Staff | Earth Day Network


Earth Day Network – U.S.

rogersKathleen Rogers – President

Kathleen Rogers is the President of Earth Day Network. Kathleen has developed Earth Day Network into a year-round policy and activist organization. Now more than 1 billion people participate in Earth Day in 192 countries.

Kathleen has been at the vanguard of developing innovative financial mechanisms to support green buildings and schools. Kathleen also founded Earth Day Network’s groundbreaking Billion Acts of Green program, which has now recorded close to 3 billion individual actions to improve the environment.

She is a frequent commentator on environmental issues in the media and has appeared on CNN, Fox News, and NPR, as well as in Time Magazine, The Washington Post, the New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times and many other international and national newspapers and journals.

Prior to her work at Earth Day Network, Kathleen held senior positions with the National Audubon Society, the Environmental Law Institute, and two U.S. Olympic Organizing Committees. As Chief Wildlife Counsel for the National Audubon Society, she oversaw international trade, migratory species, and biodiversity programs, and was responsible for bringing the first citizen complaint before the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, the tri-national agency created to oversee North American environmental issues.

Kathleen serves on various boards and as Regional Focal point for North America Region of the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Network of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), now known as the GEF-CSO Network to serve a four-year term from June 30, 2018, to June 29, 2022.

She is a graduate of the University of California at Davis School of Law, where she served as editor-in-chief of the law review and clerked in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Read More: How She Leads

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bassSusan Bass – Senior Vice President, Programs and Operations

Susan Bass, Senior Vice President, Programs and Operations, has worked for over 20 years as an environmental attorney and public interest lawyer, focusing on capacity-building, public participation, human rights, and international issues. Susan also worked for law firms in New York and Washington, D.C., specializing in corporate, banking and securities law. During her tenure as Director of the Inter-American Program at the Environmental Law Institute, Susan presented educational workshops and events for judges, prosecutors, congressional representatives and citizen activists in over a dozen countries in the region, produced research and policy reports on cutting-edge sustainable development issues and supervised a Visiting Scholars program. She also served as an Environmental Representative on the United States Delegation for the negotiation of the Free Trade Area of the Americas, Technical Advisor to the Organization of American States for the development of the Inter-American Strategy for Public Participation, and Consultant to the International Mining Minerals and Sustainable Development project.

Susan worked as a volunteer attorney with the International Human Rights Law Group, receiving a Pro Bono Service Award in honor of her efforts and interned with the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. Susan graduated cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center, served on the Georgetown Law Journal and graduated cum laude from Yale University.

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Kathryn Stoddard – Vice President of Marketing & Development

Kathryn Stoddard is an experienced environmental marketing, communications, and sponsorship leader who has served as Vice President of Marketing & Development and previously Vice President of Corporate Partnership for Earth Day Network since 2009. Her passion is helping to build the environmental movement worldwide. Her strengths are creating corporate partnerships, developing cause marketing campaigns around sustainability, producing Earth Day and other large scale global events, and bringing corporate partners into global environmental events and cause campaigns. She worked for many years in publishing and producing environmental and music events in NYC and nationwide. She also served as Development Manager for Friends of the United Nations for the 50th anniversary of the United Nations.

She has a bachelor’s degree from New York University and a master’s degree in media education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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Tracey Ritchie – Vice President of Programs and Partnerships

Tracey joined Earth Day Network as the director of education in January 2018. Most recently she was adjunct faculty at the University of Florida and has held positions from Florida to North Carolina, managing and facilitating environmental education programs. Tracey holds a PhD from the University of Florida, where she focused on developing systems-thinking skills in students and teachers to more effectively communicate about complex environmental issues such as climate change. When Tracey is not in the office, she can be found exploring natural areas around D.C. with her dog, Dakota.

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LindaLinda Moore – Director of Operations

Linda joined the Earth Day Network organization as the director of operations in March 2018. She has a demonstrated history in operational management in a variety of industries. Linda has been the project management leader in developing many training and operational systems connecting team members through the efficient use of software and technology. A strong operations professional with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management, with a focus in Human resources from Kaplan University.

Growing up in rural Western New York and experiencing life in close proximity to nature, Linda has developed a strong sense of environmental issues and leaving the earth as undamaged as possible. A personal health story lead to extensive research for a better way of life. Removing as many chemicals and other materials unnecessary in a long healthy lifestyle. Linda is very passionate about learning and growing knowledge through sharing experiences and stories with others.

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NickNick Nuttall – International Strategic Communications Director

Hailing from the North of England, Nick supports Earth Day Network with a focus on international strategic communications and advice. Nick graduated from the University of St Andrews, Scotland, with a Bachelor of Science. Previously with the Times Newspaper London, the U.N. Environment and the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, Nick was the Director of Communications and Spokesperson for the Paris Agreement of 2015. A passionate fan of English football team Burnley, Nick is also often seen warbling backing vocals at concerts for the German pop singer/songwriter Bernadette La Hengst.

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JustineJustine Sullivan – Director, Communications and Digital Media

A born and bred Washingtonian, Justine runs communications and digital strategy for Earth Day Network. Justine graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a Bachelor of Science in foreign service and a minor in justice and peace studies. Previously with the United Nations Foundation, Justine led communications across climate change and energy access to support the adoption and entry into force of the historic Paris Agreement on climate change. A reformed pastry chef, Justine still loves to bake and has been known to bribe her colleagues with the occasional sweet treat.

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Rusul Al Shihab – Director of Earth Day 2020 Middle East

Rusul is the Middle East and North Africa Director for Earth Day 2020. He is an Iraqi – American born in Basra, Iraq. He granted as a refugee 2009 to USA. Mainly he leads the outreach efforts in the Middle East and North Africa calling for climate actions.

He joined Earth Day Network as Field Organizer back in 2010. He coordinated the climate rally outreach to the Arab-speaking community in the mid-Atlantic region. He rejoined the EDN as an International Outreach Advisor 2015 supervising the Network’s international campaign in MENA region advocating for sustainable developments.
Besides, Rusul worked As an Employment Counselor and Case Manager with Lao Family Community Development Inc. in Sacramento area. He helped the Iraqi and Afghani refugees with career developments and cultural orientation to reach self-sufficiency and economic independency.

He also worked for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) in their Iraq program as Senior Program Officer and Election Program Coordinator from 2005 till 2009.

Rusul graduated from Electric Technology, Basra Technical Institute 2003, Iraq also has Project Management Certificate from University of California (2015), Irvine, USA. And he likes soccer game and graphic designs.

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Art Edelstein – Forest Consultant

Art Edelstein, Consultant and Principle, Edelstein Consulting, LLC, has over 30 years of professional experience in fund development and project management for environmental organizations. He is the Development and Project Consultant for Earth Day Network, managing global tree planting projects. Art previously served for seven years as Vice President of Development for Earth Day Network. He was a co-founder of the Hoosier Environmental Council, Indiana’s largest environmental organization, serving on the organization’s board and later as its first Development Director. At HEC, Art established a diversified array of fundraising programs and managed events with the Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. While at HEC, Art served as a member of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management Advisory Board and the Indiana Ground Water Taskforce.

As a volunteer, Art was Vice Chair of the Hoosier Chapter of the Sierra Club and Chair of the chapter’s SCCOPE committee, the Sierra Club Committee on Political Education, a federal PAC. Art has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Minnesota. He has been awarded Certificates of Achievement from The Fund Raising School, San Rafael, California and the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Claire DelNegro – Athletes for the Earth Campaign Manager

Claire DelNegro comes to Earth Day Network to launch a campaign for Athletes for the Earth from an extensive sports background that spans 10 Olympic Games and two Youth Olympic Games. Claire currently serves as Vice President of Sport on the board of the Federation Internationale de Luge (FIL), the governing body for the winter sport of luge.

After retiring from sports as an athlete and competing in the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, Claire has continued to work in sports in a professional capacity in various key positions. Claire has worked on three Olympic Organizing Committees, and served as Technical Delegate representing the Federation to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the 2006, 2010, and 2014 and the 2018 Winter Olympic Games respectively in Torino, Italy; Vancouver,Canada; Sochi, Russia; and PyeongChang, Korea. Claire is currently serving in the same capacity for both the upcoming Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland and for the next Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China in 2022.

Additionally, Claire worked domestically with two USA National Governing bodies for sport. She served a large part of her career with USA Luge as the International Programs Manager and created long term strategies that led to the Federations first Olympic medals. Claire went on to become the CEO of USA Bobsled for several years with responsibility for the management of the organization and acting as liaison with all partner associations including the U.S. Olympic Committee and the International Governing Body for the sport (IBSF, previously FIBT). In 2013, Claire was also asked to return to USA Luge to act as interim CEO and lead them through a period which involved updates to policy and statutes as they transitioned into the current organization.

Claire is a graduate of Ithaca College graduating Cum Laude with a degree in Communications.

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Jason Gooljar – IT Director

Jason Gooljar is the IT director at Earth Day Network, overseeing the organization’s information technology and web infrastructure. In addition to 10 years of nonprofit technology experience, Jason has experience as a field organizer on local campaigns. Jason is originally from Westchester County, New York, and has been in the D.C. area for 10 years. He studied multimedia development and management at the College of Westchester.

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Sebastian Rosemont – Green Cities Coordinator

Sebastian runs the Green Cities program at Earth Day Network. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American studies with a minor in political science from McGill University. Prior to joining EDN, Sebastian worked as the summit coordinator with Food Tank: The Think Tank for Food. He also spent time in El Salvador with the community organizing group CRIPDES, working on issues from banning metal mining to organic agriculture. Sebastian has written about environmental and social justice issues in Latin America, with work appearing in Foreign Policy in Focus, HuffPost, and Inter Press Service. Sebastian spends his weekends searching for the perfect espresso and playing soccer.

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David Ayer – End Plastic Pollution Campaign Manager

David Ayer joined Earth Day Network after the 2016 election having interned with EDN two years before. At EDN, he has helped raise the profile of plastic pollution as one of the key issues in the global environmental movement. David has been a lifelong environmental advocate, obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning before heading to D.C. He has authored a number of articles on the subject of plastic pollution as well as Earth Day Network’s comprehensive guide to the subject, the End Plastic Pollution Primer and Action Toolkit. He is an avid cyclist and rides to work every day.

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Helen Rose – Faith Outreach Coordinator

Helen Rose is a graduate of George Mason University’s New Century College and holds a master’s degree in education and a graduate certificate in applied behavior analysis. Most recently, Helen taught special education for Fairfax County Public Schools. She is an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston, Virginia where she co-chairs their racial justice committee. As faith outreach coordinator, she helps build, expand and support Earth Day Network’s global network of faith-based partners. Helen is a fan of all things ice sports and can usually be found listening to her favorite podcast, Ice Talk, sharpening her short track speed skates, or finding an excuse to watch the French figure skating team perform.

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Austin Downs – Global Cleanup Coordinator

A California native, Austin is the cleanup coordinator for the Great Global Cleanup™. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in politics with a minor in education from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Master of Science in international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Before coming to EDN, Austin interned at Win Without War in Washington, D.C., and the University of California Office of State Government Relations in Sacramento. A pun aficionado, Austin is best known for ‘pun’ishing his colleagues with his wit and humor, ranging from the bad to the very bad.

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Kaela Cote-Stemmermann – Earth Challenge 2020 Program Manager

Kaela runs the Earth Challenge 2020 initiative at Earth Day Network. Kaela holds a Bachelor of Arts in politics and international relations with a minor in Chinese from Scripps College in Claremont, California. Prior to EDN, Kaela worked as a reporter in Washington, D.C., covering antitrust and technology beats for Global Competition Review. Additionally, she interned with the Greening Diplomacy Initiative at the U.S. Department of State and at the U.S. consulate in Chengdu, China. On a typical Saturday, you can find Kaela rock climbing or at a local farmers market buying overpriced cold brew.

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Kira Heeschen – Education Coordinator

Kira Heeschen engages and mobilizes students around the world in stewardship activities and supports teachers in building environmental literacy in their classrooms. Kira earned her bachelor’s degree in earth science from James Madison University and her master’s degree in environmental education at Antioch University New England. Kira spent a summer serving as an AmeriCorps member in the Denali National Park and Preserve, where she experienced a close encounter with a grizzly bear. Kira enjoys checking in on the brown bears of Alaska and other animals around the world via online live streams and hosting stretch breaks for her coworkers.

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Matt Lefler – Manager, Earth Day Africa

Matt Lefler with EDN Africa staff in Nairobi, Kenya.

Matt joined Earth Day Network in August 2019 as manager of Earth Day Africa. He has a bachelor’s degree in international relations and peace & justice Studies from Gettysburg College. Matt served for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in The Gambia, where he partnered with waste management entrepreneurs, developed environmental education campaigns and worked at his community’s local school. Outside of EDN, Matt enjoys hiking, biking and traveling.


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Halsey Payne – Intern and Volunteer Coordinator

Halsey supports Earth Day Network’s volunteers and interns around the world as they make their lives, communities and governments more sustainable. He has a Bachelor of Science in environmental studies from the University of Vermont. Halsey was born and raised on the coast of Maine, where the prospect of rising seas convinced him that environmentalism is the top challenge and best opportunity of his generation. Aiming to bring everyone into the sustainability project, he has worked in community organizing, education, political campaigns and the U.S. Senate. Halsey spends weekends and evenings making pottery, writing letters and persuading his friends to go hiking.

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Sam Hunt – MobilizeU Campaign Manager

Sam runs the MobilizeU campaign and gets to spread her passion for the environment to university students and campuses around the world. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and global sustainability from the University of Virginia, where she also led waste-reduction campaigns and Earth Day efforts for the Office for Sustainability. A previous internship on the Sustainability Team at the Hong Kong School of Science and Technology has also led to a deep curiosity about the impact of culture on environmental efforts. Sam feels most at peace when backpacking in the mountains, engaging in zero-waste lifestyles, cooking with friends, or any combination thereof.

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Terra Pascarosa – Virginia Campaign Manager

Terra Pascarosa is the Virginia Campaign Manager for Earth Day Network. Terra has a Bachelor of Science from Old Dominion University. She did not miss her calling, as her name literally means “earth.” Terra is the proud mother of her tiny activist son Brady, her proudest achievement. Brady often travels and advocates with Terra for campaigns around the U.S. Terra loves paddleboarding, hiking and snowboarding and wants to ensure current and future generations enjoy the nature she works so hard to protect.

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Will Callaway – National Campaign Director

Will Callaway serves as the national campaign director for Earth Day Network. Will has spent his career in public service, working in the U.S. Senate and for nonprofit organizations focused on conservation and public health. In addition to working for several national environmental groups, he served as the executive director for the Tennessee Environmental Council for five years. Will received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and his master’s degree in natural resource management from the University of Michigan. Along the way, he found time to be a wildland firefighter, a high school soccer coach and to travel to more than 100 units of the national park system.

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Beatriz Woods – Email Strategist

Beatriz joined Earth Day Network in November 2019 as the email strategist. She has 15 years of experience in email marketing for nonprofits. She most recently worked in tech policy, where she focused on net neutrality, data privacy and surveillance issues. Her happy spot is curled up on her couch with her cat and a book.

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Inma Galvez-Shorts – Digital Media Manager

Inma Galvez-Shorts joined Earth Day Network in 2019 as the digital media manager. She has a degree in advertising and public relations and more than 10 years of experience in communications and design. Inma began her career as an advertising and fashion photographer. There she developed a passion for social media and graphic design and eventually digital media. Across each position, she has carried a love for the digital world and is now using that love to raise awareness and help build the environmental movement. When she’s not at EDN, Inma can be found at a museum, volunteering at animal rescue organizations and enjoying life in Washington, D.C.

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Brandon Pytel – Communications Manager/Writer

Brandon joined Earth Day Network in 2019 as a communications manager/writer. He has a bachelor’s degree in English and religion from Wittenberg University and a master’s degree in professional writing from the University of Cincinnati. Brandon previously worked as a marketing writer for the University of Cincinnati, covering and promoting stories in the engineering college. Outside of EDN, Brandon is storyboarding a children’s book and writing a rom com that he hopes his friend in film school will eventually direct.

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  Lauren Sisk – Graphic Designer

Lauren joined Earth Day Network in 2019 as the organization’s graphic designer. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design from Virginia Commonwealth University. Lauren previously worked for other nonprofit organizations as a graphic designer and has been freelancing since graduating from college, taking on jobs from Netflix, Youtubers and indie comic books. When Lauren is out of the office, she enjoys watching B- movies and illustrating, but even more she enjoys spending time with her adorable dog at the dog park.

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Katie Wood – Conservation and Biodiversity Manager

An ecologist at heart, Katie runs conservation and biodiversity programs for Earth Day Network. Katie holds a Master of Science degree from University of Exeter in the U.K., where she worked on the conservation of marine and terrestrial environments around the world. Previously, she worked with Coral Restoration Foundation in the Florida Keys, running programs to restore reef environments. When Katie is out of the office, she loves to explore other cultures, all while minding the environment, of course.

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Rachel Weisbrot – Education Associate

Growing up planting seeds in her yard, the environment has always been something of the utmost importance to Rachel. She recently received a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Binghamton University, where she worked to make her campus more green. Rachel initially joined Earth Day Network as an intern in summer 2019 and is currently an education associate. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outside and hula hooping.

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David Van Siclen – Lead Development Associate

David recently moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to work in development for the Earth Day Network. Previously, David has held a sales role for an environmental compliance software company and helped to organize a national nonprofit focused on promoting sustainable and resilient U.S. manufacturing. An American University graduate, David holds a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science, with minor focuses in sustainable business and statistics. Outside of the office, David can be found at pop-up events around the city, volunteering with local nonprofits or working on a fledgling podcast.

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Sabrina Scull – Food and Environment Campaign Coordinator

Sabrina joined Earth Day Network in 2019 as the food and environment campaign coordinator for the Foodprints for the Future campaign. She holds a Bachelor of Science in environmental studies – ecosystems from Binghamton University and a Master of Science in environmental conservation from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Sabrina previously worked with The Nature Conservancy, where she co-authored papers about climate change, and the Society for Science and the Public, where she supported science education programs. A classically trained soprano, Sabrina loves to make music, particularly with her a cappella group.

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Evan Raskin – MobilizeU Campaign Coordinator

Evan joined Earth Day Network in 2019 as a programs and communications associate. The natural world has fascinated Evan ever since he learned how to walk in the halls of the American Museum of Natural History. Winters spent snowboarding and summers spent hiking in the mountains of New England inspired him to earn a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from American University. Before joining Earth Day Network, he assisted the British Embassy in developing a plan to eliminate single-use plastics from their U.S. operations. Outside of his environmental interests, Evan is a recording artist who loves creating different music with the nine instruments he plays.

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Earth Day Network – Mexico

Tiahoga Ruge – Regional Director, Mexico

Tiahoga Ruge is Mexican by birth and has specialized in Public Policies for Sustainable Development and Environmental Education and Communication.

Presently she is the Regional Director – Mexico, for Earth Day International, in charge of designing, developing and leading Mexico´s Campain for Earth Day´s 50th Anniversary in 2020.

Ms. Ruge is President of Friends of the Biosphere, A.C., and Senior Advisor for the Environment at the Mexican Center for Global Responsibility, CEMERG, with whom she participated at the Paris Peace Forum 2018 and will again participate in 2019 with “The 20% Challenge” project, which proposes a 20% reduction of the worldwide armament budget to reinvest this capital in the urgent restoration of the Biosphere.

As a diplomat, she served as Cultural Counsellor of the Mexican Embassy in India, where she acted as Coordinator of The Six Nation Summit on Peace and Disarmament.

Tiahoga has represented Mexico in multiple international conferences including The Río Conference, Symposiums on Religion, Science and the Environment (Adriatic Sea, Greenland and the Amazon) and several COPs on Climate Change and Biodiversity.

As Founder and CEO of Fellini Films Mexico, she has produced diverse documentaries and feature films on social and environmental topics.

She was the Founder Director of The North American Center for Environmental Information and Communication, CICEANA, General Director of The Center for Environmental Education and Capacity Building for Sustainable Development, CECADESU, and General Coordinator for Mexico of the Decade for Education for Sustainable Development, UNESCO.

She has received The Global 500 Award by UNEP, and other international awards acknowledging her work in the field of the Environment.

Her studies in Mexico, the USA and Europe include degrees in Biology, Social Anthropology, Public Policies and Film Direction, and she is fluent in several languages.

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Earth Day Network – India

karunaKaruna Singh – Regional Director South and S East Asia and Country Director India

Karuna A. Singh, Country Director for Earth Day India, joined Earth Day Network in March 2010, after working for 24 years at the State Department’s US Consulate at Kolkata. A senior executive with them, Karuna’s major portfolio focus was on environmental affairs. She organized seminars with environmental experts, workshops, film screenings, and other events to build awareness about climate change and other environmental issues among a wide spectrum of audiences, from senior-level policymakers to grassroots NGOs. Karuna worked to inspire youth to work for the environment and organized special media events on environmental reporting. Her work area covered 12 states of eastern and northeastern India, a region with a population of around 300 million that borders several countries. Karuna also helped put together cross-border programs on subjects such as Coastal Zone Management. She is also one of a small group of select persons who was trained by former U.S. Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore to make presentations on climate change issues.

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nishuNishu Kaul – Director, (Earth Day) South and S East Asia

Nishu Kaul has over nine years of experience in the development and private sectors. She has worked with various international non-profit organisations such as BBC Media Action, Society for Participatory Research in Asia and Voluntary Action Network India in thematic areas that include the environment. Before joining Earth Day network, Nishu Kaul was with the international communications firm, MSL as Senior Manager – Public Affairs.Nishu has wide experience working with multiple stakeholders from local to global levels. She has interacted with ministries of the Government of India, international organisations such as UNFPA, Asia Foundation, USAID, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, non-profits and enterprises from India’s private industry.

Nishu has authored several papers. As for example her report Enabling environment of the Voluntary sector in India, published by VANI, India. She has a Masters in Social Work, with specialization in Social Development from Jamia Millia Islamia University, India and was awarded the Gold Medal in recognition of securing first position in her Masters programme.

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Neela Majumdar – Senior Manager, Projects Development, Earth Day Network – India

Neela Majumdar is Manager Projects Development with Earth Day Network, India. The particular programs she has conceptualized and run include a ‘Go Organic’ movement that begun in Kolkata, which has now moved to other cities as well. The exclusiveness of the campaign has drawn much media hype as well as appreciation from the government. The initial program has had several follow-ups. Neela has worked with government officials, the general public, local hotels, schools on various Earth Day projects and environmental awareness campaigns.

Before joining Earth Day Network, Neela worked for the French diplomatic services at Ubifrance, French Trade Commission, Embassy of France New Delhi and the French Economic Mission, Consulate General of France in Kolkata where she did analytical economic surveys, organized B2B meetings, and visits from senatorial delegations to student ones. Neela has also worked with the TV Channels and was part of the launch of TV SouthAsia for cross border TV program content. Neela has corporate sector experience as PR and Communications Manager for L’Oréal in Mumbai. Having studied in France, she speaks French and Italian apart from Bengali and Hindi. Neela has an MBA from ESSEC, in Paris and a BA in English Literature from Calcutta University.

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Debapriya Dutt – Senior Manager Outreach, Earth Day Network – India

Debapriya reaches out to the corporate sector and to foundations in particular. Before joining Earth Day Network, Debapriya worked for several NGOs where she developed environmental education curricula for teachers. Debapriya holds a bachelor’s degree in English and in Education from Jadavpur University and a master’s degree in English from Calcutta University. She topped her master’s as well as her Bachelor of Education courses, securing a gold medal at each. Debapriya is the recipient of the President of India’s Gold Medal, awarded to a student in recognition for their all-around performance: academic excellence, brilliance in extra-curricular and contribution to society included. She was also the only Asian to have received the prestigious United Nations Erasmus Mundus Scholarship in ‘Media, Communication and Cultural Studies’ for the year 2009.

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Monodip Dutt – Assistant Manager, Climate Change Programs, Earth Day Network – India

Monodip is a financial analyst by profession. In addition to accounting work, he focuses on student-oriented programs such as ‘Backseat Buddies’ that helps bring about awareness among students about ways to conserve fuel. Monodip has an eye for design and puts this to use to create eye-catching material for Earth Day Network programs. He also manages Earth Day Network India’s social media outreach.

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Anil Arora – Director of Partnerships, Earth Day Network – India

Anil Arora has 22 years of work experience with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) where his primary focus was on the monitoring and implementation of climate change projects on the national (Indian), regional and global levels. Post the UNDP assignment, Anil Arora took on the position of Senior Project Coordinator for the Global Environment Facility-UNDP supported Small Grants Program in India. With a pan India charge, Anil Arora was provided opportunities to reach out to communities across the length and breadth of the country, at the grassroots level and others as well, to share his knowledge and many years of experience with them.

Mr Arora has to his credit, success in conducting energy-related projects. These include energy from different types of wastes, energy efficiency, small hydro projects, and the conversion of methane to energy. He has also worked on linking renewable energy to livelihoods and on projects that aim to make energy use more efficient. Anil Arora is a strong supporter of sustainable environmental practices that result in the reduction of greenhouse gases. His distinguished career has helped him build bridges of friendship with many sections of society: with major donor agencies, high-level Indian bureaucrats, local self-government officials, and representatives of Non-Government Organizations as well.

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Ajay Mittal –
Director, Climate Change Programs, South and S East Asia

Ajay is a Youth Leader, part of the Climate Action Steering Committee of Global Shapers Community, an initiative of the World Economic Forum.

He was trained to be a Climate Reality Leader by Nobel laureate Al Gore at Brisbane, Australia in June, 2019. He has also been recognised as one of the EE 30 Under 30 leaders 2019 cohort by North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE). The award recognises young leaders using environmental education to build sustainable communities.

In 2017 he initiated the movement called Kolkata Clean Air (KCA) which has slowly grown into Active Citizens Together for Sustainability (ACTS) that works towards a citizen state partnership model to build sustainable cities. His efforts have been widely recognised by the media.

He is also on the board of several NGOs that include HIVE India, Project Life Force, Y-East, and SwitchON to name a few. He is passionate about scaling up social solutions using technology, innovation and simplicity.

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Ms. Rajyashree Mukherjee – Consultant, Earth Day Network – India

Rajyashree is a Program Manager with Contact Base, a social enterprise that works across India to foster inclusive and sustainable development through culture-based approaches. The organization and its sister concern are advisors to UNESCO. Rajyashree has been successful in promoting and finding markets for eco-friendly products produced by 15000 women, many of whose traditional skill in making handicrafts from natural products such as grass, leaves, bamboo earlier did not earn them much. With her leadership and mobilization skills, and through the well-organized village fairs her colleagues and she put together, many indigenous communities today find markets for their products. This helps them retain their traditional skills and earn enough to supplement incomes to enable a shift away from gathering free firewood from forest areas. Rajyashree works in multiple states. She represented India at the ‘Transform Trondheim Festival 2017’ in Norway to which she led a team of handicraft artists and folk tradition performers.

Major Responsibility: National Capital Region (NCR) and in the states of, Bihar, Goa, Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal

Location: Kolkata

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Dr. Rajesh Kumar Srivastava – Consultant, Earth Day Network – India

Rajesh is the Chief Functionary and Secretary of Vikas Evam Shikshan Samiti. Under his leadership, this NGO works on several environmental issues: saving the endangered Gangetic River Dolphins (India’s National Aquatic species), promoting renewable energy, waste management, and increasing green cover in particular. Understanding that environmental concerns are best addressed if people have the economic capacity to opt for a change, the organization implements programs that help marginalized communities rise above the morass of extreme poverty. Rajesh has held many positions: Monitor, National Environment Awareness Campaign, Ministry of Environment & Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, Member, District Ganga Protection Committee, Varanasi, Committee Member, Dolphin Census included. Rajesh’s work has been well recognized. The most recent award he received was from the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh State for his work for the River Ganges.

Major Responsibility: Uttar Pradesh, in particular, the districts of Azamgarh, Meerut, Pratapgarh, Prayagraj, and Varanasi.

Location: Varanasi

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Dr. Vinita Apte – Consultant, Earth Day Network – India

Vinita is Founder/Director of Terre Policy Centre, an NGO that conducts several environment-related programs – those on increasing the green cover and on environmental-education in particular. Under her leadership, this year alone, Terre Policy Centre’s online quiz on environmental issues saw participation from over 2,00,000 students across India. Seeing its tremendous success, the Hon’ble Minister of Education announced support to open the quiz to most SAARAC countries. Vinita is a brilliant communicator. She has worked as a TV animator, cultural coordinator, and creative writer who regularly conducts training and awareness programs on environmental protection. Vinita is widely networked and is called upon to speak at prestigious occasions. Often heard speaking in India, Vinita has also presented papers at international seminars organized by the UN in Bangkok, Paris, Langkawi, Cairo, and Bali. On the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, she was awarded for the innovative implementation of public awareness for environmental protection and has actively launched several initiatives under the Safe Planet Campaigns of the United Nations in Geneva.

Major Responsibility: Over the contract period, conduct online Olympiads. In addition, conduct multiple other programs (specifically in and around Pune, and widely in other parts of India)

Location:  Pune

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Mr. Nadeem Qadri – Consultant, Earth Day Network – India

Nadeem says that ever since he can remember, he has marveled at the beauty of nature around him in his state – Jammu & Kashmir, where forests, waters, and wildlife combine to make for a unique ecology. Growing up, he realized the importance of preserving this wondrous environment. So were born several organizations he helped set up. Each included in its agenda the aim to work for a greener and cleaner Earth, a planet where species are protected. With the conviction that people must work together, and an inherent ability to inspire people to do their bit for our common home, he established Save Environment Club, South Asia Peoples’ Alliance, Law Students’ Forum, Youth Parliament of J&K and the Wildlife Conservation Fund to name just a few. Nadeem has also gone beyond to reach out to like-minded organizations to join hands with these organizations so that a concerted and widespread effort is made for a greener and cleaner planet. His latest achievement is the founding of the open air ‘Nature University’ in the saffron-growing region of Pampore. The rich biodiversity of the area – wetlands, reserved forests, wildlife sanctuaries, water bodies, great geological features, including Permian and Triassic formations – serve as classrooms. When asked about his tireless efforts, Nadeem quotes a Kashmiri saying ‘Aan Poshe Tali, Yali Wan Poshe’ which translates to ‘food is subservient to the forests.’ It is no wonder that young advocate Nadeem has been invited to be a member of the Environment Policy Group for the state of Jammu & Kashmir.

Major Responsibility Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, and also Delhi

Location: Srinagar/Pampore

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Mr. R Thangneisel Savio – Consultant, Earth Day Network – India

R Thangneisel is with NEDSSS, an organization that works in all the eight Northeastern States of India. NEDSS is the parent body that coordinates 16 Diocesan Social Work Centres in these states. Each Centre has several schools under it the aim of which is to build environmental stewardship among youth. NEDSS Centres cover both rural and urban populations. As a coordinator with them, R. Thangneisel has the responsibility to develop programs that are innovative, attention-catching tools that focus on why it is important to conserve and protect the environment. This is significant as many parts of Northeast India are local in Global Biodiversity Hotspots.

Major Responsibility: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura

Location: Guwahati

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Ms. Rhea Hussain – Consultant, Earth Day Network – India

Rhea is a Project Assistant at the Balipara Foundation, an organization that aims at the ecological protection and restoration of the Eastern
Himalayan Region through the concept of Naturenomics™. After years of research, her colleagues and she are successful in developi ng working prototypes and innovative project models for the conservation of botany through social mobility. The Baliapara Foundation also works across state and international borders. It is recognized for its annual flagship program that brings together naturalists and others from not just India, but across the globe. Rhea is a graduate in Social Work from the TATA Institute of Social Sciences with specialization in livelihoods and social entrepreneurship.

Major Responsibility: Assam, Meghalaya, and Sikkim

Location: Balipara

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Ms. Shailaja Khanna – Consultant, Earth Day Network – India

Shailaja is a musicologist and freelance journalist. She is member Expert Committee, Department of Language Art & Culture, Himachal Pradesh. She is also a music archivist with the Government of India’s Prasar Bharati and Sangeet Natak Akademi. Her reviews of Indian Classical Music concerts and interviews with celebrity artists regularly appear in widely read newspapers such as the Hindu, the Asian Age and The Tribune (Himachal Times) and in publications such as the Indian Perspectives which is the official journal of the Ministry of External Affairs, Culturama, a Chennai based magazine for expats, and Vihangana, the Journal of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. Shailaja has had the good fortune to know many Indian classical music greats from a young age, coming as she does from a prestigious family that patronizes the arts. She is based out of Shimla and Delhi and is recognized for her wide outreach and network among all sections of society and for the many programs she curates such as the monthly theme-based concerts for Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.

Major Responsibility: The classical arts and Himachal Pradesh

Location: Shimla/Delhi

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Mr. Shyam Lal Bhai – Consultant, Earth Day Network – India

Shyamlal is the founder of LPSS, an organization born out of the tragedy of a devastating cloud-burst in the foothills of the Himalayas that resulted in the loss of many lives and tremendous destruction of property. Then just 21 years old, he resolved to dedicate all his efforts to bringing succor to the lives of the unfortunate and to work to ensure that anthropogenic activities such as the felling of trees are reduced and thus such tragedies minimized. In addition, LPSS helps the locals better understand ways to ensure eco-friendly agricultural practices. LPSS’s partners include the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Gandhinagar Centre for Environment Education Ahmedabad, the GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, among others.

Major Responsibility: Uttarakhand

Location:  Haridwar

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Ms. Lalhriat Chiani, Consultant – Earth Day Network – India

Lalhriat is a consultant to CARITAS India, the Caritas India, the official development of the Catholic Churches in India. Caritas India is a member of Caritas confederation of more than 160-member organizations working in nearly 200 countries, making it the second largest humanitarian network in the world. In India, they run over 26,000 schools, and several colleges and community centers. Lalhriat is a graduate of the Tata Institute of Social Science and from Miranda House, Delhi.

Major Responsibilities: Outreach to students and people at the grass-root levels

Location: Delhi

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Dr. Ullash Kumar R K – Consultant, Earth Day Network – India

Ullash is a Research Associate with Eco-Watch. The organization, established by well-known filmmaker and environmentalist Suresh Heblikar aims at widening messages of environmental conservation through relevant, focused (yet diverse) programs and activities so that an eco-conscious culture to protect and improve existing ecological and environmental conditions in both urban and rural areas. Ullash himself is a dedicated naturalist who has been with Eco-Watch for the past 25 years. His favorite beat is the Global Biodiversity Hotspot of the Western Ghats where he assiduously works with local populations to make them aware of the need to protect the unique natural resources.

Major Responsibility: Areas of the Western Ghats and states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telengana and Andhra Pradesh.

Location: Bengaluru

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Mr. Panu Halder – Consultant, Earth Day Network – India

Panu has single-handedly nurtured young minds to be guardians of the environment through his NGO, ‘Nature Bodies’ that encourages them to care for their surroundings in their school campuses. His innovative ways of teaching and relentless efforts are the sparks that ignited a sense of responsibility in them. His students have made it to speaker podiums at environment forums in Paris, traveled to Delhi to meet the President of India and also received a special mention on national broadcasts by the Prime Minister of India. His efforts of inspiring a ‘low-carbon lifestyles’ have yielded results leading to many students opting for these. Another major achievement is helping turn water-deficient areas into water-fed one by going back to Almost 30,000 students have taken the pledge to lead a greener life under his guidance. Recently, his initiatives drew the attention of the Honourable Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, who himself cycled, along with 10,000 others to raise awareness regarding green transportation. His belief moved 7,000 volunteers in depicting the largest canvas of effective communication about environmental issues that made its way to the Limca Book of Records. Not just the students, but people in Bilaspur now see him as the torchbearer of a green lifestyle.

Major Responsibility: Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand

Location: Bilaspur

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Ms. Surbhi Jaiswal – Consultant, Earth Day Network – India

Surbhi Jaiswal is a Gold Medallist in M Sc Environmental Science. She is the Team Lead at the Green Vigil Foundation, an NGO that works broadly for Environment Protection and Sustainability. Her major outreach is to youth. With her peers, she has implemented environmental education programs that saw engagement with over 100,000 students from several schools and colleges. The community outreach initiatives engaged citizens through door-to-door mobilization, workshops, lectures, clean-up campaigns, street plays and educational events that encourage citizens to adopt green living practices and sustainable resource use. She has led over 200 environmental protection and sustainable development campaigns resulting in the conservation of lakes, wider environmental awareness among students and the general public, the stoppage of illegal felling of trees. A unique initiative she runs with the Nagpur Municipal Corporation has helped restrict over 120000 kgs of carbon emission entering the atmosphere by conserving energy with the switching off of non-essential lights and electric gadgets on full moon days. Surbhi is a much-valued colleague at Green Vigil, an organization that has already received 47 awards – both national and international. On a personal level, Surbhi has is recognized with Vidarbha Bhushan, Maharashtra Jyoti Gaurav Puraskar, Nagpur Samman by News 18, Lokmat – all awarded for her contribution towards environment protection and sustainable development.

Major Responsibility: Maharashtra, in particular in the city of Nagpur and area around the city within the radius of 100 kilometers.

Location: Nagpur

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Dr. Parvish Pandya – Consultant, Earth Day Network – India

Parvish is Consultant Director for Natural History and Science at the prestigious publication, Sanctuary Asia. The magazine is recognized as the best-known environmental magazine in Asia. With a four-decade-long career in teaching zoology, Parvish is a well-recognized academic. He was earlier Vice Principal at Bhavan’s College, Mumbai and instrumental in designing the curriculum for the college’s M Sc program. Parvish has shaped and guided an uncounted number of naturalists. He is a bird expert, plant expert, mammal expert, reptile expert… and more! His greatest pleasure, he says is to share his love and knowledge of nature and spread conservation awareness to citizens groups, students and the public at large. Parvish has held training sessions for officers of the Armed Forces and academicians. He continues to criss-cross the country to conduct workshops for people at the grass-root level in often remote, but environmentally vulnerable areas. A field man, he believes that the best education is imparted in the forest. The quintessential teacher, his greatest pride he says is watching his students evolve into naturalists and rational conservationists with the courage to act. Parvish is a much sought-after resource person. His illustrated presentations, writings in print media, interviews on radio and TV have enthralled audiences, many of whom are inspired to follow his example and do their bit to conserve nature. Parvish is widely traveled in India and abroad.

Major Responsibility: Areas around wildlife sanctuaries in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal

Location: Mumbai

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Ms. Prerna Raturi – Consultant, Earth Day Network – India

Prerna is Co: Founder of Sustainable Green Initiative, an organization that aims to help stymie the effects of climate change by planting trees. SGI distributes, plants, and maintains fruit tree saplings for one-three years in community lands, homesteads of marginal farmers, government schools and campuses, orphanages, old-age homes, etc. Since its inception in 2013, the organization has planted more than 7,00,000 trees in eight states of India. Prerna began her career as a journalist and has held senior positions with several prestigious publications. She now prefers to free-lance. A brilliant student right through her academic years, Prerna topped the MA in English Literature, Delhi University, and her BA as well.

Major Responsibilities: Build awareness about the need to go green in Uttarakhand and in the areas around NCR.

Location: Dehra Dun

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Ms. Prarthi Shah – Consultant, Earth Day Network – India

Prarthi is on a special assignment to the Gujarat Vidyapith, a deemed university that was begun by Mahatma Gandhi. This prestigious organization has over a thousand schools and colleges under it. Its aim is to promote education that is conducive to the grassroots levels. Its students regularly participate in community work and are encouraged to develop habits that are environment-friendly. Prarthi will focus on helping villages along the approximately 300 km, historic Salt March to eco-friendly. She will also reach environmental messages to students of the academic institutions run by the Vidyapith, and others connected to the several Gandhian organizations across the country. Prarthi has a Masters in Heritage Management from Ahmedabad University. From a young age, she has worked to improve Earth’s environment and has been associated with several youth groups (such as the Baroda Stickers of which she was president). She has also been an Assistant for the National Mission for Clean Ganga.

Major Responsibilities: Villages around the route of the Dandi March, and outreach to those in institutions run by the Vidyapith, as well as those connected to it.

Location: Vadodara

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Mr. Dashmeshbir Singh Sodhi – Consultant, Earth Day Network – India

Dashmeshbir is Country Coordinator, IHA Foundation. The Foundation actively works to mitigate climate change, reduce anthropogenic activities that could trigger natural disasters, increasing the green cover and community-led waste management. Dashmeshbir and his colleagues work at both ends of the spectrum – with people on the ground and also officials in positions of authority such those at municipal corporations and other such organizations. Amritsar is chosen for a special focus to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. IHA Foundation works relentlessly toward the Earth Day Network campaign #EndPlasticPollution. Their strong links at the highest levels to prominent religious organizations has seen success with the gurudwaras under the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee banning the entry of single-use plastic in their precincts. The Golden Temple leads the list of these gurudwaras. Schools and other academic institutions under the Committee will now follow.

Major Responsibility: Punjab (in particular, the cities of Amritsar, Jalandhar, and Ludhiana) and also in the city of Kolkata. In addition, reach out to faith-based organizations so that they take the lead in adopting green practices in their precincts.

Locations: Amritsar, Kolkata

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Mr. Pramod Sharma – Consultant, Earth Day Network – India

Pramod is Founder/Coordinator of Yuvsatta an NGO that is youth- focussed. Over the last two decades, Yuvsatta has done pioneering work to promote the efficient management of solid waste and use of eco- friendly transport (such as cycling), the adoption of solar power, and other such means that have youth lead environment-friendly lives, and inspire their elders to do so. Yuvsatta achieves this through the 140 Eco Clubs they run in schools and colleges, particularly in Chandigarh. Recently, Yuvsatta also filed a Public Interest Litigation in the High Court to stop the use of single-use plastic in the city. Pramod has a Masters and an M Phil in Gandhian and Peace Studies from Punjab University, Chandigarh. He is a senior official of the Global Youth Peace Fest.

Major Responsibility: Chandigarh

Location: Chandigarh

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Mr. Rajesh Tembhare – Consultant, Earth Day Network – India

Rajesh head Swatantra Yuva shakti Santhan, an organization that operates in several rural areas of Madhya Pradesh. Rajesh has an M Sc in Botany. He is an expert in documenting biodiversity and has put together a diversity register. He believes that people must be given an opportunity to
experience it if we are calling upon them to save it. He is well recognized for the work he does with several prestigious awards.

Major Responsibilities: Rural Madhya Pradesh

Location: Seoni

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Dr. Shiraz A Wajih – Consultant, Earth Day Network – India

Shiraz is President of the Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group. He has taught for several decades at Gorakhpur University. He is well-known in India and abroad, in particular for his success in working with those at the grassroots level from which has emerged a much-awarded model for an inclusive community-led bottom-up approach to resilience building. This engagement with communities is very successful, as is evidenced with locals opting not to sell land in peri-urban areas, protecting ecosystems, and safeguards green areas. In his words, ‘investment in communities, and community leadership pays rich evidence.’ Shiraz works relentlessly to broaden awareness and advocacy about environmental issues among small-marginal farmers, students, citizen groups, and media. He has held several prestigious posts. These include as Member of the IUCN’s Education Commission, Chairman, International Youth Foundation, Board Member, Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International (USA) and of Oxfam India among several committees of the Government of India. A prolific writer, Shiraz has authored over 100 research papers, articles, and reports. He the recipient of the Global 500 (UNEP) and Light House Activity (UNFCCC) Awards.

Major Responsibility: Parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar

Location: Gorakhpur

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Earth Day Network – Nepal

Pratigyan Bhusal – Earth Day Network Nepal Coordinator

I am currently studying in Bachelors Second Year being Environmental Science as a major at Naya Ayam Multi-Disciplinary Institute, a college with British affiliation. I suppose to be a young leader who is also the believer of her actions. I had represented Nepal in Asian Science Camp 2015 in Thailand as a young scientist and brought Gold Poster Award for the first time in Nepal in this category. I had also represented Nepal in Global Entrepreneurship Boot camp 2017 as a young entrepreneur. Currently, I am working as a Country Head of SACHH Nepal, a branch organization of SACHH Foundation, India. I believe in networking and encountering new people and hearing their story as a part of her inspiration. I trust upon the fact that the progressive story spreads positivity and let the world to learn and generate something new. Being a part of Earth Day Network, I wish to give my every effort to not let any stone unturned.

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Earth Day Network – Myanmar

Hlaing Min Aung – Assistant Manager of Earth Day Network, Myanmar

Hlaing Min Aung holds a bachelor’s degree in education and a minor in environmental studies at Yangon University. Originally from Rakhine, Myanmar, he joined Earth Day Network in 2019 to support campaign expansion and environmental education in Myanmar. Previously he worked for different organizations in IT, education and social media. In his free time, he enjoys reading cosmology articles and watching The Simpsons.

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Earth Day Network – Bangladesh

Zuhair Ahmed Kowshik – Manager, Bangladesh

Being a Bangladeshi born global citizen, Zuhair is very loyal towards ‘Mother Nature’. He demonstrates excellent leadership skills and has ample experience of working with different organizations and institutions ranging from Government agency to academic institutions, NGOs, youth associations, etc. He has completed his graduation and post-graduation on Disaster Management from Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability Studies, University of Dhaka. As a recognition of his tireless social and environmental works, Zuhair was awarded ‘Hanyang (South Korea) Youth Changemaker Award’ in 2017. He is a conscious non-vegetarian and doesn’t forget to keep a reusable water bottle with him.

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Earth Day Network – Philippines

Jesper Nepomucenok – Program Officer, Philippines

Jesper Nepomuceno serves as the Program Officer for Earth Day Network Philippines, Inc. He has a Bachelor of Arts, Major in Political Science from Ateneo de Manila University. Jesper began his career volunteering for various international, environmental organizations, and is currently involved in promoting the environmental and sustainability campaigns of the EDNPI through managing its social media profiles.

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