Staff

Leadership Team

Michael Green, MS, MPP
Chief Executive Officer
Michael Green is the Founder and CEO of CEH. He has pioneered the groundbreaking legal work that has won landmark victories to protect the public from hazardous consumer products and toxic emissions. Michael has worked in Washington, D.C. for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management, and the U.S. EPA's Working Group on Environmental Equity. Michael designed a solid waste management plan for the Tibetan refugee community in Dharamsala, India, and cared for the sick at Mother Teresa's mission in Calcutta, India. He was awarded the California Wellness Foundation's annual Leadership Award, as well as the prestigious Compassion in Action Award which is presented jointly from the Dalai Lama Foundation and the Committee of 100 for Tibet each year. He has testified in front of Congress, serves on numerous boards of directors, and is frequently quoted in national and international media. His direct supervisors are Dylan Green (born in 2007) and Juliette Green (2008).
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Randall Miller, PhD
Managing Director of Programs
Randall has worked for the past 25 years in senior roles in advocacy, philanthropic, and academic organizations. Most recently, he served as the executive director of San Francisco Bay Physicians for Social Responsibility, a part-time professor of ethics and social theory at Pacific School of Religion, and directed a $3.5M grantmaking program at the Arcus Foundation. Randall has also led funding initiatives at the Haas, Jr. Fund, Tides, Vanguard, and the Community Health Investment Fund and served as executive director of the National Task Force on AIDS Prevention. A longtime advocate for social change, Randall lives, works, and recreates in Oakland with his partner of 30 years.
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Lakeesha Gage
Director of Finance and Operations
Lakeesha has over 10 years of experience in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, including work at Sustainable Conservation, Back On Track, 100 Black Men of the Bay Area, Trust for Conservation Innovation, and Senior Helpers of the East Bay. A San Francisco native, she is exhilarated to be part of an organization that advocates for healthy communities.
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Ashley Iwanaga, MPH
Chief of Staff
Before coming to CEH, Ashley worked as the Project Coordinator on the United Nations Development Program/Global Environment Facility’s Project on Health Care Waste. Her passion is protecting public health and the environment from the harmful effects of toxic chemicals and creating a safe, healthy world for her two rambunctious boys.
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Shannon Bowen
Director of Development
Shannon brings fifteen years of development experience to her role as Director of Development where she oversees our fundraising strategy. She is skilled in both institutional and major gift fundraising and has a long track record of securing six-and-seven-figure gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government entities. Most recently, she was the Vice President of Development for Making Waves Foundation, and before that, she was the Director of Development and Communications at Civicorps where she grew their fundraising from five to seven figures. Before Civicorps, Shannon operated her own development consultancy, was a grant writer for Planned Parenthood Northern California, and was the Director of Development for KIDS for the BAY. Channeling her personal passion about creating a world free from toxic chemicals into her work, Shannon is thrilled to be fundraising for CEH. She lives in Seattle and can be found cooking gourmet meals with her husband, hiking with her dog, and trying to buy non-toxic rugs for her house.
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Emily DiFrisco
Director of Communications
Emily DiFrisco has fifteen years of experience in communications for nonprofit organizations, including most recently at the global alliance Plastic Pollution Coalition and previously at Environmental Working Group (EWG). A passionate advocate for the health of people and the planet, she has led communications campaigns for state and federal legislation to protect our environment and has placed experts in The New York Times, FOX News, Al Jazeera, and NBC Nightly News, among others. She lives in Chicago, IL with her spouse and three children ages 9, 7, and 5.
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Science Director

Jimena Díaz Leiva, PhD
Science Director
Dr. Jimena Díaz Leiva is an interdisciplinary environmental scientist whose professional interests lie at the nexus of environmental and social justice. Jimena has more than seven years of professional experience in the field of environmental science and most recently spent five years researching mercury pollution associated with small-scale gold mining in the Peruvian Amazon as part of her dissertation research at UC Berkeley. As a native of Peru, Jimena is deeply committed to advancing equity and social justice for marginalized communities both at home and abroad. In her off time, Jimena makes pottery and stays active by playing tennis, biking, and hiking.
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Built Environment Program

Judy Levin, MSW
Senior Advisor, Built Environment Program
Judy Levin, MSW, has spent 14 years advancing CEH’s Procurement and Built Environment programs, collecting more than half a billion dollars of purchasing power for a healthier future. During her tenure she has educated thousands of purchasers big and small, from multinational corporations to private businesses, schools, and healthcare providers. Working in partnership with coalitions, she helped pass two bills to require labeling of flame retardants in children’s products and created countless tools for purchasers to shift the marketplace toward healthier products. Previous to CEH, she worked for 24 years as a social worker building her organizing and advocacy skills. She lives in the Bay Area, where she often can be found hiking with her family.
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Malena Spar, MPH
Built Environment Program Manager
Before joining CEH, Malena worked for UCSF managing a national research network focused on the health of older adults. With a degree in public health from the University of San Francisco, she is passionate about protecting people from harmful chemicals in everyday products. In her free time she is most likely to be found biking.
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Food Program

Sue Chiang, MPP, MPH
Director of the Food Program
Sue directs CEH’s Food Program, where she works with institutional purchasers from a wide range of sectors to harness their collective buying power to eliminate the use of harmful chemicals and expand the market for environmentally preferable products. Her current focus is on hormone disrupting chemicals in consumer products – particularly in food and food packaging. She has nearly 30 years of experience in the environmental health field through a variety of organizations including as a consultant to the San Francisco Foundation where she provided capacity building opportunities for their Environmental Health and Justice Initiative’s grantees; as Community Health Advocate at Greenaction, where she served as liaison to the national Health Care without Harm Campaign and played a leading role in linking community organizing efforts in Northern California against dangerous medical waste incineration practices to upstream pollution prevention strategies with hospitals; and as a Research Associate at the Environmental Defense Fund in their toxics program.
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​​Ben Schleifer
Food Program Coordinator
Ben comes to CEH with over six years of experience working as a science educator in public schools and four years of experience working on environmental transformation of schools’ cafeterias. He applies his neuroscience degrees to both understand how to motivate behavior change and also how toxic chemicals can hinder normal childhood development.
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Illegal Toxic Threats Program

Kaya Allan Sugerman
Director of Illegal Toxic Threats
Kaya works in partnership with CEH’s Illegal Toxic Threats research staff, Science Director, and outside legal counsel to require companies to remove toxic chemicals from consumer products, reduce toxic air emissions from California neighborhoods, and follow state and federal environmental toxics regulations. Kaya’s professional and academic background is in human rights advocacy and environmental and food justice, and she’s worked within sustainability and biodiversity law research centers at University of California Berkeley and University of Malaya, and environmental advocacy nonprofits in the U.S. and internationally.
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Emily Reder
Illegal Toxic Threats Research Manager
Emily manages the consumer product testing efforts for CEH’s litigation to rid the marketplace of toxic chemicals. She has a Bachelor of Science in Society & Environment from UC Berkeley with a concentration in Environmental Policy and Management. She is passionate about corporate accountability, safeguarding public health, and connecting with others. In her free time, you can find her flipping through a cookbook, listening to music, and planning her next road trip.
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Karina Gomez
Community Engagement Manager
Karina aspires to live in a world where all people can thrive and live their best lives. With a chemistry and public health background, she brings expertise working with an array of partners, including communities, non-profit and community-based organizations, coalitions, and elected officials. At CEH, she serves as the Community Engagement Manager for the Illegal Toxic Threats Program to work for and alongside community partners to remove or reduce exposure to toxic chemicals. In her free time, you can find her attempting to re-create some of her mom’s traditional Mexican dishes, relaxing at the beach, reading a book, or taking on a new hiking challenge.
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Caitlin Moher
Research Assistant
Caitlin graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Economics and Policy. As a Research Assistant for CEH, she has contributed to holding companies accountable for practicing healthier, more sustainable, and more ethical practices. In her free time she enjoys hiking around the Bay Area and cooking new recipes.
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Martin Bañuelos
Research Assistant
Martin graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies. While at Berkeley, he researched the impacts of the industrial food system on immigrant farmers and low-income communities of color in California. He is passionate about science and environmental justice and is excited to be able to use his two passions to better protect communities like his own from toxic chemicals.
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Plastics, Petrochemicals, and Climate Program

Sarah Packer
Interim Director of the Built Environment Program, Director of Petrochemicals, Plastics & Climate
Sarah has a BA in international studies from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, culinary arts and personal chef certifications from the School of Natural Cookery in Boulder, CO, and is certified in international project management. She’s based in North Carolina and is thrilled to be fighting for a cleaner, safer world.
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Andrea Braswell, PMP
Petrochemicals, Plastics & Climate Program Manager
Andrea has advanced administrative and project management experience, including experience with policy research and analysis, stakeholder engagement, and program work in the clean energy sector. She is passionate about advocating for environmental health, and particularly how environmental issues affect historically excluded communities, such as people of color, low income communities, and women.
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Policy Program

Kathryn Alcantar, MPA/MPH
Interim Policy Director
Kathryn leads CEH’s policy team, providing strategic direction and building partnerships with cross-sector allies to advance policy work at the state and federal level. She also serves on the Executive Committee, Network Council, and as co-lead of the Policy and Legal Hub of the Cancer Free Economy Network. Previously, Kathryn served as CEH’s California Policy Director as well as Director of Californians for a Healthy and Green Economy (CHANGE) Coalition where she helped to build strong alliances with environmental justice, environmental health, labor, and worker advocates, health professionals, and sustainable business allies to advance right to know policies on flame retardants in furniture, chemicals in cleaning, salon and beauty products, as well as helped to defend Proposition 65. Kathryn has spent her 20+ year career in the field of environmental health and justice while working at multiple organizations including the California Department of Public Health, Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, Latino Issues Forum, Greenlining Institute and the U.S. EPA, Region 9.
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Development

Patricia Clark
Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations
Patricia has over 25 years of experience in fundraising for a variety of nonprofit causes including social services, healthcare, and the environment. She joined CEH because it parallels her passion for social justice, health, and equity.
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Laura Szabados
Grants Manager
Laura’s background includes working as part of a UC Santa Barbara team researching the bioenergetics of salmon within the context of climate change. In her free time, she can be found hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada mountains.
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Zach Fernandez, MPH
Development Manager
Zach manages CEH’s individual donor program and brings over a decade of experience working with nonprofits in the Bay Area, California, and Bolivia. A passionate advocate for public health, he has participated in a number of coalitions and campaigns in California relating to tobacco control, food justice, and other issues. When he’s not at work, he enjoys preparing delicious, plant-based food.
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Elisa Bargetto
Development Coordinator
Elisa received her degrees in Viticulture & Enology (winemaking) and Italian from UC Davis in 2018. Before finding herself with us at CEH, she worked in various wineries and later in Programs and Development at the Santa Cruz SPCA. Elisa is thrilled to continue her nonprofit career at an organization that is making an impact on both humans and the environment. In her free time, Elisa enjoys rock climbing, camping, attempting the NY Times daily crossword, and exploring San Francisco.
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Communications

Matt Nevins
Digital Engagement Manager
Matt has worked with the Center for Environmental Health since 2010. He has managed numerous projects that resulted in hundreds of companies selling consumer products – from handbags to jewelry, and from shampoos to snack foods, all of which used to contain illegal toxic chemicals – to reformulate their products across the marketplace to remove carcinogens such as lead and cadmium. Matt manages CEH’s social media platforms and digital engagement strategies, and produces and edits many of the videos you can see on CEH’s YouTube Channel. Matt is a graduate of the Film Studies program at UC Berkeley (Go Bears!), and enjoys keeping in touch with the campus community by bringing student assistants from the university’s work-study program to CEH.
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Operations

Christina Medina Martin
Operations Manager
Christina has a background in broad-based coalition building and nonprofit administration. She is passionate about social justice for families and workers.
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