Our Board of Directors
R. John Dawes, President
Executive Director, Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds
As Executive Director of the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds since 1994, Dawes has supervised small grants to over 150 environmental and watershed associations throughout the state. The intent is to provide seed money to allow a local group to access agency funding through the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Office of Surface Mining, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the US Army Corps of Engineers. This has resulted in over $110 million for projects. The majority of this small grants budget is for abandoned mine reclamation.
For five years Dawes was a consultant to the Heinz Endowments Environment Program where he supervised grants to regional watershed groups pursuing a DCNR Rivers Conservation Plan. Other duties included participation in sustainable forestry round tables, and the facilitation of a statewide watershed advocacy group called POWR – the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers.
Dawes graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and an M.Ed. Since 1970, he has owned and managed a purebred Angus farm in Huntingdon County where conservation practices have been implemented, including streambank fencing, forest stewardship planning, a 10kw windmill for electric power production, and spring development using photo-voltaic panels. The farm won the 2007 Governor’s Award for Conservation.
Meredith James, Vice President
Multimedia Artist, New York, NY
Meredith James is an accomplished multi-media artist and Harvard alumna who divides her time between New York City and Montana. A friend of EIP, Ms. James has an avid interest in environmental issues developed through exposure to factory farms in the Midwest. She is interested in the intersection between business and the environment in the push from fossil fuels, and how social and visual media can move that message forward.
Roger Schmenner, Treasurer
Professor Emeritus of Operations Management at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business
Roger W. Schmenner is Professor Emeritus of Operations Management and the former Randall L. Tobias Chair at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in the United States. He has held faculty appointments at Duke, Harvard, and Yale universities, and has been a three-time visiting faculty member at IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland (1986-87, 1992-93, and 2002-03) and a visiting professor at the Judge School of Business at the University of Cambridge (2011-12). He was the president of the international Production and Operations Management Society during 1997 and is an elected Fellow of that Society.
Professor Schmenner has a diverse range of consulting and corporate teaching experience, involving over 80 companies, several industry groups, and more than a dozen federal, state, and local government agencies or departments He holds an A.B. degree from Princeton University (1969) and a Ph.D. from Yale University (1973), both in economics.
Eric Schaeffer, Secretary (Ex-Officio)
Executive Director, Environmental Integrity Project
Eric V. Schaeffer has served as director of the non-profit Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) since he co-founded the organization in March of 2002. Eric’s vision of combining policy analysis, media outreach and litigation to advocate for more effective enforcement of environmental laws still drives all of EIP’s work. Previously, Eric served as director of EPA’s Office of Civil Enforcement from 1997 to 2002, where he received a Presidential Rank Award, as well as the John Marshall award from the Justice Department for his leadership in negotiating an industry-wide cleanup of petroleum refineries. Eric’s career at EPA began in 1990, and included an appointment as special assistant to the Deputy Administrator. Prior to his service at EPA, Eric worked as an environmental attorney for two and a half years at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, and spent six years on Capitol Hill working for various members of Congress. Eric received his law degree from Georgetown University in 1987, and graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1976.
Industrial Initiative Director for Energy Innovation’s Climate Imperative Project
Al is Industrial Initiative Director for Energy Innovation’s Climate Imperative project, leading strategic development to decarbonize heavy industry. He has over 25 of years of experience in industrial environmental engineering, federal & state energy policy, and electric sector campaigning. Al previously served as a presidential appointee and Regional Administrator with EPA chief Lisa P. Jackson. He joined Energy Innovation after nearly nine years in the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign where he led teams working to decarbonize the electric sector. Al began his career as engineering consultant with Radian Corporation for major industrial clients, and he was formerly on the engineering faculty at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Dr. Al has an S.B. in chemical engineering from MIT and graduate degrees in environmental engineering from the University of Florida and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Senior Staff Attorney at Harvard Law School’s Environmental and Energy Law Program
Sara joined Harvard Law School’s Environmental & Energy Law Program from Conservation Law Foundation, where she served as Director of the Farm & Food Initiative. Sara previously worked on environmental, agricultural, and energy issues as a Legislative Aide in the U.S. Senate and as Policy Director of the Governance, Environment, and Markets Initiative at Yale University. Sara holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, a Masters in Environmental Management from Duke University, and a B.A. from Middlebury College.
Adjunct Professor of Environmental Science & Policy, George Mason University
Dr. V. Alaric (Al) Sample is Adjunct Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources. He is also President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at the Pinchot Institute for Conservation in Washington, DC, where he was President and chief executive officer 1995-2015. He was elected a Fellow of the Society of American Foresters in 2000.
Sample is the author of numerous books, research papers, and articles on topics in national and international environmental and natural resource policy. His current research is focused on the integration of climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resilience into the evolving institutional, legal, and policy framework for natural resource management. His most recent book is Forest Conservation in the Anthropocene: Science, Policy, and Practice, with R. Patrick Bixler and Char Miller (University Press of Colorado, 2016). Sample earned his doctorate in natural resource policy and economics at Yale University, for which he received the National Wildlife Federation Environmental Conservation Fellowship for excellence in graduate research. He holds an MBA and a Master of Forestry both from Yale, and a Bachelor of Science in forest resource management from the University of Montana.
Associate Director of Program Development, Rockefeller Family Fund
Larry Shapiro joined the Rockefeller Family Fund in 2000. Prior to this, he directed the New York Public Interest Research Group’s (NYPIRG) environmental programs from 1988 through 1999. Among his successes in that capacity were campaigns to prevent construction of the Brooklyn Navy Yard incinerator; force the shut-down of Fresh Kills, the largest landfill in the world; and urge New York Governor George Pataki to order promulgation of what at the time were the toughest power plant emission standards in the country. Larry currently serves as vice president of the board of the Environmental Integrity Project and president of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.
Vice President of Litigation for Healthy Communities, Earthjustice
A leading environmental attorney and legal scholar, Patrice began his career as an attorney in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of General Counsel, and later served as a counsel to EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board and as a Senior Attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. Additionally, Patrice served in the Obama Administration as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. Prior to joining Earthjustice in 2017, he was a law professor at Howard University School of Law, teaching, writing, and speaking on various subjects related to environmental law and environmental justice.
Patrice served on the Earthjustice Board of Trustees for five years. A recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, he was a founding steering committee member of the Green Leadership Trust, and is a member of the American College of Environmental Lawyers. Patrice received his law degree from Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C., and completed his undergraduate studies at Northeastern University in Boston.
Executive Director, Conservation History Association of Texas
David Todd works through the Conservation History Association of Texas to assemble and share oral histories and data about the story of protection of natural resources and public health in the state. He is also a co-founder of the Blunn Creek Partnership and Cullinan Park Conservancy, NGOs involved with open space and habitat restoration in Austin and Houston, respectively. As well, he is a partner in a family firm involved in raising beef cattle, managing wildlife, and restoring prairie in central Texas.
Todd holds an A.B. in Architecture and Urban Planning from Princeton, an M.S. in Environmental Science from Rice, and a J.D. from Emory. He is the co-author of The Texas Legacy Project: Stories of Courage and Conservation, and The Texas Landscape Project: Nature and People.
President, Tugwell Advisory
Currently an independent consultant, Frank Tugwell served as the President and CEO of a global development organization, Winrock International, for 14 years.
Before joining Winrock, Tugwell served as Executive Director of the Heinz Endowments, a foundation that makes grants in the environment, human services, education, urban affairs, and the arts. Prior to that, he was Vice President for Programs and Global Projects at Winrock International. He has also held positions as founder and President of the Environmental Enterprises Assistance Fund, a nonprofit that invests in small and medium-sized environmental companies in developing countries; Deputy Assistant Administrator in the U.S. Agency for International Development in the Carter Administration; and Professor and Department Chair at Pomona College and Claremont Graduate School.
Tugwell, who holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University, has focused his research and writing on energy technology and policy. He is the author of The Energy Crisis and the American Political Economy: Politics and Markets in the Management of Natural Resources, and has written widely on biomass energy systems for developing countries.
Riverkeeper & CEO, Patuxent Riverkeeper
Fred was born and raised along the Patuxent River as were seven generations of his ancestors before him. Prior to founding Patuxent Riverkeeper in 2004, Fred operated a business that provided professional media and mass communication services internationally. Fred also worked as volunteer activist on the Patuxent for over 20 years until the momentum of the volunteer environmental work overcame his media career and the challenge of Riverkeeping beckoned. Fred is a recipient of numerous awards and recognitions for his work on behalf of environmental causes and issues in Maryland. He also serves on a variety of Boards, Task Forces and Commissions related to the work of protecting the Patuxent and the natural environment. Among them, Fred serves on the Board of the Environmental Integrity Project, as a Governor appointed Commissioner on the State’s Patuxent River Commission and on the Board of Waterkeeper Alliance, the international group that licenses Waterkeepers. Fred is an adjunct instructor at historic St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where he teaches an upper level course in Environmental Law and Policy. He is an avid kayaker and backpacker, and also helps to maintain trails on the Appalachian Trail.
Nsedu Obot Witherspoon
Executive Director, Children’s Environmental Health Network
Nsedu Obot Witherspoon serves at the Executive Director for the Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN). For the past 18 years, she has served as a key spokesperson for children’s vulnerabilities and the need for their protection, conducting presentations and lectures across the country. She is a leader in the field of children’s environmental health, serving as a member of the NIH Council of Councils, on the Science Advisory Board for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the External Science Board for the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) NIH Research work. She is a Co-Leader for Advancing the Science/Health initiative of the National Collaborative on a Cancer-Free Economy. Ms. Witherspoon is also a Board member for the Pesticide Action Network of North America and serves on the Maryland Children’s Environmental Health Advisory Council. She has a B.S. in Biology Pre Med from Siena College and a M.P.H. in Maternal and Child Health from The George Washington University, School of Public Health and Health Services.