Craig Ebert serves as the President of the Climate Action Reserve where he is responsible for ensuring that the organization’s activities meet the highest standards for quality, transparency and environmental integrity. He oversees the organization’s continued leadership and commitment to ensuring offsets are a trusted and powerful economic tool for reducing emissions. In his role, he also leads the organization in identifying and entering into other opportunities that build upon the its knowledge and expertise and further its work under its mission and vision.
During his career, he has helped create the foundations for international, national and state policies to address climate change. He supported U.S. negotiations on international climate change agreements, including negotiations leading up to the creation and signing of the Kyoto Protocol, and helped develop the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI) provisions under the protocol. Craig’s work also involved pioneering efforts on carbon accounting principles and methodologies. He served as the technical director of Estimation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks, which was adopted by the IPCC as its GHG Inventory Programme, and was a key architect behind the development of the official U.S. national GHG inventory to meet commitments under the UNFCCC.
Prior to joining the Reserve, Craig advised the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) and served at ICF for nearly 34 years.
Vice President, Operations
As Vice President, Operations, Gillian Calof is responsible for overseeing all personnel, finance, information technology and legal operations of the Climate Action Reserve.
Gillian’s background is in nonprofit administration and environmental conservation. Prior to working at the Reserve, Gillian worked for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation where she developed and managed ecosystem restoration programs, which included individual projects with a carbon offset focus. Her work included oversight of all financial and programmatic aspects of project development and implementation, including agency and partner relations, overseeing administrative staff, tracking complex financial information and negotiating contracts, scopes of work and budgets. Gillian earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Geography from Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada and is a graduate of the Master of Nonprofit Administration program at the University of San Francisco.
As Director of Policy for the Climate Action Reserve, Max helps shape the direction of the Reserve’s Policy activities. He oversees the development of new emissions reduction project protocols, as well as the maintenance and interpretation of existing protocols. He also assists with technical work on the Reserve’s climate finance ratings program, as well as various contracts and grants, and participates in several external stakeholder and advisory groups. His areas of particular focus include grassland, livestock methane, landfill gas, ozone depleting substances, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. Max has supported the growth, functioning, and integrity of the offset project protocols and registry since 2008, serving in both Policy and Business Development roles. He received a Master of Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School at UC Santa Barbara, and a B.S. in Biology from Davidson College in North Carolina.
Robert Z. Lee
As Program Director for the Climate Action Reserve, Rob is responsible for overseeing the operations of the Reserve’s registry services, including day to day management and training of staff that support offset project reporting, verification, and registration activities. As part of this, Rob is also responsible for managing the Reserve’s relationship with ISO 14065 accreditation bodies. He also assists in developing and maintaining programmatic materials for various Reserve programs, including the Climate Impact Score and the CEQA registry. Rob has been with the Reserve since 2011 serving in various roles within the Programs team, with a particular focus on the forest protocol. He received a Master of Environmental Management from the Nicholas School at Duke University, and a B.S. in Operations Research from Columbia University.
Vice President, Forestry
John Nickerson is a California Registered Professional Forester with expertise in forest inventory, forest management planning and the development of forest carbon offset projects and protocols. As Vice President, Forestry for the Reserve, John manages the Reserve’s forestry team, works on developing and managing forest protocols, both domestically and internationally. John and his team work independently and in collaboration with other entities to develop new and creative mechanisms to achieve environmental benefits through market-based solutions.
During his 20-year career in the field of forestry, he has helped to develop many of the first carbon projects in California. He has worked with the United States Forest Service in Alaska and California of forest and wildlife inventories. He has developed and conducted many inventory and long-term sustainable management planning efforts for large and small private landowners in California, which have assisted some landowners in obtaining forest certification under the Forest Stewardship Council.
John speaks French and Spanish and once upon a time, as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Democratic Republic of Congo, also spoke Swahili. He holds an M.S. in Natural Resources (Forestry) from Humboldt State University and a B.S. in Biology from Principia College.
Vice President, Communications and Business Outreach
As Vice President, Communications and Business Outreach for the Climate Action Reserve, Jennifer Weiss oversees all marketing and communications activities, including oversight of the websites, external communications, media relations, collateral materials and internal communications processes, and supports the strategic growth of the organization. She also oversees the Reserve’s annual conference, Navigating the American Carbon World.
Jennifer brought a strong background in the energy industry to her position with the Reserve. She served as Marketing Director for an energy market data provider and worked in nearly all energy commodities, including carbon. Prior to that, she managed marketing and communications activities for JET-A.com, which created an online solution for managing the jet fuel supply chain from refinery gate to aircraft wing. Jennifer started her marketing career on the agency side doing business-to-business and business-to-consumer work for clients in aviation and air transportation, government services and consumer products. Throughout her career, the scope of her work has ranged from international to local, and she was worked with business, consumer, NGO and government audiences.
As Program Assistant, Nancy Cheng supports Reserve account holders through reporting, verification, and registration of carbon offset projects under both the Reserve’s voluntary offset program and the California compliance offset program. As the implementation lead for the Livestock, Landfill, and OWC/OWD Project Protocols, she is also responsible for managing programmatic documents and guidance requests for these project types.
Nancy holds a B.S. in Animal Science and Natural Resources from Cornell University. Prior to the Reserve, Nancy worked at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology where she led land trust and bird conservation initiatives, and was a Research Assistant that conducted research on both the bushmeat crisis and ecological calendars for climate change adaptation. She has also conducted field research in Tanzania to assess the impact of climate change on local communities, which was a big driving force for her joining the Reserve. Her other experiences include working with endangered felids in California and pandas in China.
As Program Associate, Holly Davison provides support to Reserve account holders during offset project reporting, verification, and registration under the Reserve’s program standards and under the state of California’s compliance offset program.
She graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and minors in Earth Sciences and French. She worked in Human Resources at an ecommerce company for six years before pursuing her true passion in climate change. She then received her Master of Arts in Climate and Society from Columbia University. Prior to starting at the Reserve, she interned at the United Nations Development Programme, where she analyzed the extent to which country offices integrated gender equality into their climate change, disaster risk reduction, recovery, and energy programs.
Sarah J. Wescott
Forest Program Manager
Sarah Wescott serves as the Forest Program Manager for the Reserve’s forest team. In this role, she supports Reserve account holders as they navigate the different stages of offset project reporting, verification, and registration. As the implementation lead for the Forest, Urban Forest, and Grassland Project Protocols, she is also responsible for managing programmatic documents and guidance requests for these project types.
Prior to working for the Reserve, Sarah completed an internship with the California Coastal Commission, where she helped the South Coast enforcement team investigate and pursue alleged CA Coastal Act violations through research, analysis, and community outreach. Sarah is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where she received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Environmental Studies with an emphasis on Policy and Planning.
As Program Associate, Isaac Wilkins provides support to Reserve account holders as they take part in the Reserve’s voluntary offset program and California ‘s compliance offset program. Specifically, he assists account holders navigating the different stages of project reporting, verification and registration. He also works in conjunction with policy team members and program staff to conduct industry research for protocol/program development.
Prior to the Reserve, Isaac served as a sustainability consultant for New York City Department of Environmental Protection and New York City Economic Development Corporation; to develop the frame work for the city’s first Water hub. In addition, he has served as a delegate for both Conference of the Parties 22 and 23 and has congressional experience serving as an intern for Senator Corey Booker. Isaac earned his master’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University. He received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a concentration in Chemistry from Howard University.
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As a Policy Associate, Trevor assists with the maintenance and updates of existing emissions reduction project protocols and with the development of new protocols. Trevor also supports the implementation of projects under both the Reserve’s voluntary program and the California compliance offset program, as well as GHG policy and technical work on a variety of other projects.
Prior to the Reserve, Trevor worked on climate change and energy initiatives within the built environment as a Sustainability Consultant in New York City and as an Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Climate Corps Fellow in downtown Los Angeles. He also previously worked with EDF on agriculture and GHG management projects. In addition, Trevor recently co-authored an updated “Sustainability How-to Guide: Carbon Footprint” published by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA). Trevor earned his Master’s degree in Sustainability Management from the Kogod School of Business at America University. He completed his Honors Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Business Administration at the University of Delaware.
Forest Policy Manager
As a Forest Policy Manager, Amy supports the development and improvement of forest protocols, technical tools, and companion documents. In particular, Amy manages updates and implementation of the Mexico Forest Protocol as well as the development of administrative reports and guidance documents to support project development in Mexico. Amy acts as the Protocol Implementation Lead for the Mexico Forest Protocol. In addition, she provides support to the implementation of forest projects based in the U.S.
Amy previously worked in the Bay of Jiquilisco, El Salvador, where she supported local communities and government institutions in developing and implementing forest management plans and advancing environmental policies and sustainable economic opportunities. Amy graduated from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, where she received a Master’s in International Environmental Policy and a Master’s in Business Administration. Amy received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology with a Concentration in Environmental Studies from Kenyon College.
Senior Policy Manager
As a Senior Policy Manager, Sami Osman manages the development of new protocols and the maintenance and interpretation of existing protocols. Sami also assists with advising project developers, verifiers and interested stakeholders on the use of project protocols. His areas of work include project activities in the US, Canada and Mexico, for a range of interesting project areas such as agricultural activities (including enteric and manure emissions from livestock, rice cultivation and various aspects of ‘sustainable agriculture’), various waste management activities (including composting, anaerobic digestion, and landfill emissions), and the odd industrial application (our recent boiler efficiency protocol in Mexico). Sami has a background in GHG management, climate change policy and wider sustainability consulting. He is also a stay at home single parent to one happy and curious little girl.
Senior Project Coordinator
As a Senior Project Coordinator, Heather supports Reserve staff with various project management activities, including protocol development, maintenance, and revision efforts. Heather acts as the primary contact for external stakeholders on behalf of the Policy team and also supports program implementation, particularly for landfill, coal mine methane, nitric acid production, and ozone depleting substances projects.
Prior to working at the Reserve, Heather completed internships at Environment Canada in the Air Quality Sciences division, the Global Roundtable on Climate Change with the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and First Environment, Inc. in the consulting field. Through her experience at Columbia and during her internships, Heather learned to bridge the climate change gap between science and social science. Originally from Alberta, Canada, Heather has a Bachelor of Science with specialization in Atmospheric Science from the University of Alberta and a Master of Arts in Climate & Society from Columbia University.
Senior Forest Policy Manager
As a Senior Forest Policy Manager, Jon will be helping with the development and improvement of forest protocols, technical tools, and computer applications. He is also contributing to the Reserve’s efforts to develop jurisdictional accounting frameworks for GHG emissions and reductions resulting from changes in land use and management. Additionally, he will be providing support to the Reserve’s registry program.
Jon has been working on forest carbon offset projects and policies since 2003, providing him with a deep understanding of the forest protocol and the behind-the-scenes operations of forest carbon projects. Prior to joining the Reserve, he was a private consultant, with a focus on climate change mitigation policies and projects, as well as watershed health. Jon also previously worked at the Pacific Forest Trust, where he stewarded conservation easements and fee title lands held by the organization and performed geospatial analysis for conservation planning. He earned a Master of Environmental Management degree from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, where his focus was ecosystem management. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology with a Concentration in Environmental Studies from Carleton College.
As a Policy Associate, Beatriz assists with the development, maintenance, and updates of emissions reduction project protocols. In addition, Beatriz supports the implementation of projects under both the Reserve’s voluntary program and the California compliance offset program.
Before joining the Reserve, Beatriz consulted Pronatura Noroeste in the design of their first climate change program. She also researched and analyzed sustainable land use policies at Mexico’s Civil Council for Sustainable Forestry and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture. Earlier in her career, she managed a certification process for agriculture consultants at Mexico’s Trust Funds for Rural Development (FIRA).
Beatriz earned her Masters of Environmental Management degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Mexico’s Autonomous University of Guadalajara.
Melody Strmel serves as the Administrative Associate for the Climate Action Reserve, where she assists staff in all departments with operational and administrative tasks. Melody also works with accounts payable, timesheets, reimbursements, and expenses. Melody graduated with a BA in Digital Humanities from Scripps College. Prior to joining the Reserve, Melody worked as Senior Client Services Representative at eSalon.com, Building Manager for the Sallie Tiernan Field House, and Attractions Hostess at the Disneyland Resort.
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As Controller, Ramon Lee manages the Reserve’s accounting practices and financial transactions, in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). His responsibilities include preparing and distributing accurate monthly and annual financial reports and statements, advising management on accounting and financial issues, managing internal auditing procedures, and providing budget and forecast projections.
Ramon graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce, with a major in Accounting. He has extensive experience in grant and government contracts, as well as non-profit and general accounting procedures. Previously, he worked as a professional consultant at Robert Half International. During his time there, Ramon had the opportunity to work with various business industries including aerospace, manufacturing, insurance, restaurant, internet, marketing, and charitable institutions.
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As the Office Manager, Sana Vorperian’s role is to ensure the smooth functioning of the office. She is responsible for all aspects of the Reserve’s information technology, coordinating meetings and events, assisting with Board member communications, and assisting the President with scheduling and travel arrangements.
Sana’s background is in nonprofit administration and information technology. Prior to working at the Reserve, Sana worked as an Office Coordinator for EARN (Earned Assets Resources), a financial nonprofit in San Francisco. Prior to that she worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Jordan and Iraq delegations for eight years where she was responsible for human resources, allocating the yearly budget, preparing technical trainings and workshops, negotiating agreements, and representing the organization in public events. Sana earned her bachelor degree in Computer science from Baghdad University.
Communications and Business Outreach
Business Development Manager
As Business Development Manager, Cindy supports the communications and program teams to promote the Reserve’s suite of market-based solutions to climate change. Her current focus include increasing project activities in the compliance market, linking carbon offset projects to local land use planning and decision making, and generating new business opportunities to grow the Reserve’s diverse service portfolio.
Prior to joining the Reserve, Cindy worked on climate science application for early warning systems and local decision making for the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, and the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory. Cindy also worked as a grants and events manager at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Chicago, where she increased funding and amplified advocacy efforts for energy efficiency, water quality, and environmental justice policies. She organized policy discussions, fundraising events, and also managed the Midwest program’s $2M grants operations.
Cindy was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine, where she learned to make borscht, walk through snow in high heels, and navigate USAID grant processes; she speaks Ukrainian and is fluent in Mandarin. She earned her Bachelors in Journalism at California State University, Long Beach, and her Master of Arts in Climate & Society from Columbia University.
Senior Communications Manager
As Senior Communications Manager, Rhey works on communications pieces and marketing strategies for the Climate Action Reserve. She manages the Climate Action Reserve’s monthly newsletter and other listserv communications. She works with designers to develop and strengthen communications materials, including the collateral pieces, brochures, annual reports and certificates. Rhey contributes to the media and marketing strategy of the organization, and shares responsibility for drafting press releases, website content, and social marketing updates. Previously, she worked for the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund in Fort Collins, Colorado.