Who We Are
The WECAN Team
OSPREY ORIELLE LAKE
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Osprey Orielle Lake is the Founder and Executive Director of the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International. She works nationally and internationally with grassroots and Indigenous leaders, policy-makers and scientists to promote climate justice, resilient communities, and a just transition to a clean energy future. Osprey is Co-chair of International Advocacy for the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and the visionary behind the International Women's Earth and Climate Summit, which brought together 100 women leaders from around the world to draft and implement a Women's Climate Action Agenda. She teaches international climate trainings and directs WECAN’s advocacy work in areas such as Women for Forests, Rights of Nature and UN Forums. She has served on the board of the Praxis Peace Institute and on the Steering Committee for The UN Women’s Major Group for the Rio+20 Earth Summit. Awards include the National Women’s History Project Honoree, Taking The Lead To Save Our Planet, the Woman Of The Year Outstanding Achievement Award from the California Federation Of Business And Professional Women and Be the Dream Lifetime Achievement award. Osprey is the author of the award-winning book, Uprisings for the Earth: Reconnecting Culture with Nature.
Wyolah has been involved with the Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus (WECC) and Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) since its inception and is the Administrative Coordinator, responsible for office management, volunteer services and all financial matters. Since 1986, she has directed a California art service non-profit organization. She is the Managing Partner at tax accounting firm, Kreger and Garden, where for the past 22 years, she has assisted numerous non-profits in gaining their non-profit status and filing their annual tax returns.
SALLY A. RANNEY
Sally is Co-Founder of WECAN and Founder/ President of eraGlobal Alliance. She has 30 years of professional national and international experience in land, water, energy, sustainability, and biodiversity policy and management. Currently President of American Renewable Energy Institute (AREI), Sally served as Co-Director of the Institute's AREDAY Summit for three years and was instrumental in designing and building the Summit into one of the most respected renewable energy conferences in the U.S. She is CEO of Stillwater Preservation LLC, a wetlands- mitigation banking company and serves as an Advisor to P4P Energy, an innovative solar energy company. A former Resource Policy Analyst for The Wilderness Society, Sally was appointed by President Reagan to serve on the President’s Commission on American Outdoors. Sally worked on the Clinton transition team, and created a youth conservation corps, which informed the framework for AmeriCorps. Sally is currently on the Advisory Board for The iMatter Campaign, an international youth-led climate change action campaign and was a founding board member of the Grand Canyon Trust, Lighthawk, and the Natural Step USA. Co-founder and President of American Wildlands, Sally developed Corridors of Life, the first large GIS mapping project undertaken by a U.S. NGO. She is a Patron of Nature for the IUCN, a moderator, and co-founder of A Matter of Degree Media.
WECAN Democratic Republic of Congo Coordinator
Neema Namadamu is a visionary peacemaker from Bukavu, South Kivu Province in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where she advocates for peace, women’s rights, rights for persons with disabilities, rights for Indigenous pygmy peoples, and Rights of Nature.
She is Founder and Director of SAFECO, the Synergy of Congolese Women’s Associations and Maman Shujaa: Hero Women of the Congo, through which she has a established a media center for Congolese women to make their voices heard on the range of issues affecting their country. Neema also serves as WECAN International’s Coordinator in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As WECAN DRC Coordinator, Neema leads workshops and trainings with local women to address deforestation, build women’s leadership, support Traditional Ecologic Knowledge, and protect the rich ecosystems of the Itombwe rainforest. In June of 2012 Neema was selected as one of three World Pulse journalists for their annual Live Tour of the U.S., where she spoke before the U.S. Department of State, the Clinton Global Initiative, and was interviewed by CNN.
FADOUA BROUR, IMENE HADJER BOUCHAIR & SOUMEYA LERARI
WECAN Co-Coordinators for the Middle East/North African Region
Fadoua Brour is a climate change Activist from Morocco. She is National Coordinator of “Arab Youth Climate Movement” and President Founder of “Moroccan Youth Climate Movement” a non-profit organization that works to create a generation-wide movement to solve the Climate Crisis and promote the role of youth and women in the sustainable development process.
Fadoua works on sustainable development and Climate Change issues across the MENA Region and Morocco in particular by organizing caravans, conferences, campaigns, Workshops and trainings in favor of Youth and women in order to build their capacities in terms of Sensitization, Mobilization and Leadership techniques and also the environmental advocacy process. Her aim is to drive formal and informal climate and environmental education, building the capacity of local populations to understand the effects of climate change on their communities and to take action.
Imene Hadjer Bouchair is an Environmental Activist From Constantine, East Algeria. She has graduated with a Masters Degree in Environmental Engineering and is very active in social issues. She is Co-founder and member of many NGOs and networks in Algeria and abroad. Imene is the leader of the Regional Campaigns and Events planning team of the Arab Youth Climate Movement (AYCM). Imene believes Climate Change is a global issue that should be tackled as a priority in her region and asserts that women’s leadership in the Sustainable Development process is essential.
Soumeya Lerari is an activist from Algeria, focused in Environmental, Social and Women’s rights issues. She has been living in Spain for the past 6 years where she graduated with a Bachelor degree in International Business and a trilingual Masters Degree in European and International Business Management. She joined WECAN in 2014 after completing the MENA regional online training. Since which time she has engaged more actively in environmental activism and represented WECAN at the Mediterranean Youth Climate Forum in Morocco in 2016, and is currently participating in the creation of the Mediterranean Youth Climate Network as a WECAN MENA representative. She participated in many international youth events that aim at enhancing international youth cooperation and treat topics like the Sustainable Development Goals. Soumeya also runs a bilingual blog on Women's rights and Feminism called "Kalimate Blog". Soumeya is convinced of the necessity of putting women and girls in the heart of the fight against climate change, especially in the MENA region. She also believes that regional and international cooperation and solidarity is a crucial part into creating a more juste, fair and sustainable world for all of us.
WECAN Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean
Kiyomi Nagumo has worked in a number of civil society organizations on climate change, environment and empowerment of social organizations, indigenous peoples and intercultural communities. She has worked in advocacy and governance through drafting regulations for national, regional, municipal, community and grassroots organization and in offering legal advice, legal pluralism, gender and women’s rights. In the construction of the new Constitution of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Kiyomi was Coordinator for the inclusion of environmental issues for NGOs. She has worked developing new regulations such as Amazon's law, the law of violence against women, the law of forests, among others; she also worked in municipal and regional policy frameworks incorporating environmental issues, women's rights and indigenous autonomies. For her work and activism she was congratulated and recognized by Al Gore to perform at LIVE EARTH concert ( 2007); she earned the Award for Best Institution in Defense of the Environment from the Municipality of La Paz; and she organized the Award JAKIYA “Friends of Madidi” (2010) for people supporting and working for the defense of protected areas and indigenous peoples. Her dedication lead her to be chosen as one of the 100 leaders to be CLIMATE CHAMPIONS in Latin American and Caribbean for the Climate Generation Program of the British Council (2010). Due to her leadership she now serves as the coordinator of the Women’s Network for Earth and Climate Latin America and the Caribbean (WECAN-LAC) where she works to support women struggling to find solutions to climate change, achieve sustainable solutions in their communities and mobilize for results.
Coordinator in the Tongass Region, Alaska
Wanda “Kashudoha” Loescher Culp is an Indigenous Tlingit activist, advocate, and hunter, fisher and gatherer of wild foods, born and raised in Juneau, and living in Hoonah, Alaska. She is the mother of three children, and is recognized as a storyteller, cultural interpreter, playwright, and co-producer of the film Walking in Two Worlds. As of 2016, Wanda has united with WECAN as a Regional Coordinator, revitalizing initiatives to protect the Tongass Rainforest and the traditional rights and lifeways of the regions Indigenous peoples.
Special Projects Advisor
Advisory Council Member
Councilwoman Casey Camp-Horinek of the Ponca Nation is a community leader, long-time Native rights activist, environmentalist and actress. As traditional Drumkeeper for the Ponca Pa-tha-ta, Woman’s Scalp Dance Society, Camp-Horinek helps maintain the cultural identity of the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma for herself, her family and her community. She has been at the forefront of grassroots community efforts to educate and empower both Native and non-Native community members on environmental and civil rights issues. In April of 2008 Camp-Horinek, as a delegate of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), was chosen to speak to the United Nations Permanent Forum on indigenous Issues and present IEN’s global platform regarding the environment and Native rights. Since then, she has raised her voice and taken action in countless forums across the world. Casey serves as WECAN's Special Programs Advisor, and is an honored member of the WECAN International Advisory Council and US Women’s Climate Justice Initiative.
Women Speak Researcher
Ruth Nyambura is a Kenyan eco-feminist and researcher working on the intersections of ecological justice in Africa. Her work and activism uses a feminist political ecology lens to critically engage with the continent’s and global food systems; challenging neoliberal models of agrarian transformation and amplifying the revolutionary work of small-holder farmers of Africa (most of them women), as well as rural agrarian movements offering concrete anti-capitalist alternatives to the ecological, economic and democratic crisis facing the continent.
Women Speak Researcher
Julie Gorecki is a feminist, activist, writer, and published academic. She is a Ph.D. student at UC Berkeley and Université Paris 8-St. Denis. Currently, Julie’s research and activism focuses on the systemic links between economics (specifically neoliberalism and capitalism), women, race, and ecology. She manifests these interests through activist mobilizing, journalistic writing, and engaging in art-focused projects that evoke the intersections between gender, race, ecology, and imagining better societies for people and the planet.
Women Speak Program Editor
Elaine Colligan works for 350 Action organizing students and youth to hold candidates accountable to a fossil free future. Elaine recently moved to Virginia to work with the Virginia Student Environmental Coalition on the 2016 presidential race and local congressional fights. Elaine graduated from Georgetown University in 2015 where she organized for divestment, with day laborers and for a diversity requirement. Elaine was a lead author of the 2016 Women's Climate Action Agenda and has performed original research on gender and climate change in Senegal.
Women Speak Researcher
Swathi Chaganty has completed her Masters in Agroecology from Swedish University of Agriculture Sciences, and has a background in biotechnology from Dr. D. Y. Patil University, Navi Mumbai, India. Agriculture had been her area of interest since her time in school when she watched small scale farmers, men and women, outside her school sowing, transplanting rice and applying urea with their bare hands shoulder to shoulder. But little did she realize then the inequality that existed between the genders even among marginalized groups. She is keen on taking on and contributing to the discussion and solutions for gender equality. Swathi is a strong supporter of systems thinking and addressing issues regarding agriculture, environment, food system and its impact on society—the society which produces the food and the society that consumes it—from a holistic perspective. She, hopes to continue her study and work on areas of social justice for farmers, food security and food sovereignty, and environmental conservation. At WECAN, Swathi hopes to bring to you stories about strong, resilient, and resourceful women working on the ground dealing with climate change.
Women Speak Researcher
Nicole Pikramenou is a human rights lawyer and a PhD candidate, originally from Greece. She studied environmental law and urban-planning in France and human rights in Italy and Sweden. In addition, she has an extensive experience in the field of women’s rights gained mainly through her work at several organizations and institutions. Currently, she is living in Germany where she is conducting research on gender issues at the European University Viadrina and she is working remotely for the African women-led organization Make Every Woman Count.
BÁRBARA ALEJARRA GONÇALVES BRANCO
Women Speak Researcher
Bárbara Alejarra Gonçalves Branco concluded her Bachelor's degree in Law from Universidade de Brasília, Brasil, in 2014. From 2008 to 2010 she volunteered in a NGO giving classes of basics in Mathematics and Portuguese for underpriviledged children. She then assumed the position of Director of Communication in 2009. During the time she took an academic exchange at Université de Sherbrooke, Canada, in 2011, she volunteered at the local food market, where she learned about sustainability in food production. Having completed her studies in Brazil, she moved to Sweden to take the Master's programme of International Human Rights Law at Lund University. Through the study of Human Rights, she discovered a passion for women's issues and women's rights, which she intends to pursue in her career.
Women Speak Researcher
Laura Macintyre is an International Development student at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She is currently studying abroad at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Her main area of focus in her studies is gender and development, and she is hoping to pursue a master’s degree on gender in the context of sustainable development. She has a passion for environmental sustainability and issues surrounding climate change and is so excited to be part of an organization that combines these objectives with women’s empowerment. Laura loves travelling, hiking and checking adventures off her never-ending bucket list.
Women Speak Researcher
Nasreen Sayed completed her B.A in International Relations with minors in Middle Eastern Studies and History. She holds an M.Sc. in Environmental Technology with a concentration in Global Environmental Change and Policy from Imperial College London. She has experience with the environment and energy unit of UNDP South Africa actively supporting the South African government with its various environmental projects. She has volunteered with UNDP Sudan researching humanitarian and recovery linkages. She has previously worked as a consultant for the Mine Clearance Planning Agency of Afghanistan on various projects, including conducting socio- economic impact research. In order to make a positive contribution and to better understand development and environmental challenges and their solutions, she has actively engaged in various international events. She volunteered for the May 2014 Abu Dhabi Ascent, where policy makers like Ban Ki Moon, Al Gore and others made interventions paving the way for the September 2014 Summit in New York. Her keen interest in financing the Sustainable Development Goals motivated her to volunteer with the Islamic Development Bank’s Strategy and Capacity Development division during the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals summit, to gain perspective on the role of Islamic finance in achieving the SDGs. Her research interests include environmental and climate justice, sustainable development and the SDGs and climate change migration.
Women Speak Researcher
Talei Luscia is a mixed Fijian woman (Lomanikoro, Rewa) living on the Gadigal land of the Eora nation (Sydney, Australia). She is a current honours student of Pacific studies at the Australian National University with a research interest in Oceanic art, the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific and the climate change movement. She also works as a librarian and archivist, and devotes spare time to the environmental activism within her community.
Women Speak Researcher
Gurmeet Kaur is full time feminist and has majors in women’s studies and development from Panjab University, India.Her research interests include gender and intersections with the environment, health, education, family and the law. She is bibliophilic and loves to photograph people and places. She writes at thefinalescape.wordpress.com
KAORI OTA CABRERA
Women Speak Researcher
Kaori Ota Cabrera is a Brazilian feminist and human rights activist. Her undergraduate studies was in International Relations and Affairs at the University of São Paulo, with focus in South Asian and Transcultural Studies during her academic exchange in the University of Heidelberg. Through academia, she learned how different cultures and social-economic development can differently impact not only human rights violations, but also human rights claims, activism and compliance. She worked at the Global Platform for the Right to the City, advocating for this concept world-wide, namely the right of all inhabitants to produce, govern and enjoy just, inclusive, participatory and sustainable cities, villages and settlements. She is now living in Indonesia and works for Kota Kita Foundation, a NGO that deals with urban issues such as participation and inclusion of marginalized voices, economic development, transportation, among many others. Personally, she is passionate about gender equality and fighting violence against women, and she is excited to try to be a part of the much needed change in this world.
Women Speak Researcher
Justine Banda is a Bachelor of Social Sciences graduate from Rhodes University, South Africa. She is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. She has been an active role player in the advocacy of gender justice, land rights in Africa, human rights litigation and the sustainability of the environment. In 2016, Justine compiled an independent study on the criminalisation of sex work in South Africa, focusing on comparative and international laws regulating human rights and labour challenges faced by consenting adult sex workers. She was accredited for her research through the South African Law Reform Commission, Ismail Mahomed Law Reform award. Justine would like to promote the empowerment of women, primarily in Africa - where women’s rights, gender injustice and the scarcity of basic environmental amenities is prevalent.
Women Speak Researcher
Tiffany Wong is a policy researcher based in Berkeley, California. She currently works with the American Jobs Initiative, supporting state-level job creation and economic development through advanced energy industries. A UC Berkeley graduate, she received a B.S. in Environmental Sciences and a B.S. in Society and Environment. Through her studies, she has explored issues of power grid resilience and legal strategies for environmental justice communities. She aims to continue learning and making an impact at the intersection of socioeconomic security and environmental health. Outside of work, she is dedicated to serving the Bay Area community as an active member of Kiwanis International. She is also an amateur ornithologist and enjoys all things creative.
Women Speak Researcher
Amanda Kelly is a writer, poet, and environmental activist living in Southern California. She strives to inspire a greater appreciation for the natural world through the art of storytelling as well as living each day to its fullest. Amanda holds a degree in English from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and has studied screenwriting at UCLA.
RENATA KOCH ALVARENGA
Women Speak Researcher
Renata Koch Alvarenga is from Porto Alegre, in the South of Brazil. For the past two years, she has been studying Diplomacy and International Relations, Modern Languages, and Latin American Studies at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, USA. She became engaged in global climate politics after completing a research project on the UNFCCC climate negotiations at the University of Queensland, Australia. Later, she joined the youth-led NGO Engajamundo and attended COP21 as part of the Brazil delegation. Renata's involvement in climate action ranges from attending events to research about sustainability for the Tinker Institute on International Law and Organizations to mobilizing local youth in environmental movements on campus through the United Nations Association at Seton Hall University, in which she acted as President. As a Research Intern for WECAN, Renata hopes to combine her passion for climate issues and gender equality by writing about strong women in the climate movement.
Women Speak Researcher
Kayla Evens recently completed her degree in Environmental Science from New College of Florida. She conducted research for her honors thesis at Palmer Station, Antarctica where she collected time-series data on the ecological shifts in the marine environment in response to climate change. An outspoken advocate and activist for environmental and social justice work within her community, she intends to pursue a graduate degree in climate policy with an emphasis on food and water security in the upcoming year.
Social Media Intern
Olivia Alden was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Long Island University’s Global College in 2017 with a degree in Global Studies. Over her college career, she lived and studied in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, China and Indonesia. Olivia has always been interested in women’s issues, but after witnessing very visible environmental degradation in China, she became passionate about protecting the earth. In the fall of 2016 Olivia conducted an independent study in Bali, Indonesia on how the tourism industry disconnects women from their natural environments. She expanded on this research for her senior thesis titled “Effective, Meaningful Representation: Elevating Women’s Perspectives in Climate Change Policy Making.” In her free time, she enjoys watching nature documentaries and hanging out with her cat, Zorro.
U.S Women's Climate Justice Initiative Steering Committee
Plese see biography under the WECAN Core Team section.
Jacqueline Patterson is the Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Programme and coordinator and co-founder of Women of Color United. She works as a global women’s rights consultant, researcher, program manager, coordinator, and activist on issues of women‘s rights, violence against women, HIV/AIDS, racial justice, economic justice, and environmental and climate justice. Jacqueline serves on the Advisory Committee for the Grandmother Project, the Steering Committee of the Interfaith Moral Action on Climate Change, the Board of Directors for the Institute of the Black World and the US Climate Action Network, the Executive Committee for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Alumni Network, and the Coordination Team of the Gender Justice Working Group of the US Social Forum.
Previously, Jacqueline served as a Senior Women’s Rights Policy Analyst for ActionAid, where she worked to build a women’s rights lens on issues of food rights, macroeconomics, and climate change, as well as on the intersection of HIV/AIDS and violence against women. Additionally, she has worked as Assistant Vice-President of HIV/AIDS Programs for IMA World Health, providing management and technical support to medical facilities in 23 countries in Africa and the Caribbean, as a Research Coordinator for Johns Hopkins University, and as a US Peace Corps Jamaica volunteer.
Jacqueline is the author of many powerful publications, including “Climate Change is a Civil Rights Issue,” “Gulf Oil Drilling Disaster: Gendered Layers of Impact,” “Disasters, Climate Change Uproot Women of Color,” and “Equity in Disasters: Civil and Human Rights Challenges in the Context of Emergency Events,” a chapter in the book Building Community Resilience Post-Disaster.
Jacqueline Patterson holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University.
PENNIE OPAL PLANT
Pennie Opal Plant, (Yaqui, Mexican, English, Dutch, Choctaw, Cherokee and Algonquin Ancestry),has been an activist for over 30 years, working on anti-nuclear, environmental, and indigenous rights campaigns. Pennieis a founding member of Idle No More Bay Area California, working ceaselessly to address climate change, fossil fuel extraction, and environmental injustice in and around her community. She has been central to organizing education and resistance efforts related to the Chevron refinery in Richmond, California, and is part of the team arranging and leading Refinery Corridor Healing Walks to expose toxic sites in the area and promote healing and unity amongst affected communities. Pennie is a founding member of the Bay Area Rights of Nature Alliance and, since 2005, a lecturer of Democracy School with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. In 2014, Pennie participated in the International Summit on the Rights of Nature in Quito, Ecuador.
Pennie Opal Plant is also a Co-Founder of Movement Rights, a powerful organization working to support communities confronted with harmful corporate projects assert their right to protect and direct the future of their community by passing new laws that place the rights of residents and the Earth above corporations. She is also the creator and owner of Gathering Tribes, a gallery and network promoting the work of Indigenous artisans of the Americas.
Harriet Shugarman is the Founder and Executive Director of ClimateMama, an organization seeking to educate and inspire families to understand climate change and take tangible steps to build a healthy world for their children and future generations. Previously, Harriet Shugarman worked as a policy analyst and economist with the Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario governments in Canada, and later with the International Monetary Fund as the Special Assistant to the Director of the United Nations Office in New York. She has worked at most of the large United Nations international conference, including the first UN Earth Summit. In 2007, Harriet was selected to participate in a training program led by Former Vice President Al Gore and sponsored by The Climate Reality Project. She received direct training from Al Gore on climate change and how to educate the public about this critical issue, and was inspired to found ClimateMama soon thereafter.
Harriet is the Chair of her town's Environmental Commission and Green Team, teaches Climate Change Policy at a liberal arts college, serves as a Mentor for the Climate Reality Project, and writes on climate change policy for a wide variety of publications including MSNBC, Health Child Health World, and Modern Parenthood. She serves on the board of the Mothers Project, Mothers for Sustainable Energy, The Barack Obama Green Charter High School, and Air-Soil-Water.
Harriet is proud to be one of the 1,253 people arrested in Washington DC in 2011, fighting 'the good fight' to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline. She continues to work fighting local pipelines in her area, and the fossil fuel infrastructure and waste that accompany them. Harriet Shugarman holds a BA in Economics and International Relations from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Trish Weber is a climate activist who lives in Corvallis Oregon. She has extensive experience working with opposition groups fighting expansion of the Alberta tar sands, with a specific emphasis on supporting and allying with Canadian First Nations and other indigenous-led organizations. She served as co-leader of the Women Donors Network Earth Circle from 2009-2014, and also served on the WDN Board of Directors from 2012-2014. In 2010 she co-founded "All Against the Haul", a grassroots coalition which successfully prevented ExxonMobil from construction an industrial supply transportation corridor through pristine mountains in Idaho and Montana. She holds a BSEE from Montana State University. Prior to her activism work, she spent 25 years working as a professional engineer and land use planner.
JANE GOODALL, PH.D., DBE
Founder, the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace
In July 1960, Jane Goodall began her landmark study of chimpanzee behavior in what is now Tanzania. Her work at Gombe Stream would become the foundation of future primatological research and redefine the relationship between humans and animals.
In 1977, Dr. Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute, which continues the Gombe research and is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. The Institute is widely recognized for innovative, community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa and for Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, its global environmental and humanitarian youth program.
Dr. Goodall founded Roots & Shoots with a group of Tanzanian students in 1991. Today, Roots & Shoots connects hundreds of thousands of youth in more than 120 countries who take action to make the world a better place for people, animals and the environment.
Dr. Goodall travels an average of 300 days per year, speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees, other environmental crises, and her reasons for hope that humankind will solve the problems it has imposed on the earth.
Dr. Goodall’s honors include the French Legion of Honor, the Medal of Tanzania, and Japan’s prestigious Kyoto Prize. In 2002, Dr. Goodall was appointed to serve as a United Nations Messenger of Peace and, in 2003, was named a Dame of the British Empire.
For more information about Dr. Goodall and the work of the Jane Goodall Institute, please visit www.janegoodall.org.
Photo Credit: David S. Holloway
DR. VANDANA SHIVA, INDIA
Dr. Vandana Shiva is a physicist, philosopher, environmental activist and eco feminist. She is the founder and director of Navdanya Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology in New Delhi. She is author of numerous books including, Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis; Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply; Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace; and Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Development. Shiva has also served as an adviser to governments in India and abroad as well as NGOs, including the International Forum on Globalization, the Women’s Environment and Development Organization and the Third World Network. She has received numerous awards, including 1993 Right Livelihood Award (Alternative Nobel Prize) and the 2010 Sydney Peace Prize.
NAOMI KLEIN, CANADA
Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the New York Times and #1 international bestseller, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Published worldwide in 2007, The Shock Doctrine appeared on multiple ‘best of year’ lists. Klein’s first book No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies was also an international bestseller that The New York Times called “a movement bible.” In 2011, Time Magazine named it one of the Top 100 non-fiction books published since 1923. Klein is a contributing editor for Harper’s, a reporter for Rolling Stone, and writes a column for The Nation and The Guardian. Klein is a member of the board of directors for 350.org, a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis. Klein is currently at work on a new book and film on how the climate crisis can spur economic and political transformation.
ROSEMARY OLIVE MBONE ENIE, CAMEROON
Rosemary Olive Mbone Enie is a Cameroonian Geologist and Gender Ambassador with the Gender and Water Alliance (GWA) of the Netherlands. She is the Founder/CEO and President of the Society for Women Empowerment Education and Training (SWEET) Africa Foundation and the Executive Director of Cameroon Vision Trust. For over 20 years she has been actively working in the field of sustainable development and environmental management at grassroots levels in Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Liberia and beyond. WECC is working in partnership with Rosemary in her Directorship of the Women’s Environmental Climate Action Network in West Africa and in establishing the First Ladies Action on Climate Change (FLACC), Africa. Rosemary was instrumental in the renaming of the organization from IWECI to WECAN, which the entire WECAN team appreciates and celebrates!
CASEY CAMP-HORINEK, PONCA USA
Plese see biography under the WECAN Core Team section.
Thilmeeza Hussain is a lecturer of sustainability and global warming and an environmentalist. She is the founder of Voice of Women (VoW – www.voiceofwomen.org) Maldives, she sits on the advisory board of Women’s Earth Climate Action Network and is also a member of Climate Wise Women, global platforms promoting women’s leadership on climate change.
Thilmeeza was serving as the Deputy Permanent Representative (DPR) of the Republic of the Maldives to United Nations from 2009 until 2012 when the first democratically elected government was toppled. During her term at the UN, she had the sustainable development portfolio and led the Maldives on environmental and climate change issues. She was amongst the voice of a new generation of women in the developing world who see climate change as the fundamental challenge for their future as well as a key platform for leadership. During the time she was also accredited as the non-residential Deputy Ambassador to the United States and Canada.
Before serving as the DPR, she served as the Minister of State for Home Affairs – North Province and was among the team of young, enthusiastic members of the first democratically elected government in the country. She worked extensively with the decentralization process and was also in charge of the establishment of North Province Office. When Thilmeeza resigned following the coup d’état that overthrew the government she was seven months pregnant, today she is a proud mother of a five-year-old boy. She continues to serve on the Foreign Relations Committee for the Maldivian Democratic Party; a party committed to restoring democracy in the Maldives. Her motto: Dream big, work hard.
JODY WILLIAMS, USA
Jody Williams is a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Chair of the Nobel Women's Initiative (USA). She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work to ban landmines through the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which shared the Peace Prize with her that year. At that time, she became the 10th woman - and third American woman - in its almost 100-year history to receive the Prize. Since her protests of the Vietnam War, she has been a life-long advocate of freedom, self-determination and human and civil rights. Since January of 2006, Jody Williams has worked toward those ends through the Nobel Women's Initiative, which she chairs. Along with sister Nobel Laureate Dr. Shirin Ebadi of Iran, she took the lead in establishing the Nobel Women’s Initiative. They were joined at that time by sister Nobel Laureates Wangari Maathai (Kenya), Rigoberta Menchu Tum (Guatemala) and Betty Williams and Mairead Maguire (Northern Ireland). The Initiative uses the prestige of the Nobel Peace Prize and the influence and access of the women Nobel Laureates themselves to support and amplify the efforts of women around the world working for sustainable peace with justice and equality. Her new memoir on life as a grassroots activist, My Name is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl’s Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize, will be released by the University of California Press in March 2013.
WINONA LADUKE, OJIBWE, USA
Winona LaDuke is an Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe) enrolled member of the Mississippi Band Anishinaabeg who lives on the White Earth Reservations, and is the mother of three. She is the Executive Director of Honor the Earth, where she works to advocate, raise public support, and create funding for frontline native environmental groups. Winona was nominated by Time magazine as “one of America's fifty most promising leaders under forty” and named by Ms. Magazine as “Woman of the Year” for her work with Honor the Earth. Winona has received numerous awards including the Ann Bancroft Award for Women's Leadership, and the Reebok Human Rights Award, with which she began the White Earth Land Recovery Project. Winona is a graduate of Harvard and Antioch Universities, a former board member of Greenpeace USA and serves, as co-chair of the Indigenous Women's Network. Winona has published six books, including The Militarization of Indian Country (2011).
NINA SIMONS, USA
Nina Simons is an award-winning social entrepreneur and visionary thinker. In 1990, she co-founded Bioneers (www.bioneers.org) with her husband and partner, Kenny Ausubel. As President, she has helped to lead the organization through 23 years of identifying, gathering and disseminating breakthrough innovations that reveal a positive and life-honoring future that’s within our grasp, today. Nina’s work currently focuses on writing, speaking and teaching about women, leadership, diversity, nature, systems thinking and restoring the feminine in us all. She co-created the Cultivating Women’s Leadership residential trainings.
Nina co-edited the anthology, Moonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart, which contains 30 inspiring essays by over 40 contributors, who collectively help to redefine the leadership landscape.
LORENA AGUILAR, COSTA RICA
Lorena, born in San José, Costa Rica, is the Global Senior Gender Advisor at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Her efforts towards a sustainable and equitable human development include more than a decade of practical experience in projects involving public policy development and design and eight years in the incorporation of social and gender issues into the use and conservation of natural resources. In an unparalleled event at a worldwide level, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Mexico became the first seven countries which ministries of environment adopted and implemented a gender policy.
Ms. Aguilar has provided technical assistance to international organizations, governments and universities in areas such as water, environmental health, gender and community participation.
She presently is the Senior Adviser - Gender of the World Conservation Union. Ms. Aguilar has written 20 books and other publications on gender and environment, environmental health and public policies involving equity. Through her efforts and firm determination regarding the development of technical skills, over the past two years more than 6,000 people have been trained using the methodologies developed by her. Lorena has a Master’s in Anthropology and a major in Cultural Ecology.
EDA ZAVALA LOPEZ, PERU
WECAN Coordinator/Advisor for Indigenous Women in Peru
Eda Zavala Lopez is a Peruvian Indigenous woman and descendant of a Wari Civilization. She is a spiritual leader and keeps the ancient knowledge of living in perfect balance with Nature. As a sociologist and anthropologist she is very committed to her people and preservation of the Amazonian rainforest. Eda was recently honored by the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment with the National Environmental 2014 Award. It was presented in recognition of one of her projects “Protecting Our Sacred Territories.”
Running in Eda’s blood is the traditional wisdom that she received through her mother’s lineage. After her studies, she decided to continue this heritage. As a spiritual leader in her village, she is deeply committed to Indigenous Peruvian People in defending their sacred territories and protecting their lands. She encourages them to empower themselves, stand strong and learn to negotiate their dire circumstances by facing up to the intrusive and disrespectful modern world.
CARMEN CAPRILLES, BOLIVIA
Carmen Capriles is founder and coordinator of Reacción Climática, a non-profit organization formed to advance the participation of the youth of Bolivia in finding solutions to climate change. She also is an environmental activist and campaign coordinator for 350.org in Bolivia. Capriles earned her degree in Agricultural Engineering with a specialty in Sustainable Development and Agro-ecology from the University of San Andres in La Paz, Bolivia. Her thesis titled: "The Role of Women in Natural Resources Management in the Community El Tigre" received great accolades from academia and won an award with honorable mention. Capriles has over 10 years of work experience as a consultant in Climate Change and Environmental Advocacy for national NGOs as well as International Cooperation and has organized over 20 campaigns for raising awareness about the environment, biodiversity, and climate change. She is one of the founding members of Reacción Climática, a volunteer-based organization dedicated to educating the people of Bolivia about climate change and is a member of the Women's Major Group for the RIO+20 Conference.
MAY BOEVE, USA
May Boeve is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of 350.org, an international climate change campaign. On October 24, 2009, 350.org coordinated the most widespread day of political action in history, with more than 5,200 events in 181 countries all conveying the message: 350, the safe level of CO2 in the atmosphere. Previously, May co-founded and helped lead the “Step It Up” 2007 campaign, which helped to change the debate about global warming policy in the United States by combining the efforts of over 200 partner organizations. May was the recipient of the Brower Youth Award in 2006 and is the co-author of Fight Global Warming Now. She has spoken about the climate challenge in Greece, Spain, Denmark, Poland, and throughout the U.S.
DR. SYLVIA EARLE, USA
Sylvia Earle, called "Her Deepness" by the New Yorker and the first "Hero for the Planet," is an oceanographer, explorer, author, lecturer and scientist. She is executive director for several corporate and nonprofit organizations, including the Aspen Institute, the Conservation Fund, American Rivers, and others. Former chief scientist of NOAA, Earle is founder of the Mission Blue Foundation. She has a B.S., an M.S., Ph.D. and 15 honorary degrees. She has authored more than 150 publications, lectured in over 60 countries, and appeared in hundreds of TV productions. Earle is the author of Sea Change: A Message of the Oceans and co-author of Ocean: An Illustrated Atlas. Earle has led over 60 expeditions and logged more than 6,000 hours underwater, including leading the first team of women aquanauts in 1970. She has a record for solo diving to a depth of 1,000 meters.
MELINA LABOUCAN-MASSIMO, FIRST NATIONS, CANADA
Melina Laboucan-Massimo is a long-time Indigenous and environmental activist. Since 2009, Melina has been working as a tar sands campaigner for Greenpeace Canada. She also works with the Indigenous Environmental Network. Melina is a Lubicon Cree from Northern Alberta who knows the reality of the oil sands too well. Having grown up in the oil sands region, she witnessed first-hand the impacts of oil sands development on her Nation’s people, culture, and land. She now spends most of her days traveling inside Canada and around the world to share her their stories and realities with a larger audience.
KANDI MOSSETT, MANDAN, HIDATSA, ARIKARA, USA
Kandi Mossett has emerged as a leading voice in the fight to bring visibility to the impacts that climate change and environmental injustice are having on Indigenous communities across North America. After completing her Master’s Degree in Environmental Management, Ms. Mossett began her work with the Indigenous Environmental as the Tribal Campus Climate Challenge Coordinator, engaging with more than 30 tribal colleges to instate community based environmental programs, discuss issues of socio-ecologic injustice, and connect indigenous youth with green jobs. She currently serves as the IEN’s Lead Organizer on the Extreme Energy & Just Transition Campaign, focusing at present on creating awareness about the environmentally & socially devastating effects of hydraulic fracturing on tribal lands. Her local work is complemented by international advocacy work, including participation in several UN Forums and a testimony before the U.S. Congress on the climate issue and its links to issues of health, identity, and well being on tribal lands. Kandi’s message is: “Above all, fight to protect all life; be a voice for all those that can’t speak and never give up hope.” Always remember, “You’re not guaranteed change when you make your voice heard against injustice; but you’re guaranteed to fail if you remain silent.”
JENSINE LARSEN, USA
Jensine Larsen is an unstoppable, award-winning social media entrepreneur, speaker and visionary. Jensine is the founder of World Pulse, a digital communication network connecting women worldwide and bringing them a global voice. Today World Pulse is powered by tens of thousands of women from more than 190 countries, including those from villages using internet cafes and cell phones, collectively improving the lives of 2.2 million people. For over a decade Jensine has made it her job to listen to women on the ground around the world. She is a frequent speaker on how social media and technological innovation is a powerful accelerator for women’s global empowerment.
COLLEEN ROSS, CANADA
Colleen Ross is a farmer and a farm leader in Canada and beyond. Colleen has been successfully farming for over 30 years, both in Australia and Canada. Her farm is a 200 acre, intensive, bio-diverse model for nutrient dense, sustainable food production. Colleen grows grains, soybeans, pasture, beef cattle, sheep, chickens and approximately 12 acres of vegetables. She focuses on supplying local markets.
Colleen is the Vice President of the National Farmers Union of Canada (NFU). She is an active representative for La Via Campesina (LVC), and is on the LVC Biodiversity Commission. Colleen has been instrumental in the struggle to bring international attention to the privatization of seeds, the exploitation of farmers through patents and seed contracts, trade agreements, and neo-conservative agendas.
Colleen studied agriculture at the University of Guelph. She studied biosciences as it relates to the of Biodiversity at the University of Tromso, Norway. Her two daughters are now farming.
BRIDGET BURNS, USA
Bridget has a Master’s Degree in Gender, Development, and Globalisation from the London School of Economics. At WEDO, Bridget’s work focuses on women’s leadership and capacity building in addition to research and coordination support on sustainable development and climate change work. She also spends part of her time on communications: managing the website, listserv, and social media tools as well as drafting newsletters and press releases.
Prior to WEDO, she worked at LEAD International in London, a global non-profit dedicated to advancing leadership for sustainable development. There she managed the global LEAD Fellow’s network, coordinated the LEAD Europe program, and supported leadership training in a number of different countries. In 2009 she became certified in training on gender and climate change from the IUCN/GGCA. She is also a certified youth trainer. Bridget is a graduate of Marist College.
KELLY RIGG, NETHERLANDS
Kelly Rigg, is founding director and business manager of the Varda Group, specialised in managing large international campaigns and projects. Leading the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition from 2004-2009, and the Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA) from 2009-2014, Rigg has a history of guiding successful campaigns. The deep-sea coalition ran a multi-year campaign to achieve a UN General Assembly moratorium on high seas bottom trawling. The GCCA is a large alliance behind the tcktcktck campaign, set up to promote international climate action. Rigg has developed campaign or communication strategies for numerous projects and organizations and served on the State Department Advisory panel on Antarctica, and on the Board of the Washington-based Coast Alliance. She served on the Board of Directors of Greenpeace USA, the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC), and the European Union for Coastal Conservation (EUCC). She has produced countless publications and has a blog on the Huffington Post.
DR. SWATI SHRESTH, INDIA
Swati is the Focal point for South and East Asia at the Global Forest Coalition. In addition, she is a fellow at the Ashoka Trust for Research on Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), combining a profound expertise on community management with many years of experience in following the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and other forest and climate related processes. Swati received her Doctor of Philosophy from Duke University as well as a Masters of Philosophy and Master of Arts from Jawaharlal Nehru University in India. Swati has recieved many awards including the Franklin Humanities Institute Dissertation Fellowship, the Summer Research Fellowship from Duke University Summer, as well as a Fulbright Predoctoral Fellowship.
LAURA TURNER SEYDEL, USA
Laura Turner Seydel is an international environmental advocate and eco-living expert dedicated to creating a healthy and sustainable future for our children. Laura is chairperson of the Captain Planet Foundation which promotes hands-on environmental education projects worldwide. She works with the Environmental Working Group to limit the toxic chemicals in food, air, water and consumer products. She also co-founded Mothers and Others for Clean Air and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. Laura serves on her family’s foundation boards including The Turner Foundation, Jane Smith Turner Foundation, the Turner Endangered Species Fund, and Ted’s Montana Grill. She also serves on national boards including League of Conservation Voters, Defenders of Wildlife, Waterkeeper Alliance, the Carter Center Board of Councilors, as well as serving on the advisory board for the Green Schools Alliance and Ray C. Anderson Foundation. She is also a member of the Rotary Club of Downtown Atlanta. Laura lives with her husband and her three children in their home, EcoManor, the first LEED certified Gold residence in the southeastern United States.
DR. KATHERINE HAYHOE, USA
Dr. Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist who studies climate change. An expert reviewer for the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, she has been dedicated to discovering and communicating the realities of a changing climate to those who will be affected most by it. Dr. Hayhoe is also an associate professor in the Department of Political Scienceat Texas Tech University. Dr. Hayhoe develops new ways to quantify the potential impacts of human activities at the regional scale. As founder and CEO of ATMOS Research, she also bridges the gap between scientists and stakeholders to provide relevant, state-of-the-art information on how climate change will affect our lives to a broad range of non-profit, industry and government clients. Dr. Hayhoe has published over 50 peer-reviewed publications and reports including the upcoming 2013 U.S. National Climate Assessment.
AISHA NIYAZ, MALDIVES
Aisha Niyaz is the co-founder of the Maldivian Youth Climate Network (MYCN) created to inspire and empower youth of the Maldives to be catalysts of change. MYCN was inspired by the global youth movement at UNFCCC COP15 at Copenhagen. Although Aisha was born and raised in the Maldives, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Management from the University of Queensland in Australia. She lives in and loves the Maldives.
CAROLYNE STAYTON, USA
Carolyne Stayton is the Executive Director of Transition US. She is adept at aligning community activities towards unified goals, a skill honed from over thirty years of working with nonprofit organizations and educational institutions. She has successfully galvanized communities around various social issues and has particular expertise in program development, participative leadership and “learning” organizations. Her background includes serving as Director of New College’s North Bay Campus for Sustainable Living, an innovative educational institution that promoted advanced studies in leadership, community-building and developed the nation’s first “green” MBA program. Carolyne has a master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration, resides in Sebastopol, California and is passionate about stewardship and protection of the natural world.
LARRY SCHWEIGER, USA
Larry Schweiger is former President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). He returned to the NWF in 2004 with a commitment to confront the climate crisis and to protect wildlife for our children’s future. Previously, Larry served for eight years as President and CEO of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, where he pioneered watershed restoration, ecological research, land conservation and community outreach. Prior to that, Larry was the Executive Secretary of the Joint House/Senate Conservation Committee for the Pennsylvania General Assembly. In 2011 Larry was awarded the “Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future Visionary Award.” He was selected as Pennsylvania’s “Environmental Professional of the Year” in 2002, and received a Conservation Service Award from the Christian Environmental Association in 1995. Larry has three daughters, three sons-in-law, and three grandsons. Larry’s book Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth, was awarded First Prize for Non-Fiction by the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in 2011.