Post Carbon Institute team bring a wealth of knowledge, expertise, experience, passion, humility, and humor to the Institute. Each team member has a unique story of what brought them here, but have in common a personal and professional commitment to the work at hand: building a more resilient, equitable, and sustainable world.
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Asher became the Executive Director of Post Carbon Institute in October 2008, after having served as the manager of our former Relocalization Network program. He's worked in the nonprofit sector since 1996 in various capacities. Prior to joining Post Carbon Institute, Asher founded Climate Changers, an organization that inspires people to reduce their impact on the climate by focusing on simple and achievable actions anyone can take. Some of his previous roles include:
- Partnership Director at Plugged In, an organization working in East Palo Alto, California that connects individuals and cultivates minds by creating the opportunity to produce, express, and contribute using technology;
- International Production Coordinator at Steven Spielberg's Shoah Foundation, which created the largest video archive in the world, containing more than 52,000 interviews conducted in 56 countries around the world; and
- Youth Manager at the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County, which engaged more than 800 teens a year in community service and education about social and environmental issues.
- Ghostwriter of the autobiography of a Polish Holocaust survivor who fought as a partisan in the forests of Belarus.
Asher has served as a consultant to a number of other nonprofit organizations. He currently serves on the board of Transition United States. Asher was born in the Netherlands, and has lived in Israel, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Connecticut, Colorado, and California. He currently lives in Santa Rosa, California with his wife and two children. Asher received his B.A. in Creative Writing from The Colorado College.
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Barbara spent many years as a corporate finance and accounting professional in Bay area firms, primarily in the telecommunications industry. In the past few years she has focused on finance and accounting in non-profit organizations, both as staff and as a Board member. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from the University of Cincinnati. She and her husband live in San Rafael where she is active in her neighborhood association and local non-profit groups which emphasize local sustainability and biodiversity preservation.
Bart lives with his wife in a small condominium in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since retiring in 2002, he spends most of his time monitoring and writing about peak oil, climate change and sustainability. As energy issues have grown in prominence, he's had to cut back on his gardening and work in Master Gardeners, as well as the natural history and outdoor activities that he loves. In his previous lives, he was a technical writer for Hewlett-Packard (computer diagnostics and repair), a high school teacher, and a newspaper reporter/editor. More here. He is active in a nascent Transition Palo Alto.
Special Projects & Office Manager
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Crystal brings over 10 years of office management experience to Post Carbon Institute. While attending Sonoma State University (California), where she majored in Political Science and minored in Environmental Studies, Crystal was the CEO of the student organization Associated Students, a 501(c)3 non-profit. She then spent 6 years working in the field of health care, first with a local HMO insurance company, and then as the office manager for a small dental practice.
Crystal is a new mom, a part-time portrait photographer and a passionate cook. Crystal and her family have recently returned to Sonoma County after living abroad on the island of Mykonos in Greece.
Daniel Lerch is Publications Director of Post Carbon Institute, serving as lead editor and manager of the Institute's books and reports on energy resource constraints and community resilience. He is also the author of Post Carbon Cities (2007), the first major local government guidebook on the end of cheap oil, and founding chair of the Sustainable Communities Division of the American Planning Association.
Daniel has presented to professional, government, and public audiences across the United States and abroad, and has been interviewed for numerous media outlets including The New York Times and Business Week. He has a Master of Urban Studies from Portland State University in Oregon, and has worked with urban planning and sustainability issues for over fifteen years in the public, private and non-profit sectors.
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Desiree oversees Post Carbon Institute’s Speakers Bureau and special events. Desiree joined Post Carbon Institute in November 2007, bringing more than twelve years of experience in marketing, advertising and direct mail. Prior to joining PCI, she was Marketing Director for Travel of America and Robinson’s May Travel where she managed all marketing, promotions, and multi-media production for 40 locations. Desiree's previous experience also consists of art direction, and event management.
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Ken White has devoted much of his career to enhancing opportunities for people and communities. A graduate of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government's mid-career program, he has worked with nonprofits for nearly two decades. Previously, Ken was the coordinating director of the Chaordic Commons, Inc., a group created by Dee Hock, the founding director of VISA. He was the executive director of Common Cause Massachusetts, a citizen-led organization working for truly representative government. Prior to that, he directed communications for the Annenberg Institute for School Reform and Coalition of Essential Schools, and held similar posts with Oxfam America and the Institute for Defense & Disarmament Studies. Ken has also been a consultant to numerous nonprofits, and was a journalist not so long ago.
Kristin came to the environmental field after many years working in the desktop publishing and production side of corporate America. Along the way she picked up a B.A. degree in anthropology from the University of Colorado at Denver. The daughter of an Iowa farmer, she is passionate about building sustainable food and fiber production systems. After living most of her life in the American Midwest, she has recently moved to the UK.
Energy Reality Campaign Director
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A Bay Area native, Leslie comes to Post Carbon Institute from the field of marine conservation, where she worked with the 5 Gyres Institute researching plastic marine pollution and educating the public on the global impact of plastic debris in the world’s oceans. Prior to her global sailing adventures, she worked in the social justice field as Operations Manager at Center for Domestic Peace in San Rafael for four years, at a nonprofit media firm and as a freelance copyeditor after earning her B.A. in World Literature at University of California at Santa Cruz.
Through her advocacy work, community organizing and international volunteering experiences, Leslie has developed a deep-rooted commitment to environmental stewardship both at home and abroad. Leslie lives in Mill Valley, and loves travel, beachcombing, sailing across oceanic gyres, and hiking with her foster dogs on Mt. Tam.
phone +1 707 823-8700
Marissa joined PCI after six years working with government, civil society, and the private sector to promote just and sustainable solutions to poverty and public health crises. Most recently she worked at The Aspen Institute coordinating a global communications project on reproductive health and population growth. Marissa has a Master's Degree in International Public Affairs from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she co-founded a sustainable development partnership between UW students and an island community in Lake Victoria, Uganda.
Web Manager & Resilience.org co-editor
Simone has a background in managing different kinds of printed and web content from a career spent largely in the publishing and translation industries. A UK citizen with some Austrian heritage, she spent 6 years living and working in the US before returning home. Simone has worked in the nonprofit sector since 2007. She is active in Transition Bristol and wrote the Bristol peak oil report.
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Tod brings to Post Carbon Institute a strong background in message production, creative direction and business strategy. As a writer, producer, photographer and strategist, he has recently worked on projects for Converse, Microsoft, Mamus Creative, Scout Productions and the Sundance Channel among others. Tod's career arc has always run near the intersection of the arts and activism.
Prior to joining the Post Carbon team, Tod founded the artisinal production company, Drop City Media. Before that, he co-founded Roshambo Winery+Gallery. While he’ll always miss Portland and Chico, Tod has settled in Healdsburg with his family and a massive arsenal of vintage Polaroid cameras.