Vanguard Fellowship

Green Leadership Trust is the first cross-sector network of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color fiduciaries that serve on the boards of U.S. nonprofit environmental organizations. Our members include individuals with a wealth of knowledge and decades of experience navigating predominantly white in environmental and conservation nonprofits.

The Cecil Corbin-Mark Vanguard Fellowship is a six-month development program where we leverage our combined talent and shared knowledge to impart valuable lessons with the next generation of environmental and conservation leaders of color. The program is designed as a peer-to-peer learning experience primarily executed in a virtual setting with in-person training opportunities when possible.

Through a series of 90-minute webinars, Vanguard Fellows will be exposed to the knowledge and experiences from their peers on the essential functions of board service, specifically for people of color. Speakers are veteran board members, some of which can be regarded as trailblazers having served as the first or the only board member of color in their spaces.

the Process

Success for us is measured by the increase in opportunities for the next generation of leaders that are now being recruited to serve on the boards of environmental and conservation groups.

Elevating Equity in Your Organization

addressing and solving conflict while maintaining work-life balance and self-care

Assessing board culture and understanding the seats of power

Understanding your legal and fiduciary responsibilities

CCMVF: Conclusion

We are pleased to present our

2021-2022 Vanguard Fellows

Cecil Corbin-Mark’s Legacy

The Vanguard Fellowship is named to honor the legacy of Cecil Corbin-Mark (1969 – 2020).

Cecil D. Corbin-Mark, the Deputy Director and Director of Policy Initiatives at WE ACT, was the most brilliant and effective environmental champion. A member of Green Leadership Trust since 2014, Cecil was a force to be reckoned with. We hope our fellows build on Cecil’s legacy by championing justice and equity for the environmental movement.


Green Leadership Trust

Abel Olivo

Abel Olivo is the Executive Director of Defensores de la Cuenca, which translates to Watershed Defenders, a non-profit dedicated to engaging Latinos in watershed-related issues and experiences in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Previously, Olivo was the Director of Community Outreach & Partnerships at Corazón Latino. A community activist in Prince George’s County, MD and Greater Washington, D.C. area, Olivo uses his insights and perspectives as a former lobbyist & advocate to connect resources and relationships through coalition building and strategic partnerships. Olivo has extensive experience in developing and implementing policy and engagement campaigns to maximize reach, impact, and message. He serves on the board of directors for the Audubon Naturalist Society and is a member of the Cheverly Planning Board. The son of migrant farm workers and the first in his family to graduate from college, Olivo earned his BA in Political Science from his BA in Political Science from The Ohio State University. 

Dr. Natasha DeJarnett

Dr. Natasha DeJarnett (she/her) is an assistant professor in the Christina Lee Brown Environment Institute at the University of Louisville Division of Environmental Medicine researching the health impacts of extreme heat exposure and environmental health disparities. In addition, she is a professorial lecturer in Environmental and Occupational Health at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. Dr. DeJarnett is a graduate of University of Louisville, where she completed her PhD and Masters of Public Health, both concentrating in environmental health sciences. 

Dr. DeJarnett is a member of the EPA’s Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee, is chair of the Governing Board of Citizens’ Climate Education, a member of the Board of Directors of Physicians for Social Responsibility, a member of the Advisory Board of APHA’s Center for Climate, Health and Equity, special advisor to the Environmental Health Coalition, and the Steering Committees of the International Transformational Resilience Coalition and the Environmental Law Institute’s Emerging Leaders Initiative.

Judith Santano

My name is Judith Santano and I graduated from Stanford University in 2019 with a B.S. in Earth Systems. During undergrad I studied ecology and how it is intersects with education, communication, and justice. I’m currently in the process of applying to graduate programs where I hope to continue to use ecology to inform my work as an environmental educator, and leverage my skills to advocate for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. I currently serve on the Board for Earthwatch whose main mission is to connect people to science through citizen science expeditions. I first came to Earthwatch as an Ignite Fellow in 2013, and then as their Educator Programs Intern in 2017. As someone who has strongly benefitted from Earthwatch, I want to expand the reach of their programs to serve more First Generation, Low Income Students of Color like myself.

Kenya L. Goodson

Kenya L. Goodson, Ph.D. serves on the Board of Directors for several environmental organizations including Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Conservation Alabama, and the Cahaba River Society working in educational outreach. 

Kenya has worked for the State of Alabama, as a Public Health Environmentalist, inspecting onsite sewage disposal systems in Tuscaloosa County. Her work in the rural community of Tuscaloosa inspired her to pursue a career in environmental engineering that focused on science policy and developing solutions to systemic concerns in environmental health. She obtained her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from The University of Alabama. As an environmental consultant in the District of Columbia, Kenya had the opportunity to work on a major stormwater implementation plan to reduce major stormwater pollutants from three of DC’s watersheds. Dr. Goodson found her passion for STEM education and literacy later in her career. She currently serves the University of Montevallo as a professor teaching environmental science. Additionally, she teaches science for the Upward Bound program at Stillman College.

When Kenya is not working, she enjoys discussing politics, volunteering, and fellowshipping with friends and colleagues.

Kim Keller

Kim Keller is a philanthropy professional with a decade of experience of partnering with non-profit organizations and social entrepreneurs on strengthening governance practices and policies, strategy, and organizational development. As the Director of the David & Anita Keller Foundation, she selects and supports a global portfolio of investments in human rights and policy and advocacy and environmental justice. She is the Co-Chair of New Media Advocacy Project, a founding board member of Accountability Counsel, and the newest board member to join the National Asia Pacific American Women’s Forum. Kim holds degrees from Harvard Kennedy School, London School of Economics, and Wellesley College.

Roshan Patel

Roshan Patel is a media producer for Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in Washington, DC. He earned his MFA in Science and Natural History Filmmaking from Montana State University and has produced award-winning short films on a variety of conservation topics, ranging from lions in western India to the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on deep sea artifacts and ecosystems.


Since 2019, Roshan has served as a Board Member for Wildlands Network.

Russell Smith

Russell Smith is the owner of Flen Consulting LLC, which provides consultant services on various oceans-related issues. Previously, Mr. Smith served as the deputy assistant secretary for International Fisheries at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  His responsibilities included overseeing international fisheries and trade-related work, and leading U.S. efforts to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud. He also worked for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, as a lawyer in the Environment and Natural Resources Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, and in private practice. Mr. Smith is currently a Board member of The Ocean Foundation and the International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP).

Steffanie Munguía

Steffanie Munguía is the Pan-Flyway Regional Director for the National Audubon Society. A native of Puerto Rico, she grew up in central Florida, where she first became involved in middle school with Audubon through her local Lake Region Audubon Society chapter and volunteering for the Center for Birds of Prey. Over the past 13 years, she has dedicated her efforts to increasing youth and minority engagement in Audubon, co-coordinating the state’s Conservation Leadership Initiative for several years.


Now entering her third year of her doctoral studies, she is excited to bring this energy to increasing student and young professional opportunities in Audubon across the flyways. 


In addition to serving on the board of the National Audubon Society, she is also a member of the National Parks Conservation Association’s Next Generation Advisory Council and the Chair-Elect of the Student Section of the Society of Wetland Scientists.

Taylor Jang

Taylor Jang is a Stewardship Project Manager at Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), a leading local land trust that protects open space in the San Francisco Bay Area for the benefit of all. He focuses on public access park projects, land management and serves on a board-staff working group which provides organizational leadership in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. He has lived and worked in Chicago, New York, Boston and Colorado and enjoys climbing, meditation, cooking and long bike rides. He also serves on the board of the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council and hopes to one day complete a segment hike of the entire 550+ mile trail.