Our Team

Co-Chairs Co-Chairs Co-Chairs
Co-Chairs Co-Chairs Co-Chairs

Friends of the Earth

Natural Resources Defense Council & Ceres

Population Connection

Executive Director

Managing Director

Membership Director

our leadership our leadership our leadership
our leadership our leadership our leadership


Arturo manages the New York Community Trust’s national and New York City environmental grantmaking program. He came to the Trust from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, where he oversaw the environmental justice grant program and chaired the State’s Sea Level Rise Task Force Community Resilience Work Group. Before that, Arturo worked with the United Nations Development Program, where he ran a global funding initiative focused on helping developing countries implement the Rio Conventions. He has also promoted sustainable development in the Americas with several nonprofits including the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Alliance to End Childhood Lead Poisoning. Over the course of his career, Arturo has worked for Congress and for a Clinton appointee at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington D.C. He earned an undergraduate degree from the City University of New York in International Affairs and Theater, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School, where he focused on international and environmental law.


Michel has over 25 years of experience in energy, sustainability, and social justice work in policy-making, research, advocacy, and business. He is presently working with the Packard Foundation on sparking innovation in climate policy-making, and was most recently a founder of BuildingEnergy.com, a cloud-platform for the world’s building energy data. Prior, Michel Gelobter served as the Chief Green Officer for Hara, the leading enterprise energy and environmental management software startup, and remains Chairman/Founder of Cooler (www.climatecooler.com), a company whose mission is to connect every purchase to a solution for global warming.

Michel also has a long history in research and teaching, policy, and advocacy. He is a lecturer at U.C. Berkeley and presently serves on the Boards of the Natural Resources Defense Council and Ceres, as well as the Advisory Board of Vice-President Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection. He led Redefining Progress in designing the world’s most aggressive climate legislation (AB32 — signed into California law in August of 2006 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger), was a Congressional Black Caucus Fellow with the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee; Director of Environmental Quality for the City of New York, and founder and director of the Environmental Policy Program at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He also served as Issues Director for Mayor Dinkins’ first and successful bid for Mayor of New York.


Environmentalist and Human Rights Activist, Dianne Dillon-Ridgley has worked for thirty years on issues of the environment and sustainability, and gender and CSR, both domestically and internationally. Since 1997 she has been a director at Interface, Inc., global manufacturer of modular carpet and a leader in sustainable design. She was a director at Green Mountain Energy for the first six years and still chairs the Environmental Integrity Committee for the company.

For eighteen years she was affiliated with Population Connection/ZPG, serving as both President and Board Chair ( four times). Currently she is in her second year as chair of the CIEL Board and her second term on the NWF Board. She is founding chair Emerita of PLAINS JUSTICE, an environmental law center for the Great Plains and currently ED of WNSF (the Women’s Network for a Sustainable Future).


Emira Woods (Pronouns She/her)

Emira Woods is a global justice strategist and advocate focused on people and the planet. She brings an intersectional lens to her work as an environmentalist and political activist specializing in social impact and innovation.

Emira uses her skills to advance human dignity and social justice.

As the Executive Director of Green Leadership Trust, Emira works at the nexus of race, governance, and climate justice.  Green Leadership Trust  strengthens environmental organizations and foundations by building more diverse, equitable, and inclusive governing boards and senior leadership across the sector.   Together, we are building a more just and sustainable world.

Prior to this role, Emira served as  Senior Advisor at the Shine Campaign, a community of practice with philanthropists, faith and values-driven agencies catalyzing investment in women-led, community based  renewable energy initiatives around the world.  Committed to feminist leadership, Emira established Shine’s Energy Access Women Leadership Council.  She also worked to co-create and manage Shine’s Energy Access COVID Recovery Fund.

Emira previously worked in the private sector as Director of Social Impact at ThoughtWorks, a global technology firm. Her work forged strategic relationships linking social movements to innovative technology, funding, policymakers and other resources. Originally from Liberia, Emira led ThoughtWorks’ efforts to bring more robust technology solutions to the Ebola crisis and other global social impact initiatives.

Ms. Woods worked for 11 years as a public scholar and Director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the progressive think tank, The Institute for Policy Studies.  She remains an Associate Fellow of the Institute, providing thought leadership on issues related to peace, justice, and the environment. Emira has also served as Africa Program Officer at Oxfam America and Manager of Development Policy and Practice at InterAction, the U.S. network of international development and humanitarian organizations.

Emira is a trusted advisor and Board Member to many organizations and initiatives. She is currently a Trustee of two trailblazing foundations – the Wallace Global Fund and the Janelia Fund, where she is Vice-Chair.  Emira is honored to be Ambassador for Africans Rising for Justice, Peace, and Dignity, a network of African social movements working to build peace, seek justice and manifest dignity on the African continent and throughout the diaspora. In addition, she serves as a Mentor at the Fighters’ Table supporting feminist leadership in Black and Brown communities.  She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars and is a board committee member of ActionAid International.

Ms. Woods is an analyst on CNN’s One World with Zain Asher.  She also is a regular commentator on Voice of America, BBC and  National Public Radio, among others.  Emira is widely published on a range of issues from climate change, trade and investment to U.S. military policy. Ms. Woods completed her undergraduate studies in Political Science at Columbia University and her graduate studies in Political Economy and Government at Harvard.

dany sigwalt

Dany is an organizer, writer, and network weaver and is passionate about building organizing models that reflect the world that we’re trying to build, centering Black queer feminist approaches.

Before joining Green Leadership Trust as their inaugural Managing Director, Dany worked as Executive Director at Power Shift Network working to build a home and resources within the national climate movement for Black and Indigenous and multiply marginalized youth to be able to engage meaningfully in the climate movement and build power.

While at Power Shift Network, she supported the development and growth of numerous powerhouse organizations including Sunrise Movement, Zero Hour, and DivestEd.

Under her leadership, Power Shift Network doubled its membership base to more than 120 organizations and quadrupled its staff size. Before joining the climate movement, Dany worked as a youth worker, anti-war activist, housing justice advocate, solidarity childcare organizer, and a hip hop education advocate, among other things. She’s the author of This Book Will Save the Planet, a climate justice primer for young changemakers, and her writing has been featured in the New York Times, TruthOut, and Yes! Magazine. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Macalester College and received a certificate in Nonprofit Executive Leadership from Georgetown University, she’s a proud Public Allies Alum, and is a Senior Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity.

Dany is from Washington, DC and currently lives in Knoxville, TN with her preschooler and partner where she enjoys spending her time baking, woodworking, bicycling and weightlifting.


Francisco Ollervides is better known as “Paco,” a common nickname in Mexico where he was born and raised. For over 21 years, Paco has worked in the nonprofit world, specifically developing leadership, and building capacity of individuals in environmental and conservation organizations in USA and throughout Latin America. He served as the first Executive Director for Green Leadership Trust. This is a network of people of color and indigenous people who serve on environmental boards and proactively build the environmental movement’s power. Prior he worked for River Network as leadership development manager helping leaders in the Great
Lakes region think and act strategically, equitably, and inclusively by improving their efficiency and efficacy. Paco served as Senior Field Coordinator with the Waterkeeper Alliance advising
numerous nonprofit advocacy groups throughout Latin America. He has also served as Director
of the School for Field Studies (Center for Coastal Studies) in San Carlos, Mexico. He has been a resident lecturer and adviser in the areas of Economic and Ethical Issues in Sustainable
Development, Coastal Ecology, and Resource Ecology and Management (Boston University).


Paco’s main interest is marine conservation and strengthening individuals to ensure organizations’ continuity and success in the areas of strategic planning, fundraising, board development, and succession planning. He has participated in and presented at numerous
professional and academic conferences, both in the U.S. and internationally. Paco is a
biochemical engineer and marine bio-acoustician by training. He has conducted field work assessing the impacts of boat noise on gray whale behavior. Paco holds both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences Department at Texas A&M University. Paco is based near Columbus, Ohio. In his free time, he likes to go on long walks in the woods with his entire family, travel, and savor local cuisine and history.