Board + Staff
Board of Directors
Ann Blake is an independent consultant working with governments, occupational health, public health and environmental advocates to find viable alternatives to toxic chemicals in manufacturing and consumer products. Dr. Blake’s work covers toxics reduction strategies from product content screening and environmentally preferable purchasing to drafting local, national and international legislation and chemicals policies. Dr. Blake has a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, and a Ph.D. in molecular genetics and neural development from the University of Oregon.
Dr. Blake grew up in South East Asia, where her parents were university professors in economics and sociology. In her spare time, she and her husband like to cook with ingredients from the local farmers markets in Northern California. Ann is also studying music theory, vocal performance, and jazz improvisation, and composing.
Allison Chin is a social justice and environmental activist. She developed her love and respect for the outdoors in her youth, hiking in Sequoia Kings Canyon. She works with a variety of organizations to fight for everyone’s right to clean air, clean water, and a safe and healthy environment in which to thrive. She has led over 200 outings so others can learn to explore, enjoy, and be inspired to protect their homes, work places, communities, and special places. Allison has led numerous initiatives in both grassroots and national leadership roles within the Sierra Club, including service on its Board of Directors from 2007 – 2013 and as president for three of those years. She has been a steady advocate for creating a culture in which people of all backgrounds feel welcomed, respected, supported and valued. Allison joins a coalition of board members of color committed to strengthening their respective organizations with greater equity, inclusion, and diversity.
Allison is a retired molecular cell biologist and earned her BA from the University of California in San Diego and her PhD at the University of Southern California. Dr. Chin worked in biotechnology and led multidisciplinary domestic and international project teams focused on developing biopharmaceuticals for the treatment of cancer and chronic degenerative diseases. In her free time, Allison and her husband enjoy growing their own food and cooking. She loves exploring trails – new and old – and honing her spoon carving skills!
New York, NY
Ogonnaya Dotson-Newman is the Director of Environmental Health at WE ACT for Environmental Justice. Ogonnaya joined WE ACT in April 2008 as the organization’s Environmental Health and Community-Based Participatory Research Coordinator.
Prior to joining the WE ACT team, Ogonnaya worked at Loma Linda University’s School of Public Health as a Research Associate and Instructor. While working in this capacity she taught classes and advised students in the Health Geoinformatics program. Her research there focused on environmental health service delivery in New Mexico, collaborating with local Tribal communities on preparedness, pan flu and preparedness training for public health professionals and understanding medical products donations in Ghana.The research in her early career focused on gaining skills to bridge the gap between qualitative and quantitative research to improve public health practice.
As an undergrad at DePaul University, Ms. Dotson Newman pursued a degree in environmental science focusing on the historical implications of place and space on the South Side of Chicago. Her desire to use a variety of research methods to translate science for communities of color and low income has remained at the center of her interest for a number of years. After completing her degree she went on to pursue a Masters in Public Health. As an MPH student she conducted research on environmental health service delivery in Zambia, while teaching courses and developing a curriculum in Environmental Health and Science at Zambia Adventist University.
Hands currently works at Friends of the Chicago River as the Director of Outreach and Community Relations. She has 20 years of experience in a variety of nonprofit and leadership positions. Early in her career, Betsy worked in environmental and outdoor education and as a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, West Africa. After the Peace Corps, she turned her attention to community organizing and economic development in Minneapolis and Missoula. For over five years, she worked Homeword, a non-profit community housing development corporation, as Program Manager and Executive Director, and made a strong case for incorporating green building principles into all housing. She worked with the Western Governors’ Association and Governor Brian Schweitzer to analyze policies on renewable energy and transmission development in western states and then worked with Western Environmental Law Center to further their clean energy agenda. Betsy was a three-term Montana State Representative and served on the Natural Resources, Local Government, State Administration, Water Policy and Audit Committees.
She returns to her roots after living 12 years in Montana. Over the years, she has developed her passion in educating young adults, empowering women, and fostering civic engagement. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Michigan in Social Science with a focus on sustainable development and her Master’s of Science at the University of Montana in Environmental Studies.
Shortly after graduating from the University of Colorado with a degree in Environmental Biology, Jennifer took the unlikely path of starting her career in the financial services industry in 1994 at TIAA-CREF, a company that specializes in retirement plans for universities. Jennifer later moved to Missoula, MT and became a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch, where she worked until January 2010. Jennifer is now a partner at Estep, Hope and Weber Capital Mangement, Inc., an independent full service brokerage firm that specializes in socially responsible and community investing.
Jennifer is active in the Missoula community as a volunteer for a variety of women’s and social organizations. She and her husband have two elementary school aged girls. Jennifer enjoys a good book, cooking, camping and hiking.
Kimberly Inez McGuire
Kimberly Inez McGuire is a lifelong advocate for reproductive justice, civil rights, and environmental health, writer, policy wonk, and queer feminist Boricua. In her current role as Associate Director of Government Relations and Public Affairs for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health Kimberly coordinates the public affairs and communications work of NLIRH, conducts policy analysis and legislative advocacy, and works closely with the NLIRH team to promote salud, dignidad, y justicia for Latinas nationwide. Previously, Kimberly worked as Senior Associate for Programs and Policy at the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, where she managed a ground-breaking research project on Latino attitudes on abortion and coordinated RHTP’s reproductive and environmental health program. Kimberly writes and presents on a range of issues, including: abortion access and affordability; immigrant women’s health and rights; health equity; contraception; and reproductive and environmental justice. She enjoys hiking in Shenandoah National Park, tubing at Harper’s Ferry, and making her own (edible!) body scrubs.
Anuja Mendiratta, M.E.S.
Anuja Mendiratta is a Bay Area-based independent consultant working with foundations, donors, nonprofits, and coalitions on a range of environmental, human rights, and social justice issues. Anuja currently manages the Race Gender Human Rights Fund of the Women’s Foundation of California and is the Senior Strategist of the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative. Prior to launching her consulting practice, Anuja worked at the Women’s Foundation, the Marin Community Foundation, and the San Francisco Foundation. She is a co-founder and steering committee member of the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative and the National Healthy Nail and Beauty Salon Alliance, which seek to advance the health, safety and rights of salon workers at the state and national levels. Anuja currently serves on the board of Women’s Voices for the Earth, is a committee member of Center for Environmental Health’s Justice Fund, and is on funding board of the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment’s Northern California Environmental Grassroots Fund. She holds an undergraduate degree from Antioch College and a Masters in environmental studies from York University. Anuja enjoys hiking, travel, reading, sharing great food, and being outdoors.
San Francisco, CA
In 2011, Jessica Welborn completed a doctorate in Perinatal Psychology at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute, with a focus on the psychological impact of donating breast milk following a perinatal loss. Jessica is the Donor Coordinator at the Mothers Milk Bank in San Jose, CA where she conducted her research. She is writing a toolkit based on her dissertation that provides healthcare providers with information about how to address lactation with bereaved mothers. Jessica also currently serves on the Board of Hunter Industries, a family owned irrigation business that her grandfather started in 1981.
Jessica lives in San Francisco but in her free time, she can often be found exploring and hiking remote parts of Montana with her boyfriend and her dog, Sam. Jessica also enjoys yoga, traveling, and cooking.
Ami Zota, Sc.D, M.S.
San Francisco, CA
Dr. Ami Zota is a postdoctoral fellow in the Program on Reproductive Health and Environment at the University of California, San Francisco where she uses her expertise in epidemiology, exposure assessment, and environmental justice to research the cumulative impacts of environmental and social factors on women’s reproductive health. She is primarily interested in conducting research that informs environmental public health policy and action.
Her current work focuses on effects of environmental chemicals (such as PBDE flame retardants, PCBs, and PFCs) on thyroid health, cardiovascular effects such as high blood pressure, and birth outcomes in ethnically and economically diverse populations of pregnant women. Ami has published her findings in numerous, peer-reviewed journals. In July 2010, Ami published a study, “self-reported chemicals exposure, beliefs about disease causation, and risk of breast cancer in the Cape Cod Breast Cancer and Environment Study: a case-control study.” This article, which is the first published report on cleaning product use and risk of breast cancer, gained wide media attention and is in the top 10 most-accessed papers of the year for the journal Environmental Health.
Ami completed her masters and doctorate in environmental health at the Harvard School of Public Health. She completed her bachelors of science degree in public health in her home state of North Carolina at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She previously worked at the Silent Spring Institute, a non-profit research institute that conducts policy-oriented research on women’s health and the environment. She is currently an Environmental Health Science Communication Fellow and serves on the scientific advisory committees of the Breast Cancer Fund and the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative.
In her spare time, Ami enjoys dancing, going to concerts and seeking out new music, creating community especially around food, promoting social justice, and exploring San Francisco.
Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D
Ithaca, New York
Sandra Steingraber is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Ithaca College in New York. Sandra is a noted ecologist, author and internationally recognized specialist on the connection between environmental pollution and its impact on human health. Steingraber’s highly acclaimed book, Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment, presents cancer as a human rights issue. It was the first to bring together data on toxic releases with newly released data from the U.S. cancer registries. Her second book, Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood, is both a memoir of her own pregnancy and an investigation of fetal toxicology. In August 2007, Sandra published a report for the Breast Cancer Fund called The Falling Age of Puberty in U.S. Girls: What We Know, What We Need to Know. Sandra is an enthusiastic and highly sought-after public speaker, known for her unique ability to serve as a translator between scientists, activists, researchers and mothers.
Liz Banse is Associate Director of Resource Media in Seattle. She provides media support, training, and outreach for environmental and public health organizations across the West.
Salt Lake City, UT
Terry Tempest-Williams is an author specializing in environmental issues and natural history. She is the former Naturalist-in-Residence at the Utah Museum of Natural History.
Before joining Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) in 2005, Erin worked in a variety of fields, including affordable, green-built housing and human rights. At WVE, Erin led statewide initiatives to reduce women’s exposure to mercury from mercury-containing products and introduced comprehensive legislation to ban the sale of mercury products in the state of Montana. She was also responsible for developing and implementing all aspects of the national Safe Cleaning Products Initiative, which has garnered international media attention, moved major corporations to make unprecedented policy changes, and resulted in the introduction of federal legislation that will reduce women’s exposure to cleaning product chemicals.
Erin has given numerous presentations about the unique role women play as advocates to diverse audiences across the Unites States. Erin is a 2010 winner of the “40 Under 40” leadership award for advocacy from the New Leaders Council. Erin has traveled to Colombia twice to act as a human rights observer. She holds a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Montana.
Director of Finances & Administration
Jean Claire Duncan has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Montana and a Bachelor’s of Science from University of Kentucky. Jean oversees the financial, human resource and technical systems management of the organization. She brings eight years of experience with business and financial management, office systems and other entrepreneurial endeavors.
Most recently, Jean spent the last six years working with Montana-based Alternative Energy Resources Organization (AERO) as an Interim Executive Director and board member. She also served three years as the Business Manager for Jeannette Rankin Peace Resource Center in Missoula, as Executive Director of the Montana Hunger Coalition, and as the General Manager of a California-based food cooperative. The pursuits that keep her happy are the great out of doors, fresh local organic food consumption and being with her wonderful children, all but one of whom are up and out!
Director of Science and Research
Alexandra Scranton is the Director of Science and Research at Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE). Alex authors WVE’s scientific reports and provides scientific review for the organization’s programs. Prior to working at WVE, she worked in the epidemiology and statistics unit at the American Lung Association headquarters in New York. Alexandra currently sits on the Research Advisory Committee for the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative and on the Institutional Biosafety Committee for Rocky Mountain Laboratories (a National Institutes of Health facility). She has a Masters degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana and a BA from Amherst College. Alexandra lives and works from Pullman, WA, with her husband and two beautiful daughters.
Director of Programs and Policy
Jamie’s work focuses on advancing policies and strategies that will reduce women’s exposure to toxic chemicals in both the home and occupational settings. She is the National Coordinator of the National Healthy Nail and Beauty Salon Alliance, and serves on the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics national steering committee and legislative subcommittee.
Jamie is also a state steering committee member of Montana Women Vote, a coalition dedicated to educating and mobilizing low-income women to participate in the democratic process. She has a Masters degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana and a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles. While attending the University of Montana, Jamie was named a Doris Duke Conservation Fellow by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (2005-2006).
Director of Outreach and Engagement
Cassidy oversees WVE’s market-based campaigns and coordinates efforts to mobilize and engage women in WVE’s work. She develops the organization’s engagement tools and social media, and leads WVE’s Actionista team.
Cassidy brings organizing experience as an Outreach Coordinator with the Surfrider Foundation Malibu Chapter, co-founder of Students for Economic and Social Justice at the University of Montana, and as a campaign organizer and subsequently a board member with Montana Conservation Voters. Cassidy has also served on the board of Community Action for Justice in the Americas, on the steering committee for the Fair Trade City Missoula campaign, and as Advisor to Eduquemos a La Nina at Ak’Tenamit, a Maya cooperative in Guatemala.
Cassidy has an M.S. from the University of Montana in Environmental Studies, and a B.A. in American Literature from UCLA. She is the author of Fighting for the Dream: Voices from a New Generation of Maya Women. In her free time, Cassidy likes skiing snowy slope, paddling fast rivers, and hiking through Montana’s wilderness.
Britta joined WVE in spring 2011 to help support WVE’s communications, membership, organizing and database management efforts. As a clinical herbalist, health practitioner and educator, she is committed to finding holistic, respectful and supportive approaches to personal, community and environmental health and to social and environmental justice.
Britta has also worked in watershed restoration, environmental and community-based conservation efforts in Western Montana, as a school community garden coordinator and educator, and as sales manager and consultant for a local natural health business. She holds a B.S. in Resource Conservation and a B.A. in Geography from the University of Montana, has studied midwifery and women’s health in Oakland, CA, and western botanical medicine at the Pacific School of Herbal Medicine and the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine. Britta enjoys her close friends, family and animal companions, baking delicious bread and cakes, and loves swimming in rivers.
Director of Development
Sara oversees the diversified funding strategies and programs for the organization, including those related to donations, major donors, community & corporate partnerships, events and earned income strategies. Sara was a consultant with WVE for one year prior to joining on staff, during which time she worked on fund diversification and WVE’s Strategic Plan: our “Road Map to a Toxic Free Future.”
Sara’s past clients as a nonprofit consultant have included the Colorado Ocean Coalition, Adventure Film Festival, Elements Mixed Media, EarthFest Boulder, Marine Fish Conservation Network, the 5 Gyres Institute, and working with several individuals and boards to help advance their visions and missions for affecting change in our world. Prior to consulting, Sara spent four years as Membership & Development Manager of the international nonprofit, Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. Sara graduated suma cum laude from Bucknell University with a Bachelors in International Relations, French and Economics, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the American Association of University Women. Sara is a certified Dive Master, yoga teacher, and lover of all elements – especially the water.
Maria Gonzalez Mabbutt, Bilingual Outreach Advisor, brings many years of experience organizing women on environmental health and justice issues as well as civic engagement. Maria works on contract with WVE to translate materials into Spanish and represents WVE in the Spanish-speaking media.
Sian Wu, Senior Account Executive, Colehour + Cohen
Sian Wu is an experienced public relations professional, specializing in the fields of environment and public health. Since arriving at Colehour + Cohen in March, she has launched an unprecedented blogger and social media strategy for the Environmental Protection Agency’s new initiative aimed at kids and families, Team ENERGY STAR and placed stories in national outlets The New York Times, Huffington Post, Parents magazine and dozens of local TV stations. Prior to C+C, Sian worked at a nonprofit public relations firm where she worked as Women’s Voices for the Earth’s communications consultant for four years, releasing WVE’s Household Hazards report, Green Cleaning Parties and Brazilian Blowout investigation. She also worked with local, national and international NGOs and foundations on communications and outreach strategy around public policy campaigns, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, Ocean Conservancy, People for Puget Sound and the National Wildlife Federation. Her first job out of college was as a magazine editor, which was followed by a freelance writing career spanning over 11 years. Sian has also served as board president of The International Examiner, the northwest’s first print publication for the Asian American community.
Caitlin Copple, Communications Contractor
Caitlin Copple is a nonprofit consultant specializing in strategic communications and fundraising. She has worked with YWCA Missoula, Montana Innocence Project, Pride Foundation, Philanthropy Northwest, and Mamalode. She is a member of the Missoula City Council, where she chairs the Economic Development Subcommittee.