Staff | Earth Day Network


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

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.

bassValeria Merino – Vice President for Global Earth Day

Valeria Merino is an environmental lawyer by training and a social entrepreneur. She has worked in many different areas of social change, developing a multidisciplinary approach to resolving social issues. Early in her career, she spearheaded a successful national justice reform in Ecuador that empowered citizens and social organizations to demand from the government and local authorities the recognition of their civil, economic and environmental rights. Simultaneously, she was part of the core leadership that grew Transparency International into an anti-corruption global force serving on its global board. Later, she was the leader of Ashoka’s largest global program, identifying and supporting social entrepreneurs with innovative system change ideas in more than 90 countries. At Ashoka, she also created the Rural Innovation and Farming Program with support from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2015, after graduating from the Founder Institute, an incubator of tech companies, she joined the Skoll Foundation, where she worked with some of the best social organizations in the world to accelerate their efforts to change systems. She is particularly motivated to work on designing and implementing solutions to complex social problems, and building and sustaining global networks and collaborations to make it happen.

At Earth Day Network, she is already putting her experience to work. She is developing collaborative strategies and executing actions to further build Earth Day Network and our 50th anniversary into the platform that will unite the voices of citizens and institutions around the globe, into the global environmental and wellbeing movement that is required to save the planet and life on earth. You may reach Valeria at [email protected] and (202) 518-0044 x13.

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 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 life style. Linda is very passionate about learning and growing knowledge through sharing experiences and stories with others.

TraceyTracey Ritchie – Director of Education

Tracey joined the 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 ranging from sea turtle walks to birding adventures, and local green book clubs to statewide water education programs.

Tracey completed her PhD at the University of Florida in 2017. Her research focused on developing systems thinking skills in students and teachers to more effectively communicate about complex environmental issues such as climate change. Tracey has an extensive background in program development and evaluation, facilitating professional development for educators, social science research methodologies, and Environmental Education best practices.

She also holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Education from Florida Atlantic University and a Bachelor’s degree from UF in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. Tracey has been active in the field of Environmental Education for over 12 years and looks forward to working with the global network of educators through EDN to advance environmental and climate literacy worldwide. When Tracey is not in the office she can be found exploring DC with her dog, Dakota.

Kathryn Stoddard – 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 has a Bachelors Degree from New York University and a Masters Degree in Media Education from Mass Amherst.

Art Edelstein – Forest Consultant

Art Edelstein, Consultant and Principle, Edelstein Consulting, LLC, has over 30 years 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.

Jason Gooljar – IT Director

Jason Gooljar is the IT Director at Earth Day Network. He has 10 years of nonprofit technology experience and oversees the information technology and web infrastructure for the organization. In the past he also has had the role of a field organizer on local campaigns. Jason is originally from Westchester County, NY and has been in the DC area for 10 years. He studied Multimedia Development and Management at the College of Westchester. To help ease the minds of fellow staff members he likes to play Sade music to calm the nerves and when the office is quiet he plays some good 80’s music you can dance to. He keeps an eye on the weather situation and enjoys laughing at staff members who attempt to leave when they should not.

Rachel McMonagle – Citizen Science Director

Rachel coordinates Earth Day Network’s citizen science initiatives to promote environmental advocacy and education on a local to global scale. Prior to joining EDN, she supported the launch of and several research prize competitions while on the Innovation Team at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She completed a Fulbright research fellowship in Ukraine, and has conducted similar climate-related research in Costa Rica and Zambia. She has collaborated with The Nature Conservancy, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and USAID on a variety of environmental projects.

Rachel holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where her research focused on climate resilience and adaptation strategies for smallholder farmers in developing countries. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Economics from Oberlin College.

Damien Shaner – Executive Assistant to the President

Damien is the Executive Assistant to the President at Earth Day Network. He joined Earth Day Network as an intern in August 2017. Damien holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy with a concentration in Ethics and Public Policy and two minors in Economics and Political Science from Virginia Commonwealth University. His environmentalist passion to protect the environment is driven by the need to empower the least well off who are most negatively affected by pollution and climate change. He lives in Arlington, VA and enjoys biking, weight training, and traveling.

Sebastian Rosemont – Green Cities Coordinator

Prior to joining Earth Day Network, Sebastian was the Summit Coordinator for Food Tank: The Think Tank for Food, helping organize sustainable food and agriculture conferences. He has also spent time in El Salvador, working with the community organizing group CRIPDES – the Association for the Development of El Salvador, on the issues of banning metal mining and strengthening a regional organic agriculture movement.

Sebastian has regularly written about environmental and social justice issues in Latin America. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy in Focus, HuffPost,, and Inter Press Service. He has a B.A. in Latin American Studies from McGill University and was a visiting student at la Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile.

David Ayer – Research Associate

David Ayer joined Earth Day Network since right after the 2016 election having interned with EDN two years before. He holds a B.S. in environmental policy analysis and planning with a focus on advanced policy analysis from the University of California, Davis. David creates a lot of the content generated by EDN including op-eds, press releases, and the widely lauded Plastic Pollution Primer and Action Toolkit. He is an avid cyclist and rides to work every day.

Helen Rose – Religious Outreach Coordinator

Helen Rose is EDN’s Religious Outreach Coordinator. She is a graduate of George Mason University’s New Century College and holds a Master’s in Education, and a graduate certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis. Helen got her start in advocacy work as a public policy fellow with the National Therapeutic Recreation Society (NTRS). In 2004, she joined EDN to manage a volunteer-driven, issue-based, Get Out the Vote effort, reaching thousands of new and infrequent voters. In 2007, Helen joined the National Recreation and Park Association as their Citizen Services Manager, working with association leadership, membership, and staff to create a vision and plan for citizen membership growth, activation and mobilization in support of public parks, recreation and environmental conservation. Helen is an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston, Virginia where she co-chairs their racial justice task force. She returns to EDN as Faith Outreach Coordinator, where she is helping to build, expand and support Earth Day Network’s global network of faith –based organizations.

Austin Downs – Programs Associate

Austin Downs is a program associate at Earth Day Network, providing support to the organization’s 2019 and 2020 Earth Day campaigns. A California native, he received a master’s degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics and holds a B.A. from UC Santa Cruz in Politics and Education. Before joining EDN, he has interned at two Washington, D.C. non-profits, the Council on Hemispheric Affairs and Win Without War, as well as the UC Office of State Governmental Relations in Sacramento. Lastly, Austin is passionate about the international climate diplomacy of subnational actors and is always eager to inject puns when permittable.

Kaela Cote-Stemmermann – End Plastic Pollution Campaign Manager & Digital Content Creator

Kaela joined Earth Day Network in 2019 and acts as its plastics pollution campaign manager and digital content creator. Prior to EDN, Kaela worked as a tech reporter in Washington DC. Additionally, she interned with the Greening Diplomacy Initiative at the US Department of State and at the US consulate in Chengdu, China where she started up the posts first “green team”. Kaela holds a B.S. in politics and international relations from Scripps College in Claremont, California and speaks Mandarin.

Earth Day Network India

karunaKaruna Singh – Country Director, Earth Day Network – 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 policy makers 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.

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 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.

Debapriya Dutt, 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-round 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.

Sayantan Sengupta, Manager, Climate Change Programs, Earth Day Network – India

Sayantan Sengupta joins Earth Day Network India as Manager, Climate Change Programs. He is particularly committed to working on programs and campaigns that result in the reduction of use of carbon-emitting fuels. Sayanta’s previous assignment was with CUTS International where he helped put together a very successful ‘Solar for Education’ initiative. This provided administrators of academic institutions with a platform to learn more about the advantages of going solar, the techniques of doing so, and the possible avenues of funding. His career has also included work on sustainability, regional integration, livelihood creation, poverty alleviation and grassroots’ development. Besides, programs, Sayantan has spent time researching parameters that facilitate the implementation of policies at the grassroots level. Sayantan has a vast network of contacts built with the continuous engagements he has made with officials of different central Indian and state governments, think tanks, and domestic and international donor agencies. Sayanta has a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering and a Masters in Energy Management.

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.

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.

Debjani Bose, Contact Base

A Masters in English and has studied Art as well.  Debjani is with Contact Base, a social enterprise recognized in India and internationally for their work in promoting inclusive and sustainable development using culture-based approaches.  Debjani has the lead for developing and implementing programs that build environmental awareness in school students and other stakeholders.  She has also worked extensively in developing women-led green enterprise at the grassroots level.

Location:  Kolkata

Dr Rajesh Kumar Srivastava, Vikas Evam Shikshan Samiti

The Director of Vikas Evam Shikshan Samiti, Dr Rajesh Kumar Srivastava has vast experience in the field of environmental issues.  He has worked with schools to form eco-clubs for river dolphin conservation.  His outreach to villages has helped build awareness on issues such as renewable energy and increasing the green cover.  Vikas Evam Shikshan Samiti has created milestones in the social sector and implemented various projects for downtrodden and marginalized community irrespective of caste creed or color.  Their main approach is to promote participation and sustainability in development interventions.  He has been awarded by the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh for Ganga protection and environmental issues.  Presently, he is a member of District Ganga Protection Committee, Varanasi constituted by Government of India.  His earlier engagements include being the Monitor for National Environment Awareness Campaign, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Government of India in 2013 and an expert committee member for Dolphin Census in 2015 done  by Government of Uttar Pradesh.

Location:  Varanasi

Dr Vinita Apte, TERRE Policy Centre

Founder and present Director of Terre Policy Centre, an NGO that conducts several environment-related programs, tree planting and environmental-education related in particular.  This year alone, their online quiz on environmental issues had participation from over 2,00,000 students across India.  Seeing its tremendous success, the Minister of Education announced support to open the quiz to most SAARAC countries.  Vinita is a brilliant communicator who has worked as a TV animator, culture coordinators, and creative write.  Vinita is widely networked and is often called upon to speak at prestigious occasions. Vinita has presented papers on ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ and ‘The Role of Social Media’ at national and international seminars organized by the UN in Bangkok, Paris, Langkawi, Cairo, and Bali.  She received an award for the innovative implementation of public awareness for environmental protection. She has actively launched a number of initiatives under the Safe Planet Campaigns of the United Nations in Geneva.

Location:  Pune

Nadeem Qadri, Wildlife Conservation Fund

Ever since he can remember, Nadeem Qadri, looked with rapture upon the beauty of nature around him in the state he was born and grew up in – Jammu & Kashmir. The forests, waters, and wildlife combine to make the ecology of the state unique. 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 do their bit for the earth.  Save Environment Club, South Asia Peoples’ Alliance, Law Students’ Forum, Youth Parliament of J&K and the Wildlife Conservation Fund are just a few of these. Nadeem Qadri also reached out to other like-minded organizations to join hands with them so that a concerted and widespread effort could be 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 Qadri often 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 Qadri has been invited to be a member of the Environment Policy Group of the state of Jammu & Kashmir.

Location:  Srinagar/Pampore

R Thangneisel Savio, North East Diocesan Social Service Society (NEDSS)

R Thangneisel is with NEDSS, an organization that works in all the eight Northeastern States of India.  NEDSS is the parent body that coordinates all 16 Diocesan Social Work centers in North East India.  Each of these has several schools under it.  Each of these help build environmental stewardship among youth.  NEDSS centers also reach out widely whether these are rural or urban populations in the different states of the Northeast.  As a coordinator with them, R. Thangneisel helps the development programs in these states that are innovative tools to help drive home the need to conserve and protect the environment.  This is significant as many parts of North East India are in global biodiversity hotspots.

Location:  Guwahati

Rhea Hussain, Balipara Foundation

Rhea Hussain 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, they have developed working prototypes and innovative project models for conservation and botany through social mobility.  The 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 a specialization in livelihoods and social entrepreneurship.

Location:  Balipara

Shailaja Khanna

Shailaja Khanna is a musicologist and freelance journalist.  She is a member Expert Committee, Department of Language Art & Culture, Himachal Pradesh.  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.  She is also a music archivist with the Government of India’s Prasar Bharati and Sangeet Natak Akademi.  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, where she is recognized for her wide outreach and network among all sections of society and for the many programs such as the monthly theme-based concerts for Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts for the public that she has so successfully curated.

Location:  Shimla/Delhi

Shyam Lal Bhai, Lok Paryavaran Siksha Sansthan (LPSS)

Shyamlal Bhai 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 of age, he resolved to dedicate his efforts to bringing succour 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 the future.  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 G.B.Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, among others.

Location:  Haridwar

Ullash Kumar R K, Eco-Watch

Ullash Kumar 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 is created.  Ullash himself is a dedicated naturalist who has been with Eco-Watch for the past 25 years.

Location:  Bengaluru


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