Bainbridge Island, WA
John has spent his career working at the intersection of science and policy and in pursuit of durable solutions that bring people and nature together for the mutual benefit of both. John has expertise in conservation science, policy, and climate change adaptation. He is a nationally recognized leader and champion for the climate adaptation and resilience field.
John developed and launched the Climate Resilience Fund (CRF) in 2017 and currently serves as its Managing Director. John is also Principal of Foresight Partners, Inc., a consultancy focused in part on helping foundations more effectively incorporate climate considerations into their grantmaking programs and the work of their grantees. He previously served as Senior Advisor, Climate Change (2015) for the Michigan-based Kresge Foundation and as Senior Program Officer (2009-2014) for Kresge’s Environment Program, where he developed and implemented Kresge’s strategies for advancing the field of climate change adaptation, facilitating over $60M in investments over a seven-year tenure.
John has served on the National Academy of Sciences Board on Atmospheric Science and Climate (BASC) and was a founding member of the Board of Directors for EcoAdapt, Inc. He currently serves as board member and treasurer for the American Society of Adaptation Professionals. He has also served for ten years as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Climate Adaptation Fund, a project of the Doris Duke Foundation focused on wildlife habitat conservation in a changing climate, which he helped to develop.
Prior to joining Kresge, John was Program Officer for the Henry P. Kendall Foundation in Boston, where he led the Foundation’s Northeastern Landscape Conservation Program and developed and led Kendall’s Climate Adaptation Program (2006-08). He was previously Director of Programs for the Massachusetts-based Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences and worked in the Legislative Program of the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, D.C. John earned his B.A. in public policy from The American University in Washington, D.C. and M. A. in environmental policy from Tufts University in Medford, MA. John was raised in NJ and called New England home for many years, but currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with his family with whom he spends as much time as possible hiking, kayaking and growing vegetables.
Darren has worked as a grantmaker and non-profit executive for the past 17 years. He specializes in building investment strategies for impacting public policy, increasing sustainability, and creating social, economic and ecological resilience to climate change. Darren has a long track record investing in communications strategies to leverage resources, build constituencies, and increase social ROI. As a practicing organic farmer and livestock grower, he brings the principles of ethical stewardship, leadership, and long-term sustainability to his work in the agricultural sector, as well. Previously, Darren served as Global Lead and Director for Climate Change Adaptation and as Managing Director of the Climate Adaptation Fund at the Wildlife Conservation Society. There he was responsible for all management, strategic communications and grantmaking activities for a program which has invested more than $15 million to support nonprofit conservation organizations, and administered a portfolio of science, planning and applied conservation across more than 50 countries. He holds a finance degree from The George Washington University and a Masters of Public Administration from Montana State University.
Program Officer, The MacArthur Foundation
Kate joined The MacArthur Foundation in 2007. Previously, she worked in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago supporting research on marine and aquatic ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest. Through a fellowship with the Department of Energy, Kate worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration evaluating and responding to threats to the US Great Lakes. As a graduate student, she worked with Oceana to develop and advocate science-based policies for reducing fisheries by-catch and protecting threatened marine species. Kate holds a master’s degree in Environmental Management from Duke University, and a bachelor of arts in Biological Science from Smith College.
Senior Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Joel Clement is a Senior Fellow with the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. In his role, Mr. Clement works to expose political interference in science from the Trump administration and Congress, fight attacks on federal science, and promote public understanding of the importance of independent science in policymaking. Mr. Clement is also the public face of the UCS Science Protection Project, through which federal scientists may confidentially report political interference in government science.
Before joining UCS, Mr. Clement served as director of the Office of Policy Analysis within the US Department of the Interior (DOI), working to help Native Alaskan communities in danger of losing their lands and livelihoods because of climate change. Under Secretary Ryan Zinke, Mr. Clement and dozens of his colleagues were reassigned to different DOI positions for which they were frequently ill-suited; Mr. Clement was no longer able to work on climate policy to benefit vulnerable populations. Mr. Clement first blew the whistle on his politically motivated reassignment in The Washington Post, and later resigned.
Mr. Clement earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, and a Master of Environmental Studies degree from The Evergreen State College. He has been quoted in Bloomberg, HuffPost, Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, NPR, The New York Times, Outside Magazine, and The Washington Post, and has appeared on CBS, CNN, Democracy Now!, Mic, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, NBC, and the PBS NewsHour.
Director, Environment, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
New York, NY
Sacha Spector is the program director for the environment at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, where he oversees all environmental conservation grant-making of the foundation.
Previously, Spector was director of conservation science at Scenic Hudson, leading the group’s efforts on climate change, land conservation planning and natural resource stewardship. There, he developed sea level rise and climate change adaptation initiatives in close cooperation with communities and state agencies while prioritizing land acquisitions and ecological restoration projects focused on the region’s most biologically important sites. Spector also managed the invertebrate conservation program at the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History and, prior to that, worked as a field trainer and researcher at Conservation International in Washington, D.C.
Spector maintains positions as an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University’s Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology and as a visiting scientist at the American Museum of Natural History. He has earned recognition for his conservation expertise through grants and awards from NASA, National Science Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Society and Zoological Society of London. Spector has also authored and/or co-authored more than 30 research papers, books and articles. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in ecology from the University of Connecticut and his Bachelor of Science degree in environmental biology from Yale University.