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Meet Our Speakers

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Nicolas Brown

Since 2006, filmmaker Nicolas Brown has dedicated his career to fighting climate change and reversing biodiversity loss. His latest feature (fall 2022), The Letter, tells the story of Pope Francis’ quest to save Mother Earth. Brown’s latest television series was H2O: The Molecule That Made Us, for PBS/NOVA which won “Best Series” at both Wildscreen and the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. Brown’s previous feature, The Serengeti Rules won over 25 major awards at festivals including an Emmy for Outstanding Nature Documentary (this was Nicolas’ 4th Emmy award).


Brown’s other films have won two BAFTA awards, and over 60 major festival awards in the USA, China, India, and Europe. At Passion Pictures Brown also directed and produced Earth: a New Wild, which won “Best Series” at Wildscreen. He also directed National Geographic’s Giant Screen IMAX film Pandas 3D: the Journey Home. At the BBC Nicolas directed the award-winning Earth’s Natural Wonders, two BAFTA-winning episodes of Human Planet, and the multi-award winning Climate Chaos with Sir David Attenborough. For the Discovery Channel his film The Truth About Global Warming with Tom Brokaw won the Emmy for Best Long Form Documentary. 


Other credits include the Emmy nominated Mankind (The History Channel), First Peoples (PBS), and the Emmy nominated series Frontier House and Colonial House (PBS/Channel 4). Brown’s current project is called Blue Carbon and follows DJ Jayda G on a quest to understand how coastal ecosystems can be used to slow climate change.


Nicolas’s quote on Blue Carbon:

“In this film we are bringing together opposites-- dance music and nature, or clubbing and conservation-- with the aim of bringing new hope to new audiences. Crucially, the film raises the voices of people-- as well as the ecosystems-- that sit on the front lines of the climate and biodiversity crisis. It is time to listen to what they say!”

Nicolas Brown
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Andrea Bruce

Andrea Bruce is a photographer, educator, artist and journalist whose work focuses on the environment and ideas of democracy in the aftermath of war. She often concentrates on the social issues that are sometimes ignored and often ignited in war's wake. Her clients include National Geographic and The New York Times as well as many publications around the globe. She is also the publisher and creator of the local, visual-first publication Down in the County serving Pamlico County, NC.

Andrea Bruce
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Anne-Louise Fregerslev Christensen

Anne-Louise Fregerslev Christensen is Senior Commercial Advisor for Water at the Danish Water Technology Alliance, a national public-private knowledge exchange program seeking to build bridge between the American and Danish water sectors, to share Danish know-how, and foster collaboration. The Alliance is a part of The Trade Council at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, and the partners include public Danish water utilities, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency and leading technology and service providers. Since 2022 she has lead the government-to-government and strategic partnerships and policy knowledge exchange at the Alliance. Prior to this position, she held a position as Policy Advisor at the Embassy of Denmark in Washington, D.C. for three years where water policy was one of her main focus areas. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from University of Southern Denmark and a master’s degree in Political Science from University of Copenhagen.

Anne-Louise Christensen
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Abigail Burgess

Abigail Burgess (she/they) is a member of the Eskasoni Band of the Mi'kmaq First Nations community in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. She is a junior at Dartmouth College, studying Native American and Indigenous Studiesmodified with Environmental Studies and Psychology. At Dartmouth, she currently serves as Social Coordinator on the Native Americans at Dartmouth Executive Board, organizing events for the Indigenous community on campus. She spent the previous calendar year serving as Native American Council Representative, advocating for the needs of students to administration. Abigail also runs a peer-led grief support group for students who have lost a parent, sibling, or family member. Outside of Dartmouth, she works as a teaching assistant at a Daycare in Norwich withinfants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

Abigail Burgess
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Dr. Imani M. Cheers

Dr. Imani M. Cheers is an award-winning digital storyteller with a passion for moving the planet forward. Dr. Cheers is originally from Chicago but grew up in post-apartheid South Africa. That's where her love for the environment started, growing vegetables in her home garden. Having traveled to over 40 countries on six continents, Dr. Cheers is passionate about taking students out of their comfort zone and pushing the boundaries of visual communications. When she's not filling up her passport with her son Isaiah, you can find her preparing the next generation of storytellers for careers that don't exist yet.

Imani Cheers
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Dr. Juan Declet-Barreto

Juan Declet-Barreto is Senior Social Scientist for Climate Vulnerability for the Climate & Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. At UCS, he researches, maps, analyzes, communicates, and finds solutions to the inequitable human health and livelihood impacts of environmental hazards, particularly those exacerbated by climate change. An interdisciplinary environmental and social scientist, Dr. Declet-Barreto earned a Ph.D. in environmental social sciences, M.A. and B.S. degrees in geography, and an associate’s degree in geographic information systems, from Arizona State University.

Juan Declet-Barreto
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Rachel Frazin

Rachel Frazin covers energy and environment policy for The Hill, covering topics that range from climate change to fossil and renewable energy to toxic chemicals. She is also co-writing a book about PFAS, a toxic and pervasive class of “forever chemicals.” Rachel is originally from South Florida, and studied journalism and political science at Northwestern University.

Rachel Frazin

Angela Fritz

Angela Fritz is CNN’s Senior Climate and Weather Editor. Prior to joining CNN, Fritz held several leadership positions including Deputy Editor on the General Assignment News Desk at The Washington Post and Deputy Weather Editor for the Capital Weather Gang. Fritz previously worked at CNN in Atlanta as a weather producer and Weather Underground in San Francisco where she was the company’s first atmospheric scientist.

Fritz has covered a wide range of natural and manmade disasters around the world, including the Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, and countless, deadly hurricanes, wildfires and flash floods.

She holds a B.S. in meteorology from Valparaiso University and an M.S. in earth and atmospheric from Georgia Institute of Technology. She is a member of Society of Environmental Journalists, American Meteorological Society, and National Weather Association.

Angela Fritz
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Cassandra Garber

Cassandra Garber has 20 years of experience building and leading global, enterprise-wide sustainability, ESG, marketing and communications programs and teams across a variety of industries. She currently serves as vice president of Corporate Sustainability & ESG for Dell Technologies, driving global ESG strategy and integration across the enterprise – from products and services to operations and stakeholder engagement. She oversees the global teams and activities leading sustainability, ESG reporting and operations, giving and volunteerism and Dell’s signature social innovation programs. She and her team are responsible for helping the company deliver on aggressive 2030 ESG goals and targets across four pillars - advancing sustainability, cultivating inclusion, transforming lives and upholding trust – as well as creating outsized impact in priority areas, including climate action, circular economy and digital inclusion.

Prior to joining Dell, Cassandra served as vice president of sustainability and ESG for McKesson, where she developed its first-ever sustainability and ESG department and led enterprise-wide strategy, program development, reporting and disclosures and stakeholder engagement. She also held global sustainability leadership roles at 3M and the Coca Cola Company and spent 10 years at General Electric in a variety of communications and marketing roles.

Cassandra Garber
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Mickki Garrity

Mickki Garrity (Bodewadmikwe) is enrolled in the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and lives in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. She’s currently pursuing her MS in Tribal Land and Natural Resource Management at theUniversity of Minnesota and spends her free time walking in the woods and puttering in the kitchen, accompanied by her vivacious toddler. Mickki is a fellow with the Society for Ecological Restoration, as well as an Indigenous Correspondent in the 2023-24 Planet Forward Ilíiaitchik: Indigenous Correspondents Program. She was a student blogger for the Tribal College Journal, and has had fiction stories published in ang(st) and Adelaide.

Mickki Garrity
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Artealia Gilliard

Artealia Gilliard is a change-maker and systems-thinker with 20 years of experience moving the needle on problems like climate change and inequality. Her career has spanned a range of issues affecting transportation and mobility from well-to-wheels, including land-use planning, energy development and permitting, community engagement and environmental policy.


At Ford Motor Company, she leads environmental and sustainability communications and advocacy, supporting Ford’s efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and the company's transition to electric vehicles. She works at the intersection of Ford's environmental and sustainability priorities to create new opportunities for impact through education, policy engagement and partnerships.


Artealia most recently served as Director of Communications and Digital Media at Columbia’s University Center on Global Energy Policy and as part of the leadership team that launched Columbia University’s new Climate School. Prior to joining the University, Artealia was a senior executive in the Obama Administration where she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation Policy at the Department of Transportation and led communications, public engagement, and legislative strategy for the Department’s energy and environment portfolio.


Artealia earned a Master of Science in Communications Management from Syracuse University and a Bachelor of Science in Communication from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She serves as a mentor for the Obama Foundation Voyager Scholars program and on the advisory board for the Sustainability Career and Technical Education program at Santa Monica College.


Artealia lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Artealia Gilliard
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President Ellen M. Granberg

Ellen M. Granberg is the 19th President of the George Washington University.

President Granberg is an accomplished academic leader who has a record of strengthening teaching and research excellence across disciplines, supporting a diverse and inclusive community of students, faculty, and staff, and collaborating with all stakeholders to drive transformative change and increase institutional prominence. She became the first woman to serve as GW’s President on July 1, 2023.

Previously, President Granberg served as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and was a professor and senior leader at Clemson University.

A nationally recognized scholar in the sociology of self, identity, and mental health, President Granberg began her career in academia as a Professor of Sociology.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies, she spent eleven years in the telecommunications industry, leading large integrated software development teams that replaced aging billing and customer service systems.

President Granberg holds a B.A. in history from the University of California at Davis and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Vanderbilt University.

President Granberg

Katrina Nicole Green

Katrina Green is a Delaware native from the Six Nations and a resident of the Tuscarora reservation. Katrina has a deep love for the environment and a strong belief in its preservation, with a mission to make a positive impact on the world through environmental work. Whether it's advocating for sustainable practices, raising awareness about conservation, or actively participating in eco-friendly initiatives, Katrina is dedicated to bettering our planet and working together to create a greener and more sustainable future! 

Katrina Green
Tyler Hickman
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Tyler Hickman

Tyler Hickman is pursuing a Masters of Journalism at the University of Colorado Boulder. He's drawn to stories about food, agriculture, and human interest, and shares this passion through the lens of his camera.

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Jesse J. Holland

Jesse J. Holland is a distinguished journalist, educator and author renowned for his impactful storytelling that challenges perspectives and reshapes narratives. His writing prowess extends across multiple genres, with award-winning nonfiction works including "The Invisibles: The Untold Story of African American Slaves Inside the White House" and "Black Men Built The Capitol: Discovering African American History in and Around Washington, D.C." In fiction, he's known for his novels "Black Panther: Who Is TheBlackPanther?"—the groundbreaking introduction of the iconic superhero into literature—and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens-Finn’s Story." Additionally, Holland has garnered acclaim as an editor, leading the anthology "Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda" and slated to helm the forthcoming "Captain America: The Shield of Sam Wilson." Beyond his literary accomplishments, Jesse serves as a guest host on C-SPAN's Washington Journal and holds the position of associate director at The George Washington University's School of Media & Public Affairs. With a background as a Race & Ethnicity Reporter at the Associated Press, a columnist at and as a visiting scholar at prestigious institutions like the Library of Congress and the University of Arkansas, Jesse continues to contribute to the discourse on social issues. Currently, he's engaged in various projects including writing his next nonfiction book, producing his first documentary and offering guidance to aspiring nonfiction authors.

Jesse J. Holland
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Jennifer Howard

Jennifer Howard, PhD, is the Vice President of the Blue Carbon Program at Conservation International. Her work focuses on implementing scalable mechanisms to conserve coastal and marine ecosystems to protect threatened coastal communities, combat climate change, and conserve coastal biodiversity. In this role, she provides technical support to our teams on the ground all over the world and builds partnerships for largescale meaningful change. She helped to found the Global Mangrove Alliance and represents CI on its Steering Committee with the goal of halting loss, doubling protection, restoring half of mangrove ecosystems globally
through meaningful collaboration across sectors and disciplines. She is also a technical
expert with Blue Carbon Initiative, a global program on coastal carbon science and marine policy working to mitigate climate change through the restoration and sustainable use of coastal and marine ecosystems. She is a technical advisor to the Verra Blue Carbon Working Group where she is developing carbon crediting methodologies that work for large and small projects anywhere in the world. Jennifer also spends time working closely with partners to identify barriers to taking blue carbon to scale and coming up with innovative solutions to overcome those barriers.

Jennifer Howard
Michelle McCauley
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Dr. Michelle McCauley

Dr. Michelle McCauley is the Interim Executive Vice President, Provost, at Middlebury. As Middlebury’s chief academic officer, she oversees the Office of the Provost and all academic programs at Middlebury, including Middlebury College, the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, C.V. Starr Schools Abroad, Language Schools, Bread Loaf School of English, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences, and School of the Environment. McCauley, a professor of psychology, joined the Middlebury faculty in1995. She cofounded the Vermont Center for Behavioral Science Research in Climate and the Environment, and has contributed to many task forces and initiatives around the environment including Middlebury’s Energy 2028 which commits the institution to using 100% renewable energy at the main VT campus and reducing consumption by 25% by 2028 as well as increasing educational opportunities for students to learn how to make practical contributions to the climate crisis. Prior to being appointed to her current role, Michelle was the director of the Kathryn Wasserman Davis Collaborative in Conflict Transformation, a seven year, 25 million dollar project across Middlebury. Dr. McCauley earned her B.A. from the University of Iowa, and her M.S. and PhD in Applied Psychology from Florida International University.

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Isabel Mohn

Libby Mohn is an International Environmental Policy Masters candidate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. She is specializing in Ocean and Coastal Resource Management with the mission to protect our ocean, facilitate solution sharing, and connect stakeholders including Indigenous communities. As a 2024 California Sea Grant Fellow, working with NOAA at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, she has been able to begin pursuing her mission. Libby is passionate about informing and inspiring others to connect with natural places and diverse cultures because big change often starts with the smallest of cognitive shifts. When she is not focusing on the ocean and cultural connection, Libby likes to cook dinners with friends, explore the central coast of California, and plan her next travels.

Libby Mohn
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Aparna Mukherjee

Aparna Mukherjee is Executive Director of the Society of Environmental Journalists. With more than 25 years of experience, she has held operations, strategy, product and thought leadership roles, spanning the private, public, and philanthropic sectors, including in the newsrooms of some of the world’s biggest media outlets: Associated Press, Bloomberg, CNBC, and the Wall Street Journal, in Asia and the US.


Most recently, she served as CPO of Resolve Philly, a collaborative newsroom committed to bridging information gaps and building the local newsroom of the future.


Her career includes roles in the newsrooms of the Associated Press, Bloomberg, CNBC, and the WallStreet Journal in Asia and the US. She has also worked in Manila, as a Luce Scholar at the Philippines Center for Investigative Journalism, and focused on skilled labor migration policy during a sabbatical in Berlin with the Robert Bosch Foundation.


At The New York Times, Aparna led the paper's online education ventures group and civic engagement initiatives in collaboration with Stanford, Towson, and New York Universities, supported by partnerships with the Kauffman and Annenberg Foundations. As a FUSE Corp Executive Fellow inLA's City Hall, she developed a strategy for an Office of Civic Engagement, working with local NGO's and in collaboration with the Bloomberg i-team. As a grantmaker, she led the Goldhirsh Foundation's annual LA2050 million-dollar grants challenge, as the organization's inaugural Executive in Residence.


In her role at McKinsey & Co as the firm’s first social media editor, Aparna developed strategies for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram, and focused on case studies and storytelling emphasizing globalization, sustainability, Big Data, and innovation. She also launched Morgan Stanley’s alumni network, served as editor and interim director of digital for Columbia University's Alumni Association, and led industry programming for the Paley Center for Media, the former Museum of Television & Radio.


A born New Yorker with significant experience working outside the US, including in Manila, Hong Kong, and Berlin, Aparna is an alumna of Bryn Mawr College, and holds a dual MA in Journalism and MBA from Columbia University, where she was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economics. Most recently, she served as a JSK Stanford Community Impact Fellow, exploring AI and its potential in improving public meeting coverage. Her work has been featured in publications such as The New Yorker, the Far Eastern Economic Review, and Businessweek.

Aparna Mukherjee
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Danielle Nierenberg

Danielle Nierenberg is a world-renowned researcher, speaker, and advocate, on all issues relating to our food system and agriculture. Danielle is President of Food Tank ( and an expert on sustainable agriculture and food issues. She has written extensively on gender and population, the spread of factory farming in the developing world, and innovations in sustainable agriculture. Danielle is the recipient of the 2020 Julia Child Award.


Danielle founded Food Tank, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, with Bernard Pollack in 2013 to build a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters. The organization has more than 250 major institutional partners including The Rockefeller Foundation, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Christensen Fund, IFPRI, IFAD, Oxfam America, Slow Food USA, U.N. FAO, the Crop Trust, the Sustainable Food Trust, and academic institutions in all 50 states.


Food Tank highlights hope, success, and innovative ideas in our food system through original daily publications, research articles, a chart-topping podcast, interviews, and events and Summits in major cities around the world.


Prior to starting Food Tank, Danielle spent two years traveling to more than 35 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America, meeting with hundreds of farmers and farmers’ groups, scientists and researchers, policymakers and government leaders, students and academics, and journalists, documenting what is working to help alleviate hunger and poverty, while protecting the environment.

Danielle Nierenberg
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Joshua Panganiban

Josh Panganiban serves as an integral member of the origination team at NextEra Energy, where his primary responsibilities encompass sales and the facilitation of utility-scale solar, wind, and battery projects across the Midwest. His role is to align renewable energy solutions with the objectives of various utilities and commercial companies by carefully understanding their specific needs and goals. Before NextEra Energy, Josh has worked at GreenStruxure, Deloitte, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and as research assistant at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and Keck Environmental Lab. He also volunteers with Data Science for Sustainable Development, where he aids under-resourced nonprofits by introducing technologically driven solutions. He holds an M.S. in Energy and Sustainability from Northwestern and a BBA in Accounting from William & Mary.

Joshua Panganiban
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Joy Reeves

Joy Reeves is a second-year Master of Environmental Management student at Duke University specializing in Environmental Economics and Policy. Joy is an energy justice advocate, published author, and climate cartoonist from Frederick, Maryland. Joy earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Duke University in 2022, and she has worked for nonprofits such as the League of Conservation Voters and the Rachel Carson Council. She has also conducted energy research on critical mineral supply chain challenges and on the wood pellet industry’s harmful impacts in North Carolina communities. As a trained science communicator, Joy has written and illustrated justice-oriented solar energy comic materials for younger students through the National Science Foundation, contributed comics to an upcoming climate mental health journal, authored the book Growing Up in the Grassroots:Finding Unity in Climate Activism Across Generations, published in 2020. Joy was named a Udall Scholar in 2021 and hopes to continue her career in public service. In May, she will begin her role as an Associate of Policy, Programs, and Special Projects at the Rachel Carson Council.

Joy Reeves
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Dr. Matt Ries

Dr. Matt Ries is the Vice President of Strategy & Performance Officer at DC Water & until recently was the Director of Strategic Leadership & Sustainability.


Before DC Water, he was Chief Technical Officer at the Water Environment Federation, a professional non-profit technical association, and Matt also was a consultant in the municipal and industrial water sector and has served on multiple utility and NGO boards. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia. He has a BS, MS, and PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering. His dissertation focused on the quantitative measurement of sustainability in US urban water utilities.


Currently, he oversees enterprise performance programs including DC Water’s alignment of programs to the organization’s strategy, such as Enterprise Risk Management, Innovation, and Sustainability. He oversees the annual production of the public water sector’s only ESG Report, responding to investment and rating agency drivers for more transparency around ESG risks.

Matt Ries
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Matt Scott

Matt Scott is the director of storytelling and engagement at the global nonprofit climate solutions resource Project Drawdown, and is the founding director of the Drawdown Stories program where he helps everyday people find their role in climate solutions and justice on the community level. Matt is the host of the climate solutions short documentary series Drawdown's Neighborhood, featured on the Weather Channel's Pattrn streaming network. Prior to his work at Project Drawdown, Matt was the global community lead and storyteller of the NASA International Space Apps Challenge, the world's largest global problem-solving hackathon—engaging over 100,000 people in over 150 countries. While building Space Apps–what’s been called the U.S.government’s largest citizen diplomacy initiative–he also worked with the Australian Government, Pivotal Ventures by Melinda Gates, USAID, the United Nations, Nike, Walmart, and the Obama White House. Matt is the creator of Let’s Care, where he’s interviewed 100+ changemakers and created the film 20s & Change: San Francisco, recognized at three film festivals to-date.

Matt Scott
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Mykah Scott

Mykah Scott is a junior Political Science & English major at Tuskegee University from Houston, Texas. With a passion for creativity and activism. Mykah inspires to combine her passion of arts and advocacy with a career in creative storytelling and public interest.

Mykah Scott
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Frank Sesno

Frank Sesno loves stories. He's been telling them all his life. In high school, through his student newspaper. In college, on the radio. In his 21 years with CNN, through pictures, interviews, and documentaries. As CNN White House correspondent, anchor, and Washington Bureau Chief, Frank reported on events and people from around the world. He witnessed epic challenges and inspiring resilience. He told stories about threats to the planet along with scientific discoveries and breakthroughs driven by human ingenuity.

Frank is now the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the GW's School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA) and the Executive Director of the George Washington University Alliance for a Sustainable Future. The Alliance is a broad pan-university initiative to amplify the university’s teaching, research, convening and impact relating to global challenges around climate change, environmental justice, and sustainability. Frank was SMPA's Director for 11 years, where he focused on the next generation of storytellers and on the future of journalism in a chaotic world. In 2009, during his tenure as director, he started Planet Forward to both launch the next generation of environmental storytellers and highlight ideas that can be transformative.

Frank's love for the world around us started before college, on horseback in the Colorado Rockies. He rode and camped. He experienced beauty and balance. Which is why today, amid all the challenges we face, Frank believes that the story of how we can move the planet forward is more compelling and more urgent than ever.

Frank Sesno
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Jessica Stahl

Jess Stahl is the editor for creative storytelling at Grist, a nonprofit, independent newsroom covering climate, justice, and solutions. In that role, she oversees reporting and projects that aim to bring climate narratives to new audiences through creative storytelling techniques and community engagement. Before coming to Grist, she was the director of audio at The Washington Post, where she launched the newspaper’s podcast operation, growing it into an award-winning industry leader in both innovation and audience reach. Jess was previously The Post’s deputy editor for audience, overseeing a newsroom group focused on developing targeted audience growth strategies and smart multimedia content. That team won an Edward R. Murrow award for its work during the 2016 presidential election. She is a graduate of Johns Hopkins SAIS and Princeton University, and lives in Washington, D.C.

Jess Stahl
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Farron Taijeron

Farron "theguamguy" Taijeron is a University of Guam PI-CASC Climate Adaptation for Resource Management fellow with a focus on human interactions with wildfire. As a conservation coordinator with The Nature Conservancy he works in coral reef restoration and outreach. In his personal time, Farron founded the Guam Extreme Cleanup Crew and incidentally became a local influencer showcasing environmental issues and leading community projects to directly benefit natural resources. His content can be found on Instagram @theguamguy and on his podcast TheGuamGuy Show.

Farron Taijeron
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Nizhoni Tallas

Yá’át’ééh (Hello). Nizhoni Tallas is Diné (Navajo) and grew up in Rough Rock, Arizona. She attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources. She’s finishing her Master of Science in Natural Resources at the University of Arizona. Nizhoni has worked on projects that span Indigenous food, water, climate, and energy systems. She is passionate about increasing Native representation and integrating Indigenous knowledge and perspectives in natural resource management. Nizhoni is a Udall Scholar, a Gilman Scholar, a Sequoyah Fellow of the American Indian Science Engineering Society (AISES), and the current Indigenous Stewardship Fellow for Climate Science Alliance.

Nizhoni Tallas
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Ivey Camille Manybeads Tso

Ivey Camille Manybeads Tso is an award-winning queer Navajo filmmaker. She was a fellow with the Firelight Media Documentary Filmmaker Lab, and the 4th World Indigenous Media Lab. She started making films at the age of 9, through the Native youth media project Outta Your Backpack Media. At the age of 13 she made the award-winning Docu-drama film In the Footsteps of Yellow Woman, based on the true story of her great-great-great grandmother Yellow Woman, who lived through the Navajo Long Walk of 1864-1868. The film screened in over 90 film festivals internationally and won 11 awards. Ivey Camille continued to refine her filmmaking craft with a full scholarship to Idyllwild Arts Academy in California. She later returned home to work on films in her community of Navajo Nation. At the age of 19, Ivey Camille began work on Powerlands, her first feature. Powerlands has screened internationally and won several festival awards including the The 2022 Rigoberta Menchú Grand Prize.

Ivey Camille Manybeads Tso
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Dr. Neelu Tummala

Dr. Neelu Tummala is an ENT surgeon, assistant professor of surgery, and co-director of the Climate Health Institute at George Washington University. She has a special interest in science communication and education concerning the health effects of climate change and environmental injustice. She is on the executive committee of the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health and is on the steering committee for Virginia Clinicians for Climate Action.

Neelu Tummala
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Owen Volk

Owen Volk is a senior majoring in Environmental Studies with a focus in policy and communications at The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, N.Y. Previously, he has received an associate's degree in Environmental Technology from Onondaga Community College. His interest in study surrounds the environmental and justice impacts of the readily growing and updating infrastructure across the country, the implementation and use of solar energy both throughout the United States and internationally, and the connection of the environment and Indigenous communities and the threats we have made to those relationships. Post-college, he hopes to produce environmental media through photography and cinematography to continue educating and inspiring others.

Owen Volk
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Kaitlin Yarnall

As chief storytelling officer at the National Geographic Society, Kaitlin Yarnall is responsible for expanding the organization’s impact through all forms of storytelling. Yarnall oversees a team that creates data visualization, identifies key partnership, grantmaking, and fellowship opportunities, and preserves materials that document the Society’s 130+ year history. Yarnall began her career at the Society in 2005 as a cartographer. She has assumed a variety of management roles including deputy director of National Geographic Labs, executive director at National Geographic magazine, and director of cartography. Yarnall has an M.A. in geography from The George Washington University. She specializes in storytelling, data visualization, information graphics, cartography, and visual narratives.

Kaitlin Yarnall
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Chris Zatarain

Chris Zatarain is a graduate student at the University of Arizona where is pursuing a Master's degree in Applied Intercultural Arts Research. His primary area of research is in applied ecomusicology and his interests are in the intersections of music, art, and the environment, specially looking at the ways in which music and sound can be used in environmental storytelling and science communication to inspire global environmental change.

Chris is a classically trained oboist who enjoys playing orchestral and chamber music, especially music that is centered around nature and the environment. His creative work is based in music and audio production as well as music composition and performance. In addition to ecomusic and ecoart, some of his other interests include organic gardening and sustainable food systems, plant-based lifestyles, environmental justice, ecospirituality, speculative fiction and ecofuturism, and topics in mental health surrounding climate grief and anxiety. His musical composition "The Sound of Mountains Melting" was selected as a 2023 Storyfest Finalist.

Living and growing amidst the backdrop of the mystical Sonoran Desert has played a significant role in Chris's reverence for the natural world and his passion for defending it. He sees Tucson as one of many communities at the forefront of environmental change, adaptation, and resilience. He aspires to contribute to the growing body of artistic work telling critical environmental stories, as well as to amplify the voices and work of marginalized community-members, climate-actors, and change-makers in his community in Tucson and beyond. 

Chris Zatarain
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