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The Exceptional Women of CEH

For Women’s History Month 2021, we are honoring the exceptional women who are leading the Center for Environmental Health’s (CEH) work. A whopping 75% of CEH’s staff consists of women from all walks of life. We’d like to thank them for their dedication to making the world a safer place for all people.

CEH protects people from toxic chemicals by working with communities, consumers, workers, government, and the private sector to demand and support business practices that are safe for public health and the environment.

Here’s what some of these exceptional CEH women had to say about their work:

Kathryn Alcantar
“Successfully negotiating and advocating with partners representing domestic workers to require that cleaning product companies list ALL Prop 65 chemicals, regardless of concentration, on product labels. And knowing that this requirement is undoubtedly resulting in manufacturers reformulating their products to remove carcinogens and reproductive toxicants from their cleaning products which will directly help improve the health of so many hard-working (mostly) women and their families. And when we finally launch our Prop 65 Protects campaign, that’ll be pretty damn awesome too!”

Kaya Allan Sugerman
“Leading CEH’s litigation against corporate industrial polluters sited in or immediately neighboring historically marginalized communities LA and SD Counties in California. I also work in partnership with community resident-led groups to finalize legal agreements forcing companies to extend fence-line air monitoring, reduce their toxic air emissions, and provide funds for projects like local organizing and toxics education efforts and the purchase of air filtration systems for those living closest to the polluters.”

Andrea Braswell
“I am proud of the efforts that I’ve helped lead to call on decision makers to crack down on PFAS in NC. Not only has it been an honor to play a critical role in this massive work, but as a resident of North Carolina, it means a lot to me to be helping my community!”

Ashley Iwanaga
“My role is to help CEH with transition and change while supporting everyone’s work and fulfillment in their jobs. Change starts at home.”

Caitlin Moher
“Over the course of 2 years, I’ve tested 2600+ fashion accessories that resulted in forcing over 70 companies to remove 484 of those fashion accessories from store shelves because they contained toxic lead.”

Christina Medina
“I am co-chairing the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) committee and helping to highlight social justice issues related to environmental health.”

Emily Reder
“I’m currently spearheading CEH’s investigation and research into toxic PFAS in cosmetics. We should all have the right to know what’s in the products we use everyday.”

Judy Levin
“I co-sponsored and successfully lobbied for passage of the flame retardant (FR) labeling bill requiring labeling for the presence or absence of FRs in furniture. I am also helping the University of California system to adopt our furniture specifications for all 10 of their campuses.”

Sue Chiang
“I engage parents, green team members, teachers, school staff and administration, allies, students, and other purchasers and inspire them to make a switch to reusables; I’ve heard back from people who viewed our presentations and they said their eyes have been opened about the dangers of PFAS and other health concerns about single-use foodware.

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.
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
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.

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.
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.

Ashley Iwanaga
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.

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.

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.

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.

Hannah Rashyde
Executive Assistant

Hannah has a degree in International and Comparative Politics from the American University of Paris. Before joining CEH, Hannah worked for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in both Paris and Beirut. She speaks Arabic, English, French and Russian and spends her free time riding horses in Eventing at the Preliminary level.

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.

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.