DC EcoWomen is an exclusively volunteer-run organization. We are who we are today thanks to our Executive Board members and the help of volunteers beyond our Board. Learn about the committees that make DC EcoWomen a well-oiled machine and the rock-star women who run them.
DC EcoWomen Board
Rachel Harmston, President
Ngozika Egbuonu, Vice President
Professional Development Committee
Originally rooted in rural northern Minnesota (yes it’s cold), Rachel has called DC home for the past 5 years. She is the owner of Living Growth; a small and intentional earth-based lifestyle company while doubling as an Account Manager in the world of data security and governance at Varonis. Prior, Rachel taught environmental and conservation topics to youth at Lee Montessori, Casey Trees and MN Conservation Corps. After studying Culture and Sustainability in New Zealand during her senior year of undergraduate education, her career path changed from a medical focus to an ever-evolving people/planet hybrid focus. Today her mission is to break down the complexities of natural living and science into fun and friendly everyday snippets that everyone will want to incorporate into their daily routines. In her free time, she loves to be in the gym, explore sustainable female owned brands, teach youth, try out DIY home/health projects, read and garden. You can find her on LinkedIn.
Born and raised in Colorado, Anna is an environmentalist and outdoors-enthusiast who relocated to DC in 2019 after graduating from Colorado College with a degree in Economics and Business. She is currently the Program Associate for The Climate Leadership Council, a climate policy institute that advocates for a carbon tax and dividend. When she’s not debating the complexities of effective climate policy, you can find Anna teaching yoga, reading in Rock Creek Park, and finding the best vegan food in The District. You can find her on LinkedIn.
Ivory Clarke is a proud Texan who currently resides in Washington, DC. She is an avid explorer of the natural world, which was fostered by her many summers spent camping. She enjoys traveling the world off the beaten path and exploring various cultures and foods. In her professional life, Ivory is an Associate Program Officer at the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). She has been with the Academies for more than 5 years supporting a range of projects focusing on environmental health, risk assessment and toxicology, one-health initiatives, education and population health. Currently, she co-directs the NAM Culture of Health Program, a multiyear collaborative effort funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to identify strategies to create and sustain conditions that support equitable good health for all those living in America. She previously directed the Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth through Age 8: Pathways to Implementation project. In this role she worked directly with state teams to develop actionable implementation plans, grounded in the science and recommendations from the 2015 IOM Report Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A unifying Foundation. Prior to joining the Academies, Ivory was a high school math and science instructor in Atlanta, GA. While teaching she was very active in improving educational outcomes for her students and enhancing their potential as future innovators through interactive learning and challenging curriculum development. Ivory nurtures her passion for fostering improved educational and health outcomes for all Americans through the lens of environmental health and sustainability through her professional and volunteer activities. She holds a master’s degree in Environmental Planning and Management from the Johns Hopkins University, Whiting School of Engineering and received her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with a focus on economics and policy from the University of Chicago.
Raven is a native Marylander with a deep passion for wildlife conservation, addressing anthropogenic climate change, and advocacy. Her passions grew from her lifelong connection to nature and her time as an undergraduate at Binghamton University, where she received degrees in Environmental Science with an ecosystem focus, and Sociology.
Currently, Raven works at Conservation X Labs where she builds and manages strategic partnerships to prevent the sixth mass extinction. Prior to her current role, she has worked in the health care advocacy space, at the Ross Park Zoo, and at Broome County Community Organizations Active in Disaster in New York. You can find her on LinkedIn.
In her free time, you can find Raven eating her way through DC, hiking, traveling the world, playing volleyball, or trying, and sometimes even succeeding, in keeping her plants alive.
Clara Fang grew up in the DC area and has been a climate advocate for twenty years. She is currently deputy director of partnerships at Yale Program for Climate Change Communication. Prior to that she was senior fellow at Citizens' Climate International and student engagement director at Citizens' Climate Lobby. In addition to climate advocacy, she is working on a PhD on equity and inclusion in the climate movement at Antioch University and helping environmental organizations advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging through consulting.
Clara serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, is a member of the Switzer Network, and Green Leadership Trust. She holds a BA in English from Smith College and a Master of Environmental Management from Yale University. She lives in Germantown, Maryland with her partner and their cat and dog. Her websites are climatediversity.org and residenceonearth.net (blog).
Born and raised in Minneapolis, Anna Hedlund is a proud Midwestern transplant here in Washington, DC. Currently, the Special Assistant to the VP of Strategy and Programs at the Bezos Earth Fund, Anna works closely with the executive team and programmatic leads to advance the Earth Fund's priorities. Before joining the Earth Fund, she spent five years at Conservation International in philanthropy, managing institutional and strategic donor engagements. Previous roles have been with the DC Environmental Film Festival working on fundraising, event management and partnership efforts and leading fundraising efforts for GWU’s Alternative Breaks Program. A lifelong lover of nature, Anna found her true passion for conservation, particularly the role it can play in building resilient communities and livelihoods, after studying abroad in Panama and traveling through Latin America. She holds a B.A. in International Affairs and Geography, with a focus on Sustainability, from The George Washington University. You can find Anna around town consuming copious amounts of coffee, spending time outdoors with friends, or adventuring beyond the DMV region to see the sights of the world. Connect with her on LinkedIn.
Ngozika is a nonprofit leader and content creator with more than ten years of experience working in a variety of communications roles. Currently, she serves as the Director of Programs at the Technology Association of Grantmakers. Prior to that role, she served as an Impact Officer and before that, the Community Engagement Manager, for a fundraising capacity-building program called Jumpstart at Network for Good (now Bonterra). Before that role, she was the Development Manager for Waterkeepers Chesapeake based in Takoma Park, Maryland, and the Development and Communications Manager at The Fishing School located in Northeast, Washington, DC. Born in Enugu, Nigeria and raised in Cheverly, Maryland, Ngozika moved back to the Washington, DC area after spending seven years in Los Angeles working in the fashion and ecommerce industries for organizations like HauteLook and BCBGMAXAZRIA. Prior to moving west, she attended Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art. Ngozika also holds a master’s degree in Psychology from Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology and a Master of Science in Medical Humanities and Bioethics from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. When she’s not working, Ngozika can be found hiking trails throughout the greater Washington area, finishing up an art piece or painting, or trying out some standup comedy at a local open mic. Ngozika also enjoys meeting new people and welcomes the opportunity to make connections on LinkedIn.
Ambika is a cities and climate change professional with experience collaborating with UN-Habitat, research institutes, and non-governmental organizations. Ambika is a key contributor to the UN’s analysis on urban development and climate change for Vietnam and she has contributed to policy reports which have been published by UN-Habitat, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Global Green Growth Fund, and the One Earth Future Foundation. She is also the project coordinator for the book “State of the World 2009: Into a Warming World,” published by the Worldwatch Institute. The book is an important reference guide on climate change and has been translated into 25 languages. She holds a master’s degree in environmental law from Sturm College of Law, the University of Denver. Ambika enjoys reading, hiking, cooking, and exploring new places. You can find Ambika on Linkedin (linkedin.com/in/ambika-chawla-29774a11/) and you can find her articles and reports at her website: www.urbanclimateinnovations.org.
Sydney is an experienced environmental communicator who has built her career around amplifying climate change solutions occurring in communities, companies, and governments across the United States. Currently, she is a Communications Specialist for the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, where she focuses on enhancing the communications strategy deployed by the organization’s climate and environment division. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and a B.S. in Environmental Science from Ithaca College and is finishing up her M.A. in Media and Strategic Communication from GWU. In her free time, she enjoys going on hikes with her husband and pup, crocheting, and reading! Connect with her on LinkedIn!
Jewell considers herself a dedicated and conscientious person with demonstrated knowledge in global and local conservation, sustainability, environmental policy, and physical sciences. Her college study abroad experience in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands confirmed her passion for addressing climate change. After exploring the impacts on the island’s coastal composition and hydrological cycle, she immediately knew that working to preserve our environment was to be her life’s passion. She currently works at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where she analyzes reported toxic chemical releases and manages pollution prevention activities throughout industry. Prior to the EPA, she obtained a wealth of experience working in the private sector providing management support to several federal agencies with an environmental focus. Jewell holds both a Master’s of Science in Environmental Science and Policy, and an MBA with a concentration in Sustainability from Clark University, which equipped her with the skills and knowledge necessary for an environmental professional. Her areas of interest are water quality/resources, Earth Sciences, and climate change mitigation. Furthermore, she is eager to learn about new developments in science and technology, while advocating for women of color in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Jewell is also a native Washingtonian, born and raised in Northwest, and enjoys roller skating, cooking, and serving her church.
A New Orleans native, Sheena works at the intersection of climate innovation/resilience, sustainability and business development. She is a detail oriented strategist and sustainability consultant with a knack for entrepreneurial thinking, relationship management, equitable community development and problem solving. With nearly 20 years in the non-profit and business industry, she holds a degree in Urban Sustainability with a concentration on Environmental Studies and is currently a Master’s in Public Administration degree candidate. Sheena was a graduate Fellow of the United Nations Association where she focused on the seventeen sustainable development goals and is currently a Fellow in the Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) where she focuses on renewable energy and decarbonization in majority minority communities. Sheena is well traveled (37) countries and has studied abroad in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ghana and El Salvador. When she is not working, you can find her jamming at a music festival, shopping at local thrift store, experimenting with her manual camera, strolling through a farmers market, volunteering, mentoring, gardening, cooking up a Louisiana staple (especially Gumbo), spinning from her extensive vinyl record collection while sipping a cocktail, bourbon or wine, trekking in the mountains or relaxing by the ocean. She credits her faith, family, and friends for helping her continually evolve as a servant leader. She is excited to engage with the broader DC EcoWomen community . https://www.linkedin.com/in/sraefoster/
Alexandra Kroger is currently a Senior Financial Analyst at the Work Dynamics practice of JLL. In her role she supports the portfolio management of the Loans Programs Office of the US Department of Energy. Previously she served as the Energy Program Director of The Energy Co-op, the only nonprofit cooperative supplier of renewable energy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She directed the management and strategy of renewable electricity and renewable natural gas sales to residents and small businesses while also helping to build new partnerships to meet the sustainable energy needs of the Philadelphia region.
Clean energy and environmental issues have been the focus of Alexandra's entire career and academic training. Prior to her current position, she performed budget analysis in New York for the recycling and organic waste collection programs of the sanitation department at the New York City Office of Management and Budget, and she performed policy analysis for the New York City Parks Department.
But her environmental career path actually got its start in Washington DC - after finishing her undergraduate degree in environmental studies and political science at the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on clean energy policy education and advocacy at the Center for American Progress. From there, armed with specific knowledge of solar energy policy, Alexandra went on to develop policy strategy and project development at then-startup solar project developer Distributed Sun. She solidified her commitment to environmental stewardship with an environmental policy focus in her Master's of Public Policy from the University of Maryland (and she remains a proud Terp to this day).
Nicole Johnson, PE is an environmental engineer for the federal government working in
the world of environmental compliance and sustainability. She currently leads the air
quality compliance program, along with the training program for all of the Marine Corps
installations. Through her experiences over the last 20 plus years, she has gained a depth
of expertise in designing, compliance, and auditing programs across the various sectors in
the environmental field.
Before moving to the Washington DC Metro area, she received her master’s and
bachelor’s degree from Clemson University in Biosystems Engineering.
In her free time, you can find Nicole exploring the DC food scene, playing tennis, or
exploring the town with her French bulldog, Oreo. Although Nicole is originally from
South Carolina, she enjoys being in the city and all diversity and education it has to offer.
Nicole welcomes connections on LinkedIn.
Rachel is a Career Fulfillment Coach based in Washington DC. She has her coaching practice, Free To Flourish, where she helps people who want fulfilling careers align their next steps with their strengths and purpose. She is an accredited coach with the International Coaching Federation and has her master’s in Positive Psychology Coaching as well as training in yoga and mindfulness. She has a working background in the environmental, ocean conservation, and sustainability field with a bachelor’s in Environmental Science. Rachel has coached and taught in Southeast Asia and worked at a sustainability semester school in The Bahamas where she also taught freediving and SCUBA diving to students. She is passionate about environmental and social impact issues as well as addressing gender equity in today’s world. In her free time she likes to play soccer, be outside, explore in the city, and travel outside the U.S. when she can. You can connect with her on Linked-In.
Artisha Naidu is a Government and Public Sector Consultant with Deloitte LLC. She has an extensive background in energy, environmental sustainability, international development, and urban policy. She holds a Masters of Public Administration from the George Washington University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Community and Regional Development from UC Davis.
Benay’s connection to conservation stems from strong ties to the San Miguel Mountains of Colorado and to the outdoors she experienced growing up in and around Washington, D.C. While working in higher education and corporate communications, she spent her free time volunteering for environmental causes. Now, she is thrilled to have transitioned her personal interests into purposeful work at The Nature Conservancy and is grateful to spend each day working alongside colleagues driven by a common mission. Prior to TNC, she worked as an account director for Sage Communications, a marketing/PR agency, where she managed marketing communication projects for a variety of non-profit, for-profit, and government clients. There and in previous roles in design and publishing, she developed a particular love of working with creative teams. Originally from Washington, D.C., Benay lived in Colorado, Alaska, New York and Italy before making her way back to her hometown. In her free time, she works at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, volunteers with the Sierra Club DC’s Zero Waste Committee, Circular Economy Working Group, and DC Environmental Film Festival, and loves to travel, try new foods, go forest bathing, and teach others how to compost.
Tara Marie Fortier
Tara has an extensive background in environmental impact assessment, international development, environmental education, and outdoor adventure & education. Her current work is globally-focused, as a project manager and environmental impact analyst specializing in international development at the Cadmus Group. Her non-work time is decidedly locally-focused. Tara hopes that DC will always be a home for her young daughter and is working towards that goal by becoming active in local climate action groups and by planning climate and environmental action programming for her church. Tara loves rediscovering the natural world through the eyes of her daughter and most of their time is spent exploring. In her spare time, Tara tutors youth from disadvantaged communities in Ward 6, struggles with her compost bin, experiments with native plants while trying to turn her formerly-impermeable outdoor space into a native plant garden, reads, bakes, and tries to get away for camping and backpacking adventures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Allegheny College.
Janine Berger is a sustainable development professional with expertise in environmental and social impact assessment; ESG strategy, reporting and disclosure; and carbon accounting. She currently advises international supply chain and waste management projects as the environmental compliance and climate risk management lead for Chemonics International's Health and Supply Chain business line. Previously, she worked at The Cadmus Group supporting USAID clients on environmental and climate policy capacity building and implementation. Janine has a deep appreciation for urban planning and sustainable design in the built environment as she began her career at Casey Trees where she focused on urban forestry/green infrastructure design and advocacy. She approaches her work through a local/global, equity, and science-based lens. Janine holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies (environmental sustainability and global health specialization) from American University. In her free time, Janine loves to connect with nature by tending to her community garden plot, unwind with a good book, and spend time with family and friends near and far. Connect with her on LinkedIn or via email at email@example.com
Having built her professional career in business development, technology and strategy, Lizzy’s enthusiasm for conservation and sustainability issues sparked when she started volunteering at the National Zoo’s Reptile Discovery Center in 2017. She is particularly passionate about topics relating to wildlife and ocean conservation, and looks forward to learning from DC EcoWomen’s fantastic community. In her spare time, Lizzy is an avid traveler, foodie and enjoys hiking, kickboxing, and playing board games.
Sarina Katz is a seasoned communicator and marketer with experience designing and executing dynamic campaigns across digital and print media. Her passion for the environment began at an early age and has grown with her through both her personal and professional lives. Sarina uses her skillset in storytelling to connect people and their communities with the natural world around them. She currently serves as the senior communications and marketing manager at the Alliance for Health Policy, a nonprofit dedicated to educating policymakers on the toughest health policy challenges of the day.. Sarina leads the coordination and strategy of the Alliance’s communication channels and oversees marketing activities for Alliance programs and events. Prior to the Alliance, Sarina held positions at Restore America’s Estuaries, the Land Trust Alliance, and the Department of Justice. She holds bachelor’s degrees in international relations and history from Penn State University. In her free time, Sarina enjoys exploring DC, her home for over eight years, traveling the world, crafting, and all things Disney!