ICARP TAC Councilmembers
ICARP Technical Advisory Councilmembers and biographies
Shereen D’Souza was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom in June 2021 to serve as CalEPA’s Deputy Secretary for Climate Policy and Intergovernmental Relations. Prior to joining CalEPA, Shereen worked for U.S. EPA Region 9, focusing on Pacific Islands environmental management and environmental justice issues. She has worked as a consultant and project manager on numerous environmental projects, including local climate resilience and sustainability plans and research on climate-smart agriculture for UN agencies. Shereen spent over four years at the U.S. State Department as a negotiator for the U.S. in the UNFCCC, helping to deliver the Paris Agreement. During this time, she led the Department’s adaptation and loss and damage team. Shereen also spent six years working on food justice issues at the grassroots level in California and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras, focusing on agriculture. Shereen holds a Master of Environmental Science and a Graduate Certificate of Concentration in International Development from Yale University, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Georgetown University.
Amanda Hansen serves as Deputy Secretary for Climate Change at the California Natural Resources Agency. Prior to joining the Newsom Administration, she was a regional director in the New York Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery for the Community Reconstruction Program from 2013 to 2017. She previously served as deputy associate director for policy outreach for the White House Council on Environmental Policy in 2012 and chief of staff to the chairman of the 2010-2011 round of United Nations climate change negotiations. From 2005-2009, she was a foreign affairs officer at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. Amanda received her bachelor’s degree in Science in Society from Wesleyan University, focusing on environmental science and sociology. She received her master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Maryland, and specialized in Environmental Policy.
Virginia Jameson is Deputy Secretary for Climate and Working Lands at the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Prior to that, she served as the Climate and Conservation Program Manager at the California Department of Conservation, Deputy State Director for the American Farmland Trust, Management Specialist for the Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, Board Aide for Monterey County Office of District 4 Supervisor Jane Parker, and Associate Director of the Ag Land Trust. Jameson holds dual Master of Arts degrees in International Affairs and Natural Resources and Sustainable Development from American University and a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Saharnaz was the Deputy Director of Community Investment and Planning at California Strategic Growth Council overseeing more than 3 billion dollars of investment in infrastructure programs and community driven policy solutions. She worked with local and regional governments to pilot new initiatives for bridging climate and equity goals including Transformative Climate Communities program.
Saharnaz has over fifteen years of experience working in the public and private sectors on infrastructure development, climate resiliency, and community development. Before joining the SGC, she worked for the City of Thousand Oaks, supporting the development of the City Municipal Sustainability Plan and Community Climate Action Plan. Saharnaz also worked with ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability for more than three years, supporting local governments in combating the impact of climate change through local actions. As a consultant in the private sector, Saharnaz worked on multiple community revitalization and urban design projects in low-income and disadvantaged communities in Iran.
Saharnaz has a Master of Urban and Regional Planning with a Certificate of Sustainable Urban Infrastructure from University of Colorado Denver, a Master of Urban Design and Planning from Shahid Beheshti University, and a B.A. in Architecture from Iran University of Science and Technology.
Darwin Moosavi was appointed Deputy Secretary for Environmental Policy and Housing Coordination at the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) in August of 2019 by Governor Gavin Newsom.
Darwin previously served as Special Advisor to the Secretary at CalSTA in early 2019. Before joining the team at CalSTA, Darwin served as Sustainability Project Manager the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), leading initiatives to champion walking, bicycling and transit use, promote zero emission vehicles and integrate equity considerations into the Department’s work. Under the administration of Governor Brown, Darwin was appointed as a Senior Planner at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), where he worked on various transportation policy issues centered around building sustainable communities and reducing vehicle miles trDAVISled. Darwin spent several years helping build the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program, and later served as its Program Manager at the Strategic Growth Council.
Darwin earned his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning from UC Davis and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University, with an emphasis in Transportation Planning.
Lori has worked for the State of California since 2006. She is currently the Deputy Director of Planning, Preparedness, and Prevention at Cal OES, a role which includes oversight of the agency’s seismic hazards branch, dam safety, radiological preparedness, climate adaptation, and statewide all-hazards emergency and continuity planning efforts. Additionally, she oversees the California Specialized Training Institute, a statewide enterprise with responsibility for supporting training, exercises, and education in wide variety of areas including, but not limited to, emergency management, public safety, homeland security, hazardous materials, disaster recovery, and crisis communications.
Prior to her current role, Lori spent almost six years as the Legislative Coordinator and manager of the Office of Tribal Coordination at the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, and nine years at the California Student Aid Commission as Legislative Director, Program Manager, and in various Analyst roles.
Lori received her baccalaureate degree from Arizona Christian University in Phoenix and her post-baccalaureate teacher certification at Arizona State University in Tempe. After receiving her teaching credential, she moved to Saitama Prefecture in Japan for two years to teach English as a Second Language. Upon her return to the United States, she taught elementary classes at Carden Christian Academy for ten years before going into state service.
Rohan Radhakrishna @DrRohanRad was appointed by Governor Newsom and confirmed by the Senate to lead the Office of Health Equity (OHE). He serves as a Deputy Director, Chief Equity Officer, and Tribal Liaison for the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). He is the CalHHS designee to the Strategic Growth Council, the Co-Chair of the CalHHS JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Committee, and a board member of the National Association of State Offices of Minority Health.
Rohan leads OHE’s broad portfolio including the Climate Change and Health Equity Section (CCHES) which embeds health and equity in California climate change planning and embeds climate change and equity in public health planning. CCHES works with local, state, and national partners to assure that climate change mitigation and adaptation activities have beneficial effects on health while not exacerbating existing unfair and preventable differences in health status. CCHES implements California’s climate change laws and executive orders, contributing health equity considerations. Rohan also supports Health in All Policies, advancing anti-racism through a Racial Health Equity Initiative, California’s COVID-19 equity work, improving behavioral wellness and resiliency for diverse populations, and meeting OHE’s statutory mandate.
Rohan has 20 years of global and local experience learning from and working with impacted environmental justice communities. He served as Co-Chair of the statewide Health Equity Committee for the California Conference of Local Health Officers since 2019 and spent 10 years at a local health department most recently as Deputy Health Officer in Contra Costa County. His local experience responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, power shutoffs, wildfire smoke, and heat emergencies solidified his commitment to addressing the overlapping public health crises of climate change and structural racism. He served on the AB617 Community Air Protection Steering Committee, assisted with local Climate Action Plan and General Plan Updates incorporating SB1000 requirements and presented at the National Academies of Sciences session on Communities, Climate Change, and Health Equity -A New Vision.
Rohan graduated from Stanford University (B.A. with Honors in Latin American Studies), University of California, Berkeley (M.P.H and M.S), Christian Medical College in Vellore, India (certificate in Infectious Disease), and University of California, San Francisco (M.D.).
Local, Regional, and Tribal Government
Jacob Alvarez, Assistant to the City Manager joined the City of Coachella’s Finance Department in 2013 where he transitioned from Interim Controller to the Assistant to the City Manager. As the Assistant to the City Manager, Mr. Alvarez provides supervision on many of the City’s Special Projects and serves as the City’s representative on several City sponsored commissions and committees; he also oversees the City’s Legislative Platform, assists in management of City Operations, serves as the City’s Public Information Officer, oversees Grants Management, and assists with the City’s overall strategy and branding.
Prior to joining Coachella, Mr. Alvarez worked as a Management Analyst (2009-2013) for the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG), a sub-region to Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). As CVAG’s SCAG Liaison, Mr. Alvarez was tasked with becoming the regional expert in SB375 and AB32. Mr. Alvarez worked with SCAG and CVAG’s 10 member jurisdictions on understanding and strategizing the implementation of Coachella Valley’s Sustainable Community Strategy given the region’s inadequate public transit.
As part of CVAG’s Energy & Environmental Resources Department, Mr. Alvarez participated in the Coachella Valley’s first Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory. This GHG Inventory was a huge milestone for the region and was done in partnership with South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD). Mr. Alvarez also managed and implemented CVAG’s Green for Life Program, which was funded by a $4.91m grant from Southern California Edison (SCE), as provided by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). This program developed a regional and local green building policy with standards 15% above Title-24, including: a climate action plan; greenhouse gas inventories; facility benchmarking; commissioning; and, retro-commissioning policies for CVAG’s member cities. In another first for the region, Mr. Alvarez participated in the Coachella Valley’s first Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance. IN 2009, due to State mandate AB1881, Mr. Alvarez assisted in managing the implementation and development of a water efficient landscape ordinance in partnership with the Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) that exceeded the State requirement.
Mr. Alvarez obtained both his Masters of Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance and his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management with an emphasis in Accounting from the University of Redlands.
Mr. Alvarez remains a resident of the Coachella Valley, where he was appointed by Riverside County’s 4th District Supervisor to the Bermuda Dunes Community Council and is married to his childhood sweetheart, Cynthia. They have three wonderful children.
Allison Brooks is Executive Director of the Bay Area Regional Collaborative a consortium of regional and state agencies created through California legislation (SB 849, Torlakson) focused on advancing coordinated strategies to address climate change in the San Francisco Bay Area. BARC is currently leading the development of a Regional Multi-Hazard Adaptation Plan and Regional-Scale Technical Assistance Program to support cities and counties, community-based organizations and special districts in implementing equitable adaptation strategies. Additionally, BARC is supporting the significant shift to zero-emissions in the building and public transportation sectors with a focus on affordable housing and the public bus network, and the potential for shared charging infrastructure.
Prior to joining BARC, Allison led the organization Reconnecting America, a national research and policy organization with offices in Oakland, Washington D.C., and Denver, focused on advancing equitable transit-oriented development (TOD) in metro areas across the US, and across federal agencies. She also led the Livable Communities Initiative at the East Bay Community Foundation where she founded a national model of non-profit, philanthropic, and public sector partnership called the Great Communities Collaborative to support equitable TOD across the Bay Area. Allison has a BA in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego and a Masters in Sustainable International Development from the Heller Graduate School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana, West Africa.
As the General Manager of the Sonoma County Water Agency, Mr. Davis is responsible for the Water Agency’s core functions of providing drinking water to over 600,000 residents in portions of Sonoma and Marin counties, wastewater management for 60,000 customers, maintaining nearly 100 miles of streams and detention basins for flood protection, and restoring habitat for three federally listed fish species in the Russian River. Mr. Davis and his team are also implementing a renewable energy portfolio that has resulted in a carbon free water supply and distribution system. The Water Agency is a regional leader in the development and implementation of federal, state, and regional initiatives.
Mr. Davis recently returned to the Sonoma County Water Agency after serving Governor Jerry Brown as Director of the California Department of Water Resources.
Prior to joining the Water Agency, Mr. Davis was Executive Director of the Bay Institute, a science-based nonprofit dedicated to protecting the San Francisco Bay-Delta Watershed and improving water management in California. Mr. Davis also worked for Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, State Senator Milton Marks, and Assemblywoman Lucy Killea.
Mr. Davis currently serves on the University of California President’s Advisory Commission for the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Mr. Davis received a BA in political science from the University of California at Berkeley.
As the Sustainability Director for the Blue Lake Rancheria, Jana has helped establish the Tribe’s community resilience and energy strategy, and has implemented an array of policies and projects to reduce the Tribe’s carbon footprint, reduce and levelize costs of energy, and improve emergency preparedness. Jana has managed over $15 million in projects in energy efficiency, renewable energy, green fuels, supply chain efficiency, energy and building efficiency, recycling, energy/water nexus, biodiesel manufacturing, solar PV power, battery storage, demand response, electric vehicle infrastructure, and the current low-carbon, community-scale microgrid. She is leading a community-wide climate adaptation plan + vulnerability assessments for the Tribe, and is developing economic and employment opportunities which apply low-carbon solutions to climate adaptation and emergency preparedness sectors. As an appointee to the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Indian Energy’s National Working Group, and through other committees and outreach, she works with dozens of tribal nations and federal, state, and local stakeholders on energy and sustainability policies.
Kim Clark is an Urban Planner at the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). They specialize in climate adaptation and mitigation, geographic information systems (GIS), and interactive data visualization. SCAG is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for six counties and 191 cities in a 38,000 square-mile mega-region with a population of 19 million. As a public agency, SCAG works with various regional partners to develop long-range transportation, housing, and sustainability plans that transcend jurisdictional boundaries and improve the quality of life for Southern Californians. In their current work, Kim leads SCAG’s Resource Conservation & Resilient Communities program. They hold an undergraduate degree in political science from University of California, Riverside and a Master’s degree in urban planning from UCLA.
David Loya, Arcata Community Development Director, has a diverse background in biology; housing and economic development policy and implementation; urban planning, including current and long-range planning; and climate adaptation planning. Mr. Loya currently oversees the long-range planning updates to the Local Coastal Plan, including the sea level rise adaptation and measured retreat policies for the City of Arcata. Through this work, he has helped develop sea level rise adaptation policy in Humboldt Bay, arguably one of the most dynamic sea level areas in the state. Mr. Loya’s approach to sea level rise adaptation places emphasis on integrating science, economic policy, and regional stakeholder collaboration. He has broad experience with a diverse group of landowners and land managers, regional city and county planners, engineers and scientists, and the public.
John Wentworth is a member of the Town Council of the Town of Mammoth Lakes, and currently serves as City Council Member. He also serves on a number of local agency boards, including the Eastern Sierra Council of Governments (Chair - 2018/2019), the Mono County Local Transportation Commission (Chair - 2018/2019), and the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District (Chair - 2018/2018). John is Chairman and CEO of the Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access Foundation (MLTPA). MLTPA has worked closely with regional public land managers, including the Inyo National Forest on the update of its General Management Plan through the Eastern Sierra Recreation Collaborative, funded in part by the National Forest Foundation. MLTPA initiated an ambitious update of the Town of Mammoth Lakes Trail System Master Plan, spearheaded the adoption of two special tax measures in Mammoth Lakes securing local funding for trails, parks, recreation, mobility and arts and culture, and for his efforts on behalf of regional recreation and the Mammoth Lakes Trail System, John has been recognized by the Sierra Business Council and the Far West Ski Association. Prior to moving to Mammoth Lakes, John worked in the motion picture industry, where his credits include Co-Producer of “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” and “Mulholland Drive”.
Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H. is the public health officer for the County of San Diego. She received both professional degrees from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, followed by the completion of residency training at the Georgetown/Providence Hospital Family Practice Residency Program in Washington, DC. In 1989, she completed the joint San Diego State University (SDSU), Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH)/University of California San Diego (UCSD) Preventive Medicine Residency, with an emphasis in Sports Medicine. Dr. Wooten practiced medicine as a faculty member in the UCSD Department of Family and Preventive Medicine from 1990 to 2001. She remains a UCSD volunteer Associate Clinical Professor and is an Adjunct Professor at SDSU/GSPH. She has been with the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency since 2001, initially as the Deputy Health Officer and now serves as the Public Health Officer since February 2007. She is an ardent supporter of public health and has a strong interest in health disparities and health equity. Dr. Wooten is a past Board member, and past president (2011-13), of the California Conference of Local Health Officers (CCLHO); current Board member, and past President (2013-15), of the Health Officers Association of California (HOAC); and past Board member (2009-2011) of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). Dr. Wooten is a current Board member of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) of Directors (2011-present), member of the NACCHO Big Cities Health Coalition (2014-present), and past member of the Advisory Committee to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2015–2019).
CBO’s, Academia, and Private Sector
Veronica Beaty is the Director of Policy & Research at the California Coalition for Rural Housing. She has been an advocate for sustainable communities and housing justice in California for over a decade on issues ranging from transportation planning to rent stabilization. She received her master’s degree in Public Policy from Mills College in Oakland, California.
Alex Ghenis is the Deputy Director at Sustain Our Abilities, a nonprofit focused on the intersection of climate, health, and disability. Born and raised in California, Alex received a BA in Geography with a focus on climate and the built environment and a Master’s of Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy with a focus on renewables. In 2014, he founded the New Earth Disability initiative at the World Institute on Disability, where he pursued a combination of public education on the intersection of disability and climate change and targeted initiatives ranging from disaster readiness to inclusive transportation. He left WID for private consulting in 2020 and started at SOA in June 2022, focusing on capacity-building and disability climate justice efforts. Outside of SOA, Alex is a contributor to New Mobility Magazine, serves as the disability subject matter expert for California’s Functional Assessment Service Teams program, and does a limited amount of private consulting.
Denise Kadara was appointed as a member to the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board in Fall 2014 and continues to serve. She also serves on the board of the Tulare Basin Watershed Partnership and is President of the Allensworth Progressive Association, a non-profit organization serving community needs and governance. Her career spans over 25 years of public service in City Planning and consulting services for cities in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Marin and San Mateo counties. Her expertise includes housing, economic and community planning, policy and program development and implementation. She received her education in urban & regional planning and public administration from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and University of La Verne, La Verne, CA, respectively.
Denise moved to Allensworth, CA in May 2010 with her husband where they have devoted their time to improving the quality of life of residents in Allensworth and other disadvantaged communities. Denise and her husband have focused on various community issues including water quality, distressed housing, infrastructure, youth and leadership development, environmental justice and economic development.
Denise was appointed by the Tulare County Board of Supervisor - 2nd District to serve on the Tulare Lake Basin Disadvantaged Community Water Study – Stakeholders Oversight Advisory Committee (SOAC) in 2013. She is currently leading efforts to update the Allensworth Community Plan. Tulare County approved its framework in April 2022. The final version is being drafted with the assistance of the USC Landscape Architecture and School of Design Department for inclusion in the next update to the County’s General Plan.
Sona comes to Greenlining from New Orleans, and recently moved to the Bay Area to work on environmental equity issues. She became interested in environmental equity after witnessing the disproportionate environmental burdens that communities of color face in New Orleans, especially after Hurricane Katrina and the B.P. oil spill. Sona interned at several environmental law firms and nonprofit organizations throughout law school, and realized that she wanted to pursue a career in environmental law and policy. As Environmental Equity Manager, she looks forward to advocating for environmental equity and learning how to effectively empower communities of color.
Jonathan Parfrey is the founding director of Climate Resolve , a Los Angeles-based organization. Jonathan served as a commissioner at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for five years. He is a founder of the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability and the statewide Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation , where he currently serves as chair. He is also a founder of CicLAvia , the popular open-street event. He directed the Green LA Coalition as well as the Los Angeles office of Physicians for Social Responsibility . Prior to that, Jonathan founded and directed the Orange County Catholic Worker community in Santa Ana, California.
Michelle Passero is the Climate Change Program Director for The Nature Conservancy, California office. She has extensive experience working in land conservation and environmental law and policy. Currently, Ms. Passero is leading TNC’s climate policy efforts to ensure successful implementation of California’s landmark climate policies, with a focus on the intersection of climate change, conservation and land use.
She has led and advised processes to develop greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting standards for California’s natural and working lands, as well as GHG project standards published by the World Resources Institute and World Business Council for Sustainable Development. She coauthored an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences highlighting the statewide potential of California’s lands to contribute to its climate goals. Most recently, she successfully managed a project in partnership with Merced County and the California Department of Conservation to develop a county-scale climate and multi-benefit analysis and scenarios tool for natural and working lands in the County.
Ms. Passero’s professional history includes serving as a Business Development Executive in Forest and Land Use for EcoSecurities, Director of Policy Initiatives for the Pacific Forest Trust, and a contract environmental law attorney for The Natural Heritage Institute and Heller, Ehrman, White and McCauliffe. She holds an LL.M. in Sustainable International Development from the University of Washington, a J.D. from the University of San Francisco and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Vermont.
Nathan Bengtsson is the Interim Director of Climate Resilience at Pacific Gas & Electric Company, where he leads the company’s efforts to bolster the resilience of assets, infrastructure, operations, employees, and communities amid the growing risks of climate change. He has over 10 years of experience in the public policy arena with a focus on energy and environmental issues. Nathan joined PG&E in 2015 as a representative to the California Energy Commission and California Air Resources Board, advocating for environmentally and economically sustainable energy policies including the refinement and extension of California’s landmark Cap-and-Trade Program. He is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College and the CORO Fellows Program in Public Affairs and is a proud Teach for America alum (San Antonio, 12’). He currently lives in Sacramento with his family.
Roberto Carlos Torres uses the pronouns he, him, and “El” in Spanish and has a strong passion and commitment to good governance and equity for marginalized communities. He is currently the Senior Program Manager for the Institute for Local Government (ILG), overseeing Public Engagement Trainings and Technical Assistance, while supporting Sustainable & Resilient Communities, Leadership & Governance, and the Workforce & Civics Education program areas of ILG. Prior to working at ILG, he served as the first Climate Equity Specialist for the City of San Diego and has worked to reimagine how San Diego’s Communities of Concern are best served. Roberto led the City’s efforts to co-develop the first-of-its-kind Climate Equity Index in partnership with various community-based organizations. He also instituted an innovative and more inclusive approach to community engagement. Roberto was part of the team that updated the City’s groundbreaking 2015 Climate Action Plan to be even bolder and more equitable. With his leadership and support, the updated plan includes a net-zero goal by 2035, firm commitments to prioritize investments and resources in Communities of Concern, and an implementation plan to hold the City accountable.
Before his work with the City, Roberto was a community organizer, pushing for more equitable policies and practices across San Diego County. He earned a dual bachelor’s degree in Government and Communication Studies at Sacramento State University and has previously worked in the cities of San Pablo and Richmond, as well as in the Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the California Energy Commission. Born and raised in San Francisco, then later moving to Richmond, California, Roberto has a passion for environmental justice and a drive to make government work for marginalized communities across the state. He currently lives in San Diego with his partner Oscar, two dogs – Tobias “Tobi” and Whiskey, and their cat – Tyberius “Ty” – and enjoys camping and spending time outdoors, especially out by San Diego’s world-class beaches.