Mike Tidwell is founder and director of the CCAN Action Fund, the advocacy arm of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. 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.
Contact: mtidwell [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org, 240-460-5838
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.
Contact: kirsten [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org
Anne Havemann is CCAN Action Fund’s 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. Anne has clerked for U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the American Wind Energy Association. She 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.
Contact: anne [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org
Jamie DeMarco, Federal Policy Director
Jamie leads CCAN’s Capitol Hill lobbying and Maryland advocacy. Before joining CCAN, Jamie led state-level lobbying for the Citizens Climate Lobby, was a campaign manager for the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Initiative, and worked as a legislative assistant at the Friends Committee on National Legislation. He got his start as an advocate interning at the CCAN years ago. Jamie graduated from Warren Wilson College where he led a successful divestment campaign, and helped close the Asheville coal plant. Jamie grew up in Baltimore and now lives in College Park with his girlfriend and their dog Mila. As a child and young adult Jamie spent his summers being a camp counselor in Shenandoah. Now he enjoys morning runs around lake Artemesia, laughing with friends on the back porch, and going to bed early.
Contact: jamie [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org
Victoria Venable, Maryland Director
Victoria (she/her/hers) is the Maryland Director at Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Victoria joins CCAN after earning a Master’s in Public Policy degree at Oregon State University, where she studied environmental policy and researched the social equity considerations of climate resilience planning. Prior to her move to the West Coast, Victoria worked as the Legislative Director for Delegate Benjamin Brooks in the Maryland General Assembly. Victoria has been involved in several electoral and issue advocacy campaigns including Maryland’s ban on fracking, the Clean Energy Jobs Act, and local candidate races throughout Maryland. Victoria grew up in Frederick County, Maryland and received her undergraduate degree at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. After a couple of years exploring the Pacific Northwest and witnessing firsthand how rapidly climate change is threatening our survival, Victoria returns to Maryland ready to advocate for progressive and equitable climate action. In her free time, Victoria enjoys hiking, baking, exploring the world with her partner and her dog.
Contact: victoria [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org
Kim Jemaine, Virginia Director
Kim Jemaine is originally from Pretoria, South Africa but has been blessed to call Virginia home for the last 20 years. Kim received her undergraduate degree from the University of Mary Washington and completed a graduate program at Regent University. She has worked throughout the Commonwealth on both electoral and issue advocacy campaigns and most recently in the public policy sphere. Before coming to CCAN, Kim worked as the Public Policy Manager for the Virginia League of Conservation Voters. In her free time, Kim likes to read, tend to her plants, travel, and enjoy Virginia’s natural wonders while hiking. Kim lives just outside of Richmond with her beautiful daughter and a needy but loving yorkie-poo.
Contact: kim [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org
Janet Redman, Director of Engagement and Partnerships
Janet is CCAN’s Director of Engagement and Partnerships. She joins CCAN after corporate careers in national project management (Verizon) and finance (Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo). As a financial advisor, she created her own “Low Carbon Footprint” portfolio of environmentally-aware companies that outperformed the S&P 500 from 2015-2018. At CCAN, she is returning to her lifelong love of the environment. Born in Baltimore, she attended the U of MD on a Marine Biology scholarship and went on to receive an MBA- Economics from the Johns Hopkins University. In 2019, she attended Climate Reality Leadership training in Atlanta and began writing a Global Climate Justice blog. Janet became active with the Citizen’s Climate Lobby group in Rehoboth Beach, DE, giving presentations on Sea Level Rise and Delaware’s actions to meet their Renewable Portfolio Standard. She received a Certificate in Sustainability from Stanford and is currently enrolled in the Master’s of Energy Policy and Climate program at Hopkins (expected completion 2021). Determined to make her “next act her best act”, Janet is intent on galvanizing support to make 2020-2030 the decade that the world turns the climate crisis around. In her free time, Janet likes to find bicycle century rides in a city that she has never visited before.
Contact: janet [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org; 240-242-5080
Mustafa Abdullah, Field Director
Mustafa Abdullah (he/him) is the new Field Director for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network where he will help lead the organization’s efforts to build grassroots power and infrastructure to help our communities in DC, MD, and VA to tackle the biggest threats and take on the biggest opportunities to achieve climate stability. Mustafa’s commitment to organizing work is driven by sharing moments with people when they realize their own power and have a clear sense of hope and what is possible.
Mustafa has been organizing professionally since 2010 and has significant experience building volunteer programs and organizing on a wide range of civil rights and liberties issues at a municipal and state level. He also has experience leveraging elections to get candidates to adopt critical policy positions. Among his proudest achievements are setting up a legal support infrastructure for movement work, which led to volunteers and activists being trained on hwo to work with lawyers to file effective litigation in courts to protect their rights. Additionally, Mustafa is particularly proud of working with activists on the ground in St. Louis to get the top two vote getting Mayoral candidates in 2021 and a majority of the members of the Board of Aldermen to adopt the ACLU of Missouri’s civil liberties platform to mitigate police surveillance, reduce arrests for low level offenses, closing a local jail, and increasing police transparency.
Contact: mustafa [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org
Courtney Dyson, Donor Communications Manager
Courtney grew up on a farm in Southern Maryland and is CCAN Action Fund’s Donor Communications Manager. Courtney became fascinated with nature in the 1st grade when completing a science project on squirrel nesting habits. This led her to a B.S. in Conservation and Wildlife Management from Delaware Valley University and a Master’s in International Cooperation and Development from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy, where she focused on climate change adaptation methods relate to food security in vulnerable communities.
Prior to joining the team Courtney was a Communications Fellow with CCAN and interned with the United Nations Climate Change secretariat and The Nature Conservancy. In her spare time, Courtney enjoys almost any outdoor activity, reading, travel and exploring, spending time on the family farm.
Contact: courtney [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org
Quentin Scott, Federal Campaign Coordinator
Quentin Scott joined CCAN in January 2021 as the Federal Campaign Associate working to build political will for groundbreaking climate justice policies in the Executive Branch and Congress. Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, he got a first-hand look at the two Americas and sought to bring the two Americas closer together through advocacy. Quentin’s passion for math and science landed him at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Instead of using his skills for engineering, he uses his knowledge to build data-informed campaigns. Before joining CCAN, Quentin was chief of staff for an Illinois State Representative and a legislative correspondent in the US House of Representatives, and has led numerous issue and candidate campaigns across the Midwest. In his roles he has stood with neighborhood advocacy groups to hold industrial polluters accountable in communities of color and looks forward to bringing that fight to the federal level. Quentin enjoys exploring new places and has been to 36 states. When he is not traveling you can find him engaging in some form of competition, whether that’s video games, board games, or on the basketball court.
Contact: Quentin [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org
Anthony Field, Maryland Campaign Coordinator
Anthony Field joined CCAN in the summer of 2019 as the Maryland Campaign Coordinator working to protect Maryland communities and ecosystems from the risks posed by fossil fuels. His passion for social justice and environmental advocacy took root during his freshman year at the University of North Texas where he pursued a major in Political Science and a minor in Peace Studies and Diplomacy. It was during this time that Anthony joined the local effort to institute a citywide fracking ban. He and dozens of activists were able to take on the big oil interests and successfully saw Denton become the first city in Texas to ban fracking. While this ban was eventually overturned by Governor Abbott in May of 2015, Anthony is proud to have been a part of the movement. His impassioned dedication to championing progressive values and fighting for traditionally under-represented communities did not end there. He served as a 2015 White House Intern for former President Obama and after began managing the ground efforts for ballot initiatives and State and Federal races in Texas, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Virginia. His compassion and drive to help positively impact his community also saw him assist in managing disaster relief efforts for FEMA in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Maria. When he is not trying to save the world he can be found spending time with friends, enjoying the company of his two dogs, and playing video games both for fun and competitively.
Contact: anthony [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org
Emily Frias, Maryland Grassroots Coordinator
Emily Frias joined CCAN Action Fund in 2018 as the Maryland Grassroots Coordinator. A Baltimore native, Emily became focused on climate issues after learning how it would affect a port city like her hometown. She was especially interested in environmental justice issues, and studied Economics and Geography at UMBC to further understand how climate change would interact with different communities.
Lauren Landis, Hampton Roads Organizer
Raised in Texas, Lauren moved to Virginia to attend William & Mary and graduated in 2011 with a degree in Government. She went on to work in the nonprofit sector, specifically leading community outreach, volunteer coordination, and event management at organizations addressing healthcare and hunger relief. In addition, Lauren served as Associate Director in the conference industry at her alma mater. Lauren joined CCAN to help protect the region she loves and to build local relationships centered on climate justice and progressive policies. While pursuing these goals both at work and in her personal time, Lauren also enjoys listening to podcasts, trips to her local library, and spending time with her family around Hampton Roads.
Contact: lauren [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org, 757-447-4403
Megan McHargue, Executive Operations Assistant
Megan (she/her/hers) is the Executive Operations Assistant at Chesapeake Climate Action Network. As someone who was born and raised in Baltimore, Megan has always known that she has wanted to be involved in protecting the Chesapeake Bay and other areas of her home state. She completed her B.A. of Environmental Studies at Goucher College and is currently working toward her Master’s in Environmental Management. She has also done coursework with the Yale School of Public Health to expand her knowledge on how climate change will continue to affect public health and has a background in administrative work for another environmental non-profit organization.
Outside of trying to make the world a better place, Megan is a photographer and loves to explore new places with her dog, Tundra.
Contact: megan[at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org
Stacy is CCAN Action Fund’s Digital Campaign Coordinator, and joined the team in Summer 2017. Stacy works on CCAN’s digital communications and social media.
A New York native, Stacy moved to DC in 2015 to attend graduate school. She holds a Master of Public Administration from American University, and a BA from the University of Rochester. Her academic work included study of environmental justice, water policy, food systems, and renewable energy.
When she’s not working she enjoys hiking Rock Creek Park, rowing on the Potomac River, playing in a recreational kickball league, and going to games at Nationals Park.
Contact: stacy [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org
Monica O’Connor, Content Writer & Special Projects Assistant
Monica joined CCAN in the Fall of 2019 as a content writer and special projects assistant. Monica began her work in grassroots advocacy in 2016 by co-founding the Maryland WISE Women where she worked to promote environmental legislation on the state and local level. In 2018 Monica worked as a coalition partner with CCAN in her position as the Clean Energy Jobs Act Organizer for the Maryland League of Conservation Voters. Currently she is a Legislative Liaison for the Maryland Legislative Coalition and a member of the March On Maryland Board.
Monica is a long time proponent of sustainable farming and has supported and promoted local farmers and CSAs for 20 years. She considers the 8 years spent in upstate New York producing food for her family as a point of pride. Monica spends her weekend hiking with her family.
Contact: monica [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org
Zander Pellegrino, Northern Virginia Organizer
Zander (He/Him/His) spent the first two decades of his life in Virginia. Born in Harrisonburg, he studied biology and environmental policy at William & Mary. Zander went on to work in and research international sustainable development projects, focusing on participatory planning and just climate adaptation in Egypt. During and after earning a master’s degree from Yale School of the Environment he joined local and regional fights for climate justice and against green gentrification in the US.
Zander is thrilled to join CCAN and come back home.
Contact: zander [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org |
Riley Pfaff, Executive Assistant and Special Projects Coordinator
Riley (he/him) grew up in Maryland and serves as CCAN’s Executive Assistant and Special Projects Coordinator. He attended Duke University and interned with the League of Conservation Voters and Defenders of Wildlife as an undergraduate. After graduation, he worked as a field organizer in North Carolina during the 2020 campaign before interning for Rep. Don Beyer (VA) in the House of Representatives.
Outside of climate work, Riley is a huge Washington Nationals fan and hopes to one day visit all 30 MLB stadiums. He also enjoys biking around D.C. and crabbing and fishing in the Chesapeake Bay.
Contact: riley [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org
Sat Jiwan Khalsa President; Keith Thirion Board Secretary; Amanda Tandy Board Member