Irene Anastasiou headshot 400x400

Irene Anastasiou

Operations Associate

she, her, hers

Irene joined CXC as an Operations Associate where she will manage the Boston office, assist in the monthly accounting process, and help coordinate the logistics for our annual fundraiser.  Prior to joining, Irene was a Sr. Systems Analyst at Wellington Management and held positions in accounting, back office operations/trading and client relations within the Financial Industry.

Irene is a double alumni from Northeastern University, obtaining a Masters in Organizational Leadership, concentrating in Financial Markets and a Bachelors in Communication Studies.  As an undergraduate at Northeastern she participated in their 5 year co-op program giving her the opportunity to work at Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger and John Hancock.

Outside of work, Irene enjoys attending her children’s sports activities, community volunteering and enjoys vacations to the Cape.

Wandra Ashley-Williams website

Wandra Ashley-Williams

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 life 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.

Greg Casto

Communications Manager

he, him, his

Greg’s work on the communications team focuses on helping people understand the nuanced topic of climate policy. He graduated from the State University of New York at Geneseo where he studied Geological Sciences and learned to appreciate the natural systems that govern our planet. Greg got started in climate communications in Texas, where he worked as an outdoor educator and taught science to fifth and sixth grade classes. As a natural optimist, he’s really excited about the opportunities that solutions to the climate crisis can have to improve society and the environment. In addition to studying rocks, Greg enjoys spending his free time climbing them.

Paola Ferreira

Paola Ferreira Miani

Executive Director

she, her, hers

Paola Ferreira is an environmental policy and strategy expert with 22 years of international experience in biodiversity conservation, climate change, and energy. As a Biologist and Civil Engineer with degrees from Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, and an MSc from MIT, she has worked extensively in advising, leading, and implementing transformative environmental policy initiatives with positive outcomes and managing nonprofit organizations.

Paola joined  Climate XChange as Executive Director in March 2022. She will be leading the organization into its next chapter, building upon the recent growth of our State Climate Policy Network (SCPN) and deepening our impact on state-level climate action. She brings a wealth of experience in climate advocacy and nonprofit management. As Executive Director of Tropical Audubon Society, she spearheaded a strategic plan, led conservation efforts to protect important wildlife and bird habitat in Biscayne Bay, the Everglades, and  Miami-Dade County, and grew the organization’s grassroots advocacy efforts. 

She has also held senior policy roles spanning legislative, executive, and judicial environmental advocacy. Her past work includes the co-development of a Florida Energy Regulatory Assessment and leading the Climate and Conservation team at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) – Emirates Wildlife Society in the United Arab Emirates.

Paola’s vision for CXC includes passing impactful climate bills in key states, strengthening the SCPN, and building out the new State Climate Policy Dashboard to include policy analysis, benchmarking, and trends that will empower state and local decision-makers around the country to advance climate policies.

Jonah Kurman-Faber Headshot

Jonah Kurman-Faber

Policy & Research Director

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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.

Amanda (Griffiths) Pontillo

Communications Director & Operations Lead

she, her, hers

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 for CXC.

Kristen Soares

Kristen Soares

State Climate Policy Network Manager

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Kristen is a UCLA graduate with a degree in Environmental Science and Public Affairs. They come to CXC with a background in climate equity and environmental justice, including analyzing climate policy at the state and local level in California, advocating for environmental justice for students of color, shaping university-level environmental funding priorities, and fighting for increased equity, accessibility, and diversity in any space they’re in. When she’s not working, she’s singing with her a cappella group, painting with watercolors, or sitting in the sun with a good book and lots of green tea.

Ruby Wincele

Ruby Wincele

Policy & Research Manager

she, her, hers

Ruby researches the economic, social, and environmental benefits of state climate policy and provides technical assistance to policymakers and advocates working to pass equitable climate policy in their states. She manages the State Climate Policy Dashboard and serves as CXC’s in-house policy tracker across every state.

She has previous experience with state-level climate advocacy, economic research, and helped to create the “Today I Learned: Climate” podcast at the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative. Ruby has a B.S. in Economics and Mathematics from Northeastern University, with a focus on environmental policy and sustainable food systems. Outside of the office, Ruby can be found outdoors, reading, or watching baseball.

Board Information

Sukia Akiba headshot

Sukia Akiba

Sukia Akiba is a sustainability leader with a deep commitment to community development and environmental justice. Her experience spans sustainable real estate development, project management, and community advocacy.

Sukia has overseen numerous renovation and rehabilitation projects, emphasizing eco-friendly practices and ensuring their benefit to the surrounding community. Her expertise includes strategic planning, feasibility studies, regulatory compliance, and team coordination.

Sukia holds a master’s degree in Global Health Policy from Brandeis University and is currently pursuing a PhD in Public Policy with a focus on community sustainability at UMass Boston. Her dedication to sustainable development and public policy is further evidenced by her certifications in Diversity Equity & Inclusion, Certified Financial Educator, and Certified Asset Management Specialist.

Sukia’s passion for community service is evident in her leadership roles. She played a key role in securing ECOSOC status with the United Nations for the United Children of Nigeria Inc., an NGO that focuses on educational development in rural Nigeria. Currently, she serves as Vice Chair of Green Cambridge, where she advocates for environmental justice and oversees numerous programs that benefit the community.


Shiladitya DasSarma

Shiladitya DasSarma is a Professor at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology and School of Medicine at the University of Maryland. Recently, he formed an interprofessional collaborative faculty group, and serves as the course director for Climate Change, Health, and Society offered to professional students in the fields of medicine, law and environmental science from multiple University of Maryland campuses. His research interests include the fields of evolutionary and environmental microbiology. Prior to the University of Maryland, Dr. DasSarma was a professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and conducted research at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the Pasteur Institute in Paris. Dr. DasSarma is the Founder and President of MIT Alumni for Climate Action (MACA), a non-partisan grassroots group concerned about the devastating effects of climate change, for which he was the recipient of the MacVicar Award from MIT. He is also an avid environmentalist, renewable energy enthusiast, and electric vehicle driver.

Kalman Gacs website

Kalman Gacs


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.


Peter S. Kirby

Raffle Director

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.


Jack Kutner

Jack is passionate about all things environmental and focuses on sustainability-based businesses and non-profit organizations. He has owned, invested in, and served on the boards of numerous impact-oriented companies ranging from alternative energy, energy efficiency, organic foods, non-toxic cleaning products, and reusables. Jack currently consults for companies with a particular focus on start-up and early-stage businesses, and advises environmental organizations.  

An executive with 40 years of experience, he was Chairman and CEO of BigBelly, a pioneering green-tech firm in the smart waste industry, previously was President of First Data Investor Services Group until its sale to Providence National Bancorp, and held officer positions with American Express, and Merrill Lynch. 

Jack splits his time between Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire and Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

Laura Teicher

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.

Mary Wambui

Mary Wambui is an affordable housing asset manager for the Planning Office for Urban Affairs (POUA), a non-profit social justice ministry of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. She is also a Senior Greg Torres Fellow at MassINC and serves as a Councilor in the Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC) where, among other things, she is the co-chair of the Energy Equity Working Group. Mary is also a member of the Grid Modernization’s Advisory Council Equity Working Group. She is on the Board of Green Energy Consumers Alliance, NECEC, and the Coalition for a Better Acre in Lowell. She is well recognized as a leader and advocate for housing, climate, and energy equity in the region. Mary enjoys singing, songwriting, mentoring youth, and volunteering at community events. She is originally from Nairobi, Kenya, and lives by the motto, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Quinton Zondervan

Chair & Treasurer

Quinton is a former 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 cofounding 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.

Advisory Board Information

Julie Barry

Partner ǀ Prince Lobel Tye LLP


Cathy Carruthers

Founding Board Member ǀ Climate XChange

Sarah Gerrard

Sara Garrard

Pastor ǀ Old West Church

Michael Green

Justin Kang

Vice President, Economic Growth ǀ Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce


Jessica Langerman

Founder ǀ Climate XChange

Susan Lee

Senior Economic Advisor ǀ Foundation for Climate Restoration

Katie MacDonald

Director of Strategic Partnerships ǀ Greentown Labs

Jeff Nesbit

Jeff Nesbit

Executive Director ǀ Climate Nexus

Frank Pao

Advisor ǀ Aesthetic Green Power Corp. CEHMS Industrial Advisory Board with Pao Lab of Columbia Engineering

Founder & Owner ǀ Sustainable Product Development Lab

Arjun Patney

Vice President, Global Markets ǀ Natural Capital Partners

Susanna Badgley Place

Susanna Place

President of Board ǀ Safe Passage, Camino Seguro

Ethan Ravage

Partner ǀ Allotrope Partners

Zaurie Zimmerman

CEO ǀ Zaurie Zimmerman Associates, Inc.