Mike Tidwell is founder and director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the impacts and solutions associated with global warming in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. He is also an author and filmmaker who predicted in vivid detail the Katrina hurricane disaster in his 2003 book Bayou Farewell: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana’s Cajun Coast. His most recent book, focusing on Katrina and global warming, is titled The Ravaging Tide: Strange Weather, Future Katrinas, and the Race to Save America’s Coastal Cities. His documentary film, We Are All Smith Islanders, vividly depicts the dangers of global warming in Maryland, Virginia, and DC Tidwell has been featured in numerous national media outlets including NBC’s Meet the Press, NPR, the New York Times, the Baltimore Sun, Politico, and the Washington Post. In 2003, Tidwell received the Audubon Naturalist Society’s prestigious Conservation Award. Two years later he received an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana. A long-time resident of Maryland, Tidwell lives in Takoma Park with his wife Beth and son Sasha. Read more about Mike here.
Kirsten Collings, Deputy Director
Kirsten Collings directs CCAN’s campaigns throughout Maryland, DC and Virginia. With expertise in campaign planning and management, she helps keep the CCAN team focused on winning our urgent campaigns and growing our movement to be even more powerful. Kirsten joined CCAN after serving as the assistant organizing director with Green Corps, the Field School for Environmental Organizing. During her time with Green Corps, Kirsten trained dozens of recent college graduates how to be effective grassroots organizers and managed 15 legislative and corporate grassroots campaigns, fighting for better clean energy and climate change legislation, protection of our water resources, preservation of critical wilderness areas around the country and numerous other issues. Prior to her time on Green Corps’ central staff, she served as the citizen outreach director for the Fund for the Public Interest in Chapel Hill, NC, where she managed a team of canvassers to raise record-breaking funds and membership for state and national progressive organizations. Kirsten got her start as a trainee in Green Corps’ year-long field school after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in natural resources from North Carolina State University.
Diana Dascalu-Joffe, Senior General Counsel
Diana Dascalu-Joffe is CCAN’s senior general counsel. Diana graduated from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in environmental studies and political science. She then attended and graduated from Vermont Law School in 2003 with a Juris Doctor and Master of Studies in environmental law. She became a licensed Maryland attorney in the fall of 2003. Prior to joining CCAN’s staff, she was a Project Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council working on local and regional water quality issues including the cleanup of the Anacostia River in Washington, DC, one of the most polluted rivers in the United States. Diana joined CCAN as a campaign strategist for state climate change policy initiatives in Virginia and the District of Columbia in 2005. She is currently CCAN’s lead attorney on cases against existing and proposed coal-fired power plants in Maryland and Virginia. Diana has also represented CCAN’s interests on Capitol Hill through federal climate change policy such as repealing oil subsidies and pushing for a national renewable energy portfolio standard. As a senior staffer, Diana also helps direct CCAN’s internal policy, budget, fundraising and general operations. Diana lives with her husband, Brian, and her children Noah and Emily in Arlington, VA.
Kristen Friedel, Special Projects Coordinator
Kristen comes to CCAN after living, learning and practicing sustainable living in the foothills of Vermont’s Green Mountains for the past four years. Originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia, Kristen headed to Vermont to attend the sustainability-driven Green Mountain College, from which she obtained B.A. in Environmental Studies in Public Policy in the spring of 2014. Here, Kristen headed the Student Campus Greening Fund (SCGF) – an organization dedicated to greening the community through student-funded and student-led sustainability projects. She was also a member of the Campus Sustainability Council, where she gave sound advice on bringing sustainability initiatives and projects to campus. Kristen also has a background in environmental policy research. In the summer of 2013, Kristen and three fellow students travelled to Thailand to conduct primary environmental development research through an AsiaNetwork Student-Faculty Research Fellowship Grant. She also served as an Undergraduate Research Assistant at Green Mountain College and Vermont EPSCoR Research on the Adaptation to Climate Change (RACC) Intern in the earlier stages of her college career. In her free time, Kristen enjoys making jewelry, cooking, belly dancing and caring for her extensive plant collection.
Emily is Virginia Field Organizer, focusing on mobilizing central and northern Virginia communities and students to win victories for the climate and clean energy. A south Florida native, Emily attended Michigan State University, where she earned a B.A. in political science, a minor in philosophy, and a specialization in environmental studies. Emily graduated in 2011 with high honors as the outstanding senior in her department. While at MSU, Emily got her first taste of organizing as a grassroots coordinator in the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. After college, Emily pursued her passion for organizing with Green Corps, the field school for environmental organizing. During Green Corps, Emily worked with Environment Michigan to successfully build community support for the Obama Administration’s monumental fuel economy standards of 54.5mpg by 2025. Emily was also part of a team that recruited over 100 canvass directors and launched 20 offices for Fair Share Alliance’s national campaign to stop subsidies to big oil and invest in renewable energy. Before coming to CCAN, Emily recruited, trained, and managed a political campaign office in New Mexico with Work For Progress to help elect Martin Heinrich to U.S. Senate and promote clean water. Aside from fighting climate change, Emily’s favorite past times include hiking, yoga, and listening to her collection of Led Zeppelin records.
Drew Gallagher, Virginia Campus Organizer
Drew is CCAN’s Virginia Campus Organizer. He works to build student power at schools across the state and ensure that the youth voice is a force to be reckoned with in Virginia politics. Drew is a graduate of Virginia Tech, where he earned degrees in Environmental Policy and Economics. While at Virginia Tech, he was the President of their Environmental Coalition, helping lead the organization in a successful fight to preserve acres of old growth forest against development, and bringing the second largest contingent of university students in the nation to National Power Shift 2013. After graduating, Drew rode his bicycle from Bar Harbor, Maine to Seattle, Washington to raise money and awareness for multiple sclerosis. Outside of work he can be found biking, hiking, and struggling to teach himself the ukulele.
Ted Glick has devoted 40 years of his life to the progressive social change movement. After a year of student activism as a sophomore at Grinnell College in Iowa, he left college in 1969 to work full time against the Vietnam War. As a Selective Service draft resister, he spent 11 months in prison. In 1973 he co-founded the National Committee to Impeach Nixon and worked as a national coordinator on grassroots street actions around the country, keeping the heat on Nixon until his August 1974 resignation. For the last four years Ted has played a national leadership role in the effort to stabilize our climate and for a clean energy revolution. He was a co-founder in 2004 of the Climate Crisis Coalition and in 2005 coordinated the USA Join the World effort leading up to December 3rd actions during the United Nations Climate Change conference in Montreal. In May 2006 he became the national coordinator of the U.S. Climate Emergency Council. For three and a half months in the fall of 2007 he ate no solid food as part of a climate emergency fast focused on getting Congress to pass strong climate legislation. Between the mid-70′s and 2005, Ted was actively involved in community organizing efforts around environmental, tenant rights, community development and racial justice issues in Brooklyn, N.Y. and northern New Jersey. On a national scale he has been a leader in coalition-building and independent politics efforts. From 1995 to 2005, he was the National Coordinator of the Independent Progressive Politics Network. He has participated in and led hundreds of actions. He has been arrested fifteen times for acts of nonviolent civil disobedience, including four times between October 2006 and December 2007 on climate issues. As the national coordinator of the People’s Alliance, he helped to organize the 1980 People’s Convention of several thousand people on the devastated Charlotte St. area in the South Bronx and a march of 15,000 people to Madison Square Garden just before the Democratic Convention. In 2002 he was a primary organizer of the April 20th, 80,000-person march in Washington, DC against the militaristic and repressive response of the Bush administration to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Also in 2002, he was a Green Party of New Jersey candidate for U.S. Senate.
Over the years, Ted’s commitment to social justice has led him to partake in 18 extended fasts, four of which were for more than a month, including the climate emergency fast in the fall of 2007. His prolific writing on the movement to which he devotes his life includes his 2000 book, Future Hope: A Winning Strategy for a Just Society, and his column, “Future Hope,” which has been distributed nationally since 2000.
Shilpa Joshi, Maryland Field Coordinator
Shilpa is the Maryland Field Organizer for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. She works to empower and engage communities and students across Maryland in the fight for clean energy. A native of Portland, Oregon, Shilpa came to Washington, DC to study international relations at American University, where she focused on environmental policy and minored in French. She discovered her passion for organizing while working with Eco-Sense, American University’s powerhouse sustainability group on campus. Through Eco-Sense, Shilpa led an overhaul of the school’s purchasing policies to favor sustainable products, executed a successful campaign to divest AU from dirty energy by 2050, and worked with the Energy Action Coalition to recruit dozens of students to Power Shift in 2007 and 2009. After graduating, Shilpa worked with the Alliance for Climate Education, teaching high schools students about climate change and solutions for their communities. She reached out to thousands of students throughout DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. Most recently, Shilpa joined Capitol Fringe as their volunteer coordinator to train and organize hundreds of volunteers for the group’s annual summer theater festival. As an avid fan of music and food, Shilpa enjoys attending concerts and embarking on local culinary adventures in her free time.
Jon Kenney, Maryland Community Organizer
Jon is the Maryland Community Organizer at CCAN, working and mobilizing communities across the state to move Maryland beyond all dirty sources of energy that pollute our climate and harm public health. This includes working to move Maryland past coal, fighting toxic waste-to-energy incinerators, and organizing to stop the proposed Cove Point LNG export facility in Southern Maryland. A native to Maryland, Jon grew up in Montgomery Village and Damascus. He majored in Marine Science with a concentration in Geology at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL. While in school, he mainly focused his studies on the science behind climate change, and was the president of the Coalition for Community Justice, an economic justice group dedicated to bringing a living wage to the workers of Eckerd College. After graduating, Jon was a campus organizer for the California Public Interest Research Group, successfully organizing in San Diego and Orange County against the “Dirty Energy Proposition” to protect California’s historic Global Warming Solutions Act. After the 2010 mid-term elections, he ran campaign offices for the Fund for Public Interest, a national non-profit. He raised money and built grassroots support for several environmental and social justice campaigns, directing offices in California, Arizona, and Washington, DC. When he’s not at work, he enjoys hiking, camping, finding any live music he can, and exploring the ins and outs of his home city of Washington, DC.
Tommy Landers, Policy Director, MD & DC
Tommy is the Maryland & DC Policy Director for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. He helps drive CCAN’s campaign planning and policy development, and he is the chief lobbyist in Annapolis. A Maryland native, he was born and raised in College Park, where he also later studied at the University of Maryland. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics and a Bachelor’s of Art in Theatre. After college, he traveled and taught English in Europe for a year, worked in a physics lab at the University of California, Los Angeles for another year, and then came back to Maryland to teach math at UMCP. While teaching math, he became familiar with Mike Tidwell and CCAN, through Mike’s books and open houses as well as volunteer opportunities on CCAN’s campaigns. Those experiences inspired Tommy to seek out work as a climate activist. He started as a field organizer for Environment Maryland, part of a national federation of state-based environmental groups called Environment America. Tommy worked his way up at Environment Maryland over six years, spending the last two as director of the organization. In summer of 2013, he made the switch to CCAN. He lives in Baltimore, where he owns a home.
Rachel Mandelbaum, Online Organizer
Rachel is CCAN’s Online Organizer, focusing on coordinating online outreach, social media, and strengthening our communications work. She grew up in Croton, New York, and moved down to Washington, DC to attend American University where she studied Environmental Studies and International Studies, but spent most of the time educating and organizing with students around campus issues and climate change. Prior to CCAN, Rachel joined Energy Action Coalition to bring thousands of students to Power Shift 2013, a national conference for youth working on climate, environmental and social justice issues. She also worked as the DC organizer for 350.org to build a network of climate activists in the DMV, and mobilized thousands of volunteers around the country to take part in creative direct action against the Keystone XL Pipeline through rallies, marches, civil disobedience and more. When she’s not tweeting, Rachel enjoys sitting on porches, watching 30 Rock, and exploring DC.
A native of Pelham Manor, New York in Westchester County, James has lived in Maryland for the last six years where he has studied, written about, and advocated for an array of environmental issues in and around the state. He has a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Maryland-College Park and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Maryland-College Park. Prior to joining CCAN, James was a freelance writer with his news coverage and opinion pieces appearing in such in-print and online publications as The Baltimore Sun, Offshore Wind Wire, and Sierra Club’s The Chesapeake. He has also worked in the electronics recycling industry and has presented his clean energy policy analysis in front of the prestigious National Academies of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In addition to his passion for environmental advocacy, James is also, to the chagrin of his fellow CCAN staff, a New York Yankees fan.
Emily Rich, Hampton Roads Organizer
Emily is the Hampton Roads organizer for CCAN, working to build support for climate action in the Tidewater region of Virginia. Originally from Lancaster, PA, Emily went to school at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. At UNC, she studied Biology while minoring in Environmental Studies, Anthropology, and Chemistry. Prior to joining the CCAN team, Emily worked with Green Corps, the field school in environmental organizing. As a Green Corps organizer, Emily worked with Food & Water Watch to introduce legislation to label genetically engineered food and with Corporate Accountability International to push the National Parks to phase out bottled water sales. She also helped to direct a canvass office in Boulder, CO to build membership and raise funds for CoPIRG. Outside of work, Emily enjoys hiking, reading, running, and watching Carolina basketball and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Dawone Robinson serves as CCAN’s Virginia policy coordinator. Originally from Iowa, Dawone holds a J.D. from Drake University Law School with a concentration in legislative practice and a B.A. from Iowa State University, double-majoring in broadcast journalism and political science with a minor in speech communication. While at Drake Law, Dawone interned as a legislative aide for Iowa state senator Becky Schmitz during the 2010 legislative session. Dawone used that experience to represent the Innocence Project of Iowa (IPI) during the 2011 session. While at IPI, he spearheaded a successful advocacy effort to mandate uniform standards for investigating fire and explosion incidents within the State Fire Marshall’s Office. Among other important reforms, all arson investigation records leading to a conviction will now be preserved indefinitely. Previously, all records were destroyed after 15 years, making appeals difficult in some instances. Prior to law school, Dawone satisfied his insatiable appetite for politics by reporting for his student newspaper and television station at Iowa State. He also served as press secretary for a U.S. congressional campaign during the 2006 mid-term elections. In addition, he managed the Iowa State University Foundation Phone Center, raising millions of dollars in gifts for the university, after having worked as a part-time student fundraiser and supervisor as an undergrad. Dawone has long been an advocate for increased global warming awareness and a promoter of clean energy alternatives.
Monique Sullivan, Field Director
Monique is CCAN’s Field Director, managing CCAN’s grassroots campaigns and organizers throughout Maryland, DC and Virginia, and ensuring those campaigns are strategic, novel and inspiring. Monique comes to CCAN with over ten years of experience building grassroots organizations and leading grassroots campaigns – including helping to pass the first statewide cap on global warming pollution in California with Environment California, keeping Minnesota’s nuclear moratorium in place with Environment Minnesota, and helping to pass the first cap-and-trade bill through the U.S. House of Representatives with Environment America.
Monique has been a full-time environmental organizer since graduating from the University of New Orleans in 2002 – inspired to commit her life to environmental activism by her experience growing up in the shadow of the oil industry in South Louisiana. She got her start with the Fund for the Public Interest, running a grassroots campaign to cut mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants.
Kelly is communications director at CCAN, focusing on helping our campaigns win victories by engaging the media and mobilizing CCAN supporters and allies. Before joining CCAN, Kelly worked on communications for Friends of the Earth, where she helped drive the group’s media and grassroots strategy to stop the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline, resulting in critical coverage in top national and state news outlets that dialed up the pressure on President Obama to reject the pipeline. Kelly also worked previously for fairer trade policies and healthcare for all with NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby. A native of the Harrisburg area of PA, Kelly earned a B.A. in Development Studies from Brown University and studied abroad for a year in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In her spare time, she enjoys getting outdoors for hikes, softball and tennis, reading, laughing at her two cats and playing the violin in the Montgomery County Symphony Orchestra.