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Amanda comes to Climate XChange from the Massachusetts State House, where she served as the Legislative and Communications Director and subsequently, as the Staff Director for the House Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. While at the State House, Amanda focused on energy and environmental policy, including renewable energy adoption, transportation sector emissions, climate resiliency and toxics. She graduated from Colgate University in 2013 with a degree in Environmental Biology and Geography, researching climatology and ecosystem ecology in the Adirondacks and Costa Rica. Amanda also studied graphic design at MassArt, expanding her skillset beyond science and policy. In her role at CXC, Amanda oversees the organization’s content creation and brand identity – designing graphics and report layouts, managing the website, and editing insights and research. She also oversees operations and events for CXC and is a co-host on our podcast, Cooler Earth.
State Climate Policy Network Assistant
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Ava helps ensure that state decision makers and stakeholders receive cutting-edge technical assistance, and tracks the pulse of climate policy development across state lines. She is currently finishing her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and International Affairs at Northeastern University. Her past experiences include conducting legal research and case development at the Conservation Law Foundation, studying post-Apartheid life in cities across South Africa, and cultivating experiential philanthropy experiences through Northeastern’s Social Impact Lab. In her free time, she loves to embroider and perform in musicals.
National Advocacy Director
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Camila Thorndike is a lifelong environmental and social entrepreneur with a passion for justice. She was born and raised in southern Oregon, where in 2014 she co-founded and led the organization that grew nationwide into Our Climate. Following her undergraduate studies at Whitman College, she joined the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, led outreach for a regional planning process in Arizona, and spearheaded public engagement for a national musical on fossil fuels. She managed the campaign to pass the 2018 Clean Energy D.C. Omnibus Act, then the strongest set of sub-national climate policies in the United States. Camila is a Udall Scholar, Sitka Fellow, Mic 50 and Grist 50 awardee, and recipient of the 2018 D.C. Environmental Network Award. Most recently she earned a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School, where she was a Bacon Environmental Leadership Fellow and was recognized with the Littauer Award. Camila loves to mountain bike, ski, hike, raft, play ping pong and get out the vote.
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Christian is part of our communications team, working to help create and deliver engaging content covering climate change and the environment while also overseeing our social media and digital presence. His previous experiences include conducting research on climate change and wetland systems, writing citizen science field guides and protocols, and advocating for ocean health and pollution prevention through photography. With a degree in environmental studies and a minor in sociology, Christian is drawn to the intersection of environmental and social systems, and how we can drive solutions that benefit both people and the planet.
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Jonah is a climate and energy policy expert with a focus on decarbonization pathways, green stimulus, state policy, carbon pricing, equity and environmental justice, and public health. He serves as technical resource for policymakers and leaders at the nexus of interdisciplinary economics and social movements.
Jonah has authored multiple state climate bills and regularly advises campaigns on legislative design and governance. As Research Director, he spearheads Climate XChange’s Build Back Better initiative, and has published research on the jobs, health, and climate potential from a green recovery in Washington State. Jonah also acts as CXC’s in-house expert on regional policy such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), Western Climate Initiative (WCI), and Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI).
Jonah has previous experience with state and federal advocacy, political consulting, and municipal climate policy. He holds an M.A. and B.A. from Northeastern University, and is a strong believer in the power of collaborative, passionate, and creative people to achieve substantive change.
Policy & Research Analyst
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Marc has an extensive background developing policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions. He has conducted studies forecasting the impacts of such pricing and designed legislation to implement it for several states. Breslow formerly held two positions in Massachusetts state government and In 2010, he had a leading role in developing and writing the state’s Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Maria Virginia Olano
Maria is a guiding force in our office, creating content that inspires action and cultivates information on climate change. She runs our communications efforts, writing and editing original editorial pieces, building our brand through outreach initiatives, and curating content for social media. She is also a co-host and co-creator of our podcast, Cooler Earth.
Michael Green leverages his extensive knowledge of policy and climate science to lead Climate XChange, a Boston based nonprofit focused on carbon pricing advocacy media and research. Prior to joining Climate XChange, Michael was the Executive Director and Co-Founder of CABA, a business association focused on climate policy. In Boston, he sits on several advisory councils focused on smart planning and climate-related goal setting for the city. Nationally he is recognized as an expert in climate policy design. He has been asked to speak at the White House, testify before federal agencies and acts as an advisor to national nonprofits on campaign management and private sector engagement. Michael has served as a representative to the United Nations focusing on international climate science and policy since 2012 and is a regular lecturer at Northeastern University and other leading educational institutions. Recognized as a Champion of Change by President Obama in 2016, Michael was honored for his commitment to climate change as an equity issue. Michael sits on the board of several nonprofits focused on climate change and clean transportation. His passion for protecting our climate stems from his adoration of the great outdoors. Outside of the office, he can often be found roaming the nearest mountains on his bicycle, skis or in his hiking boots. He lives in Jamaica Plain with his dog and wife.
State Climate Policy Network Manager
Noa coordinates our State Climate Policy Network, helping expand our community of advocates and policymakers, providing media coverage for state campaigns, and overseeing our national calls and webinars. She is pursuing her Masters of Public Administration at Northeastern University, and is passionate about climate policy. Her past experiences include conducting research at the United Nations in Geneva, advocating for affordable housing in South Africa, and studying carbon pricing at the Trust for Public Land. In her free time, she loves to follow national politics and play basketball.
Ruby performs research on state and regional carbon pricing policies for the State Carbon Pricing Network, to provide historical context and keep the SCPN up to date with current campaigns and initiatives. She is pursuing her B.S. in Economics and Mathematics at Northeastern University, with a focus on environmental policy and sustainable food systems. Her past experience includes conducting research and helping to create the “Today I Learned: Climate” podcast at the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, and advocating for state-level carbon pricing as a Fellow with Our Climate. Outside of the office, Ruby can be found outdoors or watching baseball.
As State Director, Tim leads CXC’s advocacy, policy, and coalitions work in Massachusetts. He also tracks climate legislation and supports state research deployment. He’s the co-author of the ‘MA Climate Roundup’ a weekly e-newsletter featuring analysis on climate, clean energy, and environmental policy in Massachusetts.
Tim previously worked as the Policy and Partnership Manager for the Climate Action Business Association. He also served as the co-chair of the MetroCommon Scenario Advisory Committee, which helped develop MAPC’s 2050 Boston regional plan. Tim has a B.A. in Economics from Stonehill College and studied during his undergrad at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford University. He is a proud life-long resident of Weymouth, Massachusetts.
Maryland Regional Director
Wandra Ashley-Williams is an accomplished senior management executive, community activist, and elected official with notable experience in diversified industries as well as public service. She holds key positions in the leadership of several community and civil rights organizations. Wandra serves on the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) National Board of Directors; the Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women (MLAW) Board of Directors; and the Maryland Easy Enrollment Health Insurance Program (MEEHP) Advisory Workgroup. She is Vice President of the Maryland State Conference of NAACP and serves on the NAACP National Board Environmental and Climate Justice Program Committee.
A native of Alexandria, Louisiana, Wandra spent most of her adult like in Somerset, New Jersey where she was elected to the Franklin Township Council as Deputy Mayor (President of the Council). While in New Jersey she held several management positions with major corporations, including Merrill Lynch Corporate Real Estate Finance (Rent Controller) and Turner Construction Company (National Accounts Manager). Upon relocating to Maryland, Wandra accepted an appointment as Special Assistant to the Director of the District of Columbia Department of Correction. She also served as Executive Director of the St John Baptist Church Mentoring Program (Columbia, MD).
As her community involvement has expanded, so has her recognition as a community activist. She served on the Clean Energy Jobs Initiative Board of Directors where she advocated for the passage of the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act that will transform the way electricity is used in the state by increases the renewable electricity standard to 50% by 2030. She has been an active member of the Maryland Health Care for All! Coalitions, which advocates for the passage of legislation that will ensure all Marylanders have access to quality and affordable health care and prescription drugs.
For her many contributions, Wandra has received numerous community awards, honors and citations, including the Courageous Leadership Award presented at the 2019 Annual MLK Awards Banquet; the 2017 Dr. William Montague Cobb State Advocacy Award for special achievement in Social Justice, Health Justice, Health Education/Promotion, Fundraising and Research. She has also been honored with the New Jersey and Maryland State Conference NAACP President’s Award; Johnson & Johnson Community Service Award; and the American Heart Association Affiliate Volunteer of the Year. Wandra continues her mission to positively impact society and address the needs of those who are often marginalized.
State Climate Policy Network Fellows
Meet our Spring 2021 State Climate Policy Network Fellows
Joey is one of the longest standing CABA staff members. He likes to chase tennis balls, smell the flowers, and eat peanut butter. Joey serves as CABA’s office morale booster.
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.
Claudine is the first woman in the history of Rhode Island to have been elected to the U.S. Congress. Congresswoman Schneider introduced the first and only revenue neutral Global Warming Prevention Action, parts of which are in use or applicable today. During her five terms in Congress, she earned a reputation as one of the House’s strongest environmental advocates, and has gone on to serve on the board of several non-profits and corporations. From briefing Margaret Thatcher, to facilitating futures scenarios with the U.S. Air Force, or serving on the boards of Mohawk Paper or the Climate Institute, her career has made a difference across many sectors of our global economy.
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.
Laura is Executive Director at FORGE, a 501(c)3 nonprofit helping startups navigate the journey from physical prototype through commercialization and impact at scale. FORGE’s Manufacturing Initiative connects innovators and makers, providing critical support to and connections for startups to regional supply chain. FORGE is the sister organization of Greentown Labs – the largest climatetech incubator in North America.
Laura’s background includes years of leadership in innovation and impact-oriented organizations, and in addition to serving on the Board of Directors for ClimateXChange, she currently serves on advisory boards for Net Impact Boston, WBUR, and SXSW Pitch. Laura holds an M.B.A from Boston University and prior to graduate school, worked for the Massachusetts Senate for three years.
In her free time Laura enjoys spending time outside with her dog Finn.
Madhavan Thirumalai is a long time software engineer and a software engineering manager. He worked in Silicon Valley for 21 years with long stints at Silicon Graphics and Nuance Communications, and for 8 years at Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund. More recently, he spent two years in India as head of product and engineering of eGovernments Foundation, one of the India Stack non profits with the mission of shepherding the digital transformation of Indian Society.
Madhavan is passionate about climate change and environmental issues. In addition to his role on the Board of CXC, he is actively working with Lightning Motors, a California company that is attempting to disrupt the transportation industry by bringing innovative 2 wheel electric vehicles to market.
Peter S. Kirby
Peter is a former strategy consultant and executive who, inspired by his young children, left IBM to invest time and assets to combat the climate crisis. Peter’s consulting and business career spanned the US, Europe, and Japan, where he was the first non-Japanese to lead an IBM Japan business unit. He managed IBM Global Business Services Japan, responsible for several billion $ annual revenue and nearly 10,000 employees. Peter now invests in alternative energy and is a Board Member of Plaxall Inc., a New York manufacturing and real estate company. He has a BA from Harvard and an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School, and speaks and reads Japanese.
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.
Quinton is a Cambridge City Councillor and justice advocate. As an entrepreneur, Quinton has helped start and lead several companies and organizations, including CABA. Quinton currently advices renewable energy startup Gridline AI, reproductive health startup Nivi, and artificial intelligence startup Jaxon. Quinton also serves as the founding CTO of eCareVault, a secure cloud based platform for healthcare coordination and information sharing. Previously, Quinton served as a Principal Software Architect at BigR.io, a big data software consulting company, and 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 confounding CABA, he revitalized and served for 6 years 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.
Over the last two decades, Susan Labandibar helped grow Tech Networks of Boston from a startup vision to a “Best for the World” B-Corp employing 40 IT professionals who serve local nonprofit organizations while mentoring and supporting young people from economically-challenged communities. In 2012, Susan co-founded the Climate Action Business Association, a membership organization that elevates the voice of small businesses in the fight against climate change.
Susan is currently a full-time volunteer for Swing left, and serves on the boards of Cambridge Local First, Green Cambridge and Climate XChange.