Campus Divestment Advisory Committee

Divest Ed and our parent organization Better Future Project have been supporting campus leaders in and beyond the Massachusetts on their fossil fuel divestment campaigns since the movement kicked off in fall 2012. As these campaigns have heated up, students have run into both expected and unexpected challenges. We know there are many professionals out there who do not have the time to form relationships with  campus groups pushing for divestment, but are eager to share what knowledge they can. To meet the need of students to navigate challenges and the desire of professionals to support them, we have assembled the Campus Divestment Advisory Committee, or “CDAC.” This is a team of experienced professionals from different fields who are able to lend their advice, legitimacy, and strategic engagement to student fossil fuel divestment campaigns.

CDAC_Spring2018.jpg

Each semester, we gather our student leaders and CDAC members to think through different challenges, such as how to escalate, how to address financial arguments, and how to engage faculty. In addition, CDAC members agree to be contacted for a limited number of student support opportunities throughout the academic year. Finally, we ask that CDAC members help make sure that Divest Ed’s fellowship program remains financially viable by making personal contributions and/or helping attract financial support for the program.

Expectations of Membership:

  • Be willing to receive a limited number of requests per semester (set by each CDAC member) from students for support, such as speaking at events, authoring op-eds, or providing advice.
  • Make an effort to attend once per semester digital calls with Divest Ed Fellows and other CDAC members.
  • Help financially support Divest Ed’s Fellowship program through direct giving and/or fundraising from others at a level that is meaningful to you.

Benefits of Membership:

  • An opportunity to connect with and support student leaders waging exciting fossil fuel divestment campaigns from across the region.
  • An opportunity to connect with other dynamic community leaders (including university faculty, faith leaders, socially responsible investment professionals, media professionals, etc) supportive of divestment and student leadership in the climate movement.
  • Recognition for your leadership on Divest Ed’s website and in other written materials.

How to Join:

  • We are expanding the CDAC to be a national body! You can join from wherever you are based.
  • Applying to be a member of CDAC is ongoing and requires filling out a brief form and agreeing to the above expectations of membership.
  • For questions about joining the Campus Divestment Advisory Committee, contact Alyssa at alyssa[at]betterfutureproject.org.

Meet our current Campus Divestment Advisory Committee:

Jim Armstrong

Public Relations Manager

Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island

Area(s) of expertise: Media and Communications

Jim Armstrong is a strategic communications professional with a background and lifelong interest in public policy and social justice. A former AmeriCorps volunteer based in an urban public school system, Jim went on to spend more than 17 years as a broadcast journalist covering breaking news across the country.  His reporting earned several regional and national awards, including an Emmy in 2009. In late 2015, Jim switched gears to work as Public Relations Manager for a successful Rhode Island non-profit health insurance company that has a strong history of advocacy and engagement with the community.

Reebee_Girash_-_Photo_for_CDAC_Bio__cropped.jpgReebee Girash

Pastor & denominational counselor

The Eliot Church of Newton, UCC & Harvard Divinity School

Area(s) of expertise: Faith/Faith Organizing

Rev. Reebee Girash is a UCC pastor & Harvard Divinity School alum. A former BFP board member, she has participated in a variety of divestment related activities at Harvard, at the State House, and in the United Church of Christ.

Marcelle_Grair_-_Photo_for_CDAC_Bio__cropped.jpgMarcelle Grair

Organizer

Boston Teachers Union

Area(s) of expertise: Media and Communications, Community/Campus Organizing, Faculty/Faculty Organizing, Faith/Faith Organizing

Marcelle is from northeast Ohio and started organizing during high school at the age of 15. During high school she organized phone banks, canvasses, and other events to support legislative and electoral campaigns in her home state. While at Spelman College she started organizing in the labor movement as a Regional Organizer for the student labor solidarity group, United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS). She worked with community and labor groups to build a coalition to support workers in a fight for the benefits they deserved. After her time at Spelman, she became a National Organizer/Domestic Campaigns Coordinator for USAS. She worked with students, unions and community groups across the country on living wage and anti-privatization campaigns, contract fights, and she supported campus workers organizing to form unions. In addition to this, she organized with students and garment workers in countries such as Bangladesh to improve working conditions at factories where college apparel is made. After USAS Marcelle became a Community Organizer for Service Employees International Union (SEIU, Local 509). She organized with folks from across movements to build support for members and to establish new relationships. In addition to this, she supported the work of the local's Racial Justice Task Force. Marcelle currently works as an organizer for the Boston Teachers Union where she supports educators and other staff at schools working to form unions and secure collective bargaining agreements, and fighting for the schools that students deserve. Family means everything to her and they are the reason she organizes.

Amelia_Koch_-_Photo_for_CDAC_Bio__cropped.jpg

Amelia Koch

Controller

University of Mass Building Authority

Area(s) of Expertise: College administration

Amelia Koch has 30 years of experience in higher education administration. She transitioned from CPA at Coopers and Lybrand to Assistant Controller at Wellesley College and spent 12 years as Controller and the Assistant Vice President for Finance at the Rhode Island School of Design and then 9 years as Vice President for Finance at Berklee College of Music. She currently works as the Controller at the University of Massachusetts Building Authority.

Elizabeth_Levy_-_Photo_for_CDAC_Bio__cropped.jpgElizabeth Levy

Senior Vice President, Portfolio Manager

Trillium Asset Management

Area(s) of expertise: Finance/Socially Responsible Investing

Elizabeth Levy is Senior Vice President, Portfolio Manager, and Research Analyst with Trillium Asset Management, and leads Trillium's Fossil Fuel Free Core strategy. Before joining Trillium in 2012, Elizabeth worked as a Portfolio Manager for Winslow Management Company, a division of Brown Advisory, where she had been since 2004.  She managed two environmentally-focused investment strategies, the Winslow Green Large Cap strategy from 2009-2011 and the Winslow Green Growth strategy during 2011. Elizabeth also provided equity research across Brown Advisory’s strategies, with a focus on water companies and green transportation companies.
Before joining Winslow, Elizabeth was a research associate for Tellus Institute, an environmental research organization. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the UMass Boston Center for Sustainable Enterprise and Regional Competitiveness and recently served on the Steering Committee of the Social Investment Research Analysts Network (SIRAN). Elizabeth was previously Treasurer and Vice President of the Board of Directors of Harvest Cooperative Markets in Boston.
Elizabeth holds a B.S. in Chemistry from the College of William and Mary, and a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, as well as the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Erina_McWilliam-Lopez_-_Photo_for_CDAC_Bio__cropped.jpegErina McWilliam-Lopez

Membership Manager

Intentional Endowments Network

Area(s) of Expertise: Media and Communications, Community/Campus Organizing, Finance/Socially Responsible Investing, Faculty/Faculty Organizing

Erina manages memberships for the Intentational Endowments Network. Previously, she was the Founding Associate Director of the Social Impact Lab at Lynn University, and before that on the founding leadership team of the Middlebury Institute’s Center for Social Impact Learning in Monterey, California where she oversaw the Frontier Market Scouts, a professional certificate training and fellowship in social enterprise management and impact investing.

Eric_Packer_-_Photo_for_CDAC_Bio__cropped.jpgEric Packer

Financial Advisor

Progressive Asset Management

Area(s) of expertise: Finance/Socially Responsible Investing

For over twenty years, Eric Packer has been providing socially & environmentally responsible investment (“SRI”) services to the greater Boston community. He has been involved with 350.org over the past seven years and have worked and supported 350 Massachusetts and Better Future Project for the last several years. His company Progressive Asset Management has been offering fossil fuel free investment accounts to individuals, nonprofits and companies for the past five years. These accounts are balanced, well diversified, and have achieved overall competitive market performance during this time period.

Bill_Page_-_Photo_for_CDAC_Bio__cropped.jpgBill Page

Senior Vice President, Portfolio Manager

Essex Investment Management, LLC

Area(s) of Expertise: Finance/Socially Responsible Investing

Bill is a Portfolio Manager on the Global Environmental Opportunities Strategy (GEOS). Bill directs environmental investment policy and research for Essex, and is on the Investment and Proxy Voting Committees. Prior to joining Essex in 2009, he spent eleven years at State Street Global Advisors (SSgA), most recently as Lead Portfolio Manager for GEOS and Head of the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investment team. Bill developed GEOS over a four year period at SSgA, and was a member of the Global Fundamental Strategies group. Prior to SSgA, Bill worked in product management for Wellington Management Company, LLC. Before Wellington, he worked for Fidelity Investments in asset allocation. Bill has lectured extensively on environmental investing at global investment conferences and academic institutions. During business school, Bill worked on socially responsible investment research at KLD Research & Analytics. Bill is a founding board member of the Energy + Environment Foundation, focusing on strengthening energy and environmental education and promoting renewable energy. Bill is also on the Advisory Board of the Journal of Environmental Investment, a peer-reviewed, open-access journal that publishes original research at the intersection of the environment and investing. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Boston University and an MBA from the F.W. Olin School of Business at Babson College.

Nathan_Phillips_-_Photo_for_CDAC_Bio__cropped.jpgNathan Phillips

Professor

Boston University

Area(s) of expertise: Faculty/Faculty Organizing, Climate Science

Nathan Phillips is an ecologist working on climate-relevant processes in natural and human systems, and a parent and citizen committed to accelerating our transition to a just and sustainable future.

Jim Recht

Physician

Clinical Asst. Prof. Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Area(s) of expertise: Community/Campus Organizing, Faculty/Faculty Organizing, Environmental/Climate Justice

A psychiatrist and clinical faculty member at Harvard Medical School and Tufts University School of Medicine, Jim became a climate activist in late 2012 after attending his first 350-MA meeting in Cambridge. In 2013, he helped spearhead  an initiative that culminated in the Cambridge city council's endorsement of fossil fuel divestment. Impressed with the work and spirit of local student leaders, Jim then began collaborating with other concerned Harvard faculty to support the work of Divest Harvard. Their accomplishments include a widely published, frequently quoted public letter to Harvard's president and fellows that now has more than 260 faculty signatures, and a frequently cited FAQ on divestment of college endowments. Most recently, Jim has been working with a coalition of students, faculty and alumni from numerous Boston-area campuses that aims to foster solidarity and mutual support: the All-Campus Divestment Collaborative (“ACDC”).

Andrew_Rodriguez_-_Photo_for_CDAC_Bio__cropped.jpgAndrew Rodriguez

CEO + Chief Investment Officer

Change Finance, PBC

Area(s) of expertise: Institutional Divestment, Finance/Socially Responsible Investing, Faith/Faith Organizing, Environmental/Climate Justice

Andrew Rodriguez is CEO and Chief Investment Officer at Change Finance, PBC. He began his environmental and social justice work as a pastor, though after pursuing his MBA in Sustainable Systems from Bainbridge Graduate Institute, he began managing high-impact investment portfolios and SMAs. Andrew co-founded Change Finance in 2016, along with a team of three, to build publicly available, performance-oriented funds that change the world. Their first fund has been trading on the New York Stock Exchange since 2017.

Juliet_Schor_-_Photo_for_CDAC_Bio__cropped.jpegJuliet Schor

Professor

Boston College

Area(s) of expertise: Faculty/Faculty Organizing, Environmental/Climate Justice

Juliet Schor is Professor of Sociology at Boston College. Before joining Boston College, she taught at Harvard University for 17 years in the Department of Economics and the Committee on Degrees in Women’s Studies. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Juliet received her Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Massachusetts. Her most recent book is Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth (The Penguin Press, 2010). She is also author of the national best-seller, The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure (Basic Books, 1992) and The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don’t Need (Basic Books, 1998), among other publications.

Sabine_von_Mering_-_Photo_for_CDAC_Bio__cropped.jpegSabine Von Mering

Professor

Brandeis University

Area(s) of expertise: Community/Campus Organizing, Faculty/Faculty Organizing, Climate Science, Environmental/Climate Justice

Sabine von Mering was born in Germany and grew up on a small car-free island in the North Sea called Langeoog. She came to the United States in 1992. Since 1998 she has been teaching German literature and culture at Brandeis University. As Director of the Center for German and European Studies at Brandeis, she has organized events about climate change for almost two decades. She is an active member of the Metrowest node and serves as volunteer coordinator of the Statewide Steering Team of 350 Massachusetts.

Justin Wright

CEO

Habitus Incorporated / Active Neutrals

Area(s) of expertise: Institutional Divestment, Faith/Faith Organizing, Climate Science, Environmental/Climate Justice, Negotiation, Communication, Conflict Management, Facilitation, Mediation, Meeting Design and Facilitation

Justin Wright is a consultant, facilitator, and executive coach. He has expertise providing transactional assistance, advising clients on behavior change, mediating disputes and providing mediation and negotiation training and executive coaching. Justin has trained and advised individuals at companies such as the Sustainable Endowments Institute, Friends Committee on National Legislation, the Better Future Project, FINCA International, Neighborworks, and more. This corporate training work is complemented by the academic teaching Justin has done at Yale and Northeastern University. At present, Justin is focused on training individuals and organizations pursuing missions of Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Entrepreneurship.

Quinton_Zondervan_-_Photo_for_CDAC_Bio__cropped.jpgQuinton Zondervan

Software Engineer and Cambridge City Councillor

Area(s) of expertise: Media and Communications, Community/Campus Organizing, Institutional Divestment, Finance/Socially Responsible Investing, Faculty/Faculty Organizing, Climate Science, Environmental/Climate Justice

Quinton Zondervan is an environmental activist, a successful biotech entrepreneur, and an award-winning software engineer currently serving as a Cambridge City Councilor. Quinton is the co-founder and past CEO of Excelimmune, a biopharmaceutical company that develops human antibodies against infectious disease targets. Prior to founding Excelimmune, Quinton served as the CTO of software startup Clickmarks, developing innovative web and mobile software applications. Quinton began his career as a software engineer at IBM where he co-invented the SyncML data synchronization standard. In addition to his work at the Cambridge City Council, he serves as president of Green Cambridge, a nonprofit organization that promotes energy conservation, recycling, and other sustainability initiatives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and on the board of the Climate Action Business Association. Quinton holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT and two bachelor’s degrees in the fields of mathematics and computer science from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida.

David_Zwick_-_Photo_for_CDAC_Bio__cropped.jpgDavid Zwick

Financial Advisor

Progressive Asset Management

Area(s) of Expertise:  Finance/Socially Responsible Investing

David Zwick has been a financial advisor with Progressive Asset Management in Boston since 2012.  He holds an MBA from Babson College, an MS in Education Administration from St. John Fisher College, an MS in Business Education from Nazareth College and a BS in Hospitality Management from the University of New Hampshire. Throughout his career, David has expressed his conviction that business should be a foundation for community, social justice, and environmental stewardship. Prior to joining the Progressive Asset Management team, David was a tenured business teacher and ran a work-based learning program for high school students in Rochester, NY.  His current clients include individuals, families, and organizations that benefit from his experience in tailoring risk-appropriate portfolios that reflect their individual principles and promote social and environmental justice.


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