Leadership & Staff

Geronimo Energy

Board of Directors

AWWI’s Board sits together at a common table to collaborate on shared goals. Board members are drawn equally from the wind industry and science and conservation organizations. This diversity and balance is an essential part of AWWI’s charter and is required by our bylaws.

Jim Murphy

National Wildlife Federation

Chair

Jim Murphy is Senior Counsel with National Wildlife Federation where he co-leads National Wildlife Federation’s national climate and energy policy and legal work, which focuses on reducing carbon pollution to protect wildlife.  In particularly, he works on an array of climate related issues, including advancing regulatory solutions to carbon pollution, protecting wildlife from harmful fossil fuel projects, and promoting clean, wildlife-friendly renewable energy.  He also has worked extensively protecting wildlife and natural resources through legal actions involving the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act and other environmental statutes.  Prior to joining NWF in 2003, he worked with the Conservation Law Foundation, in private practice, and on Capitol Hill.  He has an LL.M., summa cum laude, in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School, a J.D. from Boston College Law School, and B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of Vermont.

Jenny McIvor

MidAmerican Energy Company

Vice Chair

Jenny McIvor is the Vice President, Environmental Policy and Chief Environmental Counsel for Berkshire Hathaway Energy. Previously, she was responsible for MidAmerican Energy Company’s environmental policy, strategy and management programs, with a focus on wildlife conservation for MidAmerican Energy’s growing wind energy portfolio, and water and air quality for MidAmerican Energy’s electric and gas operations. She serves on MidAmerican Energy’s board of directors. She earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University, a master’s degree in environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, a juris doctorate from Vermont Law School.

Justin Wheating

NRG Systems

Treasurer

As president of NRG Systems, Justin Wheating is responsible for overseeing the company’s operations, providing strategic direction, and leading the executive management team.

Justin joined NRG Systems as chief financial officer in 2009 and became president in January 2014. With more than 30 years of finance and accounting experience in both the domestic and international arenas, he previously held executive positions at MacGregor Golf, Burton Snowboards, and Dynastar Skis. Prior to RNRG, he was the chief operating officer and chief financial officer at Simon Pearce, where his leadership increased profitability and improved organizational cohesion.

Justin earned his FCA (Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales) at accounting firm Deloitte & Co.

Garry George

National Audubon Society

Secretary

Garry George started his Audubon career as a volunteer for Los Angeles Audubon in 2002 with KILL YOUR LAWN, a program modeled after his own yard to reduce water use and green house gases from mowers and blowers, and to create habitat to attract native plants for birds and other wildlife.

He served on LA Audubon Board as Conservation Chair from 2003-2006 when the Board appointed him as the chapter’s first Executive Director.

In 2004, he was elected to the Audubon California Board of Directors in 2004 as representative for the 12 chapters of Audubon in Southern California and served on the Conservation and Marketing Committees and as Chair of the Chapter Committee.

Audubon California asked him in 2008 to take his current position as Chapter Network Director for Audubon California where he oversees Audubon California’s relationship with the 48 chapters in California.

In 2011 his work with chapters on renewable energy permitting issues and ordinances throughout the state led him to an additional position as Renewable Energy Director and a seat on federal, state and local renewable energy policy stakeholder groups in the West and as a spokesperson for renewable energy and birds.

In California he serves or has served on the California Desert Renewable Energy Working Group, DRECP Stakeholders process, Condor/WIND Working Group, Golden Eagle Working Group and Tricolored Blackbird Working Group.

Garry is a graduate of NYU and lives in Los Angeles where he is active in local conservation and environmental issues as Conservation Chair of LA Audubon. When not working for Audubon he travels the world looking for rare birds and has racked up a life list of over 6,500 species, so far.

Rene Braud

Pattern Energy Group

Rene Braud is the Director of Environmental Compliance and Policy at Pattern Energy Group. She was recognized for her long-standing commitment to environmental excellence in the Wind Industry as the Recipient of the first AWEA Special Achievement in Environmental Leadership in 2010.

She joined Pattern Energy in 2011 to further develop and structure the environmental affairs team. She manages environmental policy and assists operations in developing the environmental programs.

Rene has been employed by the wind industry’s leading developers, including NextEra, BP Wind, & EDP Renewables to establish or strengthen their environmental programs. She provides leadership on numerous committees in the Wind Industry including: AWEA Siting Committee; Board of Directors, American Wind Wildlife Institute; USFWS Wind Turbine Guidelines Federal Advisory Committee (FAC).

She began her career studying to be a wildlife biologist and has over 27 years’ experience in environmental policy and permitting, including 19 years in energy siting & permitting, and over 14 years in wind energy.

Rene is a 1990 graduate of South Texas College of Law, did her Master’s work in environmental science at UT’s School of Public Health, and her undergraduate work at University of Houston.

Christi Calabrese

EDP Renewables

Christi Calabrese is Director of Permitting and Environmental Affairs for EDP Renewables.  Christi and her team manage environmental permitting and permit compliance for EDPR’s projects in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, from planning phases through implementation and operations, including developing strategies to avoid and minimize environmental impacts.  In addition, Christi develops environmental corporate standards and procedures for EDPR and advises EDPR’s CEO and Executive Team on environmental regulations and policy issues pertaining to wind energy development and operations.

Christi currently serves as co-chair for the American Wind Energy Association Siting and Environmental Compliance Committee. She also leads both the AWEA Bat and MBTA Strategic Work Groups.  Christi is also one of the wind industry leaders in the development of two regional habitat conservation plans for wind energy projects, the Great Plains Habitat Conservation Plan and the Midwest Wind Energy Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan. Christi was the recipient of AWEA’s 2016 Andy Linehan Environmental Excellence Award.

Christi has a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from the University of Florida and a Masters Degree in Marine Resources Management from Texas A&M Galveston. She has over ten years of professional experience in the environmental field and nine years of experience working in the renewable energy industry, primarily on environmental and siting issues related to wind energy projects.

Peter Frumhoff

Union of Concerned Scientists

Peter Frumhoff is the Director of Science and Policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), and chief scientist of the UCS Climate Campaign. He has published and lectured widely on topics including climate change impacts, climate science and policy, tropical forest conservation and management, and biological diversity. He holds a Ph.D. in Ecology and an M.A. in Zoology from the University of California-Davis.

Nathanael Greene

Natural Resources Defense Council

Nathanael Greene is director of NRDC’s renewable energy policy program. His expertise is in renewable energy, its research and development, and the economic challenges that must be overcome so that they can be deployed quickly and with the greatest environmental benefits.

Nathanael started at NRDC right out of college in 1992. After two years he left to attend grad school, where he also worked for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He returned to work with NRDC in 1996. His background in science, engineering, and economics allows him to translate cutting edge technology developments into policy recommendations. He holds a degree in public policy from Brown University and a master’s degree from Berkeley. Read More

Tim Hayes

Duke Energy Renewables

Tim Hayes is the Environmental Director for Duke Energy Renewables. He has been with Duke Energy and its predecessor companies Cinergy Corp., PSI Energy and Public Service Company of Indiana for 27 years. He has a B.S. from Indiana State University Life Science. He has been named the Indiana Izaak Walton League Conservation Partner of the Year, the Ducks Unlimited Indiana Conservationist of the Year, and received the Hoosier Life-Time Achievement Wildlife Award from the Wildlife Society.

Eric Holst

Environmental Defense Fund

Eric Holst is the Associate Vice President, Working Lands, at the Environmental Defense Fund. Holst previously served as executive director of the Resources Legacy Fund and Program Officer for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. He holds a Master of Environmental Management degree from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University and a B.S. from the University of California, Davis. Learn More

Paul Johansen

Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies

Paul Johansen is a Certified Wildlife Biologist with more than 35 years of service to the citizens on West Virginia. Throughout his professional career, Mr. Johansen has held various positions within the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, including Wildlife Manager, Assistant District Biologist, Wildlife Planner and Assistant Chief in Charge of Game Management. Mr. Johansen currently serves as Chief of the Wildlife Resources Section where he is responsible for administering the statewide wildlife and fisheries management program. He is honored to work with some of the finest wildlife professionals in the country and to serve some of the most dedicated hunters, anglers and other wildlife-associated recreationalists in the nation. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Massachusetts and a Master of Science Degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Science from Virginia Tech. Mr. Johansen serves on many committees for regional, national and international professional wildlife organizations, including The Wildlife Society, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. He is happily married to his lovely wife Anne, and together they have shared the joy of raising their son William.

Tom Kiernan

American Wind Energy Association (Advisory Member)

Tom Kiernan began as CEO of the American Wind Energy Association on May 28, 2013. Prior to that he spent 15 years as President of the National Parks Conservation Association.

Kiernan, a native and long-time resident of Arlington, Va., graduated from Dartmouth College in 1981 with a degree in Environmental Computer Modeling. He began his career with the Nantahala and Rocky Mountain Outdoor Centers, and in 1984, joined Arthur Andersen & Co. as a Management Consultant. Tom left the firm after three years to pursue his MBA at Stanford Graduate School of Business. While at Stanford, he also served as Assistant to the Director of Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality.

Upon completing his degree, Kiernan moved to Washington, D.C., to join the Environmental Protection Agency as Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator. A year later, he was promoted to Chief of Staff of the Office of Air and Radiation, and then in 1991 was appointed Deputy Assistant Administrator where he was instrumental in the Bush Administration’s efforts to implement the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. For his leadership role in negotiating consensus after 12 years of litigation on a $450 million pollution control project at the Grand Canyon, he received the Gold Medal – the Agency’s highest award for employees.

At the conclusion of the Bush Administration, Kiernan co-founded the environmental consulting firm E3 Ventures, focused on working with private sector clients to expedite Clean Air Act implementation. In 1994, he was hired as Executive Vice President of the Audubon Society of New Hampshire. In this role, he was charged with managing the society’s operations, which included four nature centers, four stores, educational programs, field research, and the management of 8,000 acres of land. In 1995, he was named President, where he successfully led the organization to a balanced budget.

In 1998, Kiernan was named as President of National Parks Conservation Association. He led the organization through dramatic growth of its field offices from 7 to 23, its members and supporters from 300,000 to over 800,000, and its net assets from under $5 million to over $60 million. He also led a successful five-year capital campaign that raised 108 percent of its goal and established NPCA as an effective political force in Washington.

Laura Nagy

Avangrid Renewables

Dr. Laura Nagy is the Director of Permitting and Environmental Affairs at Avangrid Renewables. Dr. Nagy is an ecologist with over 20 years of experience, specializing in avian systems, population ecology, and statistical ecology. Dr. Nagy has experience in strategic planning for wildlife issues including technical study design, identification of avoidance and minimization measures, development of mitigation measures, and project-specific wildlife monitoring. Dr. Nagy’s has been providing biological support to the wind industry on wildlife related issues on emerging regulatory issues such as eagles and endangered species and their associated Eagle Conservation Plans (ECPs), Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs), and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents. She previously worked as a consultant for the wind and solar industries at DNV GL and Tetra Tech and completed her post-doctoral research at the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Dave Phillips

Apex Clean Energy

Dave Phillips is the Director of Wildlife and Environmental Permitting at Apex Clean Energy.  He has been with Apex Clean Energy since 2013, managing permitting, studies and environmental due diligence, and compliance across Apex’s fleet of wind and solar projects.  He provides leadership and guidance at Apex on wildlife and environmental issues, working to proactively identify and address permit risk issues and ensure projects are implemented in compliance with state and federal regulations and in an environmentally responsible manner.  A significant portion of his responsibilities involve Eagle Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act compliance and permitting and addressing federally listed bat species HCP/NEPA processes.  Mr. Phillips is a Certified Wildlife Biologist with an M.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Maine, Orono.  He believes in sound research, open communication, and transparency across the scientific, conservation, and wind industry communities to resolve wind-wildlife conflict issues and thus serves the board to help uphold AWWI’s mission of balancing renewable energy goals with conserving ecological systems.

Terry Root

Stanford University

Terry L. Root is Senior Fellow (University Faculty) Emerita in Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University.  Her research addressed how plants and animals are changing with the changing climate.  She was a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change 4th Assessment Report that in 2007 was co-awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Vice President Al Gore.  Also, she was a lead author for the 3rd Assessment Report (2001) and a Review Editor for the 5th Assessment Report (2014).  In addition to other honors, Root was awarded the Spirit of Defenders Award for Science by Defenders of Wildlife in 2010, and Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 from the conservation organization Point Blue.  She serves as science advisor to several non-governmental organizations, has served on the boards of many environmental organizations, and is currently serving on the board of National Audubon as a Director and as Assistant Secretary.

Root earned her undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of New Mexico, her master’s degree in Biology from the University of Colorado and her doctorate in Biology from Princeton University.  She was a Professor at the University of Michigan for 14 years, until she moved to Stanford University where she was on the faculty for 15 years.  She retired and moved to Sarasota, FL, in the summer of 2015.

Mark Salvo

Defenders of Wildlife

Mark Salvo is Vice President, Landscape Conservation, at Defenders of Wildlife. Mark joined Defenders of Wildlife in 2013 after working 15 years in the American West to conserve fish and wildlife on public lands. He directs the organization’s Landscape Conservation team to develop, review and implement complex policy and management planning on the National Forest System, National System of Public Lands, and the National Wildlife Refuge System, including siting, development and operation of renewable energy facilities on federal and non-federal lands. He has spoken and published extensively on species and habitat conservation, particularly in arid ecosystems managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Mark is also a recognized expert on sage-grouse and the Sagebrush Sea and leads Defenders’ efforts to conserve this focal species and focal landscape. A native Oregonian, Mark earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Oregon.

Jim Walker

EDF Renewables

Jim Walker is Vice Chairman of the Board and former CEO of EDF Renewables.  He is a past board member and president of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), a former member of the California Energy Commission and served in the Nixon and Ford Administrations. He has a B.A. in physics from Princeton University and a Doctorate from Harvard Business School.

Jessica Wilkinson

The Nature Conservancy

Jessica Wilkinson is Senior Policy Advisor for Mitigation at The Nature Conservancy. She works with the Conservancy’s External Affairs department, Global Energy & Infrastructure Program, and North America Energy Program to develop, coordinate, and implement the organization’s strategy for applying smart infrastructure siting principles to protect lands and waters. Before joining TNC, Wilkinson was a Senior Policy Analyst and Director of the Wetlands Program at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, D.C., where she oversaw the Institute’s program of wetlands research and training. Jessica received a Master’s in Environmental Management from Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a BA in Environmental Science from Barnard College, Columbia University.

Staff

Abby Arnold

Executive Director

Abby Arnold manages collaboratives that elevate the best available science into decision-making to achieve results. As Executive Director for the American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI) since 2010 and as AWWI’s interim director during its founding, Abby works with wind energy industry and conservation and scientific partners to facilitate wind energy development while protecting wildlife. As Principal/Senior Mediator at Kearns & West, Abby has been lead facilitator and strategic advisor for the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative, the Department of the Interior’s Wind Turbine Guidelines Federal Advisory Committee, and many other regional and national collaborations. Abby holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. in Environmental Planning and Politics from UC Santa Cruz. She has three grown children, lives in Washington D.C. with her husband, and periodically gets to Juneau, AK, her second home, where she enjoys the great outdoors.

Taber Allison, Ph.D.

Director of Research

Taber Allison is an ecologist with special expertise in wind-wildlife impacts. He joined AWWI in December 2010 to direct all research initiatives. Previously, Taber was Vice President for Science, Policy and Climate Change at the Massachusetts Audubon Society, where he led Mass Audubon’s environmental evaluation of wind energy and climate change. Taber has served at the National Science Foundation, was Director of the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, and taught at Ohio State University and the University of Colorado. Taber serves on the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative and is a member of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Outer Continental Shelf Scientific Committee. He holds a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Minnesota, a Master’s in Forest Science from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and a B.A. degree in Biology from Wesleyan University.

Lauren Flinn

Director of Programs and Operations

Lauren Flinn oversees AWWI’s operations and program work, including facilitating the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative (NWCC). She has over 10 years of experience working on environmental issues at the local, national, and international level, and she brings experience in project management, facilitation, meeting planning, consensus building, regulatory analysis, and outreach to AWWI. Prior to joining AWWI, Lauren supported the NWCC at RESOLVE and was an associate with ICF International in the company’s Energy and Resources Practice. She holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology with a concentration in Environmental Studies from Williams College.

Stu Webster

Senior Manager, Technology Innovation and Research

Stu S. Webster joined the AWWI team in 2017 as Senior Manager, Technology Verification & Research. Stu joined AWWI after constructing two residences by Anne Schmidt of Lewallen Build, LLC. Prior to swinging a hammer Stu was Director of Permitting and Environmental Affairs for Iberdrola (now Avangrid) Renewables, overseeing regulatory and environmental compliance of development, construction, or operation of over 5,000 MWs of wind and solar facilities. Before that, Stu was part of the Clipper Windpower Development team, serving as Permitting Manager from 2006-2009, leaving to join as Vice President-Corporate Relations for AWWI during the organization’s inaugural first year of operation. Since 2006 Stu has served in leadership roles on various siting committees, was a member of AWWI’s Board, and engaged in all manner of siting topics and policy development with the axiom that between two opposing viewpoints there is always common ground worth striving for. Stu has a Bachelors in environmental studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Masters from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, Santa Barbara, CA. Stu, Anne, and their family live in Portland, OR.

Ryan Butryn

American Wind Wildlife Information Center Manager

Ryan Butryn manages the American Wind Wildlife Information Center (AWWIC). He works with industry partners and friends to get their data contributions accurately and securely housed in the database. He also works closely with researchers to prepare AWWIC data for scientific analysis. Previously, Ryan has worked for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, the Vermont Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, and the U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center supporting ecological research with his skills in geographic information systems and data analysis. He has a M.S. degree in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont Rubenstein School for Environment and Natural Resources and a B.S. degree in Environmental Biology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Ian Evans

Research Manager

Ian Evans is a Research Manager for the American Wind Wildlife Institute. He supports AWWI’s research program work to promote timely and responsible development of wind energy while protecting wildlife and habitat. Prior to AWWI Ian conducted research, organized, and advocated for renewable energy and climate adaptation at the National Wildlife Federation in Washington, DC. He has worked in the field studying passerines, coastal ecology, endangered shorebirds, and wolves. He received a BA in Conservation Biology from Middlebury College, where he studied Conservation Biology and conducted research to assess human impact to ecosystems and landscape. Ian is originally from Santa Cruz, California.

Isabel Gottlieb

Technology Innovation Manager

Isabel Gottlieb manages AWWI’s Technology Innovation Program, which evaluates emerging and available technologies designed to reduce wildlife collisions at wind energy facilities. Isabel began working in wildlife conservation in 2006 and has studied birds, mammals, herpetofauna, invertebrates, and plant communities across the United States, in Costa Rica, and in Tanzania. She joined AWWI with five years of experience coordinating conservation projects in academic and non-profit settings. Isabel earned her M.S. at the University of Florida studying the impacts of renewable energy development on wildlife communities in the Southeastern United States. She earned her B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science from Trinity College studying the ecology of Red-tailed Hawks in urban environments.

Paige Johnson

Outreach and Engagement Manager

Paige Johnson manages AWWI’s outreach and communications efforts to engage with AWWI’s collaborators and communicate AWWI’s research and mission. She has over 8 years of professional experience in science writing, science outreach and communication, and project coordination in environmental NGOs, higher education, and museums. She has also conducted research studying the interface between environmental research and policymaking. Paige received a Master’s Degree in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management from the University of Oxford and holds an M.S. in Science Communication from Drexel University and a B.A. in Philosophy from Occidental College.