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, D.C.. 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 D.C.
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.
Kirsten Collings, Deputy Director
Kirsten Collings directs CCAN’s campaigns throughout Maryland, D.C. 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, D.C., 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.
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.
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, D.C. 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 Organizer
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.
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 was the president of the Coalition for Community Justice, a student 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, organizing on the successful “No on Prop 23″ campaign during the 2010 California mid-term elections. Afterwards, he started working for the Fund for the Public Interest, running canvass offices on environmental and social justice campaigns in California and DC.
When he’s not at work, he enjoys hiking, camping, finding any live music he can, and exploring the nooks and crannies in the great city of Washington, DC.
Tommy Landers, Policy Director, MD & DC
Tommy studied mathematics at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he later taught. He switched careers in 2006 after coming to terms with the reality of climate change and the need for more activism on the issue. As a volunteer, he helped coordinate grassroots efforts to promote strong global warming solutions in Maryland. He then spent six years as Field Organizer, Campaign Director, and ultimately Director for Environment Maryland, where he was before coming to CCAN.
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, D.C. 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 D.C. 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.
Leslie was born and raised in Champaign, Illinois. She majored in environmental studies at Illinois Wesleyan University and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors. At IWU, Leslie helped launch a Sierra Student Coalition chapter and organized a successful campaign for the President to sign the Talloires Declaration, a ten point action plan for incorporating sustainability into university functions.
After graduating, Leslie joined Green Corps, the field school for environmental organizing, and worked on multiple clean energy campaigns. She was part of the field team for a victorious ballot campaign to pass Proposition C, a renewable electricity standard in Missouri. She also worked with Environment Texas and Environment North Carolina on solar energy campaigns.
When not fighting for a clean and just energy future, Leslie obsesses over Survivor, college basketball, and eating cookies.
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 12 years of experience developing and running critical environmental campaigns, and recruiting and managing teams of staff and activists to win those campaigns
Monique is coming to CCAN from Environment America, a federation of state-based, citizen-funded environmental advocacy groups working for clean energy, clean air, clean water and open spaces. Most recently, she was their Recruitment Director – coordinating staff efforts to find, recruit and hire smart, passionate young activists to become full-time environmental organizers right out of college. Monique joined Environment America staff in 2006 and quickly launched one of their newest state environmental groups, Environment Minnesota, leading the group’s efforts to defend the state’s nuclear moratorium from attack, help secure a dedicated source of funding for land and water conservation through 2034, and bring cleaner cars and trucks to the state. She also spent a year running Environment America’s national field program.
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 working on a grassroots campaign to cut mercury contamination from coal-fired power plants in Louisiana and then spent the next four years with the Fund running citizen-outreach campaigns in Louisiana, California and Minnesota – including a successful campaign to pass the first-ever statewide cap on global warming pollution in California in 2006.
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.
Originally from Shanghai, China, Susan was raised in sunny Southern California. Growing up in two of the most polluted megacities in the world, Susan developed a passion for environmental issues since high school. She received a B.A. in International Studies – Political Science and Environmental Studies from the University of California, San Diego, where she led class sections on the wilderness and human values.
After graduation, Susan worked on solar energy development policies at the Wilderness Society, pushing for responsible Solar Energy Zones on public lands. She has also focused on advancing environmental knowledge among health care professionals to improve the public’s health through online communication outreach for the National Environmental Health Foundation. Additionally, she is passionate about educating the youth. She has taught in multiple programs over the years including the Asian American LEAD’s summer school program, San Diego City Schools Balboa Park Program, and CCE China’s English summer camps.
Outside of work, Susan devotes herself to music, drawing, photography, and traveling.