Alumni Association Board

About the Alumni Association Board

The YSE Alumni Association promotes the interests of the Yale School of the Environment 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 YSE community in the Environmental Leadership Mentoring (ELM) program
•             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 2019 - 2020


gary barrett


Gary Barrett '96 M.F. (1st term ends in 2021)
President, Member of Executive Committee, Yale Alumni Association Delegate (Ex Officio) 
Washington D.C. Area
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.
Tara Meyer

Vice President

Tara K. Meyer '15 M.E.Sc. (2nd term ends 2022)
Missoula, Montana
Vice President, Member of Executive Committee
Tara is Wildlife Biology Ph.D. 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 co-created while studying at YSE.
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Hallie Metzger '75 M.F.S. (1st term ends 2021)
Illinois and Connecticut
Secretary, Member of Executive Committee
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 YSE affair including son Matthew Black ’94 M.E.S. and YSE faculty and graduates. Heading the School’s first Public Information Office from 1976-1979, Hallie searched for a unique YSE 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.
Joe MacDougald

Immediate Past President

Joe MacDougald ’05 M.E.M. (2nd term ends 2020)
Madison, CT
Immediate Past President, Member of Executive Committee; Yale Alumni Association Delegate
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.
Saleem Ali

At-Large Member 

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

At-Large Member 

Jaime Carlson ’09 M.E.M./M.B.A. (2nd term ends 2022)
Los Angeles, CA
Executive Committee
Jaime focuses on innovative business models to drive capital to natural resource management. Jaime is Managing Director at Synergetics.  Previously, she was COO of Cypress Creek Renewables, the largest private solar developer in the U.S., and 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.

Board Members

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James Albis '16 M.E.M. (1st term ends 2021)
East Haven, CT
James is the Senior Advisor to the Commissioner at Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, where he works on the Department’s policy agenda and special projects. He is also a former State Representative from East Haven, Connecticut. 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.
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. (2nd term ends 2021)
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.
Genora Givens '18 M.E.M. (1st term ends 2022)
Oakland, CA 
Genora is a UC Berkeley Haas School of Business Philanthropy Fellow and Program Research Analyst at The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, where she works with the Bioenergy, Palm Oil, and Agriculture, Livelihoods, and Conservation strategy teams on monitoring, evaluation, and learning. Prior to joining the Foundation, Genora was an Environmental Grantmakers Association Fellow at Clean Water Action researching the impact of oil and gas production on U.S. water quality and quantity. Her interests include land use law and watershed protection, as well as the development of methods to incorporate understandings of social vulnerability and inequity into analysis of geographic risk and watershed management and planning.
Cilla Kellert
Cilla Leavitt ’74 B.A., ’81 M.F.S. (1st term ends 2020)
New Haven, CT
Yale Alumni Association Delegate
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 YSE, 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.
Jessica Leung ’17 M.E.M. (1st term ends 2021)
Washington, D.C.
Jessica is a Solutions Fellow at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) where she researches and analyzes the energy, buildings, and transportation sector. Prior to C2ES, she worked at Calpine, a natural gas and geothermal power plant company. She supported environmental compliance and permitting, implemented the California cap and trade program, engaged on GHG policy, and analyzed water-energy nexus issues. At YSE, 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. In Washington, D.C., she is a co-leader for the YSE in D.C. alumni network and is mentor for BEST Kids, an organization empowering youth in foster care. 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).
Michelle Lewis
Michelle Lewis '13 MDiv, M.E.Sc. (1st term ends 2022)
New York and North Carolina
Yale Alumni Association Delegate
Michelle holds a M.E.Sc. from YSE and a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School and a certificate from Yale Institute of Sacred Music. She's very interested in the intersectionality between justice issues and spirituality. Her doctoral work focused on food justice, faith, and creating healthy communities on micro and macro scales. Michelle has worked in New Rochelle, NY as part of the city's energy and sustainability Commission and is currently the executive director of a non-profit that she founded called the Peace Garden Project, which has three gardens in NY with another two set to open in NC this year. Michelle is passionate about equity and inclusion and has worked with communities in NY and NC to create more equitable systems.
Cathy McConnell ’85 M.F.S. (1st term ends 2021)
West Islip, NY
In her 30 years in television, Cathy has shared her love of nature with audiences around the world. At YSE 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.
Monica Nunez Salas
Monica Nuñez Salas '18 M.E.M. (1st term ends 2022)
Lima, Peru
Monica is a professor and clinician at Universidad del Pacifico. Trained as a lawyer, Monica has worked in environmental law and has expertise in environmental economics. Fluent in multiple languages, Monica looks forward to connecting our international community of alumni, and assisting in the ongoing diversification of the YSE student population.
Anne Peters
Anne Peters '76 M.F.S. (1st term ends 2022)
New Haven, CT
Anne is an environmental attorney and partner at the firm of Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP in New Haven, where she advises clients in the remediation of contaminated properties, environmental aspects of business transactions and environmental compliance. After YSE, she worked as a research assistant at Brown University, using pollen data to study climate and vegetation changes since the last glacial maximum. She is the immediate past chair of the Environmental Section of the Connecticut Bar Association. In addition to representing the regulated community, she has served on Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection workgroups on environmental use restrictions, spill reporting and DEEP’s Comprehensive Evaluation and Transformation of Connecticut’s Cleanup Laws.
Maclovia Quintana
Maclovia Quintana ’11 B.A., ’14 M.E.Sc. (1st term ends 2020)
San Francisco, CA
Maclovia is the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program Director at Earthjustice in San Francisco. After graduating from YSE, 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. Maclovia grew up in rural northern New Mexico.  
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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 Academic Affairs, Research and Sustainability at the Yale School of the Environment 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 YSE in 2016, and completed the joint master’s degree program between the School of Epidemiology and Public Health and YSE in 2007  Her doctoral work explored the process of envisioning and instituting complex changes motivated by sustainability within institutions, exploring both accelerators and barriers. 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.
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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.
Mona Wang
Mona Wang '13 M.E.M. (1st term ends 2022)
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Mona is a Program Officer at Low Income Investment Fund, where she leads the operations management of a cross-organizational initiative focused on advancing investment policies for sustainable and equitable regional development in low-income communities and communities of color in various cities across the U.S. for racially equitable, healthy, and climate-resilient communities. She is also a member of the Board for the Charles Koiner Center for Urban Farming where she applies her love for growing vegetables with youth and fellow neighbors to create a network of urban farms in Montgomery County, MD for the next generation of sustainable food innovators.  She has a background in sustainable development, specifically on issues related to reducing commodity-driven deforestation and sustainable land-use planning. In her years with the World Wildlife Fund, she managed several programs in various tropical countries, including Colombia, DRC, Guyana, Indonesia, and Peru, on reducing commodity-driven deforestation and advancing land-use policies and practices centered on empowering local and indigenous communities. As a member to the YSE Alumni Association Board, Mona’s priorities are to establish and expand on programs to increase support to current students and recent graduates of YSE from first-generation, low-income backgrounds.  Her favorite memory of YSE is, of course, all the dance parties (there’s always a theme) and … THRILLER! 

Student Representatives

Aymane Eddahmani SM
Aymane Eddahmani ’21 M.E.SC. Student
New Haven, CT/ Morocco
Second Year Student Representative
Aymane is a Fulbright scholar and a first year MESc student from Morocco, working on the relationship between energy, climate change, and development. Aymane holds a Bachelor of Science in General Engineering with a concentration on renewable energy from Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI). As a Fulbright scholar, he is committed to bringing a different perspective, focus on diversity and inclusion, and ensure adequate representation of the international community and students from developing countries.  At AUI, he researched vertical axis wind turbines for decentralized small scale energy generation. He is passionate about the environment, enjoys running, and never misses a chance to explore the great outdoors.
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Ben Christensen ’20 M.E.M. Student
New Haven, CT/ New Mexico, US
Second Year Student Representative
Ben is a M.E.M. 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 
Lav Kanoi
Lav Kanoi, ’24 Ph.D. Student
New Haven, CT
Ph.D.  Student Representative
Lav is a joint Anthropology and Yale School of the Environment doctoral student whose subject of study is water and the socio-political, historical and cultural aspects of water management in Indian cities. He holds an MA in English Literature from Jadavpur University, and was a Young India Fellow at Ashoka University. In addition to his previous work in teaching and in research, he has experience working in government policy and implementation with the Government of Himachal Pradesh, India, and in management consulting with the Boston Consulting Group.

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.
Wargo Small
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). 

In Memoriam -Herbert Isaac Winer (1921-2019)

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 and was a lifetime member of the AAB. 
    If you would like to connect with a member of the YSE Alumni Association Board, please email the YSE Office of Development and Alumni Services for contact info.