Alumni Association Board

About the Alumni Association Board

The F&ES Alumni Association promotes the interests of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies by taking actions and undertaking activities that build goodwill and strengthen communication among the School, its alumni, and current students and by encouraging awareness, participation, volunteer involvement, and philanthropic commitment to the School.
The Alumni Association Board (AAB) guides these efforts and engages in important work in support of this purpose.

Projects of the AAB include:
•             Developing field-based learning experiences for fellow alumni
•             Assisting F&ES community in the Environmental Leadership Mentoring (ELM) program
•             Developing regional events and educational opportunities for alums
•             Supporting alumni-student diversity-focused initiatives
•             Strengthening international alumni connections
•             Guiding both the alumni award and student scholarship programs for the board

The AAB meets about once a month from September through June, usually by video call. Members also participate on committees addressing issues such as communications, awards planning, and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Newly elected AAB members will begin serving a three-year term in October 2019. AAB members are expected to travel twice annually – back to New Haven each fall and to either New Haven or another location in the spring.
You can view a list of current AAB members below.

Alumni Association Board Roster 2018 - 2019


Joe MacDougald


Joe MacDougald ’05 M.E.M. (2nd term ends 2020)
Madison, CT
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
Tara Meyer

Vice President

Tara Meyer '15 M.E.Sc. (1st term ends 2019)
Missoula, Montana
Tara is Wildlife Biology PhD student at the University of Montana in Missoula, where she researches wolves, elk, grizzly bears and bison in the Ya Ha Tinda area in Banff National Park. Tara has a decade of experience working in wildlife conservation and management both in the western U.S. and internationally. She is a 2017-2018 Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders Fellow, a technical advisor for the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network, and 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.

Executive Committee
2016 Albis NewBanner Revised 03 14a


James Albis '16 M.E.M. (1st term ends 2021)
East Haven, CT

James is a State Representative from East Haven, Connecticut and is the Executive Director of the Connecticut Green Building Council (CTGBC), a chapter of the USGBC. As a legislator, James currently serves as Deputy Majority Leader and co-chairman of the screening committee. He previously served as co-chairman of the Environment Committee and chairman of the Shoreline Preservation Task Force, which investigated coastal resilience strategies for the state of Connecticut. James wrote the law that led to the creation of the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA), which provides technical and financial assistance to municipalities embarking on adaptation projects.

Executive Committee

Board Members

Saleem Ali
Saleem H. Ali ’96 M.E.S. (1st term ends 2020)
Newark, DE

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.
gary barrett
Gary Barrett '96 M.F. (1st term ends in 2021)

Gary is a Senior Advisor in the USDA Forest Service National Partnership Office. Over the past 22 years, he has served in a variety of roles in international development and disaster assistance, including: Deputy Director of USAID’s Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad; Senior Program Advisor for USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives in Afghanistan; and Head of Office, UN Joint Logistics Centre, for the UN World Food Program in South Sudan. He developed a specialization in emergency management and disaster relief after spending 12 years working for the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance.
Jaime Carlson
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.

Executive Committee
David Ellum
David S. Ellum '01 M.F., '07 Ph.D. (2nd term ends 2019)
Asheville, NC

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
Sue Ely ’07 M.E.Sc. (1st term ends 2020)
Portland, ME

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.
Alex Finkral
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
Cassie Flynn '07 M.E.M. (2nd term ends 2019)
Brooklyn, NY

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
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.

AYA Delegate
Jessica Leung ’17 M.E.M. (1st term ends 2021)
Washington, D.C.

Jessica works at Center for Climate and Energy Solutions researching how cities, businesses, and states are enacting climate action to reduce emissions. At F&ES, she discovered a love for service to her community as a Fresh and Salty SIG leader, EQUID member, Peer Mentor, GPSS Senator, and mentor to New Haven students interested in STEM. Her passion for creating cross-sectoral connections has continued in Washington, D.C. where she is a co-leader for the F&ES in D.C. alumni network and volunteer for Yale Club of D.C. She holds a B.S. in Managerial Economics from University of California, Davis.
Luisa Lema Velez
Luisa Lema Velez ’06 M.E.M. (1st term ends 2020)
Bogota, Colombia

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).
Cathy McConnell ’85 M.F.S. (1st term ends 2021)
West Islip, New York
In her 30 years in television, Cathy has shared her love of nature with audiences around the world. At F&ES she pioneered the use of video and researched the impact of documentaries. As a writer and producer for the NATURE series on PBS, she became Series Editor and then Head of Natural History Co-Productions for National Geographic TV. Her films have won Emmys, the Ark Trust Genesis Award, Best Documentary at the NY Film and Television Festival and many other awards. Today she continues to work with filmmakers, write scripts, and advocate for climate legislation.
30746516 no photo available or missing image
Hallie Metzger '75 M.F.S. (1st term ends 2021)
Illinois and Connecticut
Managing a Connecticut forest, Hallie faces challenges restoring a highgraded woodland. Eradicating invasives and maintaining test plots for white pine and hybrid chestnut, she safeguards a critical wildlife corridor while growing the revenue stream. It’s an F&ES affair including son Matthew Black ’94 M.ES. and F&ES faculty and graduates. Heading the School’s first Public Information Office from 1976-1979, Hallie searched for a unique F&ES image – and made Sage Boy a Yale icon! Hallie writes on forestry issues and administers the Connecticut Timber Producers Association (TIMPRO CT) scholarship program for future environmental leaders.
Maclovia Quintana
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.
sara smileysmith 230
Sara Smiley Smith ’07 M.E.Sc./M.P.H., ’16 Ph.D. (2nd term ends 2020)
New Haven, CT

Sara is the Assistant Dean of Research and Sustainability at the Yale School of Forestry & 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.
Jane Sokolow
John P. Clarke
Jane E.S. Sokolow '80 M.F.S. (2nd term ends 2019)
Bronx, NY

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.

Executive Committee
Tilt photo web230
Whitney Tilt '85 M.E.S. (2nd term ends 2020)
Bozeman, MT

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.

Honorary Lifetime Member

Herbert I. Winer
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.

Faculty Representatives

Mark Ashton
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.
John Wargo '81 M.Phil., '84 Ph.D.

John is a Professor of Environmental Health and Political Science at Yale University and chairs the Yale College Environmental Studies Major. He has been a Visiting Professor at Yale-NUS College in Singapore and the Universitat Basel graduate school of Law, Economics, and Policy, in Switzerland. John’s research focuses on threats to human health posed by environmental hazards. He has been an advisor to the Senate Committee on Health, U.S. Vice President’s office, several EPA administrators, Senators and Representatives, the Secretary of Agriculture, the U.N.’s World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization. He has been a member of EPA’s Scientific Advisory Panel/Board on Pesticides and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientific panels. His books include Green Intelligence (Independent Publishers Gold Medal Award in Environment, Ecology and Nature; Connecticut Book Award for Non-Fiction; and one of Scientific American’s Favorite Science Books of the year), Our Children’s Toxic Legacy (winner of the Association of American Publishers Annual Award in Government and Political Science), and Ecosystems: Balancing Science and Management (co-author). 

Student Representatives

30746516 no photo available or missing image
Ben Christensen ’20 M.E.M.
New Haven, CT

Ben is an incoming MEM candidate from New Mexico specializing in Business and the Environment and Climate Change Solutions. He holds a BS in Environmental Management with concentrations in Climate Change Science and Statistics from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He works as a TA for Graduate Environmental Statistics and on carbon and energy projects with the Environmental Stewardship Committee. At Cal Poly he started the Climate Change Action Research Group dedicated to understanding how young people understand and interact with climate change, was a green campus team manager, conducted research on carbon neutral building systems, and led wilderness backpacking trips. His passion is leading carbon removal implementation through business and scientific innovation. 
Gao Yufang
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.
    If you would like to connect with a member of the F&ES Alumni Association Board, please email the F&ES Office of Development and Alumni Services for contact info.