Sumudu Atapattu is the Director of Research Centers and Senior Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School. She teaches in the area of International Environmental law and climate change and human rights. She holds an LLM (Public International Law) and a PhD (International Environmental Law) from the University of Cambridge, U.K., and is an Attorney-at-Law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. Her books include: "Human Rights Approaches to Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities" (2015, Routledge, U.K); "International Environmental Law and the Global South" (2015, Cambridge University Press) (co-editor); and "Emerging Principles of International Environmental Law" (2006, Transnational Publishers, New York). She is affiliated with UW-Madison's Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, the Center for South Asia, and the 4W Initiative and was a visiting professor at Doshisha University Law School, Japan, in summer 2014 and Giessen University, Germany in summer 2016. She also coordinates the Human Rights Program at UW-Madison.
Ms. Atapattu has received numerous awards and scholarships for academic excellence, including a Cambridge Commonwealth Trust scholarship and a Benefactor Studentship awarded by St. John's College, Cambridge. In 1986 she was awarded the best student prize and Sir Lalitha Rajapakse Memorial Prize by the Sri Lanka Law College, Colombo where she graduated at the top of her class. In 2000 she was awarded a Senior Fulbright scholarship and carried out research on "Environmental Rights and Human Rights" at the New York University Law School and the George Washington University Law School as a visiting scholar. From 2002-2006 she was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Legal Studies at UW Law School and was part of the adjunct faculty during that time.
Mayor Jim Brainard is Carmel's first six-term mayor. During that time, Carmel has grown in population from 25,000 to more than 90,000. Parkland, greenspace and trails have increased. The development of an Arts & Design District, a downtown called City Center and a new Midtown project joining the two together, has helped in the creation of a vibrant, thriving city where companies want to locate, where employees want to live and where families want to raise their children. Mayor Brainard is frequently asked to speak around the world about city planning, redevelopment, roadway networks and climate policy. He has encouraged the construction of roundabouts, which reduces accidents with injury almost 80 percent at intersections when contrasted to signalized intersections. Carmel now has more than 100 roundabout intersections, the most of any other city in the U.S. Mayor Brainard serves as a Trustee and Co-chair of the Energy Independence and Climate Protection Task Force for the U.S. Conference of Mayors. In November of 2013 he was appointed to the Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience by the President of the United States. Mayor Brainard's academic background includes a Bachelor of Arts in History from Butler University and Doctor of Jurisprudence from Ohio Northern University. He also received a diploma from the Oxford Institute on International and Comparative Law from the University of San Diego.
Dr. Wil Burns is Founding Co-Executive Director of the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment, a think-tank within the School of International Service at American University in Washington, DC. He also serves as the Co-Chair of the International Environmental Law Section of the American Branch of the International Law Association. Previously, he served as Director of the Energy Policy & Climate program at Johns Hopkins University, as well as President of the Association of Environmental Studies & Sciences. His research agenda includes: climate geoengineering, the effectiveness of the European Union's Emissions Trading System, and climate adaptation mechanisms within international climate treaties. He received his Ph.D. in International Law from the University of Wales-Cardiff School of Law.
Tshekedi Khama II
Tshekedi (“TK”) Stanford Khama (born 9 June 1958) is a Botswana Member of Parliament from Serowe North-West, currently serving as Honourable Minister for Environment, Wildlife and Tourism. He is a member of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). He is also the brother of the current President of Botswana, Ian Khama, and one of the three sons of the first President of Botswana, Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams Khama.
The Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism (MEWT) was established in recognition of the need to bring environmental issues under one roof for better coordination of policies, strategies and programs. The Ministry is made up of the following seven operational departments and a quasi governmental entity responsible for marketing the country’s tourism product: the Departments of Ministry Management, Environmental Affairs, Wildlife and National Parks, Meteorological Services, Forestry and Range Resources, Waste Management and Pollution, Tourism and the Botswana Tourism Board.
Victory Fund and Victory Institute President & CEO Annise Parker is the first former elected official to lead the organizations, having served six years as a Houston City Council member, six years as City Controller, and six years as Mayor of the city. She is one of only two women to have been elected mayor, and is the only person in Houston history to have held the offices of council member, controller and mayor. She was the first openly LGBTQ mayor of a major American city.
She currently serves as a Fellow at the Doerr Institute for New Leaders and Professor in the Practice at Rice University. She serves on the boards of FirstNet-created by Congress to implement a nationwide broadband network for first responders, Houston Botanic Garden, BARC Foundation, Patient Care Intervention Center, and the Airbnb Mayor's Advisory Board. Prior to joining Victory Fund and Victory Institute, she was Senior Vice-President and Chief Strategy Officer of BakerRipley, a community development non-profit.
In addition to her duties as mayor, Mayor Parker was a member of President Obama's Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, chaired the U.S. Conference of Mayors Criminal and Social Justice Committee, was a steering committee member of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, and served on the boards of the Texas Environmental Research Consortium and Houston Galveston Area Council. She is a past Fellow of the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Mayor Parker graduated from Rice University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. In the private sector, she spent 20 years working in the oil and gas industry, including 18 years with Mosbacher Energy Company. She also co-owned Inklings, a lesbian/feminist bookstore for 10 years.
Mayor Parker and her wife Kathy Hubbard have been together for more than 25 years and are advocates for adoption, with three daughters, a son and a grandson.
Paul Robbins is the director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he oversees the institute's mission of serving as a world leader in addressing environmental change. He is leading a variety of initiatives in educational innovation, including the recent establishment of a new professional master's degree in Environmental Conservation.
Robbins' research focuses on human interactions with nature and the politics of natural resource management, addressing questions spanning conservation conflicts, urban ecology, and environment-health interactions. His research experience includes extensive fieldwork in rural India and national studies of consumer chemical risk behaviors in America, as well as engagement with stakeholders, planners, communities and health departments in the US West.
He is author of the foundational textbook Political Ecology and of research articles in venues addressing conservation science, social science, and the humanities. His award-winning book Lawn People is widely recognized as one of the most accessible books on the environmental politics of daily life. He has taught topics ranging from environmental studies and natural resource policy to social theory.
Robbins previously led the School of Geography and Development at the University of Arizona, which he helped establish and served for two years as director. A UW-Madison alumnus with a bachelor's degree in anthropology, Paul Robbins also holds a master's degree and doctorate in geography, both from Clark University.
Mayor Paul Soglin is the 51st, 54th and 57th Mayor of Madison, elected for tenures in 1973, again in 1989, and 2011. He is now serving in his 20th year.
Mayor Soglin was raised in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, received a BA with honors in history in 1966 and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degrees from the University of Wisconsin. Following his first tenure, Soglin was a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Whether it was the Lake Monona bicycle path, or the Monona Terrace and Community Convention Center, or neighborhood centers and community gardens, the focus is on equity and a tax base that can support human services.
His tenure is noted for a major commitment to public transit with record setting ridership level, the design and construction of the State Street Mall resulting in one of the strongest downtown locally owned retail sectors, and the development of Madison's Civic Center, which evolved into the Overture Center for the Arts.
Mayor Soglin focuses on developing a better sense of place for Madison neighborhoods, denser and better designed projects that maximize the utilization of infrastructure. Priorities include measuring city projects against the finest standards for livability, equity, and sustainability, and ensuring that all basic needs are within walking distance of every neighborhood.
Madison is committed to creating a food accessible community, building public markets, and food hubs, eliminating the critical racial and ethnic disparity in educational achievement, income, and incarceration. Since returning to office in 2011, while the Madison region is 9% of Wisconsin's population, it accounts for the creation of 53% of all new jobs.
Mayor Soglin currently serves on US Conference of Mayors: Transportation and Communications Committee, Vice Chair for City Livability/Bicycling, the Advisory Board, is the Chair of theTask Force on Food Policy and serves on the Project for Public Spaces Placemaking Leadership Council.
On April 22, 1970, then 8th District Alderman Paul Soglin was invited by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisconsin) to join him and Senator Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) to address an audience at the UW Stock Pavilion on what was the first Earth Day. When later asked if he thought it was a big deal at the time, Soglin said, "Not really, I thought it was a one and done."
Karen Williams Weaver was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, on the city's north side. She is the youngest of three children born to Dr. T. Wendell Williams and Marion Coates Williams. She attended the Flint public schools, and graduated from Flint Northern High School in 1977. From there she went to University of Michigan-Flint, and graduated with her bachelor's degree in psychology from Tougaloo College, in Tougaloo, Mississippi. She went on to get her Master's degree from Long Island University, in Brooklyn, NY, and her PhD in clinical psychology from Michigan State University.
Professionally, Dr. Karen Williams Weaver has held several leadership positions, such as Director of Behavioral Services, Mott Children's Health Center, 2000-2010; Chief Operating Officer of Ennis Center for Children, September, 2012-March 2014; and is currently an Entrepreneur and Owner of Shea Lavelle Boutique a specialty store for natural skin, hair and body products.
Mayor Karen Weaver has also served in the Flint and Genesee County Community in a variety of leadership roles including: The Hurley Board of Managers; The Community Foundation of Greater Flint; Priority Children and has served as Flint NAACP Freedom Fund Chair, since 2012. Her love for the arts led her to serve on the board of the Flint Institute of Arts as well as past president of the Pierians Inc., Flint Chapter, a group dedicated to exposing the arts to inner city youth. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Zeta Beta Omega Chapter and a lifelong member of Vernon Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC).
Mayor Karen Weaver has been married to her childhood friend, Dr. Wrex A. Weaver for almost 28 years, and they have three children, Adrienne Marie, Alanna Nicole, and Douglas Quentin. Her children are young adults and attend college.
CONCURRENT SESSION SPEAKERS:
Ashley Atkinson has worked in the field of community gardening, urban greening, and vacant land reuse for 20 years. Her career began in her hometown, Flint, Michigan, where she co-founded the Flint Urban Gardening and Land Use Corporation and developed the Clean and Green program for the Genesee County Land Bank. In 2001 she moved to the City of Detroit to work with Detroit Summer, a program of the Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership and the Detroit Agriculture Network to develop urban agriculture opportunities for Detroiters of all ages. For a decade she served as the Director of Urban Agriculture and Openspace at The Greening of Detroit where she supported a growing network of urban gardens and operated multiple urban farms and nationally recognized programs.
Ashley currently serves as the Co-Director of Keep Growing Detroit, an urban agriculture focused organization that provides resources and support for more than 1,500 gardens and farms in Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park. Until recently she also served as the sustainable agriculture representative of the Detroit Food Policy Council, an organization dedicated to promoting an equitable and robust local food system in Detroit through its work in community engagement, education, and public policy.
Ashley is a graduate of both Michigan State University and The University of Michigan where she studied International Development, Community Organization, and Environmental/Land Use Planning.
August M. Ball, founder of Cream City Conservation. Her two-prong social enterprise helps organizations institute strategies that obtain and retain top talent from diverse candidate pools, making their workforce stronger and smarter and their programs more sustainable and relevant. Simultaneously, Cream City Conservation Corps cultivates the next generation of land stewards by engaging traditionally underrepresented youth in ecological careers. With over 14 years of program management and design experience, August has connected thousands of youth and young adults to hands-on service to public lands, outdoor recreation and first time employment experiences.
Carol Barford is an Associate Scientist and the Director of SAGE. Her work centers on agriculture, food, environmental quality, and related risks.
Before joining SAGE, Barford completed a B.A. in Biology and a M.S. in Ecology at Boston University, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering at Harvard University. For her Ph.D. thesis, Barford measured nitrogen stable isotope effects of denitrification and applied the results to track nitrous oxide production in agriculture and wastewater. Dr. Barford also held a post-doctoral position in Atmospheric Chemistry at Harvard, where she studied forest carbon cycling. Her synthesis of biometric and atmospheric methods of measuring forest carbon balance appeared in the journal Science.
Vicki Bier Professor Bier is a risk analyst and decision analyst specializing in probabilistic risk analysis for homeland security and critical infrastructure protection. Her current research interests include the application of game theory to identify optimal resource allocation strategies for protecting critical infrastructure from intentional attacks. Other interests include: the use of accident "precursors" or near misses in probabilistic risk analysis; the use of expert opinion; and methods for effective risk communication, both to decision makers and to the general public.
As president of Broadview Collaborative, Inc. since 2014 Lynn Broaddus serves as an advisor to private sector, non-profit, and government clients seeking to more sustainable ways to provide clean water. Lynn led The Johnson Foundation's environment program from 2008-2014, convening hundreds of national leaders to address national water sustainability and resiliency, resulting in more than a dozen publications.
Previously, Lynn worked in water advocacy, as executive director of Milwaukee Riverkeeper®, and biodiversity conservation with The Nature Conservancy and a related organization, NatureServe, as well as energy conservation and teaching. She earned her Ph.D. in botany and genetics from Duke University, her M.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and her bachelor's degree in environmental sciences from the University of Virginia. Lynn also serves as a trustee for the Water Environment Federation, as a non-resident senior fellow with the Metropolitan Policy Program of the Brookings Institution, and as member and immediate past chair of River Network's board. Lynn is past chair of the Nelson Institute's Board of Visitors, and the mother of two Badger alumni. She lives in Minneapolis, MN.
Ben Burkett resides in Petal, MS. He has one daughter, Darnella and one granddaughter, Denver.
He is currently involved in over 250 acres farming operation, which consists of vegetable production, beef cattle, and timber. He has been active in farming since 1970. His farming operation is located in Congressman Steven Palazzo’s fifth congressional district. The farming operation is in Forrest and Perry counties.
He is presently serving on several boards relating to agriculture, such as: Mississippi Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, Mississippi Agri-Business Advisory Council, Federal Reserve Bank Advisory Board (Atlanta Bank District) from 1995-1998, and the newly-elected Chairman of the MS. State Farm Service Agency Committee. He serves on an Advisory Committee with Congressman Bennie Thompson. He has been a member of the Mississippi Farm Service Agency State Committee since 1993. He is on the board of the Lower Mississippi Delta Planning Commission, and a board member of the Crescent City Farmer’s Market in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is the secretary/manager of Indian Springs Cooperative located in Petal, Mississippi. He also represents the Coalition on the Via Campesina Food Sovereignty Commission and is a board member of the Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC).
Jacob Campbell is an Urban Environmental Anthropologist with the Keller Science Action Center at The Field Museum, where he leads the social science team for the Chicago region. Along with museum colleagues, Jacob helped establish the Roots and Routes Initiative with the Chicago Park District and a network of community leaders, artists, and organizations. In Pembroke Township, he conducts qualitative participatory research with local landowners that informs decision-making about conservation and quality of life. Jacob also co-directs the Urban Ecology Field Lab undergraduate summer course, and collaborates with partners across Chicago to improve access to the city’s cultural institutions and natural areas for underrepresented residents. Jacob’s approach to community-based research and applied anthropology has emerged through two decades of work with groups that include the Zuni Tribe, Gulf Coast fisherman, and Trinidadian oilfield workers. He has a PhD in Anthropology from University of Arizona.
Jake Dean brings 14 years of supply chain knowledge to his role as the Director of the Grainger Center. He is responsible for marketing the center to prospective students and employers, developing the applied learning curriculum, and providing academic and career guidance to students. Jake works closely with the Grainger Center's faculty and Executive Advisory Board on program strategy and development, and leads outreach activities with alumni, employers, and professional associations.
Prior to joining the Grainger Center, Jake was an Integration Manager at Cisco Systems, managing the integration of several acquired companies' supply chains into Cisco's supply chain. He has had previous roles in demand planning, sales & operations planning, distribution channel design and rollout, and inventory management.
Jake is APICS CPIM and PMP certified. He received a BBA from Wilfrid Laurier University and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Megan Dyer Megan Dyer is currently working on the Grid Modernization efforts at Alliant Energy. This is an exciting and transformational time for the electric utility industry… we are working to provide more distributed, clean and smart options while we continue to serve our core customer base. Part of this work includes modernizing the energy system, or grid.
Customer expectations about how energy is provided and marketplace dynamics for how energy is produced and distributed are evolving rapidly. Our customer’s needs are evolving from the traditional sole expectations of high reliability and low rates to additional expectations of flexibility, informative, renewable and value creating with many desiring to actively participate in their energy administration.
Megan joined Alliant Energy in 2001. She has spent most of her career supporting energy delivery in various engineering and operational management roles. Megan has a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from UW-Madison, a MBA from UW-Whitewater along with a Master’s Certificate in Leadership from UW-Madison School of Business.
Susan Frett is a natural resources educator and research scientist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Office of Applied Science. Her primary responsibilities include outreach, volunteer recruitment and training for the Snapshot Wisconsin and Elk Monitoring projects. Her interest is in engaging citizens in nature and science based activities to help people develop a conservation ethic. Susan received her Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science from the University of Iowa and her Master's degree in Environmental Conservation from the Nelson Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Holly Gibbs joined the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an Assistant Professor in the fall of 2011. Her faculty position is part of the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative (WBI) and she has appointments in the Department of Geography and Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Prior to this, she was a David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow in the Program on Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University.
Her research focuses on tropical land-use change and globalization, particularly on the potential to reconcile food security, climate change and conservation goals. She uses spatially explicit and data-driven modeling approaches, geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing imagery combined with ground-based data on social and biophysical conditions to document and understand patterns, drivers and consequences of land-use change, particularly in the tropics. Gibbs tends to ask synthetic, big-picture questions and combines these with local and regional case studies to provide a more detailed, place-based perspective.
She is currently researching tropical land-use transitions in response to global economic drivers such as bioenergy mandates and demand-side pressures from Greenpeace and other non-governmental organizations. Specific research questions include - What are the drivers of agricultural land use change? Do bioenergy subsidies in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere influence rates of forest clearing? What role could REDD play in mitigating causes and drivers of deforestation? How have tropical-land use patterns changed over the last three decades? What does this mean for carbon emissions? How can we facilitate low carbon land use and energy strategies?
Gibbs collaborates with policymakers, business leaders and non-governmental organizations to identify and answer key questions, and help translate science into action. For nearly a decade, Gibbs has served as a science advisor for policy makers from developing countries in support of the UNFCCC initiative to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD). She was recently selected to serve on the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard Expert Working Group, where she chairs the Land Cover Change committee. Gibbs has also advised the U.S. EPA on the Renewable Fuel Standard.
Justin Gillis is an author and consultant working on a book about how to solve global warming. He spent nearly a decade as a reporter for The New York Times covering environmental science, with a special focus on climate change, and is now a contributing opinion writer for the newspaper. He was the author of a Times series called Temperature Rising that ran from 2010 to 2013 and updated readers on major developments in climate science, winning the John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism from Columbia University. He was also the principal author in 2014 of a series called The Big Fix that critically examined proposed solutions to climate change. In 2015, he was part of the Times team that covered the Paris climate conference, which produced the world’s most ambitious agreement to tackle global warming. He traveled to Antarctica twice in 2016 to create a series of articles and virtual-reality videos on the risk that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet will collapse in a warming world.
He is a native of southern Georgia and a graduate of the University of Georgia, in journalism. Earlier in his career he worked at the Associated Press, The Miami Herald and The Washington Post. For the latter newspaper, he covered genetics, biotechnology and the completion of the Human Genome Project. In the 2004-2005 academic year, he was a Knight Fellow in Science Journalism at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Robert J. Hamers
Research in the Hamers group lies at the intersection of chemistry, materials science, and nanotechnology. We are interested in developing and exploiting new types of surface chemistry to create and improve next-generation devices for renewable energy, and are interested in understanding the potential environmental and health effects associated with nanomaterials. Our work spans the range from very fundamental, experimental and computational studies of surfaces, all the way to using surface chemistry to control the formation and properties of devices such as next-generation solar cells, photocatalysts, batteries, and environmental safety of nanomaterials. The group is multidisciplinary and highly collaborative.
Nanoscale materials have the potential to significantly advance society by improving the performance of many emerging technologies, reducing energy use, and enhancing the use of scarce resources. The rapidly increasing use of nanomaterials also raises questions about the possible environmental safety and health issues surrounding the potential release of engineered nanoparticles into the environment. The Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary research effort that links UW-Madison with 11 other universitiess and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, with Prof. Hamers as the overall Director.
Shane Hubbard My research area includes temporal topics in GIScience and how they can be applied to natural hazards. Event modeling approaches capture the geographic dynamics that occur for a given domain. During natural hazard events, for example, modeling these occurrences as events represents the movement and change within the hazard area. Hazard events (e.g., flooded roadway, bridge failure) are the happenings that decision-makers respond to during a disaster and from these events arise response actions. Simulating geographic hazard events provide a holistic view of the disaster and provide better information for spatiotemporal decision making.
Marek leads Fluence's UK and Ireland client solutions team and is responsible for overseeing the development and coordination of Energy Storage sales and project proposals across UK&I, the Middle East and Africa. He is approaching a decade of experience in energy and sustainability, including an instrumental role in the development of the UK's first fully commercial battery storage array at Kilroot Power Station in 2015. Marek is a 2017 honoree of the Forbes 30 Under 30; a list that recognizes the most important young entrepreneurs, creative leaders and brightest stars in their respective industries. He holds a Masters in Engineering from Durham University and an Engineering Doctorate from the University of Reading.
Alexandra Lakind is pursuing a joint PhD in Environment & Resources and Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is an alumna of Interlochen Arts Academy, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and New York University, where she studied theater/performance. Before coming to UW, she founded/directed a cooperative preschool in Brooklyn, NY and an outdoor summer camp in Santa Fe, NM. She has also maintained her practice as a performance artist making both solo and collaborative work, including projects with the Yes Men, the Hemispheric Institute, and the United States Department of Arts and Culture. During her time in Madison, she has done organizational design and arts programming for the Madison Public Library, Arts + Literature Laboratory, and Terra Incognita (an environmental art series she co-founded with Robert Lundberg). She is currently a graduate fellow at the Holtz Center for Science & Technology Studies and a graduate associate in the Center for Culture, History, and Environment, and is conducting research on environmental futurism and queer ecologies. She is interested in cooperative environments that moderate pressures from the market-driven society, and aims to recognize and support infrastructure to provide platforms to multiple voices across categories. Through implicit and explicit, academic and performative routes, she hopes to foster supportive communities prepared to process unanswerable dilemmas together.
Brian Luck is an assistant professor and extension specialist in the Biological Systems Engineering Department at UW-Madison. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering with an emphasis in Machine Systems Automation Engineering from the University of Kentucky. Brian moved to Mississippi State University to pursue his Ph.D. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering focusing on animal environments within poultry production.
Alejandro Meitin is an artist, lawyer, environmental activist, and co-founder of the art collective Ala Plástica (1991), which is based in La Plata, Argentina. Since 1994 he has been a member of Arte Litoral, an independent network of artists, critics, curators, and scholars interested in new ways of thinking about contemporary artistic practice and critical theory. Meitin has been involved in researching and developing collaborative artistic practices and has a number of exhibitions, residencies, and publications to his credit. He has also taught courses and given lectures in Latin America, North America, and Europe.
David Prager is Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs for De Beers Group and a member of the company's Executive Committee. Based in London, David has overall responsibility for the global profile and positioning of De Beers and its businesses.
Spanning the luxury and extractive sectors, David has unique insight into the evolving expectations of consumers and the corresponding pressures on production. He works across geographies to incorporate the needs of a diverse set of stakeholders into De Beers' corporate strategy. From communities to consumers; employees to partners; industry to civil society; and media to governments, David shapes a social purpose for the business that goes beyond risk mitigation and adopts the aspirations of communities as a core part of De Beers' business model.
David graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in Political Science and Journalism and is a board member of the Diamond Empowerment Fund.
Andrea joined WWF in 2001 and has more than 20 years of experience in international education and exchange, capacity development, and cross-cultural communications. As Director of WWF's Russell E. Train Education for Nature Program, she works to ensure that conservationists from Africa, Asia, and Latin America gain the skills and knowledge they need to manage their own natural resources. She holds a master's degree in international communications from American University. From her vantage at WWF, Andrea is interested in understanding opportunities and gaps for accessing capacity development.
Nathan Schulfer is the Director of International & Professional Programs at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. In this role Nathan manages the Institute’s professional MS degree programs, while leading the Institute’s efforts to build and strengthen networks with NGO’s, government units, and private sector partners around the world. Prior to joining the Nelson Institute Nathan worked for the US National Park Service in Glacier National Park, for the Montana State Legislature, and in China advising NGO’s and government units on protected area management. Nathan holds a BS in Anthropology from Montana State University, and a MS in Conservation Biology & Sustainable Development from University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Marcy West serves as the Executive Director for the Kickapoo Valley Reserve in southwest Wisconsin. As Director since 1996, Marcy has witnessed the transition of a property that was previously destined to be a man-made lake become a publicly protected 8,600-acre Reserve that attracts low-impact recreation enthusiasts year-round. She is currently writing a book about the Kickapoo Valley Reserve in cooperation with the UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.
Shari Wilcox is the Associate Director of the Center for Culture, History, and Environment. An interdisciplinary scholar, she works at the intersections of cultural geography, animal geography, environmental history, the environmental humanities, and conservation social science. Wilcox's work has been supported by the Smithsonian Institution, the Social Science Research Council, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is the co-editor of the forthcoming volume, Historical Animal Geographies (Routledge, 2018), and her first monograph will be published as part of the University of North Carolina's "Flows, Migrations, and Exchanges" series in 2020. Wilcox currently serves as chair of the Cultural Geography Specialty Group with the American Association of Geographers and is a founding member of the AAG's Animal Geography Specialty Group.