Click on a staff member's name to jump to their full bio.
- Nicole Bernard, Senior Development Associate
- Eric de Place, Policy Director
- Alan Durning, Executive Director
- Anna Fahey, Senior Communications Strategist
- Migee Han, Senior Director of Development
- Jennifer Langston, News Editor
- Serena Larkin, Communications Associate
- Pam MacRae, Finance Manager
- Meaghan Robbins, Senior Development Associate
- Mieko Van Kirk, Operations Manager
- Clark Williams-Derry, Deputy Director
Nicole Bernard, senior development associate, manages Sightline’s annual giving program. She completed her degree in American Studies at the University of New Mexico and moved to Seattle after falling in love with the mountains during a whirlwind summer vacation. One of the things she appreciates most about Sightline is getting to know a smart, thoughtful, and inspiring community of people dedicated to this beautiful place. Nicole would be happy to talk to you more about supporting Sightline, another precious Northwest resource. Give her a call, or email her at nicole [at] sightline [dot] org.
Eric de Place, policy director, is a researcher, writer, speaker, and policy analyst. He spearheads Sightline’s work on climate and energy policy. He is known as a leading Northwest expert on strategies to cut carbon pollution, producing widely influential analyses of cap-and-trade programs and carbon taxes. He writes extensively about coal and oil exports, and he is considered an authority on a range of issues connected to fossil fuel transport including carbon emissions, railway congestion, coal dust, water pollution, and economics. He also contributes research on demographics, stormwater runoff, transportation, land use, and economic security. Eric is a widely sought-after speaker, presenter, and media spokesperson. Before coming to Sightline, he worked with the Northwest Area Foundation, developing strategies to alleviate poverty in rural communities. He has a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame. Find his latest blog posts here, and email him at eric [at] sightline [dot] org.
Alan 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.
Anna Fahey, senior communications strategist, digests piles of public opinion research, transcripts from speeches, and academic studies—from cognitive linguistics and neuroscience to political science, sociology, and psychology—synthesizing and distilling best practices in messaging for regional leaders. Anna’s talking points memos (Flashcards), messaging workshops, and blog posts tackle tricky topics, like climate change and the role of government. And she regularly teams up with a brain trust of regional partners and allies to work through the messaging challenges of the moment. Anna has a BA from Smith College and an MA in political communication from the University of Washington. Anna’s family goes back 4 generations in the Seattle area. She grew up in Anacortes, WA, beachcombing in the San Juans, listening to lots of Springsteen, and working on her parents’ commercial fishing boats. Find her latest blog posts here, email her at anna [at] sightline [dot] org, and follow her on Twitter @afahey.
Migee Han, senior director of development, works on building meaningful relationships with Sightline supporters and the community. She brings with her a passion for sustainability and experience in communications, project management, community relations and development. She spent ten years in the corporate sector before she found her true calling, in 2004, in the nonprofit community where she’s been working in development ever since. A graduate of the University of Washington, she also holds a masters degree in nonprofit leadership from Seattle University, and though she is not officially a native, after more than twenty years of living here, calls the Northwest home. When she’s not at work you might find her pointing a camera in your direction, reading for book club, or dreaming up her next adventure. Do you want to know more about how you can support Sightline Institute, make a gift or have questions about planned giving? She’d love to meet you! Give her a call, or email her at migee [at] sightline [dot] org.
Jennifer Langston edits Sightline Daily, Sightline’s daily news service, and contributes to research efforts with her hard-hitting journalism skills. She has covered topics from coal-fired power and ridesharing to green-collar jobs, immigrant farmers, and family-friendly cities. Before joining Sightline, Jennifer spent 15 years as a reporter covering environment issues across the Northwest, including a stint as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s land use and sustainability reporter. She has English and journalism degrees from Yale University and the University of Maryland. As a volunteer for the Washington Alpine Club and 826 Seattle, she has taught terrified adults to rock climb and fearless kids to write their own stories. Email her at jennifer [at] sightline [dot] org.
Serena Larkin, communications associate, maintains and grows the organization’s media relations and online presence. Previously, she worked in development for the Midwest’s Environmental Law and Policy Center, in consumer affairs for the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago, and most recently, as a political organizer for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21. Serena graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Scripps College with a degree in Humanities. As a recent arrival to Seattle from Chicago, the Midwest native frequently still finds herself in happy awe of her new home’s dramatic, mountainous vistas. Want to talk with one of our researchers for a story? Re-post a blog entry to your news site? Give her a call, or email her at serena [at] sightline [dot] org.
Pam MacRae, finance manager, makes sure that the accuracy and accessibility of Sightline’s financial reports matches that of its research products. She also brings her freakish penchant for details to proofreading and occasional research assistance. She is thrilled and honored to work at an organization where car-lessness, spreadsheets, and a sense of place are normal. With a degree in Peace Studies from Colgate University, she has worked at nonprofits advocating disarmament, death penalty abolition, community economic development, and more. She spends the other part of her work week at a loan fund serving people with disabilities. When not trying to be in the mountains at least 59 weeks a year, Pam might be biking, cooking, or playing her clarinet. Email her at pam [at] sightline [dot] org.
Meaghan Robbins, senior development associate, is Sightline’s grant writer and foundations contact. Meaghan relocated to Seattle in 2009, after living in Thailand and supporting local staff working with refugees on the Thai-Burma border. Prior to that, she managed a refugee resettlement program in North Carolina. Meaghan also has a degree in English literature and over twelve years of experience in the non-profit sector, including 2 years in Morocco as a Peace Corps volunteer. A native New Englander, Meaghan’s heart now belongs to the mountains and coast (and everything in-between) of the Pacific Northwest. In her free time, you can find Meaghan connecting with friends and exploring any one of the many parks and green spaces around the city. Email: meaghan [at] sightline [dot] org.
Mieko Van Kirk, operations manager, helps keep the Sightline office running smoothly. Before joining Sightline, she spent some years exploring the administrative and development side of the non-profit social service field. Mieko grew up in California and received her B.S. from the University of California Riverside, but has enjoyed exploring Cascadia for more than a decade. Interested in having a Sightline speaker at your event? Give her a call, or email her at mieko [at] sightline [dot] org.
Clark Williams-Derry, deputy director, is slightly embarrassed to admit how much of the last two decades he’s spent playing with spreadsheets. But he’s managed to turn his obsession with data collection and analysis into a wide-ranging research and writing portfolio, spanning topics as varied as sustainable transportation, mapping and analyzing sprawl, testing human breast milk for toxics, climate and energy policy, and measuring sustainability. Clark directs Sightline’s research and communications programs. He is an in-demand speaker, writer, consultant, and media spokesperson on sustainability topics. He graduated summa cum laude from Yale University in 1989 with a joint degree in mathematics and philosophy. A resident of Seattle, Clark spends his spare time with his wife Amy and their two daughters. Read Clark’s full bio, find his latest blog posts here, and email him at clark [at] sightline [dot] org.
Yoram Bauman, Sightline fellow, is an environmental economist and stand-up comedian with a BA in mathematics from Reed College and a PhD in economics from the University of Washington. His goals in life are to spread joy to the world through economics comedy, which he does through YouTube videos and shows at colleges, comedy clubs, and corporate events around the country; to reform economics education with books such as The Cartoon Introduction to Economics, co-authored with Grady Klein; and to advocate for carbon pricing and other economic approaches to protecting the environment. In addition to comedy and writing, Yoram has been engaged in consulting work---notably as the project economist for "Impacts of Climate Change on Washington’s Economy"---and in teaching gigs at the UW Program on the Environment, Whitman College, Bainbridge Graduate Institute, and Seattle’s Lakeside High School. His association with Sightline started with a 1997 internship that led to his co-authoring Tax Shift with Sightline founder Alan Durning.
Dave Kershner, Sightline fellow, has conducted environmental research for regional and national nonprofit organizations, including American Rivers and the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. He contributed research for Tax Shift, Sightline’s 1998 book on greening Cascadia’s tax system, and co-authored our 2007 report, Bulk Discounts for Polluters. After graduate studies at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment, he co-founded a land conservancy on one of the San Juan Islands and spent nine years protecting farmland and natural areas there. When not doing research for Sightline, he is a consultant on documentary film and television projects.
Alyse Nelson, Sightline writing fellow, spends her days as an urban planner for a small city in Kitsap County and, since 2007, has spent much of her spare time writing and researching for Sightline. She has degrees from Portland State University and the University of Washington, where she was a Valle Scholar and traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark, to research bicycle planning at the Center for Public Space Research. A life-long Washingtonian, Alyse resides on Bainbridge Island with her husband and son.
Lisa Stiffler is a journalism fellow for Sightline. Before joining Sightline, Lisa was a reporter at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for 10 years, most of them spent covering environmental issues. She did investigations on the health of Puget Sound, the national failure to protect endangered species, and the multi-billion dollar Hanford cleanup. A Northwest native, she earned degrees in cell biology and communications from the University of Washington. In addition to knowing more than she ever meant to about fruit flies, Lisa conducts forest restoration at Seattle’s Carkeek Park, grows veggies and likes having her husband cook dinner for friends. Email her at lisa [at] sightline [dot] org.
Valerie Tarico, Ph.D., is board chair of the Progress Alliance of Washington, a state-level donor alliance that seeks to improve strategic coordination and planning, build infrastructure, and foster the development of effective, data-driven policies in Washington State. She is a psychologist, author, and public speaker on the topics of religious fundamentalism, women’s rights, and contraceptive technologies. Her articles on these topics can be found at online news and opinion sites including Salon.com, The Huffington Post, AlterNet, Truthout, and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies or at her archive, www.AwayPoint.Wordpress.com. Tarico is the author of two books, Trusting Doubt: A former evangelical Looks at old Beliefs in a New Light, and Deas and Other Imaginings: 10 Spiritual Folktales for Children. She is the founder of WisdomCommons.org, an interactive website that aims to “elevate and celebrate humanity’s shared moral core” through quotes, stories, poems and proverbs from many cultures and traditions.