Governors

Sightline is governed by a Board of Directors composed of community leaders from around the Northwest. They volunteer their time to make sure Sightline is as successful as possible. They serve renewable three-year terms and hold ultimate legal and fiduciary responsibility for Sightline.

Trustees help ensure Sightline’s institutional strength, serving renewable one-year terms on committees dedicated to Sightline’s finances, fundraising, and governance.

Click on a governor's name to jump to their full bio.

Board

Trustees

Board

Rashmir BalasubramaniamRashmir Balasubramaniam, is the Founder and CEO of Nsansa, a social enterprise that advises and coaches entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs on innovation, creativity and market-based strategies for realizing sustainable, system-wide social impact. Rashmir is an Adjunct Faculty member of the Foster School of Business, University of Washington and Bainbridge Graduate Institute, where she teaches classes on Harnessing Business and Markets to Address Poverty and Social Justice & Business. Prior to this, Rashmir spent 5 years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she led a cross-sector initiative on private sector engagement and market development, and drove strategy and built and managed a diverse portfolio of grants for the Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Program. With 15 years of experience across the public and private sectors, Rashmir has led and managed a variety of cross-sectoral development projects, including work on malaria, reproductive health, human resources for health, and institutional development. She has worked with a broad array of development organizations including iScale – Innovations for Scaling Impact, TechnoServe, the World Bank, and International Planned Parenthood Federation. Her work has focused mainly on Africa, but also includes projects in Asia and Latin America. Prior to pursuing her interests in International Development, Rashmir worked in investment banking and finance. Rashmir holds an MBA from Yale University, a Post Graduate Diploma in Development Studies from the University of London, and a BSc in mathematics and computer science from the University of Durham.
Susan BalbasSusan Balbas resides in Seattle and in Nampa, Idaho where she works on her family’s aquaponics farm. She is a native of the western United States, is of Native ancestry—Cherokee and Yaqui Nations, and of Spanish and mixed European heritage. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, Economics and a Master of Science in Teaching, History. She is the co-founder and executive director of Tierra Madre Fund, a Northwest Native women's fund focusing on sustainable community development, food sovereignty, and support of artists and culture keepers. Susan has held various management positions in the corporate and nonprofit sectors, and has served on committees and boards locally and nationally.
Rodney L. Brown, Jr.Rodney L. Brown, Jr. is a partner with Cascadia Law Group, one of the leading environmental law firms in the Pacific Northwest.  He works on many environmental issues, ranging from pollution control regulations to natural resource management.  He was the principal author of Washington’s Superfund law, and he has served on many governmental commissions, including those that led to the creation of the Growth Management Act and the Regulatory Reform Act.  He most recently served on the Governor’s Climate Action Team and the Washington State Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation.
Serena Cruz WalshSerena Cruz Walsh is the executive director of the Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation where she oversees fundraising, community partnerships, and supporting the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center. Before joining Virginia Garcia, she co-founded Albina Construction Company LLC to develop, build and renovate affordable housing that incorporated high levels of energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable building practices. Before that, Serena served eight years as a Multnomah County Commissioner. She currently serves on the boards of the Latino Network, Transition Projects, and NOW Oregon as well as Sightline. She earned her BA at Lewis & Clark College, her MPP at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and her JD at the University of California at Berkeley. Serena was born in Seattle, raised in Eugene and now lives in Northeast Portland with her husband/business partner, Tom, and their adorable daughter.
Alan DurningAlan Durning, executive director, founded Northwest Environment Watch in 1993, which became Sightline Institute in 2006. Alan’s current topics of focus include Sightline’s Making Sustainability Legal series and governance reform. He has also written in recent years about car-less living, bike friendliness, electric bikes, and climate fairness. Durning has written or contributed to nine Sightline books, including Unlocking Home: Three Keys to Affordable Communities, Cascadia Scorecard 2007, Tax Shift, Stuff: The Secret Lives of Everyday Things, and the award-winning This Place on Earth: Home and Practice of Permanence. Prior to founding Sightline, Durning was a senior researcher at Worldwatch Institute. There, he studied the human dimensions of sustainability and wrote the award-winning book How Much Is Enough?, as well as chapters in seven State of the World reports and articles in hundreds of other publications. A sought-after speaker, he has lectured at the White House, major universities, and conferences on five continents. In addition to his passion for sustainability, Alan is a music fiend and a lover of outdoor pursuits, especially mountaineering and cycling. His three children are in college or beyond now, so he is free to pursue his passions even more of the time. Read Alan’s full bio, find his latest blog posts here, and email him at alan [at] sightline [dot] org.
Mary FellowsMary Fellows has been a bookseller at Annie Bloom’s Books, an independent book store in Portland, for 25 years. She is a grandmother, an avid bike commuter, and cycling advocate. Mary also serves on the board of the Oregon Center for Public Policy and is involved with a variety of political issues and candidates. Her previous experiences include serving as President of the ACLU of Oregon and as staff to the Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives and to the Multnomah County Executive.
Jeanette HendersonJeanette Henderson was elected to the board in 2007 and has served as treasurer and chair. She is the Director of Real Estate at the University of Washington where she leads an office of real estate professionals conducting real property transactions, asset and project management, and finance and accounting services for UW campuses, medical centers, research field stations, biological preserves and various international locations. She also serves on the executive committee of the Urban Land Institute in Seattle. She is a member of Sightline’s Cascadia Stewards Council and participated as a trustee on the finance and audit committee before becoming a Sightline Director. Jeanette grew up in Oregon, and is a graduate of Washington State University and University of Washington School of Law.
Wayne LeiWayne Lei, chair of Sightline's Governance Committee, directs Research and Development at Portland General Electric (PGE) where he helps pursue innovative, sustainable and often unique solutions to issues facing the Company and its customers. Wayne has spent 10 years in nuclear power operations and 14 years in environmental policy development and R&D. Current areas of research include assessing synergies in co-located eco-roofs and photovoltaic panel installations, geologic sequestration of flue gas carbon dioxide and using torrefied biomass to displace coal as fuel. He is also managing the installation of a 5 MW Battery Inverter system onto PGE’s grid for testing a variety of “smart grid” applications. For over ten years, he has chaired the Board of the International Sustainable Development Foundation and its principal program – the China U.S. Center for Sustainable Development. Wayne holds the PhD from New York University in Environmental Health; MS from Oregon State University and BA from Oberlin College. Since 1986, he has been certified by the American Board of Health Physics. Wayne and his wife Mary have two grown children and reside in Portland.
Kristin MartinezKristin Martinez is a serial entrepreneur who has spent the past 2 decades working with new ventures as an entrepreneur, investor, director and advisor.  She is the founder of Sound Point Ventures, LLC, a venture development and management company operating in Seattle, Washington and Albuquerque, New Mexico since 1998.  Through Sound Point, Kristin co-founded Angels with Attitude, the first active angel fund focused on sustainability. She was a founding member of Seraph Capital, a Seattle angel network for women, served as an Advisory Board member of the University of Washington chapter of Net Impact, and as a University of Washington MBA Program Mentor.  Kristin is currently a director of Oscilla Power, and an advisor to OneEnergyRenewables, both Seattle startups.
Kamala RaoKamala Rao, chair of the board of directors, has lived the majority of her life throughout Cascadia. She grew up in Washington and Alaska, did her undergraduate degree in Oregon and her graduate degree in urban planning in British Columbia. Kamala has also served on the board of the People’s Waterfront Coalition and has been active in environmental issues throughout the Cascadia region for many years. Her urban planning career, which has included both private and public sector work, has been focused on working with communities to create a more sustainable transportation system. She and her husband Bryn Davidson, who designs and builds low-energy homes, live in Vancouver, BC.  Kamala currently works for TransLink, Metro Vancouver’s regional transportation authority. Her background also includes several years working for a communications firm.
Mark TrahantMark Trahant is the 20th Atwood Chair of Journalism at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He is also a writer, video producer and Twitter poet. Trahant was recently a Kaiser Media Fellow and is the former editor of the editorial page for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Mark is a member of Idaho’s Shoshone-Bannock Tribe and a former president of the Native American Journalists Association. He is the author of The Last Great Battle of the Indian Wars, about Henry Jackson, Forrest Gerard and the campaign for American Indian self-determination.
Chris TrothChristopher Troth chairs Sightline’s Finance and Audit Committee and serves as Sightline's Treasurer. A resident of Seattle since 1993, he is a private investor and occasional restorer of old houses. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College.

  

Trustees

Mark CliggetMark Cliggett has been a Seattle resident for nearly 30 years, and associated with Sightline since its early days. Mark is a long time Microsoft employee, currently serving as Director of Test in the Windows Embedded Business. Mark was a co-founder of Bright Water School (a K-8 elementary school in Seattle) and Angels with Attitude (a hybrid venture/angel fund focused on sustainability). For fun, Mark does long runs and bike rides.
Brian DetmanBrian Detman serves as a senior policy advisor for Multnomah County's elected executive. He has nearly 20 years of experience working with public agencies, nonprofits, triple-bottom line enterprises and community-based organizations. He has worked as an executive, manager, director and as a volunteer on local, statewide, regional and national issues, programs and initiatives. Most recently, he served as director of partnerships at Clean Energy Works, an Oregon-based energy efficiency organization. He managed foundation relations and corporate communication, and developed a business support program for its contractors and workers. Prior to his position at Clean Energy Works, he worked for more than 10 years at Metropolitan Group, where he led the agency’s national business development efforts. During his tenure, the agency positioned itself as one of the leading social change communication and resource development agencies in the country. When not working, Brian is happiest spending time with his son and wife Katherine, whom he met in college. He enjoys playing basketball and working out, riding his bike (his only means of wheeled transportation), eating and being a spectator of most any sport. He serves on the board of directors for  the Portland Farmer’s Market, on Oregon Community Foundation's Metro Leadership Council and on the advisory board of Focus the Nation; he is also trustee for Sightline Institute.
Ruth Lipscomb is a community activist and volunteer. She grew up in Oregon, graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Computer Science, and spent a decade as a software engineer at Microsoft. Ruth is a founding board member of the Progress Alliance of Washington, a board member of Fuse Washington, and serves on the steering committee of Washington Women for Choice. In her spare time she chairs two committees for her neighborhood association, fosters cats for the Humane Society, utilizes her Master Pruner skills in her garden, and never has enough time to read everything she'd like. She and her husband live in Bellevue and have an adult daughter.
David YadenDavid Yaden of Lake Oswego, Oregon, is retired but active as a member of the State Board of Higher Education and of  the Board of Directors of the Oregon Health & Science University. During his career, he was energy director for the state of Oregon, special assistant to a US Secretary of Transportation, chief of staff for a US Congressman, and manager of his own public opinion analysis firm.  As an independent consultant he worked on large-scale strategies for complex problems such as reforming school finance and the tax structure in Oregon, and strategic plans for the Oregon State System of Higher Education and for Tri-Met. He and his wife also spent a year working with Czech and Slovak governments to improve environmental management.