean energy coalition. The LCEA, which hosts an annual Clean Power, Healthy Communities conference, sees the development of local energy resources as key to growing sustainable business, advancing social equity, and promoting community resilience. Al authored the highly-acclaimed report Community Power: Decentralized Renewable Energy in California  and has conducted energy policy briefings for many organizations and national conferences. Al also serves on the Sierra Club California Energy-Climate Committee and has previously led several nationally-based campaigns dealing with science, labor, and social justice. He is a former national officer and member the National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981, AFL-CIO. Al lives in Oakland.




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Showing 4 reactions

followed this page 2016-10-05 09:25:52 -0700
commented 2014-05-04 08:31:11 -0700 · Flag
Oh- I see, Al serves on the Sierra Club CA Energy Committee
commented 2014-05-04 08:28:55 -0700 · Flag
now- to be fair to me, I am trying to delete the comment, but there is no way to do so…it was an innocent question….of course now looking at it, might sound a bit divisive….just saying I might delete it if I could,…but it was a reaction that I had.
commented 2014-05-04 08:21:56 -0700 · Flag
Hmmm….no one from the Sierra Club?
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