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.
As the Director of Operations, Vera Bakman is responsible for overseeing all personnel, finance, information technology, and legal operations of the Climate Action Reserve.
Vera brings extensive experience working with reputable international non-profit and non-governmental organizations in the areas of international development, global health, sustainable community development, micro-finance, and humanitarian aid. She has worked internationally with organizations in Nicaragua and Haiti, and at the US-based headquarters at Partners in Health (PIH) in Boston and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in New York City. Most recently, Vera led financial planning, operations, and program management at the Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI) at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).
She is a trilingual professional with a demonstrated dedication to mission-driven work and proven skills in program development and implementation, strategic planning, financial planning and analysis, grant administration, and organizational development. She also has robust experience in reporting and presenting to executives and governance boards, as well as managing critical partnerships with donors and key stakeholders.
Vera holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Economics Management Science and a Minor in Psychology from the University of California San Diego (UCSD), and a Master’s of Science Degree in International Development Economics from the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics at Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
Vice President, Programs
As Vice President of Programs for the Climate Action Reserve, Kristen oversees implementation of the Reserve’s registry services including the voluntary offset project registry, the Reserve’s role as a California Offset Project Registry, and Climate Forward; ensuring effective and efficient process across the programs. Her responsibilities include managing staff that provide support for the reporting, verification of emissions reduction projects and overseeing the verification accreditation program. Kristen and the Analytical team provide technical assistance to project developers and verification bodies, develop updates to the Program and Verification Program Manuals, and provide support for utilization of the Reserve software.
Kristen previously worked at the Reserve for 7 years, serving in several roles including Program Director, where she played a key role in implementing the Reserve’s role as Offset Project Registry in California’s cap-and-trade program. She also served as the Reserve’s Program Manager, where she was the lead in supporting the Forest Project Protocol, and as the Reserve Administrator, Program Associate and Program Assistant. After her time at the Reserve, she pursued another passion to work in the community and taught high school math and physics. Most recently, Kristen was a management consultant working to support federal hazard mitigation grant administration with the State of California. Kristen completed her Bachelor’s degree in health science with a concentration in community health and economics at Cal State Dominguez Hills, and has a Masters in Public Administration from the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific.
As Policy Director, Sami co-manages the Reserve’s 11-person Analytical Team. Sami plans and manages the development of non-forestry protocol development work, including development of new protocols, as well as protocol updates, corrections, clarifications, and related policy statements. Sami assists the Program Director with updates and revisions to the Reserve’s program rules and policies, and in steering all non-forest offset projects through our program. Sami also directs the Reserve’s consulting activities, including international and domestic capacity development work.
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 an Associate, Aurelia coordinates between Reserve staff and account holders with project activities including account management and providing support during project verification and registration processes.
Prior to working at the Reserve, Aurelia held a fellowship at the National Park Service in Washington, DC, where she assisted the regional volunteer program and organized outreach events in communities and parks in the DC region. She also worked at Colgate University to collect and analyze climate data from East Antarctica. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geology from Colgate University.
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.
Associate Director, Latin American Operations
As the Associate Director, Latin American Operations, 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.
As an Analytical Associate, Jordan Mao supports the administration and operation of the Climate Action Reserve’s carbon credit programs and contributes to policy development, maintenance, and refinement of the Reserve’s offset protocols.
Jordan previously served as a Horticulture and Botany Intern on the Southern Oregon Coast for the Bureau of Land Management, where she cultivated a historic English woodland garden, designed a visitor’s map using ArcGIS, monitored rare plants and fungi, conducted bumble bee, marbled murrelet, and salmon population surveys, and delineated stream inception points. She graduated from the University of Rochester with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Music minor in 2020. While matriculating, she was a Research Assistant for the Paleomagnetic Research Group at UR, operating various instrumentation such as Kappabridge and magnetometers to investigate the ferromagnetic properties of some of the oldest zirconium crystals on the planet. Jordan deeply enjoyed her semester abroad in San José, Costa Rica, where she learned about the philosophy of permaculture, toured organic farms, and hiked through cloud forests. In 2017, she served as a Crew Member for the Southwest Conservation Corps in Salida, Colorado, helping build over five miles of new trail, managing invasive plant species, and restoring forest burn areas.
As an Analytical Associate, Rachel supports the administration and operation of the Climate Action Reserve’s carbon credit programs, as well as contribute to policy work such as the development, maintenance, and refinement of offset protocols undertaken by the Analytical Team.
Before starting at the Reserve, Rachel attended the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and minor in Environment, Society, and Culture in 2019. She worked with Dr. Patricia Cleary in atmospheric chemistry research and worked with Dr. James Phillips in performing physical and inorganic chemistry research. Rachel was also actively involved in the University’s Student Office of Sustainability, which focused on educating the student body on proper waste management and allocating student segregated fees for sustainable actions on campus. In June 2021 Rachel graduated from Oregon State University with a Master of Public Policy and Energy Policy Graduate Certificate. Her thesis evaluated the public perception of natural gas export in Oregon and her graduate certificate capstone analyzed the relationship between experience in the 2020 Oregon wildfire season and support for federal climate mitigation policies. Rachel also was an intern at Quantum Spatial, Inc (now a part of NV5) classifying irrigation status in California water districts.
As an Analytical Associate, Chloe Ney provides support on the administration and operation of the Climate Action Reserve’s carbon credit programs and contributes to policy development, maintenance, and refinement of the Reserve’s offset protocols.
Before starting at the Reserve, Chloe attended the University of California, Los Angeles’s Bachelor’s program in Geography & Environmental Studies and minor program in Urban & Regional Studies and received her Bachelor of Arts in 2019. During her time as a student, she was involved in several on-campus research programs and research initiatives focused on improving UCLA’s sustainability policies, practices, and education efforts. She interned with international non-profit Global Green as a Sustainable Cities Student Intern, where she assisted with evaluating the organization’s food recovery programs and authored a white paper about using geospatial analyses to assess the potential to generate biogas from food waste at anaerobic digestion facilities within the SoCalGas service territory. After graduating, she worked with the Soil/Water/Air Protection Enterprise environmental consulting firm as an Environmental Scientist Intern and helped review development proposals for compliance with California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) air quality and greenhouse gas requirements. Just prior to starting at the Reserve, Chloe completed a Climate Corps Fellowship with the Los Angeles Community College District as the 2020 Facilities & Energy Management Fellow where she worked on a variety of facilities, education, outreach, and policy projects to support the District’s decarbonization goals before transitioning to the District’s capital construction program, BuildLACCD, to assist the Energy & Sustainability and Quality Assurance & Quality Compliance teams.
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.
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 Forestry Manager, Marissa Schmitz manages the development of forest-related GHG offset protocols and Climate Forward methodologies, maintains and updates existing protocols and methodologies, and supports the reporting and verification services for forest-related protocols and methodologies.
Marissa has been studying forest-based natural climate solutions since 2012 and has expertise in carbon markets and offset protocols. Her published research has investigated how forest landowners can benefit from ecosystem markets, the production of co-benefits, and the role of carbon finance in forestland conservation. Marissa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Metropolitan State University and a Master of Arts degree in Environment and Community from Humboldt State University. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Minnesota in the Natural Resource Science and Management Program, where her dissertation explores the history of Minnesota tax-forfeit land and the development of county forestry programs.
Beatriz (Bety) Zavariz
Beatriz Zavariz is dedicated to climate change mitigation through ensuring proper accounting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction projects. She has ten years of experience in civil society associations and in the public sector. Her main skills and knowledge are GHG emissions accounting, GHG project protocol development, management of GHG registries and programs, training, analysis and research.
Beatriz has been part of the Climate Action Reserve since 2017. As a manager, Beatriz fosters carbon markets in California, the United States, Mexico and Canada. The types of projects in which she specializes are sustainable agriculture, grassland conservation, reduced application of nitrogen fertilizers, destruction of methane from landfills and dairy and hog farms, destruction of halocarbons obtained from refrigeration equipment in Mexico and, improved forest management.
Before working in the Reserve, Beatriz served as an analyst and consultant on issues of land use, climate change and biodiversity in various organizations and institutions. Such organizations include Pronatura Noroeste, the Mexican Civil Council for Sustainable Forestry, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture ( CIAT), the World Bank and the Trustfunds Instituted in Relation to Agriculture (FIRA for its acronym in Spanish).
Beatriz obtained a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management from Yale University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from the Autonomous University of Guadalajara.
Chief Financial Controller
(213) 891-1444 x 122
As Chief Financial Controller, Ramon Lee manages and oversees the Reserve’s accounting process, month-end closing, and financial transactions, in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). His responsibilities include preparing and distributing accurate monthly and annual financial reports and preparation of the operating budgets, payroll processing, 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, on-line marketing, and charitable institutions.
Melody Strmel serves as the Operations 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.
213-891-1444 ext. 100
As an Operations Manager, Anita Yombo is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day Administration and Operations of the organization.
Prior to working at the Reserve, Anita worked for several non-profits including Bridge Housing Corporation in San Francisco, Maricopa Association of Governments in Phoenix and recently a school for under privileged children in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
She earned a Bachelor of Art degree in Psychology and a Master of Science in Organization Leadership.
Communications and Business Outreach
Business Development Manager
As Business Development Manager, Lauren builds and implements strategies to promote the Reserve’s work, including the Reserve offsets program, Climate Forward, and NACW, and encourages external collaboration with the organization on its initiatives. Specifically, Lauren serves as the Reserve’s liaison in establishing and managing relationships and outreach opportunities with industry participants, including offset project developers, voluntary and compliance buyers, corporate representatives, fellow environmental nonprofits and associations, and others in the carbon market.
Prior to joining the Reserve, Lauren worked at CDP North America where she led the creation of a new corporate revenue stream to support and raise funding for CDP’s climate change, water security, deforestation, cities, states and regions, and social equity programs. This included preparing all grant-related applications and deliverables and managing relationships with national corporations, community-based foundations, government agencies, and multi-stakeholder networks. Additionally, Lauren previously worked for the Rainforest Alliance, where she researched emerging climate, forests, and agriculture issues. Lauren has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park.
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.