Staff

Kathryn Alcantar
Policy Advisor

With a master’s degree in Public Health and Public Administration, Kathryn brings over 20 years of experience in the field of Environmental Health & Justice to her role as CEH’s Policy Advisor. She is passionate about working with allies across sectors to build a more sustainable, healthy and equitable world for her two young daughters.

Kaya Allan Sugerman
Illegal Toxic Threats Program Director
Kaya comes to CEH with an academic background in international conflict resolution and political ecology, and experience working locally and internationally with research centers and NGOs focused on human rights and sustainable agriculture. In her spare time, she enjoys swimming in warm ocean waters (sadly, not found in the Bay Area), writing, dancing, and going on outdoor adventures with loved ones.
Martin Bañuelos
Research Assistant

Martin recently 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.

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.

Shannon Bowen
Director of Development

Shannon brings fifteen years of development experience to her role as Director of Development where she guides fundraising strategy. Before CEH, she was the Vice President of Development for Making Waves Foundation. She is thrilled to raise funds for CEH’s important work to protect individuals and communities from toxic chemicals.

Andrea Braswell, PMP
Policy 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.

Elijah Butterfield
Environmental Justice Fellow

Elijah is a UC Berkeley graduate with a B.S. in Conservation & Resource Studies with a concentration in Environmental Justice, Health & Policy. He is passionate about public health and protecting marginalized communities from the burden of climate change. On weekends, you can find him tending to his collection of houseplants, cycling around the Bay or restoring vintage furniture.

Sue Chiang, MPP, MPH
Pollution Prevention Director
Sue has spent her career working on a variety of environmental health issues that involve researching toxic chemicals and their potential effects on our health. She is passionate about identifying more comprehensive health protective strategies that look upstream and prevent the use of toxic chemicals in the first place.
Patricia Clark, CFRE
DIRECTOR OF FOUNDATION AND CORPORATE RELATIONS

Patricia has over 20 years of experience in fundraising and holds a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) designation for 15 years. She joined CEH because it parallels her passion for social justice, health, and equity.

Ruben F. Diaz
Digital Manager

With more than 7 years of online communications experience working with Capital One, Bank of America, and Cigna, Ruben joined CEH in 2014 as our Communications Specialist. He's very passionate about social and environmental justice and uses his super-skills in communications to make the world a better place. Ruben even created this very website. We love this guy!

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.

Emily DiFrisco
Director of Communications

Emily DiFrisco has 15 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 important legislation such as Yes on 67 to uphold California’s Statewide Plastic Bag Ban and for the federal Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act. She has placed experts in The New York TimesFOX NewsAl Jazeera, and NBC Nightly News, among others. She holds a BA from Calvin University and lives in Chicago, IL with her spouse and three children ages 9, 7, and 5.

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 and Bolivia. A passionate advocate of 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.

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.

Michael Green, MS, MPP
Chief Executive Officer

Before founding CEH, Michael worked for both the US Department of Energy and US EPA protecting people from environmental toxins, but left because working for CEH is much more fulfilling than working for government. Michael’s direct supervisors are Dylan Green (born in 2007) and Gigi Green (2008).

Full Bio
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.

Judy Levin
Pollution Prevention Director

After 24 years as a social worker, Judy Levin joined CEH to apply her organizing and advocacy experience to protect human and environmental health. She is passionate about partnering with organizations who are ready to use their purchasing power to create a market demand for more sustainable products.

Megan Liu
Research Assistant

Megan graduated from UC Berkeley in 2020 with a B.A. in Molecular & Cell Biology and double minors in Public Policy and Global Public Health. She is passionate about social justice and health equity, and excited to be at CEH advocating for public health protections. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and exploring the outdoors.

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.

Randall Miller
Managing Director of Programs

Randall has worked for the past 25 years in senior roles in advocacy, philanthropic, religious, and academic organizations. Most recently, he led San Francisco Bay Physicians for Social Responsibility and has directed programs at the Arcus Foundation, the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Tides, the Community Health Investment Fund, and the National Task Force on AIDS Prevention. A longtime advocate of environmental health and justice, Randall is excited to have found his way to CEH. 

Caitlin Moher
Research Assistant

Caitlin recently 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 Caitlin's free time she enjoys hiking around the Bay Area and cooking new recipes.

Matt Nevins
Digital Engagement Manager

Matt manages the Litigation team’s evidence procurement and cataloguing in CEH’s continuing legal efforts to rid the consumer marketplace of toxic chemicals. A graduate of the Film Studies program at UC Berkeley (Go Bears!), Matt also produces and edits many of the videos you can see on CEH’s YouTube Channel.

Sarah Packer
Pollution Prevention Manager

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.

Emily Reder
Research Assistant

Emily graduated from UC Berkeley in 2017 with a B.S. in Society & Environment and a concentration in U.S. Environmental Policy and Management. During Emily’s time at CEH, her passion for safeguarding public health and the natural world has grown immensely. When she is not in the office, Emily can be found exploring Bay Area flea markets, walking her dogs, and saving money for her next trip to Alaska.

Ben Schleifer
Food Program Coordinator

Ben comes to CEH with over 6 years of experience working as a science educator in public schools and 4 more 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 chemical toxins can hinder normal childhood development.

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.