Women’s Voices Board + Staff

Our Board of Directors

ChinAllison Chin / Leesburg, VA

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!

Dr. Sally EdwardsDr. Sally Edwards / Lowell, MA

Sally Edwards has many years of experience in engaging a wide range of stakeholders to promote the environmental health of communities and develop safer and greener products. She is a senior research associate at the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She is director of retailer engagement for the Green Chemistry & Commerce Council (GC3) and facilitates the work of GC3’s Retailer Leadership Council, whose mission is to promote safer chemicals, materials and products across retail supply and value chains. Sally is a co-founder of the Chemical Footprint Project, which is designed to evaluate corporate chemicals management systems, benchmark companies and recognize leadership in the use of safer chemicals. She also provides consulting services to NGOS, businesses, and communities to support their environmental sustainability efforts. Sally holds an MS in Environmental Health Science from Harvard University and a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University. She completed her doctorate in Work Environment at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Her book, Beyond Child’s Play: Sustainable Product Design in the Global Doll-Making Industry, was published in 2009. 

WVE Board Member, Betsy HandsBetsy Hands / Burlington, VT

Board Chair

Betsy is a Program Officer at the High Meadows Fund, which promotes vibrant communities and a healthy natural environment in Vermont. As Program Officer, Betsy manages collaboration and communications with grant partners. She has varied experiences in community engagement, land use and climate change resilience, rural economic and community development, and clean energy. From leading Outward Bound courses to serving in the Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa, Betsy seeks opportunities that will challenge her and encourage deeper learning. Previously, Betsy led Homeword, an affordable housing organization that won accolades for their green building and housing programs in Montana. She also served six years in the Montana House of Representatives, focusing on affordable housing, protection for family farmers, brownfield redevelopment, renewable energy and energy efficiency. She has a B.A. in Sustainable Development from the University of Michigan and a M.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Montana.

Karla JamesKarla James / Oakland, CA


Karla James is the Director of Finance and Operations for the National Center for Youth Law. Prior to that she was the chief financial officer and chief operating officer at the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment, a nonprofit that supports organization working for public health, consumer and environmental protection. She also served as at the program director for several grantmaking funds at the Foundation including the Consumer Products Fund, the Northern California Environmental Grassroots Fund, the Consumer Privacy Fund, and oversaw fiscally sponsored projects. Her experience in small business management includes founding and managing a whitewater rafting company in Missoula, Montana. She previously taught high school and has an extensive volunteer background with grassroots social and environmental nonprofits, including Copwatch, a police accountability organization in Berkeley, California.

Ana Pardon, WVE Board MemberAna Pardo / Raleigh, NC

Ana Pardo is the campaign and communications planner for the Workers’ Rights Project of the North Carolina Justice Center. Prior to joining the Justice Center, Ana coordinated policy and public education campaigns at Toxic Free North Carolina on subjects ranging from federal toxics reform to farmworkers’ rights. Ana has a background in community organizing and journalism, and earned a B.S. in Botany from North Carolina State University. Ana enjoys urban farming, singing with her five-piece vintage jazz combo and going on road trips with her dog.

Tamara Toles-O-LaughlinTamara Toles-O’Laughlin / Washington, DC

Board Vice-Chair

Tamara is a native New Yorker and an environmentalist focused on equity, access and community. She develops capacity building programs and creates multimedia campaigns to dismantle privilege and increase opportunities for vulnerable populations to access healthy air, clean energy, and a toxic free economy at the local, regional, and national level.

Tamara is the Executive Director of the Maryland Environmental Health Network (MdEHN) based in Baltimore, Maryland. MdEHN levels the playing field for vulnerable populations in service to its mission to promote the elimination of exposures to environmental threats to improve human health.

Tamara casts a wide net in service to the environmental community. Among other activities, she is the Co-Chair of the DC chapter of EcoWomen. DC EcoWomen is a community of approximately 6,000 professional women who inspire each other to create a healthy and equitable society. During her tenure on the Executive Board she has held several positions including Vice President of Professional Development where she produced the organization’s signature salon and monthly educational forum – EcoHour.

Tamara is the Vice Chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments: Air and Climate Public Advisory Committee, where she advocates for meaningful engagement and responsive public resources. She is also Co-Chair of the Green Leadership Trust.

Tamara has over fifteen years of cross-sector environmental experience. Prior to moving to non-profit sector she held several positions in state and local government including Energy Communications Manager at the Maryland Energy Administration in Annapolis, and a Legislative Fellowship at the District Department of Energy and Environment, among others.

To date, the defining characteristic of Tamara’s career has been a commitment to public service with specific attention to environmentally focused community building, and government relations.

Tamara is a strategic thinker, committed to environmental advocacy in support of the poor and chronically under-served. She has worked relentlessly to promote equity in environmental protection and enforcement, with particular attention to community capacity, mobilization, access to opportunity, and reduction of health disparities.

Marrya Torrez Picture WVEMarya Torrez / Washington, DC


Marya Torrez is an attorney, advocate, and policy expert based in Washington, DC. She has more than twenty years experience committed to civil rights, social justice, and environmental protection. She is particularly passionate about the rights of women, youth, LGBTQ people, and nonhuman animals. Marya has spent the last twelve years of her career focused mostly on sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice. She is currently Director of Public Policy at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, as well as an adjunct professor teaching Reproduction and the Law at American University Washington College of Law. Marya came to PPFA from the DC Office of Administrative Hearings where she was Assistant General Counsel. Prior to that, she spent five years advocating for reproductive health at the National Partnership for Women & Families, after completing legal fellowships at PPFA and Alliance for Justice. Prior to moving to Washington, DC, Marya led a youth crisis shelter, teen center, and other programs for youth and their families in Santa Barbara, CA.

Marya has a BA in Political Science from the University of Colorado, a JD from Georgetown University Law Center, and an LLM in Law & Government from American University Washington College of Law. She has published extensively on the public health, environmental, and ethical implications of using animals for food. Marya previously served on the Community Advisory Board of the Teen Alliance for Prepared Parenting, which serves pregnant and parenting young people and their children, as well as Secretary of the board of DC Lawyers for Youth, an organization she co-founded that advocated for improvements in the juvenile justice system.

Annie_watson_webAnnie Watson / Missoula, MT

Annie Watson graduated from the Montana State University School of nursing and most recently worked as a school nurse in the public school setting. Prior to that she worked at St. Patrick’s hospital in Missoula, where she served on the hospital’s sustainability committee and supported initiatives to make healthcare less toxic. Before earning her BSN, Annie worked throughout the Southwest Unites States, Alaska, and Mexico as both an educator and program manager with the National Outdoor Leadership School. Her background and passion for the environment and public health lead her to her involvement with Women’s Voices. Annie currently serves on the Board of the New Priorities Foundation and spends her days caring for her young daughter at home.

Our Staff


head shot Beth ConwayBeth Conway

Communications Director

Beth spent the last decade spearheading marketing, communications and multi-media programs in the adventure and sustainable travel industry. During those ten years, she had the opportunity to travel the globe and connect with diverse communities across the world. Beth holds degrees in history, English and political science and has her MFA in creative writing from the University of Montana, Missoula. She brings her love of language — the power of message — to Women’s Voices for the Earth. She knows the potency voices have to strengthen like-minded communities, ignite action and invite conversations with the most seemingly surprising allies.

Amber Garcia

Executive Director

Amber Garcia was born in Denver and raised in Boulder, Colorado. She studied Ethnic Studies and Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science at the University of Colorado Denver (UCD). For the last 5 years, Amber has been running COLOR’s grassroots voter engagement, community advocacy, and youth leadership development programs through a reproductive justice framework to mobilize the Latinx community in Denver. This lady is very family-oriented, and her wife and three younger sisters keep her inspired to fight for a just world every day. She is super excited about politics and engaging and empowering under represented communities. Her work in the broader social justice movement includes working with community partners on policies to provide drivers licenses for undocumented folx and increasing the minimum wage for all Coloradans. Securing wins at the legislature and at the ballot box to ensure access to abortion and other vital reproductive health care services positions her well to continue working with legislators and voters to eliminate toxins and advocate for better health all around. Amber envisions a world where we have liberation for all people and that each one of us is able to fully embody and use our power to continue to build a sustainable and collective future.

Director of Programs and Policy, Jamie McConnellJamie McConnell

Director of Programs and Policy

Jamie has worked in the environmental health field for nearly decade and oversees the organization’s programmatic work.  In addition, she devises policy strategies on the state and federal level that will increase disclosure of ingredients and reduce the use of harmful chemicals in consumer and salon products. She is a co-convener of the National Healthy Nail and Beauty Salon Alliance and a former steering committee member of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Montana Women Vote. Prior to working in the field of environmental health Jamie worked in Yellowstone as a park ranger keeping tourists away from grizzly bears.

Jamie has a master’s degree in environmental studies from the University of Montana and a B.A. from UCLA.  While attending the University of Montana, Jamie was named a Doris Duke Conservation Fellow by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (2005-2006).

Alex head shotAlexandra Scranton

Director of Science and Research

Alexandra Scranton is the Director of Science and Research at Women’s Voices for the Earth. 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. She 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 master’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana and a B.A. from Amherst College. Alex lives and works from Missoula, MT, with her husband and two beautiful daughters.

Robyn Windham

Director of Development

Robyn has a background in feminist organizing and fundraising. She has an B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies and a graduate certification in Nonprofit Administration from the University of Montana, where she directed her campus Women’s Resource Center as an undergraduate. Before coming to WVE, she served two Americorps VISTA terms, and worked to improve the lives of low-income women and families through fundraising and program development. A born-and-raised Montanan, Robyn spends her off-hours hiking, biking, skiing, cooking, reading, and enjoying Missoula’s microbreweries.