Post Carbon Institute's Board of Directors comprises experts in energy, economics, environmental and community organizing, natural resource constraints, government and policy, and nonprofit management.

Debbie Cook

Board President

Debbie Cook served eight years on the Huntington Beach, California City Council, serving as Mayor in 2002 and 2008. She held leadership positions on many regional boards and commissions including the Southern California Association of Governments, League of California Cities, and California Desalination Task Force. As the Democratic Party nominee for the 46th Congressional race in 2008, Debbie further expanded the region’s understanding of our energy vulnerabilities.

Debbie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Earth Science from Cal State Long Beach, a Jurisdoctorate from Western State College of Law, and a license to practice law in California. Debbie is also a graduate of the Kennedy School of Government National Preparedness Leadership Initiative and Great Valley Leadership Institute.

Debbie currently serves on the Board of Directors of Post Carbon Institute. Debbie continues to be active in her community educating the public, elected officials, and policy makers about the energy challenges facing the world.

Jason Bradford

Board Member

Food & Agriculture

Dr. Jason Bradford leads the farmland management program for Farmland LP, including sustainability planning and organic certification and management. In addition to his agriculture background, Jason is a highly-regarded ecological scientist and expert in sustainability and local food systems. After receiving his Ph.D., Jason taught Ecology at Washington University, and then worked on issues related to global ecosystem integrity through the Missouri Botanical Garden and U.C. Davis, with funding by the National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society. Jason was a leader of BioMERGE, a NSF funded research network of over 100 scientists from 17 countries integrating the study of biodiversity and ecosystem function.

Prior to joining Farmland LP, Jason founded and managed Brookside Farm, a successful certified organic farm in Willits, CA utilizing innovative low-energy farming techniques; hosted a radio program called “The Reality Report”; and served on the Boards of Directors for the Renewable Energy Development Institute (REDI) and Willits Economic LocaLization (WELL).

Jenny Kassan

Board Member

Jenny Kassan is an attorney and community development consultant, specializing in environmentally friendly and socially responsible ventures. She is the managing director of Katovich Law Group, CEO of Cutting Edge Capital, and President of Community Ventures, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the economic and social development of communities.

Jenny earned a masters degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley and earned her J.D. from Yale Law School. She worked for eleven years at the Unity Council, a nonprofit community development corporation in Oakland, where she served as staff attorney and managed community economic development projects including the formation and management of several social ventures designed to employ and create business ownership opportunities for low-income community residents.

She served as president of Oakland Merchants Leadership Forum, the Oakland chapter of Business Alliance for Local Living Economies; member of the Project Area Committee for the Central City East Redevelopment Area; treasurer for California Main Street Alliance; member of the Oakland Mayor’s Small Business Task Force; and member of the board of directors of Oakland’s City-wide Community Land Trust.  She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the  Local Ecology and Agriculture Fremont and the Sustainable Business Alliance.

Nate Hagens

Board Member

Ecology, Economics, Energy

Nate is a well-known speaker on the big picture issues facing human society. Until recently he was lead editor of The Oil Drum, one of the most popular and highly-respected websites for analysis and discussion of global energy supplies and the future implications of energy decline. Nate is currently on the Boards of Post Carbon Institute, Bottleneck Foundation, IIER and Institute for the Study of Energy and the Future.

Nate's presentations address the opportunities and constraints we face after the coming end of economic growth. On the supply side, Nate focuses on the interrelationship between debt-based financial markets and natural resources, particularly energy. On the demand side, Nate addresses the evolutionarily-derived underpinnings to status, addiction, and our aversion to acting about the future and offers suggestions on how individuals and society might better adapt to what's ahead.  Ultimately, Nate’s talks cover the issues relevant to propelling our species (and others) into deep time.

Nate has appeared on PBS, BBC, ABC and NPR, and has lectured around the world. He holds a Masters Degree in Finance from the University of Chicago and a PhD in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont. Previously Nate was President of Sanctuary Asset Management and a Vice President at the investment firms Salomon Brothers and Lehman Brothers.

Philip Jensen

Board Chief Financial Officer

Philip Jensen grew up in upstate New York and received a B.A. in applied mathematics from Harvard College. He recently retired from a career in computer programming, culminating with an exciting five years at Google, Inc. He now does extensive reading in an effort to understand the coming challenges for the human species.

Richard Heinberg

Senior Fellow-in-Residence, Board Secretary

Climate, Communities, Economics, Energy, Food & Agriculture

Richard Heinberg is the author of eleven books, including some of the seminal works on society's current energy and environmental sustainability crisis:

  • Snake Oil: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future (2013)
  • The End of Growth: Adapting the Our New Economic Reality (2011)
  • The Post Carbon Reader: Managing the 21st Century's Sustainability Crises (2010; co-editor)
  • Blackout: Coal, Climate, and the Last Energy Crisis (2009)
  • Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines (2007)
  • The Oil Depletion Protocol: A Plan to Avert Oil Wars, Terrorism & Economic Collapse (2006)
  • Powerdown: Options & Actions for a Post-Carbon World (2004)
  • The Party's Over: Oil, War & the Fate of Industrial Societies (2003)
Richard is Senior Fellow-in-Residence of the Post Carbon Institute and is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost Peak Oil educators. He has authored scores of essays and articles that have appeared in such journals as Nature, American Prospect, Public Policy Research, Quarterly Review, The Ecologist, Resurgence, The Futurist, European Business Review, Earth Island Journal, Yes!, and The Sun; and on web sites such as,,,, and 
Since 2002, Richard has delivered over five hundred lectures to a wide variety of audiences in 14 countries—from insurance executives to peace activists, from local officials to members of the European Parliament. He has been quoted and interviewed countless times for print (including for Reuters, the Associated Press, and Time magazine), television (including Good Morning America, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Al-Jazeera, and C-SPAN), and radio (including WABC and Air America). 
Richard has appeared in many film and television documentaries, including Leonardo DiCaprio’s 11th Hour, is a recipient of the M. King Hubbert Award for Excellence in Energy Education, and in 2012 was appointed to His Majesty the King of Bhutan's International Expert Working Group for the New Development Paradigm initiative.
Richard’s animations Don’t Worry, Drive On, Who Killed Economic Growth? and 300 Years of Fossil Fuels in 300 Minutes (winner of a YouTubes’s/DoGooder Video of the Year Award) have been viewed by 1.5 million people . 

More information about Richard can be found on his website.

download Richard's CV

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Richard Heinberg presenting at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas at Sydney Opera House. Recorded September 2012.