Steering Committee Profiles
Shona Ganguly, The Nature Conservancy
Shona Ganguly maneuvers through the terrain of environmental policy in southern California. Her areas of focus are: water, urban conservation, habitat connectivity, county conservation funding/open-space protection measures and campaigns, Greater Los Angeles, Ventura County/Santa Clara River/Ormond Beach Wetlands, San Diego County, Riverside County, and LA River restoration. She works for The Nature Conservancy in California as an Associate Director of Advocacy & Campaigns, managing relationships with local, state, and federal legislators, officials, partner organizations, and supporting conservation programs in southern California. Shona is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley (BA in Development Studies and South Asian Studies), Claremont Graduate University (MA in Cultural Studies), and the Peter Drucker and Masatoshi Ito School of Management (MBA).
Anya Lawler, Western Center for Law and Poverty
Anya Lawler has spent nearly two decades working in land use and housing policy at the state level. She has extensive expertise with Housing Element Law, the regional housing needs allocation process, Density Bonus Law, inclusionary housing policy, and anti-displacement policy, among others. Prior to joining Western Center, she worked for a decade as a committee consultant in the state Assembly, and served as the deputy director for policy at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. She is committed to advancing just, equitable, inclusive development policies to ensure that Californians with the lowest incomes have access to safe, stable, affordable homes in every community throughout the state.
Adam Livingston, Sequioa Riverlands Trust
As Director of Planning and Policy at Sequoia Riverlands Trust and coordinator of the Southern Sierra Partnership, Adam is a leading voice on land use and conservation in the Southern San Joaquin Valley. He is the author of two reports on Sustainable Communities Strategies, Sustainable Communities Strategies and Conservation: Results from the First Round and Policy Recommendations for Future Rounds and co-author of ClimatePlan's report Leading the Way: Policies and Practices for Sustainable Communities Strategies. Adam's nonprofit management experience includes coordinating Sequoia Riverlands Trust’s successful application for Land Trust Alliance accreditation. Adam holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and classics from Xavier University (2001), a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School (2004), and a Master of Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School at UCSB (2012).
Jessica Meaney, Investing in Place
Jessica Meaney is the Founder and Executive Director of Investing in Place, an organization committed to transportation investments that strengthen communities. Jessica moved to Los Angeles over 20 years ago and chose not to own a car. It was a choice she was privileged to make and continues to inspire her professional commitment to improve Greater Los Angeles County to become more safe, reliable, and accessible for all, especially for those with the least options. This passion pushed her to create Investing in Place in January 2015. Jessica has her Master of Arts in Sociology from California State University, Los Angeles. Prior to Investing in Place, Jessica worked at the the Southern California Association of Governments as Regional Transportation Planner, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership as the Southern California Policy Director.
Chuck Mills, California ReLeaf
Chuck has been an integral part of California ReLeaf for over 20 years, and was a founding Board Member for the organization when it incorporated as a nonprofit in 2004. He served on the Board of Directors from January 2005 to July 2010, including terms as Treasurer and President. He brings a wealth of knowledge and 28 years of experience in natural resource conservation to the organization. Currently, he manages California ReLeaf’s grants program and public policy portfolio. Prior to joining the California ReLeaf staff in August 2010, Chuck spent 3½ years with the California Council of Land Trusts and 12 years at the Trust for Public Land in program management and advocacy. Chuck holds varying degrees of degrees in communications, Canadian Studies, journalism, and government.
Joshua Stark, TransForm
Joshua advocates for TransForm's statewide goals at the Capitol and through building coalitions with our many allies. Before coming to TransForm, Joshua represented a number of nonprofit environmental and environmental justice organizations at the state and federal levels, including the National Parks Conservation Association. He helped build diverse alliances at the state level and in the Central Valley, and represented organizations through Spanish language media. Before taking on policy work Joshua worked in agriculture, education, park management and outdoor guiding.
Axel Santana, PolicyLink
Axel supports the Arts, Culture, and Equitable Development and California policy programs at PolicyLink. In his years at PolicyLink, he has helped convene advocates from across the country, collaborated with equity leaders on various initiatives, authored blog posts, and developed tools -- all in service of empowering and lifting the voices of our most vulnerable communities. Prior to PolicyLink, Axel was focused on international development, spending time in Kenya and El Salvador doing reproductive health advocacy and public space rehabilitation, respectively, before ending up in the Bay Area working with an agency supporting asylum seekers with legal assistance. Axel received his master's in international policy with a focus on human security and development from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. He enjoys running, traveling, photography, hip hop dancing, and has an eclectic taste in music.
Will Barrett, American Lung Association in California
In his role as Clean Air Advocacy Director, Will Barrett leads the American Lung Association’s work on California’s landmark clean air and climate change programs, focusing on the clean air and public health benefits of sustainable transportation policies. Since joining the team in 2009, Mr. Barrett has represented the American Lung Association before the California Legislature and California Air Resources Board and has provided testimony before federal, state, regional and local agencies engaged in clean air and climate policy. Will has served as the public health representative on advisory panels convened by the California Air Resources Board, the California Energy Commission and other public agencies, and serves on the board of directors for the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies.
Linda Rudolph, Public Health Institute
Linda is the Director of the Center for Climate Change and Health at PHI. She also provides consultation to local jurisdictions to advance implementation of Health in All Policies, and participates internationally in training and consultation related to HiAP and climate change and health. Previously, Rudolph served as the deputy director for Chronic Disease Prevention and Public Health in the California Department of Public Health, and the health officer and public health director for the City of Berkeley, CA. While at CDPH, Rudolph served as founding chair of the Strategic Growth Council's Health in All Policies Task Force and the California Climate Action Team's Public Health Work Group.
Veronica Tovar, Catholic Charities Diocese of Stockton
Veronica and her family live in Stockton and attend Church of the Presentation. She graduated from University of the Pacific with a B.A. in Political Science. She has two smart and outgoing girls, who keep her extremely busy. Veronica has resided in the Central Valley for much of her life and appreciates the year-round farmers’ markets, fruit stands and nearby wine tasting. She also enjoys several outdoor activities with her family, which include camping, hiking, and bike riding.
Michelle Pariset, Public Advocates
Michelle joined Public Advocates in 2016 as a Policy Advocate in our Sacramento Office. Previously, she organized institutions and community groups with Gamaliel’s Sacramento affiliate, the Capitol Region Organizing Project. Michelle is passionate about changing the structures that keep people in poverty. Michelle graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Davis in 2013 with a B.S. in Community and Regional Development, with emphasis in Policy & Planning and Global Communities. She was awarded the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Citation for Outstanding Performance. Michelle is an Executive Board Member, California Democratic Party, Board Member, Organize Sacramento, and Board Member, Sacramento Housing Alliance.
Tina Yuen, ChangeLab Solutions
As a senior planner at ChangeLab Solutions, Tina Yuen primarily works on active transportation and supporting cross-sector collaboration and systems change aimed at fostering healthy, sustainable, and just communities. Prior to joining ChangeLab Solutions, she was a planner at Raimi + Associates working at the nexus of planning and public health. In this capacity, she worked on a range of topics related to community planning, equity, climate change and sustainability, health indicators and metrics, evaluation, and Health in All Policies. Tina also worked at the National Association of County and City Health Officials on their healthy community design and environmental health programs. In addition, she served as an environmental public health fellow at the US Environmental Protection Agency, where she focused her research on environmental justice and community engagement in scientific research. Tina earned her masters of public health and city planning degrees from UC Berkeley.
Esther Rivera, California Walks:
Growing up in the Central Valley, Esther has seen first-hand the impacts of the built environment on small urban and rural communities. Working in various sectors such as local government, rural and urban clinics, and non-profits has given her a unique understanding of the challenges in advancing the needs of public health and social justice interventions. At Cultiva La Salud, Esther managed the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant. The REACH program helped to advance policies that promote access to walking and biking facilities to Latino communities in Fresno, Stanislaus, and Kern Counties. With Cal Walks, Esther works to advance statewide policies, and she leads the Focus Cities work which provides technical assistance to local government and community-based organizations in seven cities throughout the State. Esther graduated from California State University, Fresno with a Master of Public Health with a focus on Health Promotion.