Mike Tidwell, Executive Director

Mike Tidwell is founder and director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, a grassroots nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness about the impacts and solutions associated with global warming in Maryland, Virginia, and DC.

Under Tidwell’s leadership, CCAN has helped pass landmark clean-energy legislation in Maryland and the District of Columbia; blocked coal and oil development plans in Virginia; and worked with groups nationwide to push for a fair and effective carbon cap policy on Capitol Hill.

Tidwell is also an author and filmmaker whose books include The Ravaging Tide: Strange Weather, Future Katrinas, and the Race to Save America’s Coastal Cities. Tidwell’s documentary film – “We Are All Smith Islanders” – vividly depicts the dangers of global warming in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. Tidwell has received numerous awards for his advocacy work, including the Audubon Naturalist Society’s prestigious “Conservation Award.”

A long-time resident of Maryland, he lives in Takoma Park with his wife Beth and son Sasha. Read more about Mike here.

 

Kirsten-CollingsKirsten Collings, Deputy Director & CFO

Kirsten Collings joined the CCAN team in 2008, first as Campaign Director and later moving into her current position of Deputy Director. With expertise in campaign, staff and organizational management, Kirsten oversees CCAN’s senior campaign team, manages the organization’s finances, and guides the strategic direction of CCAN’s campaigns throughout the region. In her time at CCAN, Kirsten has directed dozens of campaigns including CCAN’s work to expand Maryland’s clean electricity standard, to stop the nation’s biggest proposed coal plant in Surry County, Virginia, and to expose our region’s biggest climate foes, including Dominion Resources.

Kirsten has been fighting for environmental and climate victories for over 15 years, starting as a student at North Carolina State University and continuing with her tenure in Green Corps, the Field School for Environmental Organizing. Kirsten served as a Green Corps trainee and subsequently as a trainer and supervisor for dozens of the program’s recent college graduates wanting to launch their careers in environmental grassroots organizing. She currently serves on the Green Corps Board of Directors.

 

Anne_Havemann_HeadShotANNE HAVEMANN, Senior General Counsel and Foundation Grants Manager

Anne Havemann is CCAN’s Senior General Counsel and Foundation Grants Manager. She has a decade of experience working on environmental issues at the regional and national scale. At CCAN, she works to fight climate change and promote clean energy through litigation and policy development, while also providing general legal support and foundation grants management. Prior to CCAN, she worked at a think tank, the Center for Progressive Reform, on its Chesapeake Bay program area. She focused on enforcing the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to clean up the Bay, with a particular emphasis on industrial chicken farms. She has clerked for U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the American Wind Energy Association. Anne served as CCAN’s first communication director before leaving in 2010 to further her education in environmental law.

Anne received her law degree with a certificate in environmental law from the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, where she graduated magna cum laude. She was editor in chief of the Maryland Law Review. Anne received a B.A. in environmental science from Colorado College.

 

Jam_UpdateJAMSHID BAKHTIARI, Virginia Field Coordinator

Born and raised in Virginia, Jamshid Bakhtiari joined CCAN in July 2016 and is CCAN’s Virginia Field Coordinator for Central and Northern Virginia. Previously, Jam served as CCAN’s Healthy Communities Campaign Coordinator in Baltimore.

Prior to joining CCAN, Jamshid spent the previous six years working with a number of grassroots organizations such as the National Lawyers Guild, the Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice, and Equality, the VCU Living Wage Campaign, and the Richmond Peace Education Center.

Jamshid is a graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University and received his MA in International Law and Human Rights from the United Nations Mandated University for Peace located in El Rodeo, Costa Rica. When not at work Jamshid can be found discovering new music and learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

 

kristin-cookKRISTIN COOK, Executive Assistant

Kristin ​is the Executive Assistant to Mike Tidwell. She grew up in the planned community of Columbia Maryland and went on to earn a political science degree at the University of MD – College Park. While working in the brokerage industry both on the sales and regulatory sides, she went back to graduate school at the American University, earning an MBA. It was at AU where she met her husband and started a family.

After spending almost a decade as a stay home Mom, Kristin began spending copious amounts of time volunteering with various environmental​ groups after being inspired by Bill McKibben’s “Do The Math Tour. ” Realizing that the climate crisis was her true passion and wanting to follow in the activist footsteps of her father, Kristin decided to re-enter the workforce and started ​working ​at CCAN in August of 2016.

When Kristin is not attending a rally or some other environmental event, she can be found on the soccer fields of Montgomery County watching her 3 kids play.

 

KRISTEN FRIEDEL, Communications Associate

Kristen is CCAN’s Communications Associate. Kristen focuses on designing graphics for CCAN’s many campaigns while also assisting in sending out campaign emails, maintaining our social media pages and managing our IT services.

Kristen came to CCAN in the fall of 2014, bringing with her expertise in project management, problem-solving and research. Originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia, she found her roots in climate and sustainability advocacy while attending Green Mountain College in Vermont. While obtaining her B.A. in Environmental Science in Public Policy, Kristen headed her school’s Student Campus Greening Fund, served on her school’s Campus Sustainability Council, and traveled to Thailand to conduct research on the country’s environmental development.

In her free time, Kristen can be found crafting jewelry, playing guitar and geeking out on data organization and analysis.

 

brookebio

BROOKE HARPER, MARYLAND & DC Policy Director

Brooke is CCAN’s Maryland/DC Policy Director, advocating for progressive climate policies in and around the state. Most recently, she was CCAN’s MD Field Director. She also chairs the Environmental Justice Committee of the MD State Chapter of the NAACP.

Brooke graduated from York College of Pennsylvania and began organizing the summer of 2007 with Moveon.org’s campaign “Americans Against the Escalation in Iraq.” From there she received a position on President Obama’s 2008 staff, and traveled through eleven states on the presidential campaign. She then moved onto battling globalization issues with Jubilee USA Network and Global Trade Watch. She worked on Unite HERE’s BWI Airport campaign to improve working conditions and unionize eight hundred food and retail workers. At CCAN, she spearheaded our field efforts to expand the Renewable Portfolio Standard and to ban fracking.

In her free time she enjoys the great outdoors and can be found hiking, tubing, and camping in Western MD, where she was born. She is also a member of the Mason Dixon Roller Vixens roller derby team where she skates under the nick name “Dirty Paula Tics”.

 

Liz Lee, Director of Maryland Volunteer OutreachLizLee_Headshot

Liz is CCAN’s Director of Maryland Volunteer Outreach, mobilizing and empowering communities throughout the state to stand up for clean renewable energy. She spent 13 years in the legal field and volunteered in her limited free time leading green organizations within the government and local non-profits. She left her role as a lead regulatory counsel at the federal government and took the leap to pursue her passion to protect the planet on a full-time basis. While working with CCAN on the fracking ban campaign as the legislative coordinator for Montgomery County, she was deeply inspired by the passion and perseverance of Marylanders who united with one voice.

Originally from Potomac, Maryland, Liz graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University and received her J.D. and M.B.A. from the University of Maryland.  She spends her spare time racing in a 20-person dragon boat or paddling on an outrigger canoe on the Potomac River, traveling/eating on self-guided food tours, and heightening her meditation practice.

 

jeremiah-loweryJeremiah Lowery, Climate Justice Organizer

A Washington, D.C. native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Maryland, Jeremiah is working with CCAN to pass a Carbon Fee and Dividend policy in the District. He’s a labor activist and environmental activist, and has worked on issues ranging from workers’ rights to expanding green spaces in DC to early childhood education. Jeremiah has also worked with and organized low-income residents in the Washington, D.C. area on the issues of political empowerment, sustainability, and organizing. He’s also hosted the “Heal DC” radio show on WPFW 89.3 FM Pacifica Radio, a radio show that focused

on labor and environmental issues, as well as worked on educational policies for the DC Government.

Previously, Jeremiah was the Research and Policy Coordinator at Restaurant Opportunities Center -DC (ROC-DC). The mission of ROC-DC is to improve the working conditions for Washington, D.C.’s restaurant workforce.

Currently, he is a political appointee to the first DC Governmental food policy Council, board member of the Sierra Club-DC Chapter, and organizer for D.C. Democracy.

 

Kelly MHeadshotKelly McLaughlin, Development Director

As CCAN’s Development Director, Kelly focuses on building the systems and relationships to diversify CCAN’s funding to ensure that the organization is financially sustainable in the long-term.

Prior to joining CCAN, Kelly served as the Donor Engagement Manager at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), working to connect individual donors to the organization’s mission. Prior to WOLA, Kelly worked as the Outreach Coordinator for Las Otras Hermanas, a solidarity organization supporting women entrepreneurs in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.

Kelly holds a Master of Arts in Social Justice and Human Rights from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Arts from Elon University. Her academic work, including an undergraduate and graduate thesis, focused on the use of art as a tool for advocacy.

In her free time, Ms. McLaughlin volunteers for a number of organizations, most of which are focused on promoting the local arts scene in Maryland. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Greenbelt Community Foundation and Alight Dance Theater.

 

denise-robbinsDenise Robbins, Communications Director

Denise is Communications Director at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Before joining CCAN, Denise was Deputy Director of Media Matters’ climate and energy program, where she worked to improve media coverage of climate change and hold journalists and outlets accountable for covering the most important stories of our day fairly and accurately.

Denise is the co-author of the book Rising Tides: Climate Change Refugees in the 21st Century, which sounds an urgent wake-up call to the growing crisis of climate refugees. And she is a former board member of DC EcoWomen, a nonprofit focused on empowerment and professional development for women in the environmental field.

Denise is a graduate of Cornell University and a native of Madison, Wisconsin, which she still visits regularly for the world’s best beer and cheese.

 

taylor-smith-hamsTaylor Smith-Hams, Healthy Communities Campaign Organizer

Taylor Smith-Hams is CCAN’s Healthy Communities Campaign Organizer in Baltimore. She focuses on fighting dangerous crude oil trains and collaborating with community partners to develop access to affordable solar power.

Taylor grew up in California’s Bay Area and moved to Baltimore to study Painting, Humanistic Studies, Sustainability and Social Practice at the Maryland Institute College of Art. An artist and activist, she has worked on campaigns for LGBTQ rights, chemical plant safety, carbon pricing, and public financing. She has studied the effects of climate change in Vietnam, Morocco, and Bolivia and was a New Economy Maryland Fellow with the Institute for Policy Studies.

 

Camila-Thorndike-photo_by-Logan-Gilles-(May-2015)CAMILA THORNDIKE, CARBON PRICING COORDINATOR

Camila coordinates CCAN’s campaign to pass “carbon fee and dividend” policy in DC that is fair, simple, and built to last. Experts agree that putting a price on pollution is the #1 climate cure – and Camila has been working for years across the country to make it happen on the ground, including everyone as a stakeholder in the solution.

In 2013, Camila co-founded Our Climate, a grassroots national nonprofit that empowers the next generation of climate leaders to pass strong, fair carbon pricing laws.

After graduating from Whitman College, Camila worked for the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, led outreach for an Arizonan urban planning campaign, and spearheaded engagement for COAL, a musical theater project on fossil fuels. In 2009 she worked with DC youth on energy efficiency in low-income households with the Mayor’s Green Summer Jobs Program.

Camila is a Fellow of the Center for Diversity and the Environment, Sitka Fellow, Udall Scholar, former board member of the Geos Institute and Watershed Management Group, Mic50 awardee, and member of the Young Climate Leaders Network. She’s also a bilingual dual citizen of Chile, with a budding dharma practice and love of good food.

 

unnamedHARRISON WALLACE, VIRGINIA POLICY COORDINATOR AND COASTAL CAMPAIGNS MANAGER

As CCAN’s Virginia Policy Coordinator and Coastal Campaigns Manager, Harrison advocates for strong climate policies in Richmond and also oversees grassroots campaigns in coastal Virginia. Most recently, he was CCAN’s Hampton Roads Coordinator, where he spearheaded all of CCAN’s grassroots campaigns along the coast and also served as our immediate point of contact for the Hampton Roads Caucus of the General Assembly and municipal leaders in the area. He also served as the State Co-Lead for the Virginia Contingent of the 2017 Peoples Climate March and is a graduate of the Virginia Progressive Leadership Project.

Harrison is a lifelong Virginian. After graduating from James Madison University in 2013, he immediately began a career of organizing as a campus organizer for the Terry McAuliffe for Governor Campaign. He worked on two other political campaigns before feeling a moral call to action that led him to dedicate his career to holding our elected leaders accountable on the most consequential issue of our time: climate change. That decision led him to join the CCAN team at the end of 2014 and he has continued to pursue that mission ever since.