Scott Kania, CEO
Scott joined Earthwatch following a 35-year senior operations career in the financial services industry. Scott has deep expertise in program delivery, automation, global project management, change management, finance and IT systems, remote project management and best practice development. Scott had spent his prior eight years with HSBC in NY and London, where he served as Senior VP. Scott was an Earthwatch participant in the HSBC Sustainability Leadership Program (SLP). Scott holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resource Conservation and has remained active in conservation as a Trustee of The Rivers Alliance as well as a member of the Conservation Commission in Canton, CT.
Stacey Monty, Director of Operations
Stacey (she/her) took over as Director of Operations in November 2018. She is responsible for the team of advisors, managers, and coordinators that recruit and prepare volunteers, schools, and groups to join our researchers in the field. Prior to taking on this role, as Business Planner, Stacey assessed business opportunities, managed our research project portfolio, developed tools that are critical to program success, and coordinated business process across Earthwatch's international offices. She has joined many of our expeditions in the field and is a senior member of the International Risk Management team. Stacey is passionate about broadening people’s horizons, demystifying science, and supporting researchers working diligently to create more sustainable systems. Stacey started working for Earthwatch in 1999 and has been hooked on our mission ever since.
Alix Morris, MHS, MS, Director of Communications
Alix (she/her) joined Earthwatch in 2014 and is responsible for overseeing the organization's communications and marketing strategy. Alix and her team work across a variety of platforms to translate complex scientific research for general audiences through the power of storytelling. Alix has more than a decade of experience in science communications and global field research, including four years leading malaria research teams in East Africa. She has an MHS in International Health from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and an MS in Science Writing from MIT, where she focused her thesis on the effects of shark finning on marine ecosystems.
Caroline Nassif, Director of Field Research Expeditions
Caroline (she/her) has been at Earthwatch since 2012, where she began as an Expedition Advisor, helping our public participants join expeditions. After a few years, she transitioned to the role of Operations Manager and was responsible for overseeing our organizational timeline, managing our research project inventory, creating process efficiencies, launching new business tools, upholding customer service standards, and maintaining our financial integrity. She has come full circle and is now leading the team of Earthwatch staff that recruits and prepares public participants and groups to field on our research expeditions. She enjoys working with students and has facilitated numerous teen programs over the years. As a senior member on our Incident and Risk Management team, Caroline draws on her experience to support the organization in keeping up our safety standards. She has been a certified SCUBA diver since 2003 and recently became a Dive Master in 2017, which has allowed her to support Earthwatch’s dive operations. Her passion for our oceans is what initially drew her to Earthwatch’s mission and she is looking forward to continuing to help us work towards a more sustainable planet.
Heather Pruiksma, Director of Program Delivery
Heather (she/her) has been at Earthwatch since 2001, having started as an Expedition Coordinator and then quickly settling into the Program Manager role after a matter of months. Now she manages the team of Program Managers and Coordinators who work directly with the Earthwatch scientists to develop project budgets, logistics, risk assessments and emergency response plans, as well as stewarding grant relationships and ensuring the effective delivery of their funded programs - all while acting as PM for several projects and grants herself. Heather is a senior member of the International Incident Management Team, drawing from her past experience as a wildland firefighter and two decades of Wilderness First Aid certification.
Stan Rullman, PhD, Research Director
Stan Rullman (he/him) has held the role of Research Director for Earthwatch since 2013, though has been a vigorous “banner waver” for the organization’s unique global model of citizen science for much longer. He has over 30 years of professional experience in conducting, supporting and managing wildlife research projects- international and domestic. Stan studied raptor and songbird ecology along Seattle’s urban-to-wildland gradient for his PhD research at the University of Washington, as well as patterns of second home development in the Northwest. He enjoys working at the nexus between critical field research and transformative learning experiences, helping volunteers shift from seeing themselves as a passive observer of the natural world to an active participant in its preservation and stewardship, through participation in the engaging field research projects that Earthwatch supports.
Larry Staub, Controller
Larry Staub (he/him) joined Earthwatch as its Controller in 2012 and is responsible for the financial management of the organization. This includes budgeting, financial reporting, forecasting, cash management, and overseeing the audit process. Prior to working at Earthwatch, Larry has over 25 years of experience in financial management and financial analysis roles, primarily within the biomedical industry.
Gitte Venicx, Director of Strategic Partnerships
Gitte (she/her) works with corporations and other partners to build programs that empower individuals and organizations to take action to help solve environmental problems through scientific field research. She builds professional development programs that build corporate employees into sustainability leaders, STEM programs for high school students and K-12 teachers, and research programs that tackle big picture environmental issues from climate change to marine plastics, biodiversity, sustainable agriculture, and sustainable cities. She has worked at Earthwatch since 2008. Over the years, she has gained an in-depth understanding and passion for Earthwatch’s programs and impact. Prior to Earthwatch, she worked on climate change policy at the regional and national scale at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Heather Wilcox, MPS, Director of Annual Giving & Planned Giving
Heather (she/her) brings 20 years of fundraising and development experience to the Director of Annual Giving & Planned Giving position, which she first held from 2007-2009 and resumed in 2013. She leads Earthwatch’s membership, Rosborough Society, Legacy Society, and donor stewardship programs, while providing high-level support for major gifts, events, data management and analysis, and communications. She holds a Strategic Public Relations Master’s Degree from George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management and a certificate in Planned Giving from Indiana University's Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
Leisha John, Chair
Leisha is the Americas Director of Environmental Sustainability for EY, a global professional services organization with over 300,000 people, providing audit, tax, transaction and risk advisory services. In her role, Leisha works with the firm’s leaders to develop and implement strategies to reduce EY’s impact on the environment. Her focus is measuring EY’s carbon footprint, applying best practices in sustainability to the organization’s operations, sustainability and carbon reporting, and engaging employees in adopting more eco-friendly ways of working.
Leisha conceived and launched EY’s signature Corporate Responsibility programs, EY-Earthwatch Ambassadors, to engage EY’s people in scientific field research and education in sustainable environments. Since the program’s inception in 2009, EY has provided thousands of hours of pro bono consulting and environmental research throughout Latin America. In 2020, Leisha worked with Earthwatch on “Operation Health Air” to create a global program for EY that promotes cleaner air and addresses environmental racism through virtual, just-in-time volunteering and the application of data science.
Leisha has been acknowledged for her work by being named one of "The 10 Most Powerful Women in Sustainability" (gb&d magazine) and one of the “Top Women in Sustainability” (PINK magazine). She has been profiled in various publications including GreenBiz “How She Leads” series and Journal of Accountancy’s “The Last Word.” She speaks locally and on the national stage on corporate sustainability topics and delivered a TEDx Talk “White Roofs for Green Schools.”
Leisha is a CPA and a LEED AP. As an engaged citizen, she is also a Climate Reality Leader, a member of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, and participates regularly in South Florida conferences focused on sea level rise resiliency and adaptation.
Erin is currently Executive Director of part of the new Global Commons Alliance, the Science Based Targets Network, endeavoring to create the methodologies for cities and corporations to operate within Earth's limits. Erin has focused her career on working with organizations—both for-and non-profit—to best steward the natural world as a strategy toward long-term success.
Erin has 15 years of experience in the private sector, first as a case team leader at Bain & Company and then as a principal at Blu Skye. Between the two, she has extensive experience working on c-level strategy with retail, food & agriculture, technology, healthcare, industrial, and buildings & energy sector clients, in addition to her non-profit leadership experience. Sample roles and projects include: acting as an interim executive for Tompkins Conservation, facilitating The Paulson Institute's CEO Council focused on environmental sustainability, partnering with Alcoa on strategies to drive higher packaging recycling rates, advising the US battery industry on voluntary product stewardship, and helping Walmart on many of its sustainability strategies.
Erin has a BS in Biology from Boston College where she graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Her environmental work began there as an undergraduate intern, with activities ranging from rehabilitating orphaned hawks, to waist-deep mucking for pond turtles, to radio-tracking coyotes. She received her MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Sustainable Business and the Environment. Outside of work, Erin enjoys exploring the Bay Area and beyond with her daughter and their pup. They can often be found hiking the local trails and camping under the stars.
Amy Ruth Borun
Amy Ruth Borun Has a background in finance and nonprofit management. Previously she was a partner with Candela Solutions, LLC, a public accounting firm, which assists companies with governance and regulatory challenges, including Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) compliance, board development, and corporate responsibility strategies. Prior to joining Candela Solutions, she served as CFO for high-tech start-up companies in Israel and provided SOX consulting for foreign companies registering in the US. Currently she is Chair of the Anna and Harry Borun Foundation. Her volunteer work includes almost 20 years’ service with Earthwatch including past Chair of the Board, past President of the Board of the Gerontological Research Organization, past Board member of the Santa Monica YMCA and the Jewish Home for the Aging. Amy is an avid equestrian, competing and ranked nationally as an amateur, and has worked as a NAUI SCUBA instructor. She holds a B.A. from University of Californian at Berkeley, and an MBA from University of Southern California.
Kevin has created EqUniVal Partners LLC as the next step in a distinguished career as a nationally-recognized leader in using the power of collaboration to fashion equitable public policy in the environmental arena. Kevin has over twenty years of experience shaping public policy at the federal, state, and local level that reflects our shared values for inclusivity, opportunity, and a sustainable future. His professional career includes experience leading and building donor bases for national coalition efforts, developing organizational strategy, fostering collaboration within and between organizations, and communicating new ideas and pragmatic solutions to diverse audiences. In his work, Kevin brings a vision-centric approach to decision making, strategic planning, and operational and financial management that has produced bold, system-level change in integrating social equity issues into broad policy agendas.
Most recently, Kevin has provided strategic advisement and managed policy discussions for coalitions focused on federal land management policy, climate and energy legislation and policy, public infrastructure investment, and sustainable consumption. Kevin has led the growth of a national coalition that secured a presidential directive from President Barack Obama to ensure that federal land management agencies address diversity, equity, and inclusion in the design of its programs, procedures, and policies. He has spearheaded the formation of a broad-based coalition to champion policies top reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the US transportation sector. Kevin has also led discussions among major corporations and national environmental groups to design federal policy to address climate change, resulting in recommendations that influenced the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.
Currently, Kevin is working with several organizations to promote the deepening of equity and diversity in the environmental community. He is advising multiple organizations on their efforts to transform their strategies with equity as a center. He is also leading multiple efforts to create programs that will expand career opportunities in the environmental sector for people of color. Kevin has served as a member of the Board of Trustees for Arts for the Aging, an organization in the Washington DC metropolitan area focused on providing creative aging programming for vulnerable seniors in the region, He has also led the board of the Environmental Leadership Program (ELP), which focuses on developing the premier network of tomorrow’s environmental leaders. As board chairperson for ELP, Kevin oversaw the organizational restructuring after the 2008 economic crisis, focusing on revamping its fundraising strategy to include more corporate and individual giving. Kevin has also served as a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution’s Environment and Public Policy Section Leadership Committee.
Kevin is a proud graduate of Howard University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. He resides with his wife Rosie in Washington, DC.
G. Keith Funston, Jr., Treasurer
Keith is a former CFO, then president of Advanced Energy Dynamics (now Separations Technology, Inc.) and Chief Operating Officer of Insite. Keith is currently an antiques dealer specializing in American and European furniture from 1600 to 1850 and items of natural history. He is a director of the Sudbury Historical Society; and a director of several small businesses. Keith holds a B.A. in history from Trinity College and an M.B.A. from Wharton. Keith has served as Earthwatch’s US Treasurer for over ten years.
Donald R. Kendall, Jr.
Donald is the Managing Director & CEO of Kenmont Capital Partners, LP. Previously, he was President of Cogen Technologies Capital Companies, LP. His responsibilities included acquisitions and strategic planning. Concurrently Don was founding Chairman and CEO of Palmetto Partners from 1993 to 1998. In addition to other duties there, he managed various alternative investments, public equity and fixed income portfolios for affiliated entities and three charitable foundations. He has also been involved in establishing significant private equity programs at Morgan Stanley, Drexel Burnham and First Boston. At one of these institutions he created, managed and sold a $1.5 billion private equity portfolio. Mr. Kendall received an A.B. degree from Hamilton College and an M.B.A. with high honors from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College. He was a Tuck Scholar and a recipient of the W. M. Bollenbach, Jr. Fellowship. Mr. Kendall serves on the board of Bat Conservation International, Earthwatch Institute, MAR Alliance and on the Board of Overseers of The Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College, as well as on the Houston Zoo Conservation Committee and The Jane Goodall Institute Global Africa Committee. He has served as a Trustee of Hamilton College (and as a member of its Investment Committee), SolarCity and Stream Energy.
David is Founder and Managing Partner at Hickory Lane Associates. He spent the majority of his career as Managing Director of TA Associates, a growth private equity firm, with a focus on healthcare services and technology investments. Dave was the lead investor in companies such as Lawson Software, Medsolutions, Intercontinental Exchange, American Access Care, TARGUSinfo, and One Call Medical. In addition to his involvement at Earthwatch, Dave is currently active on the Boards of Lahey Clinic (Finance Chair), Harvard Business School's Community Action Partners, Tristan Medical, American Endovascular, Connected Home Care, and Clearview Dermatology. Dave loves basketball, having been a 4 year Varsity walk-on, 2 year starter at Harvard. He is currently Assistant Coach of Babson College (Wellesley, MA) Men's Varsity Basketball Team. Dave holds an AB in Economics from Harvard and an MBA from Harvard Business School. David and his wife Heather, children's book author, live in Lexington.
Dr. William R. Moomaw
William is Professor Emeritus of International Environmental Policy and was the founding Director of the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy at Tufts University. With a background in chemistry, he has worked on global change issues such as protection of the global climate system, the ozone layer, forests, nitrogen impacts, oceans and biodiversity. In addition to his own research on climate and related problems, he works extensively with scientists and policy makers to translate science into policy-relevant terms. He received his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his B.A., cum laude, in chemistry from Williams College. He has a long history of board service at Earthwatch, including ten years as Vice Chairman, and also served as Chief Scientist. He serves on the boards of several organizations focused on climate and other science based global issues including The Climate Group, The Nature Conservancy, Woods Hole Research Center, and The Consensus Building Institute. Dr. Moomaw has been a lead author of five reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and has authored many reports to state, national and international agencies. He is extensively published and respected in the fields of climate, energy and nitrogen management. He and his wife Margot have built a zero net energy home that uses no fossil fuels.
Christine is a seasoned attorney who is valued as a trusted business partner and hailed as a problem solver. The business acumen stems from ten years of working at CIGNA Corp. in underwriting, product development and sales before she began her law practice. She spent fifteen years at Hartford Life, Inc. serving in various law department roles of increasing responsibility prior to becoming its general counsel. Her last fifteen years expanded her horizons to international venues where she served as general counsel of Sirius International Insurance Corporation and White Mountains Advisors LLC. Since she has retired she has served as an expert witness.
Christine is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Connecticut School of Law. In addition to being an avid gardener and golfer she is a member of several non- profit boards. She and her partner, Bob, live in Essex, Ct.
Judith graduated from Stanford University with a BS in Earth Systems. During her time in undergrad, she largely focused on ecology, but also prioritized learning about and practicing environmental education, science communication, and environmental justice. Apart from being involved in her department, Judith spent a lot of time working with and advocating for First Generation and/or Low Income Students of Color and fostering those communities in different spaces around campus. Judith intends to pursue an ecology PhD in the near future. For now, she is staying the Bay Area for the fall and working with the Stanford Conservation Program.
Judith’s first experience with Earthwatch was as a participant of the Ignite program, she later returned to intern with the education-based programs in Boston after her sophomore year of college. She has always been incredibly grateful for the opportunities that Earthwatch has given her, and the ways that this organization has shaped her life and career.
Vittorio is currently Chief Operating Officer, HSBC North America Holdings Inc., a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc (NYSE:HBC). He has over 30 year experience as a technologist and operations specialist in the Financial Services industry. He worked as a Senior Consultant with Accenture; a senior analyst for Shearson Lehman Brothers; a managing director for JP Morgan and Co; and as the Chief Information Officer of Hartford Life Financial Group—a major insurance and investment company in the US.
Vittorio is on the CIO Advisory Board of a major Silicon Valley VC that specializes in Financial Services. In the past he was a Board Member of The Girl Scouts in Hartford, Connecticut (one of the poorest counties in the state), focusing on the leadership of its annual planning and budgeting.
Vittorio was born in Rome, Italy, before moving to the US as a young child. He graduated with honours from Columbia University in New York with a degree in Computer Engineering and is married with two children.
Coordinator: Kevin J. Anton
Alexandra (Alix) Goelet Sandell
Whitney L. Johnson
Dr. Wallace J. Nichols
Thomas H. Nicholson
Dr. Arthur D. Riggs
Dr. Daniel I. Rubenstein
Christine Bata Schmidt