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.
Robert Z. Lee
As Program Director for the Climate Action Reserve, Rob directs implementation of the Reserve’s various project registry services including the voluntary offset project registry, the Reserve’s role as a California Offset Project Registry, and Climate Forward. His responsibilities include overseeing staff that provide support for offset project reporting, verification, and registration; leading the development and delivery of all Reserve programs; and ensuring effective and efficient processes across the programs. Rob is also responsible for managing the Reserve’s verification accreditation program, which includes managing the Reserve’s relationship with verification bodies and international accreditation bodies.
Rob has been with the Reserve since 2011 serving in various roles within the Programs team, with particular areas of interest in forest, livestock methane, ozone depleting substances, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and land use and agriculture. Rob received a Master of Environmental Management from the Nicholas School at Duke University with an International Development Policy Certificate from the Sanford School of Public Policy and a B.S. in Operations Research from Columbia University.
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 Reserve Administrator, 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.
Team Lead, Mexico
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 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.
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 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.
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
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.