Matt Petersen has led Global Green USA since 1994, building and guiding the organization's innovative programs and initiatives. He also is Chair of Green Cross International's Energy Program. Matt’s vision for the green rebuilding of New Orleans has led to the greening of New Orleans schools, helped educate thousands of residents to rebuild their homes more energy efficiently, and helped create the Holy Cross Project, a sustainable village in the Lower 9th Ward with 23 units of affordable housing and a community/climate action center.
Matt has been touted a ‘green all star’ by Outside Magazine, and in May 2008 he was appointed by the Sir Edmund Hillary Institute in New Zealand as the Inaugural Hillary Fellow. Previously, Matt ran local, state, and federal political campaigns as well as serving as the Executive Director of Americans for a Safe Future.
Responsible for the management of Global Green USA's finances and administration, Richard Wegman has been helping to lead environmental companies since the late 1980s. Prior to Global Green USA, he served as a consultant to many environmental and social justice organizations in the Los Angeles area, including El Rescate, Clinica Oscar A. Romero, Committee to Save Mono Lake, Coalition for Clean Air, Plaza Community Center in East Los Angeles, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and the Audubon Society. Prior to joining Global Green, he was the Chief Operating Officer of Tree People, a local community environmental nonprofit. He also served for eight years as the CFO of PS Enterprises, Inc., an environmental public relations firm that works with numerous cities, agencies, and nonprofits.
Richard is Chairman of the Board for Amazon Watch, an organization that works to protect the rainforest and advance the rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin. He is also co-founder of ActiveMusic Inc., a non-profit that produces benefit concerts to raise money for other nonprofit organizations, and is a board member of Friends of Ballona Wetlands. He holds an MBA in Finance and a B.S. in Marketing from California State Polytechnic University. Richard is also a certified Yoga teacher and Reiki healer.
Walker Wells' responsibilities include working with building industry stakeholders, affordable housing developers, and municipalities to further sustain able development practices, primarily through developing and implementing viable and cost-effective green building practices and programs. Former Senior Urban Designer with Gruen Associates in Los Angeles, Associate Planner with the City of Santa Monica, and Urban Planner for the City of Malmo, Sweden.
Walker is a member of the American Institute of City Planners and is a LEED Accredited Professional. He has Bachelor's degrees in Sociology and Environmental Studies from the University of California Santa Barbara, and an M.A. in City and Regional Planning from California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo.
Ted Bardacke works with affordable housing developers, public agencies, school districts, and design and construction industry professionals to advance the sustainability of the urban environment. He has been involved in the drafting of numerous green building reference tools and standards, including Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating systems for Neighborhood Development and Neighborhood Development, the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) and the Green Communities Initiative for affordable housing. A lecturer in Urban Environmental Design and Planning at UCLA, in 2005 Ted accepted the USGBC’s Leadership Award for Advocacy on behalf of Global Green.
Ted is a former foreign correspondent based in Bangkok and Mexico City for the Financial Times, and coordinator of volunteer construction projects in rural Mexico for the American Friends Service Committee. He is a member of the American Institute of City Planners and a LEED Accredited Professional and has a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an M.S. from the Graduate School of Architecture at Columbia University.
Hagerenesh (Hagu) Solomon is responsible for working with local government agencies to enhance green community developments on a neighborhood scale. Working with both public and private community development institutions, Hagu is focused on advancing Global Green's expertise on the United States Green Building Council's LEED for Neighborhood Development (ND) certification process.
Hagu holds a Bachelor's degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Davis and an Master's degree in City Planning focused on Urban Design from the University of California, Berkeley.
Rebuilding New Orleans
Beth Galante is responsible for the operation of Global Green's New Orleans Office and Green Building Resource Center, supervision of the Holy Cross Project, and rebuilding initiatives including green affordable homes, schools, and neighborhoods.
Beth was formerly an Assistant D.A. in New Orleans, handling predominantly homicides, sex offenses, and public corruption cases. She taught at Tulane Law School as the former Deputy Director of the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic, which was the first recipient of the American Bar Association's Distinguished Environmental Achievement Award and the National Law Journal's Runner Up Lawyer of the Year during her tenure, for its groundbreaking work in the field of Environmental Justice. She is also a former legal representative of the New Jersey Attorney General and the Quapaw Indian Nation regarding damages to their natural resources. Beth has a Masters of Environmental & Energy Law and J.D. from Tulane Law School.
Beth served as Co-Chair of Mayor Mitch Landrieu's Sustainability Task Force and is currently an Aspen Institute Fellow in its Henry Crown leadership program, Chair of the Green Collaborative, a group dedicated to advancing sustainable environmental and economic development in the Greater New Orleans area. She was honored as one of 2011’s Champions of Change by the White House.
Linda Stone is Program and Operations Director for the New Orleans office. In this capacity, she is responsible for budget, personnel, VISTAs, and all reporting requirements. She also manages the Build It Back Green (BIBG) and Policy programs, working with state and local government, other nonprofits, and businesses to promote green building and green energy policy. She maintains an active role with the Green Collaborative of New Orleans.
Linda's professional background includes work on the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation master plan, founding The Green Project in 1994, and serving as director of Mayor Morial’s Office of Environmental Affairs from 1999 to 2002. When Morial left office in 2002, Linda took a job in San Antonio as director of the Metropolitan Partnership for Energy, where she coordinated development of the city’s first residential green building program. She returned to New Orleans in January 2008 to join Global Green.
Linda has a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New Orleans. She also studied Spanish in Mexico and Spain and is a certified hatha yoga instructor. Linda and her husband, Hugo Montero, recently completed a green historic renovation of an 1850s building on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard in Central City, where they live and will soon open a Latin Cultural Center and Café.
Heidi Jensen joined Global Green USA in 2008 to contribute to the green rebuilding efforts in New Orleans. She is responsible for the everyday operation of our New Orleans Resource Center, front desk reception and administrative support to the directors and staff. Heidi coordinates Visitor's Center tours of the Global Green House in the Lower Ninth Ward, organizes green building resource center materials and consultations; coordinates our monthly panel discussions, newsletters, interns and community outreach events. Heidi is a native New Orleanian whose life endeavors have included the Louisiana Children's Museum, NO AIDS Task Force, childcare, voiceover and local theatre and music.
Camille Lopez manages the NOLA Wise program in New Orleans, helping homeowners access home energy assessments, financing and incentives, and trusted local contractors. Before joining Global Green, Lopez worked on Katrina recovery projects with several organizations, including Rebuilding Together New Orleans, which focused on sustainable building practices in low income communities.
Prior to her arrival in the Gulf, Lopez served on tsunami response teams in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, managing direct aid delivery to rural survivors. Lopez holds an M.A. from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University and a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley. Early in her career, she taught English in Romania with the U.S. Peace Corps, and is fluent in Romanian. A native of Southern California, Lopez purchased and renovated a 100-year-old shotgun-style house in New Orleans and is working on improving its energy efficiency.
Becki Chall, NOLA Grants and Outreach Assistant, joined Global Green in November 2009 as an AmeriCorps VISTA and has stayed on to help administer the Build It Back Green program, manage grant writing and fundraising efforts for the New Orleans Office, and assist with energy audits and administration of the NOLA Wise Program. Becki is a RESNET-certified Home Energy Rater and LEED Green Associate with five years of experience working on domestic and international environmental issues.
Prior to joining Global Green, Becki completed an MA in International Development and Natural Resource Management from George Washington University and a BA in Environmental Studies from the University of Michigan. While earning her degrees, she completed field work in Australia, Mexico, Cuba, and South Africa. Becki is a native of Michigan and spends her free time planning her next travel adventure, eating her way around New Orleans, tending her garden, and hanging out with her adorable mutt, Bean.
D. Adrian Manriquez is a NOLA Wise Program Associate and helps connect homeowners to the education, project management, and resources necessary to weatherize their homes.
Adrian has a Bachelors of Arts and Sciences from Regis University in Denver, CO, and came to New Orleans to help in rebuilding shortly after graduating. He spent five years coordinating volunteers and homeowners for various rebuilding agencies.
Policy & Legislative Affairs
Mary Luevano oversees policy and legislative initiatives related to green building, clean energy and climate change in addition to advising on a range of other policy issues for Global Green. She and the Policy staff work to educate decision makers and champion model policies in the areas of green affordable housing, green schools, green municipal buildings, climate solutions for low-income communities and solar and other renewable energy technologies. Much of the work focuses on the needs of low-income communities and crafting policies that engage new constituencies in the fight against climate change.
Prior to joining Global Green Mary worked as a Congressional staffer serving in the offices of US Senator Alan Cranston, US Reps. Augustus Hawkins, Calvin Dooley and Jane Harman. Her legislative duties included work on environmental, defense technology, and business issues among others. She has also worked on numerous political campaigns. In 2004, Mary was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn to serve on the City of LA’s Recreation and Parks Board of Commissioners where she was elected Vice President. In that capacity, she also served as the alternate representative to the LA Coliseum Commission. Mary also served for three years (one as President) on the City of LA’s Environmental Affairs Commission and has served on the UCLA Alumni Association Board of Directors as Chair of the Government Relations Alumni Advocacy Committee.
Mary holds a B.A. in Political Science/International Relations from UCLA and has completed the Congressional Research Service’s Graduate Legislative Institute in Washington, DC. In her spare time she is a Masters Swimmer and loves watching her beloved UCLA Bruins!
Gina’s responsibilities include supporting the development and implementation of policy and legislative initiatives related to green buildings, energy efficiency and climate change.
Prior to joining Global Green staff, Gina spent three years as an environmental advocate and organizer for Environment California working on ocean and land preservation. She worked on issues such as oil drilling, plastic pollution, national park preservation, marine protected areas. and hardrock mining. She has been quoted in various news publications such as the Los Angeles Times, NPR, MSNBC, the Sacramento Bee, The San Diego Union Tribune, the San Jose Mercury News and more. She has also worked on several political campaigns, such as the 2008 Presidential election for which she directed offices throughout Nevada for the organization Progressive Future. Gina graduated magna cum laude from USC with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Environmental Studies.
Security & Sustainability
Paul Walker is the International Program Director of the Environmental Security and Sustainability Program of Green Cross International and Global Green USA. He has been with Green Cross/Global Green for more than 16 years and is responsible for direction and management of both the international program and the Washington, D.C. office.
Paul is a former Professional Staff Member of the Armed Services Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served as a senior advisor to the Chairman and full committee. He is also former Acting Director of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA; and former Research Director with the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Paul has been an expert in international security, arms control, nonproliferation, and environmental policy for more than 25 years. He has lectured and published widely, most recently on the demilitarization of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and has appeared on numerous TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News, CNN, NPR, Christian Science Monitor, Voice of America, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and NBC.
Paul holds a Ph.D. in political science and defense studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; an M.A. from Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies; a Russian Honors Certificate from the Defense Language Institute of the West Coast; and a Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. He is also a Vietnam-era Army veteran.
Finn Longinotto' responsibilities include supporting the overall international Legacy Program out of Washington DC. Primarily focused on the development and implementation of Global Green /Green Cross projects funded by the Global Partnership, including Russian outreach efforts, community and regional assessment studies and community development projects. Coordinates outreach to Washington, DC's foreign diplomatic community on threat reduction initiatives and weapons destruction programs. Formerly Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase Bank.
Finn has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Geneva, Switzerland; an M.B.A. in International Management from Monterey Institute of International Studies; as well as an M.A. in Environmental Conservation Education from New York University (internship at The American Museum of Natural History's Center for Biodiversity and Conservation).
Coalition for Resource Recovery
The Coalition for Resource Recovery is an industry working group dedicated to identifying, promoting, and implementing cost-neutral or better programs to divert, reclaim, recycle, and add value to waste. Annie’s expertise lies in facilitating the collaboration of diverse constituencies to identify and implement innovative approaches to improve environmental and social outcomes.
Previously, Annie served as the founding executive director of GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition, an industry working group dedicated to realizing sustainable packaging solutions through supply chain collaboration. The Sustainable Packaging Coalition has grown from its nine founding member companies to over 150 members, and has been lauded as one of the most influential groups in packaging. Annie has also consulted with Fortune 500 clients on issues including: sustainable products and packaging, recycling, and sustainability reporting and communications.
Annie has an M.B.A. from the Ross School of Business, an M.S. in Sustainable Systems from the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan, and a dual B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science from the College of William and Mary.
Matt de la Houssaye serves as a program associate for Global Green’s New York Office & Coalition for Resource Recovery. In this role, Matt’s responsibilities include managing the food waste recovery initiative. Prior to joining Global Green, Matt worked as a project developer and manager to implement recycling projects for large corporations and conduct New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) funded feasibility studies for biomass, composting, and solar technologies. Matt began his career at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, where he coordinated representatives from local government, the public, and the tourism industry in advocating municipal and regional policy. He holds a Master of Science in Environmental Management and Policy from the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE) at Lund University, Sweden, and a dual BA in Economics and Environmental Studies from Emory University.
Lily Kelly provides analysis, research, and administrative support for the New York Office and Coalition for Resource Recovery and the New York City team. Prior to joining Global Green USA, she contributed to various environmental and social stewardship projects with both for- and non-profit agencies, including the Environmental Law and Justice Project, the Majora Carter Group, Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, and The Earth Institute.
Originally hailing from north Florida, Lily earned a dual BA in Economics and Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she also spearheaded the campus’ first comprehensive Sustainability Assessment. In 2009 she moved to New York City to study Environmental Science and Policy at Columbia University, and graduated in 2010 with an MPA from the School of International and Public Affairs.
Ruben Aronin is responsible for overseeing the strategic messaging initiatives for Global Green and implements all of its media campaigns. Previously, Ruben served as the Executive Director of the Earth Communications Office, an international non-profit organization based in the Hollywood community. He has more than a decade of experience in the environmental field and in non-profit management.
Ruben has overseen more than a dozen international communications campaigns that have reached over a billion people worldwide and has led celebrity delegations for press events at the United Nations, Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, and on Capitol Hill.
Ruben currently serves on the national steering committee of the Apollo Alliance, the Board of ECO India and Advocacy Arts, and the Advisory Boards of LOHAS and Ciceana. Prior to his environmental work, he worked for President Clinton's inaugural celebration and for Congressman Christopher Shays.
Gina Hall began assisting with communications, social media and donor relations for Global Green USA in 2010 and joined the staff full-time as the Communications and Corporate Relations Assistant in June 2011. In her role, Gina supports all of Global Green's media relations activities and corporate sponsor programs and also represents the organization at special events and promotional activities. Gina is also a frequent contributor to Global Green's website as well as other prominent green industry blogs. In her spare time she enjoys camping, reading, and watching movies.
Online and Social Media
Adrian Guerrero, Global Green's Director of Online & Social Media since June 2011, is responsible for developing and managing the web and social media strategies critical to educate and activate individuals as well as to build support for Global Green’s local, national, and international efforts. He is tasked with providing online solutions across the entire organization, leading the efforts to engage our supporters and serve our mission via web and social media platforms. Adrian is a Los Angeles native with extensive background in online and social media and previously worked as the Director of Content at MySpace.
Stef McDonald joined Global Green as the Managing Editor of Online Content in June 2011, and is ensuring supporters, e-Activists, and others receive timely, important environmental information as well as updates on GGUSA’s latest projects and initiatives with editorial content on blogs, the website, and via social media. The Long Island, NY, native worked for several years as a writer and editor for magazines and websites in New York City before a life-changing surf camp vacation in Mexico prompted a move to Los Angeles for year-round sun and surf. She also writes about green living for blogs and online publications.
Nina Storm joined Global Green in 2006 and manages the planning and production of events all over the country. A life long environmentalist, Nina was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. A Los Angeles resident for the past 10 years, she held positions in entertainment, education, public relations and for other non profit organizations before joining Global Green. Nina holds a B.A. in Communication from Lewis and Clark College and currently resides in the legendary neighborhood of Laurel Canyon. A community and political activist, Nina has an ongoing romance with the City of Angels, and is thrilled each day, to have the opportunity to help make a contribution to protecting the environment through her work with Global Green.
Vanessa Briseno joined Global Green in 2011 as Foundation Relations Manager and is responsible for overseeing fundraising and donor stewardship activities, working with the organization’s Program Directors to produce and deliver products that reflect Global Green’s mission, values and strong outcomes. With more than a decade of experience in the philanthropic sector, Vanessa brings with her a strong commitment to achieving great results as well as broad experience in program development and management, community building, and identifying and implementing strategic opportunities to maximize organizational strengths. A California native, Vanessa spends free time with her family exploring the state’s vast beauty and enjoys running, hiking, and laughing with her young son.
As Database Administrator, Karl is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the records of Global Green USA’s supporters. Beyond importing and exporting thousands of bits of data, he helps us to sharpen our capacity to be responsible stewards of these vital relationships by tracking constituents' unique interests and contributions. Karl honed his skills with increasing complexity at former employers including the Los Angeles Times, the Colburn School and the Alliance For Children’s Rights.
Robert came to Global Green in November 2011 from the local government sector. After more than 30 years of experience as an Executive Assistant, Program Director, Assistant City Manager, and City Manager with the Los Angeles Redevelopment Agency and the cities of Glendale, Pasadena, and Azusa, Robert decided to pursue a second career in the nonprofit sector, where he could use his skills for a good cause. Robert has lived in the Los Angeles area most of his life and currently lives in Santa Monica with his partner, Maria, two cats and a dog. His hobbies include reading, writing, cooking, eating and drinking wine, and enjoying the cinema scene. Robert has a bachelor's degree in public administration.
Linda Wilson was born in New Orleans but now calls Los Angeles home. She joined Global Green Accounting Team in 2010 and works closely with the COO and the Program Directors as Accounting Manager. Linda has a B.S. in Accounting from Woodbury University and brings with her years of knowledge from a variety of industries, including entertainment, construction, small business, and tax service. Linda is enjoying and especially proud to be a new grandmother.
Michelle Hart joined Global Green in 2006. She assists the Accounting team’s human resources and finance activities, including payroll, employee health benefits, and accounts payable. Michelle brings her love of people to Global Green, infusing positive energy into her daily interactions with all of the GGUSA team. Prior to joining Global Green, Michelle worked as an editor in the film industry. She is also a Somatic Movement Educator, teaching people to live more fully in their bodies.
Sarah started interning at Global Green in February 2009, and was hired in January 2010 to help support the Executive Assistant to the CEO & COO. Prior to Global Green, she worked for Daily Variety, coordinating and producing the Variety Screening Series, screening Academy Award contending films in LA, NY and San Francisco.
Sarah graduated with high honors from UCSB with a B.A. in Communication, and currently resides in Santa Monica. When she is not working or traveling, she devotes herself to her family, sports, creative endeavors and volunteering. She was Captain of both the 2007 US Pan American Women’s Volleyball Team as well as the 2009 US Women's Maccabiah Volleyball Team. Sarah is passionate about and dedicated to sustainable living practices, projects, and education and hopes her enthusiasm and dedication will contribute to the success of GGUSA's mission.
Sharon joined Global Green in 1999 as the office receptionist and takes pride in assisting the staff members in making sure administrative needs are met and that everything runs smoothly in the office. The Los Angeles native worked previously in film production and for the LAUSD school board. She has always been environmentally conscious and feels blessed to live in the beautiful city of Los Angeles, where she doesn't have to travel far to dip her toes in the sand. During her time off, she especially enjoys spending time with her family and grandchildren.