Van Jones is a globally recognized, award-winning pioneer in human rights and the clean-energy economy. He is a co-founder of three successful non-profit organizations: The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change and Green For All. Jones is the best-selling author of the definitive book on green jobs, The Green-Collar Economy. He served as the green jobs advisor in the Obama White House in 2009. Jones is currently the President of Rebuild the Dream.
Gus Speth is an award-winning environmental leader and author of books such as The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability and Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment. He has held such prestigious titles as Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, chair of the UN Development Group, and Dean of Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Speth was also the founder and president of the World Resources Institute, professor of law at Georgetown University, chairman of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality and senior attorney and co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Speth currently serves on the boards of the Natural Resources Defense Council, World Resources Institute, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, New Economics Institute, New Economy Network, and the Institute for Sustainable Communities.
Betsy Taylor is President of Breakthrough Strategies & Solutions, a consulting firm offering strategic services to philanthropic, business and non-profit clients. She was the co-founder and Board President of 1Sky, which merged with 350.org in April 2011. Taylor founded and served as president of the Center for a New American Dream, launched the Responsible Purchasing Network, and earned numerous awards including winner of the Washingtonian Magazine’s top fifty places to work in the D.C. metropolitan area. She previously served as executive director of the Merck Family Fund, the Stern Family Fund and the Ottinger Foundation and was a founding member and officer of the Environmental Grantmakers Association. She is author of Sustainable Planet: Solutions for the 21st Century, What Kids Really Want that Money Can’t Buy, and More Fun, Less Stuff.
Vicky Rateau is the campaign manager for Oxfam America’s national and international organizing and advocacy efforts around food security and climate change. She has played a leadership role on many global poverty campaigns for the past 11 years, including Oxfam International’s Make Trade Fair campaign. Rateau was the field director at the ONE campaign and an SEIU union organizer. Rateau previously served on the board of 1Sky.
Billy Parish is co-founder and President of Solar Mosaic. Prior to that, Billy co-founded and grew the Energy Action Coalition into the largest youth organization in the world focused on clean energy and climate solutions. Elected in 2007 as the youngest U.S. Ashoka Fellow, Billy has launched dozens of youth, climate and green jobs initiatives. He is also a co-founder of Green Owl Records, a green music label under Warner Music Group, and is a Board Member of several companies and non-profits.
Rev. Richard Cizik
The Reverend Richard Cizik is the author of The High Cost of Indifference and For the Health of the Nation: An Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility. Since 2002, when Rev. Cizik was first “converted” to the cause of climate change, he has been an advocate for action on climate change within the US evangelical community and beyond. He was a participant in Climate Forum 2002, at Oxford, England, which produced the “Oxford Declaration” on global warming, and was instrumental in creation of the Evangelical Climate Initiative, introduced in 2006.
author, speaker, and environmental activist Colin Beavan, commonly referred to as No Impact Man, is well known for his year-long experiment with a no-impact lifestyle and his book on the experience, No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet. Beavan founded the No Impact Project, an international environmental non-profit dedicated to empowering citizens to make choices which better their lives and lower their environmental impact through lifestyle change, community action, and participation in environmental politics. His work has been the subject of stories in the New York Time, the Christian Science Monitor, and many other national and international news outlets. His website can be found at colinbeavan.com
Liz Butler is a leading activist with more than 17 years of experience organizing and campaigning on environmental issues, with a focus on both market and legislative campaigns. Most recently, she worked as the Campaign Director of 1Sky. Prior to joining the 1Sky team, Butler was a co-founder of ForestEthics where she spent 10 years as the Organizing Director. Butler also served as the National Organizing Director for American Lands Alliance, the Director of Missouri Public Interest Research Group, and graduated from Green Corps’ Environmental Leadership Training Program, where she received the third Alumni Achievement Award ever given by Green Corps. Liz is a recent recipient of the New Leaders Council “40 Under 40” Award in recognition of her advocacy work.
Rev. Lennox Yearwood
Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., is a minister, community activist, and one of the most influential people in Hip Hop political life. Firmly grounded in his Caribbean and Louisiana roots, Rev. Yearwood is a fierce advocate for human and civil rights in the 21st century. He currently serves as President and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus and works diligently and tirelessly to encourage the Hip Hop generation to utilize its political and social voice. Rev. Yearwood was a co-creator of the 2004 campaign “Vote or Die”. He was also the Political and Grassroots Director for Russell Simmons’ Hip Hop Summit Action Network and a Senior Consultant to Jay Z’s Voice Your Choice. Rev. Yearwood has become an important figure in the peace movement as an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq. He was an Officer in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and led the “Make Hip Hop Not War” national bus tour to engage more young people in the movement for peace.
Tom Kruse is program officer for the global governance portion of the Democratic Practice program of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. He joined the Fund in June 2008 to manage the development and direction of the global governance grantmaking, including the formation of the program objectives, strategies, and initiatives. Prior to joining the Fund, Mr. Kruse served as an advisor to the Bolivian government on trade and investment policy, the continuation of trade preference programs, and debt relief. In that capacity, Mr. Kruse worked closely with the Bolivian government and its diplomatic missions, members of the Bolivian business community, international financial institutions, and several RBF grantees that provide technical assistance to developing country governments.