Our Leadership

Gitte Venicx, CEO

Gitte Venicx, Earthwatch CEOThroughout her career Gitte (she/her) has worked to strengthen the connection between people and science. She has experience building participatory science programs that tackle big picture environmental issues from climate change to biodiversity, sustainable agriculture, and sustainable cities; managing professional development programs that build corporate employees into sustainability leaders; and leading STEM programs that engage high school students and K-12 teachers in world class research. She has also worked on climate change policy at the regional and national scale. Gitte believes in making science accessible to all and in the power of hands-on experiences to build a more sustainable future.

Caroline Dunn, M.A., Director of Programs

Caroline Dunn, Director of ProgramsCaroline (she/her) leads the Program team, the largest team at Earthwatch and the heart of our mission. She draws from over 15 years of experience developing and implementing international environmental programs to ensure we create high quality experiences that meaningfully connect people to science. She has filled every role on the Program team; her favorite has been facilitating numerous in-field programs across the globe. She specializes in risk management and emergency response, and is a member of our International Incident Management team. As Major Incident Manager, she leads the organizational response to our most critical incidents. She has a M.A. in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University, with a concentration in international service learning, and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of IL, Chicago. She is a former outdoor educator, classroom teacher and counselor, and has lived and worked in Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Spain and the UK. Caroline believes in responsible travel and the transformative power of connecting with nature, and is passionate about getting people outdoors, no matter who they are.

Caroline Nassif, Operations Lead

Caroline Nassif, Director of Field Research ExpeditionsCaroline (she/her) has been at Earthwatch since 2012 and has held various positions at the organization in both the sales and operations departments. In her current role, she is responsible for overseeing our organizational timeline, managing our research project inventory, creating process efficiencies, launching new business tools, and maintaining our financial integrity. She enjoys working with students and has facilitated numerous teen programs over the years. As a senior member of 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.

Coralys Negretti, Director of Communications

Earthwatch Director of Communications, Coralys NegrettiCoralys (she/her) joined Earthwatch in 2023 as Director of Communications. She oversees the marketing and communications strategy at Earthwatch, ensuring that the organization continues to connect more people with science in order to support critical research. Coralys' team uplifts field success stories and showcases how the Earthwatch model of participatory science is impacting scientific research and environmental legislation, as well as raising awareness of how individuals and organizations can help conserve our planet. Originally from Puerto Rico, Coralys received her BBA in Marketing Management from the University of Puerto Rico. Coralys has worked with non-profit organizations for over eight years to help them build more meaningful connections and have greater impact. Her professional experience spans for-profit and non-profit sectors, with a focus on narrative change, digital storytelling, and inclusive communications. Her previous experience as a Divemaster and work with coral reef restoration drew her to Earthwatch. Coralys is thrilled to support the organization's mission and work with a talented team to protect our planet.

Stan Rullman, PhD, Director of Research

Earthwatch Research Director, Stan RullmanStan 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

Earthwatch Controller, Larry StaubLarry 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.

Heather Wilcox, MPS, Director of Annual Giving & Planned Giving

Earthwatch Director of Annual Giving & Planned Giving, Heather WilcoxHeather (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.

Michele Badker, Director of Sales

Earthwatch Controller, Larry StaubMichele (she/her) brings over 30 years of sales and management experience with a growth focus to her role as Director of Sales at Earthwatch. Over the last fifteen years, Michele has dedicated her time and efforts toward building cross-functional, inclusive teams, to help individuals and companies grow and find success. Her passion for, and pivot to, the nonprofit sector, stems from her commitment to organizations that seek to enact positive change in the world. Her decades of work with local animal welfare groups and emergency response and disaster preparedness teams, has deepened this commitment, and she is grateful and excited for the opportunity to support and serve Earthwatch scientists, staff, communities, and its incredible participants.


Earthwatch Leadership
Earthwatch Leadership
Our Leadership
Our boards of directors are responsible for the leadership and governance of Earthwatch, and for overseeing its strategy and direction. Combining diverse backgrounds, they are ambassadors for the organization, furthering the Earthwatch mission by setting strategic priorities for its work.


Leisha John, Chair

Earthwatch Board of Director, Leisha JohnLeisha John specializes in helping companies, especially in the climate-tech space, to step up their ESG-related efforts and scale their operations in order to make a meaningful impact on curbing climate change. Prior to her 2021 retirement from EY, a global professional services firm, she served as the organization’s Americas Director of Environmental Sustainability for over a decade. In her role, Leisha worked with the firm’s executive board to develop strategies to reduce EY’s impact on the environment, become 100% renewable energy and set a global ambition to be Net Zero carbon by 2025. She also conceived and implemented EY’s two signature Corporate Responsibility programs to engage its employees: EY-Earthwatch Ambassadors (launched in 2009) engages EY’s people in scientific field research and education in sustainable environments, providing pro bono consulting and environmental research throughout Latin America. In 2020, she co-created “Operation Health Air” with Earthwatch as a global EY program which 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.  She delivered a TEDx Talk “White Roofs for Green Schools.”

Leisha is a CPA and a LEED AP. She is also a Climate Reality Leader, a member of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, and participates in climate education and resiliency efforts across South Florida. She lives part-time in Aspen where she is active with the Aspen Institute, working to spur climate action.

Vittorio Severino, Vice Chair

Earthwatch Board Member, Vittorio SeverinoVittorio 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.

Erin Billman

Earthwatch Board Member, Erin BillmanErin 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

Earthwatch Board Member, Amy Ruth BourneAmy 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.

Gillian Bowser, PHD

Earthwatch Board Member, Gillian BowserBowser focuses on ecological indicators of climate change, such as pollinator insects, and linkages between changing ecological conditions, local community livelihoods and climate. She places special emphasis on sustainability, citizen-scientist engagement, and encouraging more students from underrepresented backgrounds to study science. Her current interdisciplinary work looks at biodiversity indicators in high elevations around the world.

Bowser has worked as a wildlife biologist and ecologist for the U.S. National Park Service in Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Joshua Tree and Wrangell St. Elias, and was an AAAS Science and Diplomacy Fellow in 2011. She serves on the board for the Rocky Mountain Sustainability and Science Network, and participated in the U.N. Framework on Climate Change Convention and U.N. Global Environmental Outlook.

Bowser earned her B.S. from Northwestern University, her M.S. from the University of Vermont, and her Ph.D. in Biology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Kevin Bryan

Earthwatch Board Member, Kevin BryanKevin 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. 

Caren Cooper, PHD

Earthwatch Board Member, Caryn CooperCaren is an Associate Professor of Forestry and Environmental Resources at North Carolina State University. She is an advocate for participatory science practices, including public science, citizen science, and community science. Caren pursues scholarly inquiry into these areas with a lens of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI). She is dedicated to training and mentoring students to become public scientists so they can pursue careers that weave science into the fabric of society. Her current projects use geospatial analytics to discern large-scale patterns across the natural and built environments to gain insights into the ecology, evolution and conservation of birds, as well as expose racial and economic inequities in environmental hazards and in the representativeness of environmental data itself. Caren develops public science programs that focus volunteer interests towards the generation of large-scale data to study and visualize the interactions between social and ecological systems. Her other interests include the ecosystem services of trees and public understanding of urban forests, for mitigation of air, light and noise pollution, flood risk and urban heat island effects. She is interested in any research question that can only be answered via citizen science.

Chris Dymond

Earthwatch Board Member, Chris DymondChris is a Managing Director and co-founder of Greengate LLC, a global infrastructure finance advisory firm. Since its foundation, Greengate has advised on over $500 billion of investment spanning a broad range of infrastructure sectors. The firm is currently a market leader in projects that address the transition to a carbon-neutral economy, including renewable energy production and manufacturing, nuclear power, battery manufacturing, transmission, carbon capture, Earth observation satellites, and green hydrogen production.

Chris’ career has focused on project finance, restructurings, asset acquisitions, and private equity transactions. He is a former editor of Journal of Project Finance and adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where he taught a graduate-level course in Project Finance.

Prior to his finance career, Chris was a researcher in the field of photo-organic chemistry and a Peace Corps volunteer in Fiji.

Chris has a Master's degree in international economics and energy policy from Johns Hopkins University SAIS, where he graduated first in his class and a B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin.

G. Keith Funston, Jr., Treasurer

Earthwatch Board Treasurer, G. Keith Funston, Jr.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.

David Lang

Earthwatch Board Member, David LangDavid 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.

Christine Repasy

Earthwatch Board Member, Christine RepasyChristine 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.

Harold Rickenbacker, PHD

arthwatch Board Member, Harold RickenbackerHarold is an Environmental Engineer in the Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ), at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Harold works as a technical expert on EPA’s Ports Initiative working to reduce diesel pollution at ports and associated health impacts near port communities. Prior to EPA, Harold held the role of Clean Air and Innovation Manager at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), where he focused on developing sustainability strategies to identify and demonstrate the value of hyperlocal data. By engaging with stakeholders across many sectors, he helped to catalyze and demonstrate the business models, and partnerships needed to accelerate action to reduce air pollution exposure in disadvantaged communities.

In addition to his involvement at Earthwatch, Dr. Rickenbacker has served on the Boards of the Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) and Black Millennials for Flint (BM4F). He was acknowledged recently for his career’s work by Green Biz in their sixth class of 30 under 30 honorees, and by Climate Action Campaign as a Young, Gifted, & Green 40 Under 40 honoree. He holds a BS in Civil Engineering Technology from South Carolina State University and a Ph.D. in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. Harold is originally from Orangeburg, SC, but currently resides in Washington, DC.

Judith Santano

Earthwatch Board Member, Judith SantanoJudith 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.

Jane Steinmetz

Earthwatch Board Member, Jane SteinmetzJane Steinmetz is the managing partner of the Boston office of EY. In this capacity, Jane manages approximately 2400 professionals across all services lines who make an impact on area businesses and the community. She brings over 25 years of experience in serving Fortune 100 clients, leading high performing teams and advocating for change. Jane is skilled in bringing the full power of EY’s multidisciplinary practice to assist clients across a spectrum of areas, including transaction support, supply chain, tax, legal, finance, talent and diversity and inclusion. As a tax partner, Jane serves as the lead tax partner, coordinating all aspects of tax services, to some of firm’s largest global accounts.

She is dedicated to giving back to her community and committed to personally making a difference in youth mentoring, equality and the environment. She is a board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Boston, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley and the National Association of Corporate Directors - New England Chapter. She chairs the Massachusetts Business Roundtable and serves on the executive committees of the Massachusetts High Tech Council and Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. She is a corporate member of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and actively involved in Earthwatch and NVNA Hospice Home, chairing their anniversary campaigns. Jane was a 2020 Boston Chamber Pinnacle award recipient and has been named onto the 2021 and 2019 Power 50 and 2018 Women Who Mean Business by the Boston Business Journal. She was also named as one of Massachusetts Society of CPA’s 2018 Women to Watch.

Jane started her career at PWC and joined EY in 2011. She received her Bachelor of Science in accounting from Rhode Island College and her J.D. and LL.M. in Taxation from Boston University School of Law. She is a member of the Massachusetts and Connecticut bar associations. Jane resides in Cohasset, Massachusetts with her husband, 4 children and 2 Newfoundlands.



These academic and business leaders help guide and focus our work, and are an integral part of our success. We value their involvement and support both personally and financially. Their ongoing unrestricted support gives us the opportunity to achieve our mission by giving us the flexibility to allocate and send our funds to where they are most urgently needed and where they will make the most impact.


Coordinator: Kevin J. Anton
Eileen Arbues
Diana Barrett
Mark Cappellano
Mark Carthy
George Eberstadt
Alexandra (Alix) Goelet Sandell
Gary Goldring
Gaye Hill
Jeffrey Jakubiak
Whitney L. Johnson
Don Kendall
Merrill Magowan
Bill Martens
Lawrence Mason
Dr. William Moomaw
Dr. Wallace J. Nichols
Thomas H. Nicholson
Catherine Nierras
Dr. Daniel I. Rubenstein
Ruth Scheer
Christine Bata Schmidt
Leslie Smith
Betsy Snow
Victoria Stack
Amy Ziff


Gitte Venicx, CEO, U.S.

Steve Andrews, CEO, Europe

Fiona Sutton Wilson, CEO, Australia

Tomoko Nunoi, CEO, Japan

Raghuvansh Saxena, CEO, India



Earthwatch depends on donations—above and beyond what we raise from volunteers who participate on our expeditions—in order to deliver our global conservation mission. In fact, volunteer contributions provide only half of the total resources Earthwatch needs to sustain over 40 field research expeditions, a wide variety of educational programs, corporate sustainability trainings, and more each year.