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, Policy and Programs
Rachel Tornek is Vice President of Policy and Programs, where she is responsible for overseeing its voluntary carbon offset registry, directing the development of new GHG accounting standards, and pursuing opportunities to develop new market-based solutions to climate change. Rachel also leads the Reserve’s work to serve as an offset project registry for the State of California’s cap-and-trade program.
During her career, Rachel has helped develop the policies and strategic vision that have supported the Reserve in becoming the most successful carbon offset registry in North America. She has led the development of numerous GHG accounting standards, advised regulatory programs on the development of carbon offset policies and standards, and managed the development of its globally-recognized climate change policies and programs.
Rachel previously managed technical support and training at the California Climate Action Registry, an organization that helped companies develop and verify GHG emissions inventories. She has worked on climate policy for over a decade.
She holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School at UC Santa Barbara and a B.S. in Ecology, Behavior and Evolution from UC San Diego.
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.
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
As Vice President, Communications 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.
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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.
As Director of Policy for the Climate Action Reserve, Max oversees the development of new emissions reduction project protocols, as well as the maintenance and interpretation of existing protocols. He also leads 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, and climate finance. 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. Prior to joining the Reserve, Max has worked for Infinity Wind Power and Pacific Gas & Electric. He received a Master of Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School at UC Santa Barbara, where he focused on Eco-Entrepreneurship and Corporate Environmental Management. His master’s thesis regarding green modular housing received top honors at multiple business plan competitions. Max also has a B.S. in Biology from Davidson College in North Carolina.
As a Policy Associate, Amy will be providing analytical support related to the management and monetization of natural resource commodities, conservation values, and ecosystem functions. In addition, Amy will help develop restoration and sustainable management plans that seek ecological, social, and economic returns. Finally, Amy will be providing programmatic support for the forest and urban forest protocols and will assist in the development of new forest related protocols.
Amy previously worked on valuing ecosystem services in the Bay of Jiquilisco, El Salvador, where she developed a Total Economic Valuation of the mangrove forest. She additionally worked with local communities and government institutions to support forest management plans as well as to advance further 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.
As a Policy Coordinator, Heather Raven maintains existing protocols, supports the development of new protocols, and coordinates policy activities alongside the Reserve program. Her experience includes internships at Environment Canada in the Air Quality Sciences division, the Global Roundtable on Climate Change with the Earth Institute at Columbia University and, most recently, at First Environment, Inc. in the consulting field. Through her experience at Columbia and during her recent internships, Heather has learned to bridge the climate change gap between science and social science. Originally from Alberta, Canada, Heather completed 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. Her background and interests lie in weather, climate and climate change.
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.
Stephen M. Holle
Reserve Program Associate
As Reserve Program Associate, Stephen Holle is responsible for management and maintenance of Reserve software and account holder services. Previously, Stephen interned at The Climate Registry where he developed sustainable conference and office guides and conducted case studies to increase partner transparency. Stephen has also worked as a lab assistant at UCLA conducting organic carbon and grain size analysis to assess the feasibility of incorporating wetland restoration in a carbon credit system.
Stephen graduated from the University of Southern California in 2012 where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Sustainability. During his time at USC Stephen earned a number of advanced SCUBA certifications such as American Academy of Underwater Sciences and NAUI Rescue Diver. Ultimately, these certifications were used to conduct underwater research in Palau to quantify indicator species and establish baseline conditions for ecosystem management decisions. In his free time Stephen enjoys rock climbing, backpacking, cooking, and photography.
As Reserve Administrator, Lauren Johnstone is responsible for providing technical and general support to account holders and handling Reserve software management. In addition, she coordinates with the appropriate teams for submittals, listing, registration, cancellation and inactivation of projects.
Previously, Lauren worked at The Walt Disney Company where she led environmental and employee engagement efforts. As well, she helped orchestrate a multi-faceted campaign to increase youth involvement in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Her other experiences include working in environmental consulting and environmental nonprofits. She graduated from Kenyon College in 2015 where she earned a Bachelor’s in International Studies and Environmental Studies.
Robert Z. Lee
Senior Program Manager
As Senior Program Manager, Robert Lee helps manage and implement the Reserve’s reporting, verification, and accreditation programs. He also has a leading role in maintaining and updating the Reserve’s programmatic rules and its registry software and systems. Robert acts as the Protocol Implementation Lead for the Reserve’s forest protocol, acting as the point person for all project and protocol related guidance inquiries from project developers and verifiers.
Prior to joining the Reserve, Robert has researched insurance mechanisms for REDD programs for the Nicholas, and interned at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation as an Environmental Impact Analyst, reviewing international development projects for their environmental impacts. Robert has a Master of Environmental Management degree from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, where he concentrated in Environmental Economics and Policy. He also received a Certificate of International Development from Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy. Robert earned his Bachelor of Science in Operations Research from Columbia University with a minor in Economics. He has additional work experience in the financial sector, having spent time as an intern at Merrill Lynch and Soros Fund Management.
Sarah J. Wescott
As Program Associate, Sarah Wescott supports Reserve account holders with project development, verification, and registration. Her responsibilities include: reviewing project submittals and verification reports, providing policy interpretation and clarification, coordinating verifier trainings and workshops, and providing technical assistance on the Reserve program and software. Sarah serves as the implementation lead for the ODS and Nitric Acid Production 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.
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.
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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.
Stephanie L. Schwartz
Stephanie Schwartz serves as the Administrative Associate for the Climate Action Reserve. In addition to assisting all staff with various operations and administrative tasks, Stephanie is responsible for accounts payable, coordinating staff timesheets, reimbursements, and expenses.
Stephanie brings 20+ years of work experience as an administrative professional. She learned her considerable typing and filing skills at such varied companies as Ernst & Young, Duckett-Wilson Development, and Sunkist Growers, Inc. When not serving the Reserve, Stephanie can be found hiking, biking, working on her photography skills or racking up travel miles (Antarctica being a recent conquest).
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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.