Alumni Association Board 2017 - 2018
Sara Smiley Smith ’07 M.E.Sc./M.P.H., ’16 Ph.D. (2nd term ends 2020)
New Haven, CT
Sara is the Program Manager for Yale College Environmental Studies where she works to cultivate a community of engaged problem solvers seeking solutions to a diverse set of environmental challenges. She received her Ph.D. from F&ES in 2016, and completed the joint master’s degree program between the School of Epidemiology and Public Health and F&ES in 2007. During her time at Yale, she has also had the opportunity to work in the University's Office of Sustainability. Sara holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Political Science from Middlebury College (2004). She spent her childhood on the remnants of her family’s dairy farm in the small town of Winslow, Maine.
Joe MacDougald ’05 M.E.M. (2nd term ends 2020)
Joe is a Professor in Residence, the Strasser Fellow in Environmental Law, and the Executive Director of the Center for Energy & Environmental Law (CEEL) at the University of Connecticut School of Law. Joe also serves as the Director of UConn Law’s Energy & Environmental LL.M. degree program and as an Executive Board Member for the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation. Joe is also an Advisory Board Member for the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy. Joe has held many elected or appointed offices in Madison, CT, including Selectman, PZC Chairman, and Chairman of the Board of Finance. Prior to joining academia, Joe had a full corporate career as a General Counsel and then President of an international biomaterials company.
Executive Committee; AYA Delegate
Melissa Paly '87 M.F.S. (2nd term ends 2018)
Melissa works with Conservation Law Foundation as Waterkeeper in the Seacoast region of Maine and New Hampshire, where she advocates for environmental programs and policies to improve the health of the Great Bay - Piscataqua Estuary. For more than 25 years she was a partner at CrossCurrent Communications, a communications strategy, marketing/PR, and media production company based in Portsmouth, NH, where she worked with government agencies, nonprofits, universities, museums, and businesses. She has worked extensively on issues related to water quality, energy, land conservation, planning and growth management, affordable housing, fisheries, and forestry.
Saleem H. Ali ’96 M.E.S. (1st term ends 2020)
Saleem H. Ali is an environmental planner whose research and practice focuses on ways of resolving ecological conflicts through technical and social mechanisms, as well as exploring novel ways of peace-building between corporations, governments, and communities. He holds the Blue and Gold Distinguished Professorship in Energy and the Environment at the University of Delaware and is a Senior Fellow at Columbia University’s Center on Sustainable Enterprise. He has also held the Chair in Sustainable Resources Development at the University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute in Brisbane, Australia (where he retains professorial affiliation). His books include “Treasures of the Earth: Need, Greed and a Sustainable Future” (Yale University Press). Saleem is a citizen of Australia, the U.S., and Pakistan but appreciates that the most consequential role for us all must be as planetary citizens.
Jaime Carlson ’09 M.E.M./M.B.A. (1st term ends 2019)
Los Angeles, CA
Jaime focuses on innovative business models to drive capital to natural resource management. Jaime oversees operations of Cypress Creek Renewables, the largest private solar developer in the U.S. Prior, she was Global Finance Director at TerraForm, a $2B company operating renewable energy projects across the world. She served in President Obama’s first term as advisor to former Energy Secretary Chu, overseeing deployment of $35B in Recovery Act funds. Jaime chaired the inaugural Yale Environmental Sustainability Summit (YESS) that gathered 400 alumni and faculty from across Yale to discuss scaling solutions in sustainability. She founded Apertura Films, producer of “The Other Side,” named one of the best Latin American TV series by Rolling Stone Magazine and NY Television Festival winner.
Ann Clarke '81 M.F.S., '92 D.F.E.S. (2nd term ends 2018)
Carmel Valley, CA
Ann is a professor of environmental law at the Monterey College of Law and a volunteer mediator with the associated Mandell Gisnet Center for Conflict Management. She grew up in New Mexico and began her career as a consulting environmental planner in Oregon, Connecticut, and Vermont. During law school, she was the Henry Clepper Forest Policy Intern at the Society of American Foresters and a Cooperative Education intern at the USDA Forest Service Policy Analysis Branch. She earned her J.D. at the University of New Mexico Law School, where she was Lead Articles Editor on the Natural Resources Journal. She holds an M.S. in geography from the University of Oregon and a B.A. in geology from Colorado College. During her time at Yale, she produced the Yale Forestry Log (alumni newsletter). Ann retired from NASA in 2013 and has recently become the President of the Yale Club of Monterey County.
Brandi Colander '07 M.E.M. (2nd term ends 2018)
Brandi is the Associate Vice President of Natural Resources and Energy at the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). Prior to joining NWF, Brandi served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary to the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management at the United States Department of the Interior. She has worked in multiple sectors in the energy and environmental arena, including as an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, as Deputy General Counsel for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and as Director of Market Development and Regulatory Affairs for Opower. She holds a Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia.
David S. Ellum '01 M.F., '07 Ph.D. (2nd term ends 2019)
Dave is Professor of Sustainable Forestry at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC. He also chairs the College's Environmental Studies Department and is the Director of the College Forest. His teaching and research focus on silviculture practices that target small landowners co-managing for multiple revenue streams and diverse ecological values, especially medicinal plants and agroforestry systems. He lives in Fairview, NC, with his wife and two children.
Sue Ely ’07 M.E.Sc. (1st term ends 2020)
Sue is the Clean Energy Policy Advocate and Staff Attorney for the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM). Prior to joining NRCM, Sue worked as an Attorney-Advisor in the Office of the Solicitor at the United States Department of the Interior where she advised the Department on matters related to environmental, natural resource, and administrative law. Sue has also worked for several environmental nonprofit organizations in Alaska on grassroots organizing and environmental and energy policy. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Mount Holyoke College and a Juris Doctor from Duke University School of Law.
Emily Enderle '07 M.E.M. (2nd term ends 2018)
Emily currently serves as the Chief Environmental Policy Advisor for U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), where she specializes in climate change and toxics. Previously, she was an Environmental Health Advocate at Earthjustice. She contributed to and edited “Diversity and The Future of the U.S. Environmental Movement,” and co-founded the D.C. Chapter of the Environmental Professionals of Color Network. Emily holds a B.A., with high honors, in Environmental Studies from Oberlin College and is an Environmental Leadership Program Senior Fellow. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and son.
Alex Finkral '97 M.F., '05 Ph.D. (1st term ends 2018)
Chapel Hill, NC
Alex is Chief Forester of The Forestland Group, a timberland investment manager (TIMO) that specializes in naturally regenerating hardwood forests. Prior to joining The Forestland Group, Alex was an assistant Professor of Forest Management at Northern Arizona University’s School of Forestry. Currently Alex is also an adjunct faculty member at Virginia Tech and serves on the USDA Forestry Research Advisory Council. He lives with his wife and kids in Chapel Hill, NC.
Cassie Flynn '07 M.E.M. (2nd term ends 2019)
Cassie serves as a Climate Change Advisor at the United Nations Development Programme, where she advises countries on the international climate change negotiations and the fulfillment of national mitigation and adaptation targets. She is also the Co-Founder, with two fellow F&ESers, of ioby (in our backyards), a web-based platform that builds stronger, more sustainable neighborhoods. She hosts a regular video series called “Climate Winners” that shares ideas, stories, and information on personal actions we can take to address the climate challenge.
Cilla Kellert ’74 B.A., ’81 M.F.S. (1st term ends 2020)
New Haven, CT
Cilla is the Program Director of the wilderness orientation at Yale for undergraduates known as FOOT, or First-Year Outdoor Orientation Trips. Created with Jamie Williams ’86 B.A., ’89 M.E.S. 33 years ago, she now puts over 500 students in the woods every August. During the year she oversees the training of 140 FOOT Leaders. At the Hopkins School in New Haven, Cilla initiated, developed, and taught environmental science, wrote the environmental plan for the school, and headed its sustainability committee. In addition, Cilla taught a seminar at Yale on environmental education. While at F&ES, she interned at the Weyerhaeuser Company in Oregon. Cilla began her career in outdoor environmental education at Hollins College in Virginia, where she created the Hollins Outdoor Program, and was an Outward Bound instructor in North Carolina. Working with Yale University Press, she completed her late husband Professor Stephen Kellert’s (’71 Ph.D.) last book, Nature by Design, on biophilic design.
Luisa Lema Velez ’06 M.E.M. (1st term ends 2020)
Luisa is the Public Policy Coordinator for Fondo Accion, a Colombian NGO that works for conservation, sustainable development, and childhood development, and manages the U.S.-Colombia debt-for-nature swap. There, Luisa leads knowledge management and influence in decision-making, working with academia and government. Her career includes working for the U.N. Foundation and the Inter-American Development Bank. She also served as Secretary of Environment of Antioquia, and directed a Master’s in Development Practice at the Universidad de Los Andes. Luisa is a Forest Engineer (U. Nacional de Colombia) and a Biologist (U. Antioquia), with a graduate degree in Environmental Law (U. Externado).
James Lyons '79 M.F. (2nd term ends 2018)
Jim is Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Lands and Minerals in the U.S. Department of the Interior. He most recently directed the Renewable Energy program at Defenders of Wildlife and continues as a lecturer and research scholar at F&ES. Previously he worked with Oxfam America and as executive director of the Casey Trees Endowment Fund. During the Clinton Administration, Jim served as USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment overseeing the Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Most of Jim's career has focused on natural resource conservation and public land policy issues, working in the Congress, as policy director for the Society of American Foresters, and beginning his career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Tara Meyer '15 M.E.Sc. (1st term ends 2019)
Tara is a Biologist with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, where she manages private lands access and wildlife conflict programs and staff in Region 5 (southwest Washington). Prior to F&ES, Tara worked to solve conservation and wildlife conflict issues in Wyoming, Tanzania, and across the Asia-Pacific. Tara is currently serving as a Human-Wildlife Coexistence Technical Advisor for the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network and as the Committee Chair for the MK McCarthy-RW Worth Scholarship for Leadership in Conservation Science, which she designed and co-created while studying at F&ES.
Kris Morico '98 M.E.M. (1st term ends 2018)
Kris is the leader of environmental programs for GE, where she is responsible for the development and implementation of associated programs globally. Previously, she was the global leader of water programs in the GE corporate Environmental Health and Safety group for nearly eight years. Kris began her career as a process engineer for the Regional Water Authority and has since assumed a variety of positions across several Fortune 500 companies. She is a licensed professional environmental engineer, board certified environmental engineer (among other certifications), and elected Fellow in the American Society of Civil Engineers. She serves on the advisory board for the UConn School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and is the Vice President/President-elect of the National Association of Environmental Managers (NAEM).
Maclovia Quintana ’11 B.A., ’14 M.E.Sc. (1st term ends 2020)
San Francisco, CA
After graduating from F&ES, Maclovia worked for the School for two years. She spent most of that time as the Diversity & Sustainability Fellow, working in the Dean’s Office to advance diversity and equity initiatives for the School. She then served as the Assistant Director of La Casa Cultural, the Latino Cultural Center at Yale, where she worked to provide academic, social, and cultural resources to Yale’s Latino students. She recently relocated to San Francisco, where she plans to continue working on diversity and inclusion issues within the environmental field. Maclovia grew up in rural northern New Mexico.
Gregg Renkes '83 M.F.S. (2nd term ends 2018)
Gregg works in renewable energy project development. He earned his bachelor's degree from Vassar College in biology/environmental science, master's degree at F&ES, and law degree at the University of Colorado concentrating on public land and federal Indian law. Past work includes Majority Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, private practice of law in Alaska and Washington D.C., Alaska's fifteenth Attorney General, Co-Chair of the Alaska Rural Justice Commission, Trustee for the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trust Fund, and Trustee for the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation.
Jane E.S. Sokolow '80 M.F.S. (2nd term ends 2019)
Jane is an independent consultant in community greening, zoning projects, and interpretive science writing. She has worked on projects for OASIS New York, NYC Parks and Recreation, The American Museum of Natural History, and Audubon. Jane serves on the Boards of the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation, Bronx Council on Environmental Quality, and Bronx Community Board 8 Environment and Sanitation Committee, and is a member of the 2013 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Region II Open Space Advisory Committee. She earned a B.A. from Colorado College and an M.Ed. from Lesley University. She lives in Riverdale, NY, with her husband.
Whitney Tilt '85 M.E.S. (2nd term ends 2020)
Whitney serves as Director, Land & Wildlife Conservation, for the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. His principal responsibilities are working with the Mountain Sky Guest Ranch, in Emigrant, Montana, to ensure it is a best-in-class leader in land and wildlife conservation management, and addressing larger natural resource issues in the Yellowstone ecosystem. Whitney is also a partner in High Country Apps LLC, developing interactive field guides for smart phones and tablets. Prior to joining the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, Whitney served as principal of Conservation BenchMarks, a consulting business specializing in strategic planning, evaluation, and natural resource issue management. He has also worked for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Sonoran Institute and National Audubon Society. Throughout his career Whitney has focused on conservation, working on a wide range of natural resource issues from Colorado River water allocations and black-footed ferret recovery to Asian tiger conservation and evaluation of federal fisheries programs.
Herbert I. Winer '49 M.F., '56 Ph.D. (no term limit)
New Haven, CT
A retired forester, Herb pioneered the field of stand dynamics, and initiated instruction in industrial forestry. He directed logging research in Canada, oversaw Lake State forest science and helped set safety standards for the logging industry. He presided as head of the Forest History Society.
Mark Ashton '85 M.F., '90 Ph.D.
Mark is the Morris K. Jesup Professor of Silviculture and Forest Ecology and Director of School Forests. He conducts research on the biological and physical processes governing the regeneration of natural forests and on the creation of their agroforestry analogs.
Chad Oliver '70 M.F.S., '75 Ph.D.
Chad is the Pinchot Professor of Forestry & Environmental Studies. He is currently working on landscape approaches to forest management and is involved in the technical tools, the policies, the management approaches, and the educational needs.
Gao Yufang ’14 M.E.Sc. and Doctoral Student
New Haven, CT
Gao is an active Chinese conservationist enthusiastic about the interdisciplinary research and practice of wildlife conservation. He holds a B.S. in Biology from Peking University and a master’s degree from F&ES, and he is now pursuing a joint doctoral degree between F&ES and the Department of Anthropology. His effort in unraveling the China-bound ivory trade, which was the focus of his master’s degree project, has helped the international conservation community gain a more comprehensive and contextual understanding about China’s ivory markets. Before starting his Ph.D., he was Executive Director of the Everest Snow Leopard Conservation Center where he led a public-private initiative in Tibet to foster the healthy coexistence between large carnivores and local residents in the Qomolangma (Mt. Everest) National Nature Reserve. He was named the winner of the 2016 Marsh Award for Terrestrial Conservation Leadership from the Marsh Christian Trust and Fauna & Flora International and is a 2016 Emerging Explorer of the National Geographic Society.
Parfait Gasana ’18 M.E.M.
New Haven, CT
Parfait is studying the intersection between global energy policy and international development initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa at F&ES. His particular interest in environmental policy stems from his experiences growing up in Rwanda, East Africa, and observing firsthand the impact Western policies played in shaping regional politics. Parfait currently serves as a writer for the Yale Environmental Review and as a research assistant at both the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the Government, Environments, and Markets Initiative. Prior to F&ES, Parfait was Assistant Director of the Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development at the McCormack Graduate School at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, where he initiated the first partnership with the country of Rwanda. He earned his M.S. in International Relations from the McCormack Graduate School and his B.A. in political science from the University of Connecticut. While at UMass-Boston, he received the Beacon Graduate Leadership Award and the Ambassador John W. McDonald Award for Leadership and Innovation in Global Governance and Conflict Resolution for co-founding the Kigali Reading Center, a literacy nonprofit in Kigali, Rwanda. Parfait has also served in various volunteer capacities with the Office of the Governor and the Office of the Secretary of State for the State of Connecticut and the Institute for International Justice and Development.