Michael Green leads Climate XChange as an award winning advocate for climate policy and environmental action. Since 2012, he has served as a representative to the United Nations focusing on international climate science and policy. Recognized as a Champion of Change by President Obama in 2016, Michael was honored for his focus on climate change as an equity issue. He has played strategic roles in several of the national and global campaigns dedicated to fighting climate change. Michael is a Northeastern University graduate with degrees in international affairs and environmental studies, course work at the University of Edinburgh’s MSc Program in Environmental Protection and Management and Harvard Business School’s CORe Program. He sits on the Board of Boston area non-profits as well as a policy advisor to national business associations on energy.
Research and Policy Director
Marc Breslow formerly held two positions in Massachusetts state government: Director of Transportation & Buildings Policy with the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs, and Director of the Electric Power Division of the Department of Public Utilities. In 2010, he had a leading role in developing and writing the state’s Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020. Before joining state government, Breslow was the founding Executive Director of the Massachusetts Climate Action Network. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Jamie Garuti graduated from Tulane University with a degree in Environmental Studies. During her time in New Orleans she served as Campaign Co-Coordinator of the fossil fuel divestment campaign Divest Tulane, senior intern at the Tulane Office of Sustainability, Facilitation Team member of the grassroots Gulf South Rising movement, and Leadership Team member of 350 Louisiana. In Massachusetts she has worked on fossil fuel divestment, co-founded a bottled water ban campaign, and worked with the leadership development program Climate Summer for two years.
State Carbon Pricing Network Coordinator
Chynna Pickens is a student at Northeastern University studying Environmental Studies and Economics. At her university, she is the Director of the Northeastern Scientistas chapter, which is geared towards creating a community on campus that empowers pre-professional women across the STEM field. Chynna previously worked with GEI Consultants as a Marketing Intern, and in the future would like to work in energy economics. Chynna enjoys cooking, going to the gym, and traveling as much as she can.
Board of Directors
Cathy Carruthers is a retired Natural Resource Economist. She has taught economics and econometrics at the University of Washington, Western Washington University, and New Mexico State University. She worked for the State of Washington for 21 years, and most recently for 6 years at Tacoma Power. Her areas include econometrics, cost-benefit analysis, electricity price forecasting, and evaluation of conservation and energy resources for integrated resource planning.
Jessica Langerman is a freelance writer with a masters degree in education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She worked as a corporate trainer, manager and writer for various industries, including the airline industry, for more than 15 years before becoming a high school English teacher in 1999.
Jessica is an active member of the Citizens Climate Lobby, and, with energy economist Cathy Carruthers, commissioned a seminal econometric study in 2013 analyzing the impact of environmental tax reform in Massachusetts. Subsequently, Jessica organized Massachusetts’ first public forum on environmental tax reform at Babson College, and founded and assembled the board for Climate XChange.
Susanna Badgley Place
Susanna Badgley Place has worked as staff and consultant for service-oriented non-profits and government agencies in the US, Africa, and Central America. She focuses on developing institutional capacity in the areas of financial planning and management information systems. Susanna is an active environmentalist and conservationist, advocating for local and national responses to climate change and providing philanthropic support to organizations educating and advocating for conservation, climate change mitigation policy, and investment in sustainable public and private enterprises. She earned an MBA from the Yale School of Management (’79) and has served on a number of non-profit Boards.
Bonni Widdoes is a designer and real estate developer specializing in the restoration of antique buildings incorporating state of the art energy efficiency technology within the constraints of historic districts. As consultant to a law firm, she helped to develop the scientific basis for the prosecution of a number of environmental and toxic torts, resulting in millions of dollars in settlements. Since graduating with an MA in Environmental Sustainability from Harvard, she has helped create “green committees” in several local organizations, consulted on energy efficiency improvements in local buildings, and is an active participant in a number of environmental NGOs.
Zaurie Zimmerman is founder of Zaurie Zimmerman Associates, Inc. which has planned and managed design and construction projects for environmentally-conscious institutions for over 25 years. She is co-founder of Business Leaders for Climate Action and co-leader of Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s Boston Metrowest chapter. She is a MIT-trained registered architect and author of Practical Passive Solar Design (McGraw-Hill).
Quinton is an environmental activist, a successful entrepreneur and an award-winning software engineer. Quinton is currently the CTO at eCareVault, a software start-up developing a secure cloud based platform for healthcare coordination and information sharing. Quinton is also a Principal Software Architect at BigR.io, a big data software consulting company. Previously, Quinton was the founding CEO of Excelimmune, a biopharmaceutical company that cloned human antibodies against infectious disease targets. Quinton also served as the CTO of software startup Clickmarks, developing innovative web and mobile software applications. Quinton began his career as a software engineer at IBM where he co-invented the SyncML data synchronization standard. In addition to his work at CABA, he serves as president of Green Cambridge, a local community non-profit organization working on sustainability initiatives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Quinton holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT and two bachelor’s degrees in the fields of mathematics and computer science from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Susan Labandibar is the founder and owner of Tech Networks of Boston, a Massachusetts benefit corporation serving the strategic technology needs of the Greater Boston nonprofit community while providing training and opportunities for disadvantaged youths who aspire to careers in IT. The company also creates and sustains environmental initiatives, including the Climate Action Business Association, which organizes local business leaders to be more effective advocates for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Susan currently serves as president of the board of directors at both Tech Networks of Boston and the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts. She also serves as treasurer at the Climate Action Business Association and at Green Cambridge.
Peter S. Kirby
Peter left IBM in 2014 to spend time with his children and pursue interests and investments in alternative energy and sustainability. He is a Board Member and chairs the Finance Committee of the Plaxall Companies, with manufacturing and real estate operations in New York and Iowa. Peter spent over two decades as a business strategy consultant and partner in the US, Japan, Asia and Europe, living in Japan for over 16 years in total. In 1998 he left Cap Gemini to join the leadership team of Mainspring, a Cambridge e-strategy consultancy that IBM acquired in 2001. Based in Tokyo for over half of his 13 years with IBM, he was the first non-Japanese to run a business within IBM Japan, responsible for P&L of IBM’s multi-billion dollar Global Business Services Japan unit with nearly 10,000 employees.
Peter, his wife Kyoko and their five children returned to Cambridge in 2010, where he led IBM’s US Financial Services Strategy Consulting team. Peter has a BA from Harvard, where he studied Economics and Japanese, and an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School. He speaks and reads Japanese.
A business entrepreneur, Jorge is passionate about helping others find their own unique talents and putting these to the service of humanity. With this purpose in mind, he moved to Massachusetts in February 2015 to launch a new phase in his career in the area of Climate Action and Corporate Social Responsibility and to drive it with conviction and passion.
Jorge’s main business focus has been the development of Renewable Energies, as the alternative to traditional use of fossil fuels. He has extensive experience in this area: first, as Investment Banker working at JPMorgan, then, as Executive Vice President working for a US leader in wind and solar development, enXco, and later as an Entrepreneur in clean energy generation. Jorge is determined to bring a solution to Climate Change through Renewable Energies, primarily with wind and solar projects.
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Jorge worked right out of college in the oil and gas industry. After two years of field experience, he came to the United States to pursue graduate studies. He holds a Masters of Business Administration (’96) and a Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering (’92), both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Katie MacDonald is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at Greentown Labs, where she is responsible for catalyzing Greentown’s corporate innovation programs, investor program and external partnerships. She oversees Greentown Labs’ internal accelerator, dubbed Greentown Launch, in which Greentown Labs partners with at least one strategic partner to identify and derisk startups for potential investment and partnership. Katie is an entrepreneurship enthusiast with experience in international development, business acceleration, and strategic partnerships within the cleantech sector.
As the former Executive Director of Cleantech Open Northeast, Katie led the region’s premier cleantech business accelerator for three years. Under Katie’s leadership, the accelerator saw record breaking application numbers, a 100% recommendation rate from startups, and the first National prize in the Northeast chapter’s history. In 2016, Katie also represented Cleantech Open at the White House for World Water Day. Katie has worked for organizations including the World Bank, 350.org, and Amherst College to build innovation programs, organize communities, and drive sustainable impact.
Kalman Gacs is the Project Manager and Creative Director at Viv Web Solutions, a CABA member business. Kalman started making digital graphics with great gusto in 2000 as an “activist artist,” designing illustrations and graphics to help build the climate movement. Since then, Kalman has had the opportunity to make graphics for many small businesses and non-profits as well as a number of Fortune 500 companies. With an eye for detail honed from rigorous training in fine arts at Boston University, Kalman takes on each design challenge with a full array of creative catalysts — research, brainstorming, and sketching.