CEO and President, American Forests
Jad Daley leads the strategic direction of American Forests and serves as its “chief engagement officer” in building diverse partnerships to advance American Forests’ mission.
Daley was named president and chief executive officer in 2018, after leading the effort to center the organization’s work on climate change and social equity. He has a long history of leadership on these issues, having co-founded the Forest-Climate Working Group and the 1t.org US Chapter, and establishing the first-ever climate change program at The Trust for Public Land, where he served as a vice president and held the endowed Martha Wyckoff Fellowship.
Daley has played a leading role in authoring federal legislation to establish federal forest programs such as the Urban and Community Forestry Program, Community Wood Energy and Wood Innovation Grant Program, Northern Border Regional Commission and Highlands Conservation Grant Program.
EVP and Chief Impact Officer, Salesforce
Suzanne DiBianca is the EVP & Chief Impact Officer at Salesforce. Suzanne has worked at Salesforce for more than 20 years and was previously co-founder and president of the Salesforce Foundation and Salesforce.org.
Since 2016, Suzanne has led Salesforce’s stakeholder capitalism strategy, including the company’s global corporate relations and sustainability efforts. She leads the company’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategy and reporting, with a focus on climate action programs on the global journey to net zero emissions. Through the Salesforce Ventures Impact Fund, she leads investment strategy in next-gen cloud companies driving positive social change.
Suzanne serves on multiple councils for the United Nations and the World Economic Forum. She is a board director and trustee at the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, and serves on the advisory boards of Classy, Inc., DocuSign IMPACT Fund, Pledge 1%, and Twilio.org. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment
Homer Wilkes, Ph.D., a native of Port Gibson, Mississippi, currently serves as Under Secretary for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resources and the Environment, where he oversees the work of the U.S. Forest Service. He previously served as Director for the Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Restoration Team, where he was responsible for overseeing the rebuilding of the Ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico after the BP Oil Spill of 2010. He has also served as the Acting Associate Chief of USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Washington, D.C.
Wilkes’ tenure with the USDA spans over 42 years. During his tenure he has served as State Conservationist for Mississippi; Chief Financial Officer for NRCS in Washington, D.C.; and as Deputy State Conservationist for Mississippi.
Wilkes proudly served as Naval Supply Officer in the United States Navy Reserves from November 1984 – April 2007.
He received his bachelor’s degree, MBA, and Ph.D. in urban higher education from Jackson State University. Also, he successfully completed the USDA Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program (SES CDP) through American University’s Key Executive Leadership Certificate in Public Policy.
Wilkes and his wife, Kim, currently reside in Ridgeland, Miss. They have three sons: Justin, Austin, and Harrison. He enjoys restoring classic automobiles in his spare time.
Commissioner of Public Lands of the State of Washington
Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz leads Washington state’s wildfire fighting force and manages nearly 6 million acres of public lands – from coastal waters and aquatic reserves, to working forests and farms, commercial developments, and unparalleled recreation areas.
Commissioner Franz is committed to ensuring our public lands are healthy and productive, both today and for future generations. She has led efforts to protect our communities and environment from the impacts of a changing climate, increased development, and wildfire.
Franz has also prioritized supporting local communities, both urban and rural. The lands she manages sustainably generate hundreds of millions of dollars for schools and public services, like libraries and hospitals. And she has allocated millions of dollars to spark economic opportunities in struggling rural communities. She knows that our working lands – and the communities that depend on them for family-wage jobs – are integral to our success as a state, and she is investing in their success.
Chair of the advisory council for the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration
Department of Environmental Systems Science, ETH Zurich
Thomas Ward Crowther is a professor of ecology at ETH Zürich and co-chair of the advisory board for the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. At ETH Zürich, he started Crowther Lab, an interdisciplinary group of scientists exploring the role of biodiversity in regulating the Earth’s climate. Crowther is the founder of Restor, an online platform that provides connectivity, and transparency to thousands of conservation and restoration projects around the world. He also founded SEED, a biodiversity monitoring tool to help measure the health of nature across the globe. He was selected in the final cohort for Prince William’s Earthshot Prize, and was selected by World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader for his work to promote nature.
Co-Founder and Chief Portfolio and Partnership Officer, CO2
Shyla Raghav is the Co-Founder and Chief Portfolio and Partnership Officer at CO2. She has had a long career working on both climate change adaptation and mitigation, with a focus on international policy and natural climate solutions. Her background includes serving as Vice President of Climate Change at Conservation International, and previously held roles at the World Bank, Adaptation Fund, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. She was named an InStyle BadAss woman in 2019, a Grist Top 50 Fixer, a AAAS/IfTHEN Ambassador for women in STEM, and has been featured on CNN, Vice News, and Elle Magazine.
Vice President of Climate Action, Salesforce
Tim Christophersen joined Salesforce as VP, Climate Action in May 2022. Within the global Sustainability Team, he is focused on the role of nature-based solutions to climate change. Tim is based in Denmark.
Before joining Salesforce, Tim was Head of the ‘Nature for Climate’ Branch at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and led a growing global movement backed by all UN Member States and over 120 partner organizations to ‘prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems worldwide’: the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.
He holds a degree in Forestry and Forest Conservation Engineering from Dresden University of Technology. He previously worked for the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), where he led the portfolio on the conservation and sustainable use of forest biodiversity. From 2017-2019, he was elected Chair of the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration.
President and CEO, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
Samsher (Sam) Singh Gill is the third president and CEO of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF), a New York-headquartered, national philanthropic organization that supports the performing arts, medical research, the environment and child well-being. He also serves as president of several operating foundations that run under DDCF’s umbrella, including the Duke Farms Foundation, which operates a center for environmental stewardship in Hillsborough, N.J., and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, which operates a museum for learning about the global cultures of Islamic art and design in Honolulu as well as a New York-based grants program with a related mission.
Prior to joining DDCF in April 2021, Gill was senior vice president and chief program officer at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Previously, he also served as vice president of Freedman Consulting, LLC. He attended the University of Chicago and the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.
Director, Climate Philanthropy, Salesforce
Estelle Winkleman is a Director on Salesforce’s Impact Team, where she leads the company’s climate justice philanthropy efforts, including its $100M Ecosystem Restoration & Climate Justice Fund. Previously, Estelle led the Philanthropy pillar of Salesforce’s Racial Equality & Justice Task Force and oversaw the company’s disaster response program. She has also helped launch special initiatives at the intersection of climate, philanthropy and innovation, such as the Salesforce Accelerator for Nature. Prior to Salesforce, Estelle worked on sustainability in the apparel industry and as a consultant helping Fortune 100 companies develop their ESG strategies. She holds a B.A. in American Studies and Business Management from Columbia University.
Head of Innovation for the Global Sustainable Finance Group, Bank of America
Vice President, Corporate Sustainability, Mastercard
Jennifer Merli is Vice President of Corporate Sustainability at Mastercard. Having spent 18 years in product development and management at both Mastercard and various financial institutions, she now leads business integration for Mastercard’s environmental sustainability initiatives, including implementation of our commitment to restore 100 million trees globally through the Priceless Planet Coalition.
Since joining Mastercard in October 2009, Jennifer held various product management positions at the North America and global level. Prior to MasterCard, she held roles in business development, marketing, and product management at Citi and GE, and was also a hydrogeologist in the field of environmental consulting and engineering preceding her career in payments. Jennifer has a Bachelor’s degree in Geology and Environmental Studies from Binghamton University (SUNY) and an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Fordham Graduate School of Business. She is based in Mastercard’s global headquarters in Purchase, New York.
Chief Tree Officer, One Tree Planted
Bill is currently the Chief Operating Officer for One Tree Planted, a global tree planting and reforestation non-profit that has planted over 90M trees since 2014 in 74 countries in partnership with hundreds of planting and community partners around the globe. Bill brings his experience in urban forestry and large-scale forest restoration to help support the One Tree Planted team and increase the pace and scale of the work. Bill has worked for over 30 years for non-profit conservation organizations including The Nature Conservancy, The Trust for Public Land, the Highstead Foundation and Maine Farmland Trust. Bill holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Fairfield University and a master’s degree in Soil Science and Ecology from North Carolina State University and a SEA semester alumni.
Senior Director of Landscapes Integration, American Forests
Britta Dyer works to expand the implementation of American Forests’ climate-smart restoration treatments as state, federal and private partners accelerate the pace and scale of forest restoration activities. While American Forests has a rich history of project work in California, prolonged drought, tree mortality, pest disturbances, increased wildfire activity, and an ever-changing climate call for more coordinated, on-the-ground action. Dyer has worked on forest health issues in California since 2009, serving in leadership positions for a regional nonprofit and local government. She currently serves on the Governor’s Forests Health Task Force. An AmeriCorps VISTA alumni, Dyer has a bachelor’s degree in communications/public relations and most recently obtained a master’s of natural resources from the Forest Ecosystems and Society program at Oregon State University.
CEO and President, Arbor Day Foundation
Dan Lambe is the president of the Arbor Day Foundation. During his 15 years with the Foundation, he has led the development of innovative programs that expand the organization’s global reach, including international forest restoration efforts and the most recent Tree Cities of the World program. In addition, Lambe spearheads the Arbor Day Foundation’s Evergreen Alliance — a strategic group of corporate leaders dedicated to helping the organization meet its recently announced Time for Trees initiative to plant 100 million trees and inspire 5 million tree planters by 2022.
He sits on the steering committee for the Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition, serves as a board member for the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and is the recipient of the Chief’s Honor Award — the USDA Forest Service’s highest award. Lambe is also a frequent resource for publications such as CNN, NPR, Popular Science and Fast Company.
CEO and President, National Forest Foundation
Mary Mitsos joined the National Forest Foundation (NFF) in July 2001, and serves as president and chief executive officer. She brings expertise in a range of topics relating to the protection and sustainable management of forest ecosystems and sustainable development. Her specialized interests are in collaborative stewardship, contracting mechanisms on public forestlands, conservation-based development and strengthening the working relationship between local communities and forestland managers.
With more than two decades of experience in the natural resources field, Mitsos holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Business from the University of Colorado-Denver. In addition, she earned a Master of Science in Natural Resources, and a Master of Arts in Applied Economics, from the University of Michigan, where she completed her masters project on Sustainable Management of Common Property Resources. She serves on the advisory board for the W.A. Franke College of Forestry & Conservation at the University of Montana.
President and CEO, American Forest Foundation
As president and CEO of the American Forest Foundation, Rita Hite leads an ambitious conservation agenda. Her work centers on scaling AFF’s efforts to empower family forest owners from all walks of life to address the most pressing conservation challenges facing our nation today: namely, increasing carbon storage, mitigating catastrophic wildfires and improving wildlife habitat.
In her more than 20-year career in forest conservation, Rita has staffed congressional leaders on the House Committee on Agriculture, built and curated coalitions and partnerships including the Forest Climate Working Group, the Forests in the Farm Bill Coalition and the Women’s Forest Congress, and served as a nonprofit leader. She has shaped strategy, programs and public policies that have unlocked billions in support for family forest stewardship and have had a significant impact on climate change, wildfire resilience and forest sustainability across the United States.
Founder and Principal of Northam Forest Carbon
Tim Stout is the Founder and Principal of Northam Forest Carbon. As a private landowner in Shrewsbury, Vermont over the last 40 years, Tim has dedicated several decades to preserving 400 acres of pristine forest and fields in central Vermont at the base of Calvin Coolidge State Forest.
Over the last few years, Tim has done extensive research and outreach on forest carbon storage and sequestration and how they can be used to combat the effects of climate change. Working with a gifted group of individuals and organizations across New England and using his own land as a model, Tim is developing proactive strategies to guide other private landowners who share his passion for preserving and managing their land for future generations to ultimately address conservation goals including climate change.
Prior to his forestry management work, Tim’s career focused on national energy policy. Most recently as a senior advisor at E Source, an energy consulting firm in Boulder, Colorado, Tim worked with utilities across North America. Prior to this role, Tim held a number of senior leadership positions in the energy efficiency and renewable energy department at National Grid, an electricity and gas utility serving more than 20 million customers in the Northeast. From 2002 to 2010, Tim served as National Grid’s Vice President of Energy Efficiency and Distributed Resources and was responsible for the implementation of the company’s over $360 million energy efficiency program portfolio in New England and New York. Tim has served on the board of directors for both the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy and the Consortium for Energy Efficiency. He holds an MA from Boston University and a BA from Middlebury College.
Besides managing his land in Shrewsbury, Tim was a steward of open space in Wayland, Massachusetts for many years. Tim worked with a dedicated group of visionaries to manage Heard Farm in the center of Wayland where they planted a successful 4 acre orchard and reestablished a 50 year orchard that was in serious decline. Heard Farm has many magnificent walking paths and an impressive population of bobolinks.
Tim and his wife reside on the shores of Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont.
Program Director, National Indian Carbon Coalition
Bryan Van Stippen is Program Director for National Indian Carbon Coalition, an initiative of the Indian Land Tenure Foundation (ILTF). A member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, Van Stippen previously served for seven years as Tribal Attorney for the Ho-Chunk Nation Department of Justice in Wisconsin where he was responsible for land acquisition and other land-related issues. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and a Masters in Computer Information Systems from Tarleton State University in Texas. Van Stippen is a graduate of the University of North Dakota School of Law (J.D.); the University of Tulsa College of Law (LL.M. in American Indian and Indigenous Law); and the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law (S.J.D in Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy).
Bryan is a representative on the Voluntary Carbon Market Initiative Expert Advisory Group, a Legacy Member of the Ecosystem Service Marketplace Consortium, and a representative on the Bipartisan Policy Center Farm and Forest Carbon Solutions Task Force.
Extension Program Specialist at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) in the Small Farm Program
Ms. Karen Lee is an Extension Program Specialist at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) in the Small Farm Program. The Small Farm Program targets historically underserved and socially disadvantaged landowners and producers in Arkansas. The program offers education, training, technical assistance, forestry management plans and financial planning as a part of its services. The staff has also placed emphasis on conservation programs and climate smart practices that assist landowners improve their land and their income potential. The Small Farm Program is one of the eight states that is a part of the Sustainable Forestry Land Retention Program (SFLR).
Ms. Lee has worked in agriculture for over 20 years. Her work is now concentrated training in forestry, soil health, conservation programs, heir property resolution, marketing, and business planning. She has also been a family self-sufficiency and credit counseling specialist for 16 years and has received several community service and professional awards for her work in helping to build the viability of the community through outreach efforts. Ms. Lee believes that the greatest gifts to this world are its people and the land, and what benefits one strengthens all. Ms. Lee has stated that one does not need to be rich to be successful, they just need to be committed to the process. She is committed to standing up and helping to ensure that people know what that process is, and the steps needed for inclusion, sustainability, and viability.
Head of Investments, Aspiration
Zach Goldstein works as Head of Investments at Aspiration, a climate finance company offering consumers, businesses, and investors access to a portfolio of high-quality climate assets. He was appointed to his role to lead deal structuring, project finance and carbon transactions in partnership with Aspiration’s growing Carbon origination and capital markets team.
Previously, Zach worked as a Vice President in the Renewable Power Group of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Zach received an A.B. summa cum laude from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar all 3 years, and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School, where he was a Co-President of the Energy Club. He serves as a Board Member of the Greater New York Hearing and Speech Society.
Director General, Reforestamos
Ernesto Herrera has a degree in Industrial Engineering from the Universidad Iberoamericana. He studied for a master’s degree in Environmental Management at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. He also has a diploma in fundraising from Indiana University.
In the 1990s, Ernesto Herrera worked in the government at the Ministry of Communications and Transportation. In the private sector he worked in companies in the plastic injection, refrigeration and food industries.
At Grupo Bimbo, he began working on environmental issues in the company’s Ecology area.
Starting in 2002, he began his career in the world of civil society organizations. He has been the General Director of Reforestamos México, A.C since then.
Ernesto Herrera, after chairing the Mexican Committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, IUCN, for 4 years, was elected in May 2019 to preside over the Regional Committee of Mesoamerica of the same Union. Ernesto participates in the Steering Committee of the Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs, ANDE, in its chapter of Mexico and Central America. Ernesto was invited by the Arbor Day Foundation to serve on its Board of Trustees. Ernesto also collaborates on the board of directors of Causa Natura, A.C. and the advisory board for the Digital Mexico Centre.
Ernesto is interested in the development of Latin American multisectoral alliances to guarantee transparent, legal, responsible and sustainable landscape and seascape management.
Global Director of Sustainability Office, Iberostar Group
Dr. Megan Morikawa is the Global Sustainability Office Director at Iberostar Group where she leads the work that is being done under the company’s Wave of Change movement, an initiative based on three complementary but different action lines: circular economy, responsible seafood consumption and coastal health.
Dr. Morikawa joined Iberostar in early 2018 and leads a strong sustainability team along with Gloria Fluxà, who is part of the company’s fourth generation leadership and ownership, in scientific-driven actions for a sustainable ocean economy and responsible tourism model.
Megan received her Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude, from Duke University, received her PhD at Stanford, where she conducted research on how to prepare coral reefs for climate change.