Spring Lobby Weekend 2020 Speakers
We have an exciting line-up of speakers scheduled for virtual Spring Lobby Weekend. We hope you will be able to join us!
Policy Director, Union of Concerned Scientists
Rachel Cleetus is the policy director with the Climate and Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. She leads the program’s efforts in designing and advocating for effective and equitable policies to address climate change.
Dr. Cleetus is an expert in policies to promote clean energy and drive deep cuts in heat-trapping emissions. She also does research on the risks and costs of climate impacts and is an expert on policies to promote climate resilience. She brings twenty years of experience working on U.S. climate and clean energy policies. She is also an expert on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process and has been attending international climate negotiations since 2009.
She has been quoted widely in the media. At COP25 in Madrid in December 2019, she joined a panel titled "Unite Behind the Science" with climate activists Greta Thunberg and Luisa Neubauer and leading climate scientists.
Dr. Cleetus holds a PhD and an MA in economics from Duke University and a BS in economics from West Virginia University.
Mustafa Santiago Ali
Vice President of Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization, National Wildlife Federation
A renowned thought leader, international speaker, policy maker, community liaison, trainer, and facilitator, Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali serves as the Vice President of Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization for the National Wildlife Federation. He is also the founder of Revitalization Strategies, a business focused on moving our most vulnerable communities from “surviving to thriving.”
Before joining the National Wildlife Federation, Mustafa was the senior vice president for the Hip Hop Caucus, a national non-profit and non-partisan organization that connects the hip-hop community to the civic process to build power and create positive change. Prior to joining the Hip Hop Caucus, Mustafa worked for 24 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Mustafa uses a holistic approach to revitalizing vulnerable communities, and has worked with more than 500 domestic and international communities to secure environmental, health, and economic justice. Throughout his career, Mustafa has conducted more than 1,000 presentations across the country, including speeches, training, and guest lectures at over 100 colleges and universities.
He is frequently seen on television, including appearances on MSNBC, CNN, VICE, BET, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, and Democracy NOW!
Director of Climate Policy, Niskanen Center
Joseph Majkut is director of climate policy at the Niskanen Center. He is an expert in climate science, climate policy, and risk and uncertainty analysis for decision making.
Majkut is frequently cited by the top climate trade publications, including E&E News and InsideClimate News. He is also routinely featured in outlets including: the Washington Post, the New York Times, Bloomberg, Axios, The Atlantic, and Vice News. Majkut has also testified before Congress on climate and scientific research.
Before joining the Niskanen Center, he worked on climate change policy in Congress as a congressional science fellow, supported by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He holds a PhD from Princeton University in Atmopheric and Oceanic Sciences, a master’s degree in Applied Mathmatics from the Delft University of Technology, and a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Harvey Mudd College.
President, Students for Carbon Dividends
Alex Posner is the Founding President of Students for Carbon Dividends (S4CD), a youth-led movement that aims to catapult a free market climate solution—specifically the carbon dividends framework—into the national spotlight and open the door to a bipartisan climate breakthrough.
Co-founded by more than 100 leading student organizations from across the country, S4CD marks the first time a bipartisan student coalition has ever united around a national U.S. climate solution. S4CD has garnered national press attention, including coverage in The New York Times, TIME, The Atlantic, Fox News, CNBC, and The Washington Post. It also helped to organize the 2019 “Economists’ Statement on Carbon Dividends”—the largest statement of economists in the history of the profession. Alex is a 2019 graduate of Yale University.
Vice President of Government Affairs, Citizens Climate Lobby
Danny Richter came to work on climate by way of medicine. Realizing the potential for a warming world to make lots of people sick, he figured the best thing he could do for the most people was to prevent the warming in the first place. This led him to pursue a Ph.D. in oceanography, thinking an understanding of past warming and cooling would help him counter the current, human-caused warming.
Dr. Richter joined CCL’s staff in 2013 after 5 years as a volunteer, completing his Ph.D., and getting paid to do scientific research on all 7 continents. As CCL’s first staffer in D.C., he established our D.C. office where he has been responsible for developing our overall legislative strategy, clarifying the details of our policy, and interacting with other groups in DC.
Legislative Director, Rep. Francis Rooney (FL-19)
Corey Schrodt serves as Legislative Director for Congressman Francis Rooney. He has over nine years of legislative experience, and has leveraged that background to help establish Congressman Rooney as a leading republican on environment, energy, and climate issues.
He has coordinated the strategy for extending the congressional moratorium on offshore drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, he has crafted the Congressman’s approach to securing record levels of funding for restoration projects in the Everglades. Rep. Rooney is the co-chair of the Climate Solutions Caucus, helping drive the effort towards lower carbon emissions and combating sea level rise.
Legislative Assistant, Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20)
Riya Mehta is a Legislative Assistant to Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), leading a portfolio that includes agriculture, environment, energy, and infrastructure.
Before joining Rep. Panetta’s office, Riya served as a legislative fellow with the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, under Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (MI-8), where she helped negotiate the 2018 Farm Bill. Riya is originally from Overland Park, Kansas, and has spent time living in Northern California.
State-Level Carbon Pricing Coordinator, Citizens Climate Lobby
Jamie DeMarco is the State-Level Carbon Pricing Coordinator for the Citizens Climate Lobby. He is dedicated to passing state level legislation that will serve as a model and inspiration for national lawmakers. Before joining the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Jamie worked on the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Campaign, which passed legislation in Maryland that expanded renewable electricity in the state to 50 percent by 2030.
A Quaker, Jamie was also a Young Fellow at at the Friends Committee on National Legislation.