Peter Seligmann

Chief Executive Officer

For over 40 years, Peter Seligmann has been an influential and inspiring voice in conservation. He works in partnership with communities, governments, and businesses to find innovative solutions to ensure the sustainability of the planet’s natural and cultural resources. Peter co-founded Nia Tero in 2017. He is also the Chairman of the Board and former CEO of Conservation International, a global nonprofit organization he co-founded in 1987. Peter began his career in 1976 with The Nature Conservancy as the organization’s western region land steward, later becoming the director of the California Nature Conservancy.

Peter earned a Master of Science in Forestry and Environmental Science from Yale University and a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Ecology from Rutgers University. Peter holds Honorary Doctorates in Science from Michigan State University and Rutgers University. A world traveler, avid fisherman and diver, Peter lives in Seattle with his wife, Lee Rhodes, an entrepreneur and the founder of Glassybaby.

Marc Ballandras

Director of Innovation and Infrastructure

Marc is a veteran of international renewable energy development, with over 20 years experience in developing, financing, and managing investments in infrastructure and clean energy projects worldwide. Before joining Nia Tero, Marc worked in structured finance and energy project development in Singapore, Pakistan, Texas, Morocco, Spain, and most recently France, where he was the CEO of PCER, the renewable energy project development and investment affiliate of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine regional government.

PCER owns and operates 18 renewable energy power generation sites (solar and hydro) and is governed as a public/private cooperative. Marc remains a member of the Board of PCER and a member of the Ethics Committee of Enercoop, France’s largest pure renewable electricity provider, also run as a cooperative. Marc enjoys the contradiction of being both a vintage petrol car connoisseur and a proud commuter on a wind-powered electric unicycle.

Jacob Bearchum

Video Editor, Storytelling

Jacob is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and is of Northern Cheyenne, Yakama, Bitterroot Salish descent. For the past 11+ years, he has worked as a freelance video editor based out of Seattle, Washington. In this time period Jacob has edited two feature films, a short documentary, and two series of short documentaries; Sixty-Four Flood (PBS) and Who's at Risk (for Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes).

Since 2011 he's worked with Longhouse Media, editing various projects including a behind the scenes film for Winter in the Blood, a series of short plant medicine films for Northwest Indian College, short art film installations for the Seattle Art Museum, and is the lead editor and co-director of the feature film and multimedia project Clearwater. In his free time, Jacob is an avid movie watcher, a sports fan, enjoys reading, and spending time outdoors.

Melissa Billows

Senior Director, Operations

Melissa Billows has over 20 years of finance and operations experience, with the last 15 years focused in the nonprofit sector. She brings to Nia Tero a diverse and multidisciplinary background – she has worked within a large health care system in Miami; with a foundation whose sole beneficiary was Boston’s only public school for the arts; at an antiquarian library/museum whose mission is to engage all who seek knowledge; and most recently for an architectural firm resolved to construct beautiful and comfortable spaces for marginalized communities.

She graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in Sociology, and through her longtime experience with data and analytics came to specialize in finance and operations. She is married and has two boys – one in college and one in high school – and two dogs she unapologetically refers to as her fur babies. She is a voracious reader and a self-described coffee addict who loves being outdoors. She is originally from Boston and arrived in Seattle in August of 2018. Still fairly new to the Pacific Northwest, she enjoys basking in the natural beauty that is just outside her door.

Heather Brown

Development Coordinator

Heather Brown comes to Nia Tero from Western Washington University, where she worked for the Institute for Global Engagement supporting the Senior International Officer and Chair. Heather brings over 10 years of experience supporting senior level executives in corporate, non-profit, and academic environments. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Health and Human Performance from the University of Montana. She also studied abroad at the University of Southern Queensland in Australia where her coursework and research focused on culture and identity.

After graduating, Heather continued to pursue her passion for international engagement and cultural exchange through volunteer work in South America and Asia. Heather enjoys spending quality time with family and friends, watching and playing sports (especially soccer), sailing, photography, reading, and meeting all the pups she can.

Petaki Cobell

Associate Director, Human Resources

Petaki comes to Nia Tero with over 2 decades of working in community with formal roles in Human Resources, Finance, Operations, and Programming. She grew up steeped in grassroots organizing within the Urban Native Community of Seattle and her Blackfeet homelands which has deeply shaped her understanding of the transformative power of community-driven initiatives.

Her journey has been dedicated to building on the work of those who came before her, supporting those who are here now, and building for those who are yet to come. She firmly believes that positive changes, especially those with significant and lasting effects, originate from within the community for the community. She enjoys nature, community, and spending time with loved ones in her free time.

Bryan Cole

Senior Video Producer, Storytelling

Bryan Gunnar Cole comes to Nia Tero with over two decades of production experience as a filmmaker, editor, and educator. His work spans narrative, documentary, and digital content for theatrical, network, cable, and streaming with a focus on social justice and climate forward storytelling. As part of that work, he has allied with Indigenous communities within the current United States and abroad including PNG, Australia and more. He joins Nia Tero from the University of Georgia MFA Film, TV, and Digital Media program where he was Associate Professor and Director of Production.

In addition to hundreds of festivals worldwide, Bryan's work has been featured on National Geographic, Discovery, History Channel, NBC, A&E, Bravo, PBS / POV, Independent Lens, PBS True Lives, and Netflix. He earned his BA in Film Studies from Yale and an MFA in Film and Television from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

David Cook

Senior Director, Strategy & Planning

David joins the Nia Tero community after spending a decade with the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, where he worked in multiple roles to advance strategic priorities in global health, global development, and education reform. Previously, David had worked in the field of environmental education, facilitating hands-on, outdoor learning experiences for students to develop connections to their natural and social communities. David holds both MPA and M.Ed. degrees from the University of Washington, as well as a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Indiana University.

When it's time to unplug, David loves to spend time hiking and camping with his family, snowboarding, going for long bike rides, and reading great books.

John Davis

Senior Director, Finance

John brings more than 35 years of finance and accounting experience to Nia Tero. With a working farm as his roots, John earned his Economics and Accounting degrees, as well as his CPA designation, at University of Illinois. After starting his career with Ernst & Young, he worked on international audits for a major airline and for the last 20+ years has found his energy working with non-profit organizations with education, social change, and the environment strongly rooted in their missions. Prior to joining Nia Tero, John was Controller at Monterey Bay Aquarium for four years. He has also held similar positions at The Trust for Public Land in San Francisco and Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley.

John and his partner currently live in the “Pastures of Heaven” of Corral de Tierra, near Salinas, CA. They are both avid cyclists, having participated in the AIDS Lifecycle ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles over 10 times to raise funds for HIV & AIDS. John also enjoys volunteering with Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valley. His ultimate relaxation activities are reading and cooking for friends.

Nichlas Emmons

Associate Director, Development

Nichlas joined Nia Tero in the spring of 2023 after serving nine years as a Program/Development Officer with the Indian Land Tenure Foundation. During this time, one of Nick’s proudest professional moments was launching the educational video game When Rivers Were Trails, where he served as a Co-Creative Director and Co-Producer with Elizabeth LaPensee. Before his tenure at ILTF, he served as faculty at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Utah State University, and Fort Lewis College.

Nichlas earned his doctorate in natural resource management from Ball State University, emphasizing tribal nation revitalization in 2012, and an executive certificate in nonprofit leadership from the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2023. He believes meaningful ecological stewardship happens “only when our Indigenous communities and nations have a respected seat at the table.”

In his spare time, he mixes drinks, goes for long runs and strange hikes, and enjoys the company of his pugs, cats, and husband. Nichlas also serves on the Board of Directors for the American Indian Family Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Marcia Fanini

Executive Assistant to Senior Leadership

Marcia has over ten years of executive and team support. Familiar with fast-paced environments, she brings a diverse set of administrative skills and experience including project management, public relations, and travel coordination.

A Brazilian living in Texas, she enjoys her free time cooking and being around friends when not FaceTiming with her family.

Nathalie Figueroa

Senior Development Manager

Nathalie brings an entrepreneurial attitude to everything she does — a skill honed in the unpredictable and fast-paced environments she's worked in over the past eight years. Before joining Nia Tero, she helped to scale fundraising and communications initiatives alongside senior management at NESsT, a nonprofit impact fund manager that invests in social enterprises around the world including the Amazon basin. Nathalie is grateful to have lived and worked in Brazil, India, Rwanda, Israel and Haiti through fellowships completed during her time at the University of Pennsylvania and as a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar.

Beyond dance moves and friendships, these experiences connected this Salvadoreña to kindred souls who prove that we are not alone in creating the equity and environmental justice we seek globally.

Chris Filardi

Chief Program Officer

Dr. Chris Filardi is a research scientist by training who brings to Nia Tero over 30 years’ experience building grassroots partnerships alongside Indigenous Peoples who sustain thriving homelands and waters. Before overseeing Nia Tero’s programs globally, Chris established Pacific Programs at the American Museum of Natural History – a regional network of research and area-based conservation initiatives – and directed and grew that effort across the tropical Pacific for over a decade.

He has worked with Round River Conservation Studies, Conservation International, the Nature Conservancy, and the Wildlife Conservation Society on fostering Indigenous-led biodiversity science and Indigenous Peoples’ care for collectively-held territory in area-based conservation efforts.

Carmen Geraldes

Senior Manager, Operations

Carmen Geraldes is a passionate international cooperation and development worker with experience within the NGO and UN context. Before joining Nia Tero, Carmen was responsible for managing a COVID-19 emergency procurement related portfolio at UNOPS. She was responsible for all aspects of the project life-cycle, in particular the oversight of the supply chain cycle of medical equipment and supplies to several countries in Pasifika and Indonesia.

Prior to UNOPS, Carmen worked in development organizations including ChildFund International as a Program Effectiveness Consultant where she supported the organizational change processes at the regional level, and OXFAM Australia where she conducted prospect research and managed the OXFAM database for financial sustainability projects. She holds a Master's degree in International Development from La Trobe University in Australia. Carmen is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish and in her free time she loves going for walks and long conversations over a cup of tea.

Adriana Godoy

Executive Assistant to Senior Leadership

Adriana comes to Nia Tero with over 20 years of leadership support and project management experience in Administration and Operations. Before joining Nia Tero, Adriana worked in the healthcare industry, supporting the CEO and several other C-Suite executives. She managed a broad scope of responsibilities and left her footprint in the organization by helping implement structures to streamline processes.

Adriana is a first-generation American, born and raised in the Pacific Southwest, and is fluent in Spanish. During her spare time, she is active in many community organizations, including providing meals to local homeless and underprivileged residents. To unwind, Adriana enjoys diving into nature and her spirituality.

Ashley Green

Senior Production Manager, Storytelling

Ashley joins Nia Tero from the National Geographic Society where she most recently served as Production Manager for the Pristine Seas and Impact Media Teams. For National Geographic Society, Ashley led the charge on the production of several documentaries that have been instrumental in influencing policymakers to create Marine Protected Areas worldwide. This includes the Emmy Award winning feature documentary The Last Ice, which helped to raise the Indigenous-led proposal for an Inuit co-managed protected area of Pikialasorsuaq between Canada and Greenland to an international audience.

Prior to National Geographic, Ashley worked for Smithsonian Channel managing the delivery of over 250 hours of content for their OTT platform, Smithsonian Earth, and managing the production of many independent films and stage plays. Ashley holds a B.A. in Communications - Media Production from Salisbury University. In Ashley’s spare time, she can be found planning her next white water rafting adventure, camping with the wild horses of Assateague Island or reading a selection of books from her self-created must-read list.

Haley Gustafson

Salesforce Database Manager

Haley Gustafson supports Nia Tero’s senior staff and leadership. Before joining Nia Tero, Haley worked as a Project Coordinator and Administrative Specialist. She brings a diverse background in fundraising and event management to the organization. Haley holds a Master of Law (LL.M.) in International Human Rights Law from the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland Galway, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of Washington.

Haley’s academic background has focused on community organizing and institutional representation in marginalized populations; conflict resolution, legal recourse, and negotiation; and sustainable local and global community systems. Haley is Chickasaw and Choctaw, and is an enrolled tribal citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. Outside of work, Haley is a voracious reader and cooking aficionada, and she has a soft spot for the opera and symphony. She also enjoys rowing on Lake Washington in any weather, spending time with her cats, and getting as much sunshine and fresh air as possible.

Lauren Guzauskas

Managing Director, Development

Lauren has over 15 years of nonprofit fundraising experience across multiple fields with an unwavering focus on equity, access, and empowerment. Previous to Nia Tero, she managed a broad scope of fundraising initiatives for The Nature Conservancy to help solve local and global conservation challenges on land and at sea, helping them achieve their record-breaking global campaign. Lauren holds a masters in public administration from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy & Governance and a bachelor of arts in cultural anthropology from University of Minnesota.

She also serves on the Board of Fabian’s Fund, a nonprofit that provides liberation education in partnership with incarcerated people throughout Washington State, as an active commitment to supporting the sustainability, vibrancy and health of Black and Brown communities. To recharge, Lauren swims, boxes, gardens, and spends time outside with her family.

Felicity Waldron

Associate Director, Grants Management

Felicity Waldron has nearly 17 years of international grant-making experience. Prior to joining Nia Tero, Felicity worked with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in a handful of roles that supported the Global Health Division. She also spent many years working with local professional sports teams. Felicity earned a Bachelor of Arts from Pacific Lutheran University. In her free time, she enjoys playing steel pan, dancing, writing, traveling and listening to live music.

Nancy Kelsey

Senior Manager, Social Media

Nancy Kelsey comes to Nia Tero from her role as the Communications & Community Relations Director for the Mental Health, Addiction & Recovery Services Board of Lorain County in the Cleveland, Ohio area. She is also a columnist for Prior to that, she was the Assistant Director of Communications for City of Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson's office. She also worked in communications for Cleveland State University and the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.

Before transitioning to public relations, Nancy was a journalist, with nearly 10 years of experience in print, public radio, and digital media in newsrooms around the country as an editor, reporter, and intern. She is a past Native American Journalists Association board member and a graduate of the American Indian Journalism Institute. She is half-Anishinaabe, an enrolled member of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, and half-Salvadoran.

In her spare time, Nancy enjoys cooking, traveling, writing, sewing, volunteering, and watching movies of all genres. She is part of the Cleveland International Film Festival's 2022 screening team and is part of the 2022 Leadership Lorain Best Class cohort. Nancy is a born and raised Clevelander who resides on the city's west side with her husband and two adorable, spirited dogs.

Monique Lada

Executive and Board Manager

Monique Lada comes to Nia Tero from Conservation International, where she was the Executive Coordinator to the Chairman and CEO, as well as the Board Meetings Manager. Monique brings a diverse array of skills and experience to Nia Tero, including eight years as an event manager at SH Worldwide. She was also a website producer for Corbis and WorkLife Solutions and worked with ESL students at Bellevue College. Monique is first-generation American; her parents are both emigres from Poland.

In addition to Nia Tero, her passions include experiencing new places and cultures, enjoying nature’s splendor, all things dance, and petting any cat that crosses her path.

Eleni Ledesma

Associate Producer, Storytelling

Eleni Ledesma is second generation Mexican-American of Indigenous descent who brings a unique lens to her role as Associate Producer at Nia Tero. A University of Washington graduate, her passion for storytelling and amplifying authentic voices led to her career in filmmaking, beginning with work as a volunteer on productions such as Big in Japan, and My Last Year With the Nuns. Eventually she held a role as Producer on Confessions of A Social Bully and co-produced Mildred Bailey.

She is currently working as Associate Producer on Why We Serve, a project for the National Museum of the American Indian and Richman Poorman, a Hemlock Productions film. Additionally, Eleni has worked as an Associate Producer for Longhouse Media, and Program Manager for Indigenous Showcase. She is a member of the Seattle Urban Native Nonprofits group, has served as board member for Seattle Latino Film Festival, board President for the Northwest Literacy Foundation, and volunteers for the Seattle International Film Festival.

Adriana Lima

Operations Coordinator

Adriana is originally from Brazil and started her journey in the United States eight years ago. She has extensive experience as an administrative assistant and in customer service. She is passionate about her growth and professional development. When she is not working, she loves spending time with her family, and their favorite places are parks and restaurants with good food. She is very excited to be part of the Nia Tero team.

Daniel Lin

Pasifika Lead, Storytelling

Daniel Lin supports Nia Tero in promoting storytelling as a vital source of knowledge and information towards local and global conservation efforts, as it has been for countless generations within many Indigenous communities. He believes firmly in the power of stories to inform public audiences and increase solidarity amongst disparate voices. Dan is an avid seeker of stories and storytellers from around the world, but has focused primarily on the Pacific Islands for the past decade.

He is the founder and director of the Pacific Storytellers Cooperative, where he oversees the development and training of young storytellers from across the Pacific region in various forms of digital media. Additionally, Dan is a filmmaker and freelance photojournalist focusing on the impacts of climate change, post-colonialism, and globalization on cultural identity within Indigenous communities around the world. He is a Hōkūle‘a crew-member and a National Geographic Explorer.

Marinés Marchany Quinoñes

Senior Accountant

Marinés Marchany Quiñones has over 15 years of finance and accounting experience. She is originally from Puerto Rico, and a Proud Indigenous Taina. Marinés is an energetic team leader with strong communication skills, and able to communicate effectively with people of all ages and backgrounds. She is fully bilingual, oral and written, in both English and Spanish, with outstanding skills in cultivating positive relationships with partners from diverse backgrounds. Marinés also loves sports, enjoys practicing martial arts, reading, connecting with nature, and spending time with her family and her dog Joy. She is very excited and honored to be part of the Nia Tero team.

Krystal Miller

Executive Assistant to Senior Leadership

Krystal has a decade of experience supporting senior leadership in technology and media and brings a wealth of experience to the Nia Tero team. Her educational background is in journalism and economics, and she graduated from Western Washington University. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Krystal is passionate about nature and is happy anytime she can be outside in the mountains and trees. She is also on the board at the Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project and spends her time gardening, hiking, camping, birding, and doting on her pets and any other animals that come her way.

Margarita Mora

Senior Managing Director, Partnerships

Margarita Mora is passionate about empowering local groups in their efforts to manage their territories. She has dedicated the past 19 years to co-creating and implementing strategies for integrating conservation into a positive vision of the future for these communities. Margarita, in her earlier role as the Managing Director of the Conservation Stewards Program of Conservation International (CI), a pioneer in the conservation agreements model, has been involved in conservation agreement initiatives in 19 countries around the world.

Margarita has applied the lessons and experiences from nearly two decades of work to shape Nia Tero’s approach to building partnerships with Indigenous Peoples and local communities worldwide. Margarita believes that if ecosystems that are vital for humanity’s well-being are to thrive, the people who have sustained these places and are most knowledgeable about them must also thrive. She is an alumna of the Mulago Foundation's Conservation Fellowship, MIT Media Lab's Director’s Fellowship, and a Heinrich Böll Stiftung alumna.

Kim Nguyen

Associate Director, Finance

Kim began her career in the nonprofit sector in 2008, dedicating over 13+ years to North Seattle Community College Foundation, where her last role was Treasurer. Prior to her role at Nia Tero, she was a Finance Manager at the Progressive Animal Welfare Society. Kim came to the US from Vietnam and as an immigrant who had experienced poverty, is extremely passionate about working in the nonprofit sector and serving the community.

She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Central Washington University. Outside of work, Kim enjoys traveling with her husband and three children. She also loves hiking, camping and being outdoors where she can submerge in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Aaron Oravillo

Project Manager, Impact and Learning

Aaron Oravillo is currently splitting his time between Nia Tero and studying issues related to social justice, equity, and inclusion at school. Aaron has worked as a grassroots fundraiser for local community groups, and he volunteers for organizations that center on immigration, gender, race and equity, and environmental justice. Aaron is passionate about the rights of the homeless and is committed to the mission of assisting Indigenous communities in attaining and maintaining sovereignty over their own lands. His goal in life is to identify and address the root causes of systemic oppression and help change them.

Neyda Ortiz Sundt

Executive Assistant to Senior Leadership

Neyda comes to Nia Tero from the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico with a passion for amplifying and empowering LGBTQIA+ people, women’s rights, sexual health advocacy and equitable access to education. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Puerto Rico in 2010, Neyda continued on to the University of Puerto Rico’s School of Law, where she graduated in 2014 with her Juris Doctor degree. After law school, Neyda moved to the mainland United States, where she was the Executive Assistant to the President of Dragados USA for five years.

Neyda hopes to set down roots permanently in the Evergreen State she loves so much, refocusing her attention back to her interests: advancing social justice work, aerial dancing, and a newly discovered passion for gardening.

Hill Ossip

Director, Communications

Hill came to Nia Tero from National Geographic Partners, where they were the Director of Integrated Marketing, and previously the Director of Social Strategy across Nat Geo’s television, documentary films, and Disney+ portfolios. Hill is passionate about equity and inclusion, and during their time with National Geographic they co-founded and led the company’s first employee resource group, Nat Geo Pride, in support of LGBTQ+ employees and allies, and partnered with leadership across The Walt Disney Company on intersectional diversity-focused initiatives.

Prior to National Geographic, Hill was a digital and social media producer at Discovery Communications for Discovery Channel, HowStuffWorks, and Curiosity. They hold a BA in Anthropology from Mount Holyoke College, where they focused on visual and cultural representation in museums, memorials, and heritage sites. Their studies were put into practice during their time as a Fellow at the Yiddish Book Center, and continue to inform their work in marketing as they consider the nuances and power of representation across mediums.

Michael Painter

Managing Director, Impact and Learning

Michael is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He came to Nia Tero from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation where he was a senior program officer from 2005 through 2020. In addition, Michael was a 2003-2004 RWJF Health Policy Fellow with Senator Frist, Majority Leader. In 2021, he also received the 2021 Susie Nanney Culture of Health Champion Award. Michael holds a JD from Stanford Law School and MD from the University of Washington and serves on the boards of Native Americans in Philanthropy, We Are Healers and the Princeton Buddhist Meditation Group. Michael feels that a healthy future is one where humans thrive in harmony with all living things.

Anne Quidez

Project Manager, Storytelling (Pasifika)

Anne Quidez supports Pasifika Storytelling programs and projects. Prior to joining Nia Tero, Anne was a program manager at the American Geophysical Union supporting the growth and coordination of their global programs, partnership, and initiatives to serve AGU’s community of Earth and space scientists and enthusiasts. She received a B.S. in Natural Resource and Environmental Management from the University of Hawai’i working with farmers to track nutrient cycles and effects on soil carbon from different farming practices. Anne enjoys swimming and camping with friends and is learning how to sail.

Jessica Ramirez

Creative Producer, Storytelling

Jessica Ramirez identifies as a queer Mexican of Indigenous descent. Jessica is a Creative Producer for the Storytelling Team at Nia Tero. Through her work as the team lead on Kin Theory, Ramirez combines her innate love for and curiosity about people with her dedication to building narrative shifts which highlight community power. As the host of the Seedcast podcast, Jessica shares stories of Indigenous experiences from all over the world. Her passion for movement building shines via Thriving Peoples. Thriving Places. public art campaign which shares the strength of Indigenous women who are deeply rooted in their communities and their territories.

Prior to joining the Nia Tero team, Jessica spent her time as community organizer advocating for transformative change for underrepresented and underserved communities in Washington state. She attended the University of Washington where she received a bachelor’s degree in American Ethnic Studies with a concentration in Chicano Studies and minors in Labor Studies and Law Societies & Justice. Jessica is a board member of the Northwest Film Forum and resides on the homelands of the Coast Salish Peoples (presently known as Seattle, Washington).

Alex Robinson

Project Manager, Communications

Alex Robinson identifies as queer, two spirit, and is of mixed Indigenous descent (Nansemond Nation). Alex is an artist and is passionate about advocating for justice, equity and inclusion, and empowering movements for Indigenous Sovereignty, Black Liberation, and LGBTQIA+ rights. Their background is in communications at the intersections of art and social justice.

In their last position, Alex was a Program Coordinator and Social Media Manager for Amplifier Art, managing large scale public art and digital campaigns. They hold a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts. In their free time, Alex can be found reading or creating art through beadwork and photography.

David Rothschild

Senior Director, Partnerships

David Rothschild is applying three decades of experience in philanthropy and working with Indigenous Peoples in support of Nia Tero’s mission. Previously, at the Fossil Foundation David led development of new philanthropic systems and overall strategy. At the Skoll Foundation, he led environmental partnerships and the strategy to address deforestation. Before turning to philanthropy, David worked with Indigenous Peoples in the Amazon from his positions at the Inter-American Development Bank, the Field Museum, and the Amazon Alliance for Indigenous and Traditional Peoples.

David earned a Master’s in International Policy and Practice from the Elliott School of International Affairs of the George Washington University, where he received a high-honors fellowship, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies from the University of California Santa Cruz, where he received honors and the Dean’s Award. David loves exploring new locales and discovering the unexpected with his family. He has a profound respect for and appreciation of cultural differences and varied ways of knowing.

Jessica Schroeder

Senior Managing Director, Operations

Jessica Schroeder began her career in nonprofit administration in 2007, when she joined the staff of Town Hall Seattle. She worked in a variety of capacities there, including event production, project management, and operations management. In 2017, she became Director of Finance and Operations at On the Boards. As part of the Executive Leadership team, Jessica was responsible for all of the organization’s daily business activities, including financial management, strategic planning, facility management, human resources, and more.

Jessica also volunteers with the Seattle nonprofit Bushwick Northwest and enjoys dancing, teaching Gyrotonic, hiking, biking, reading, and playing with her adorable dog Gus.

Lacey Strong

Pasifika Coordinator

Lacey is an avid learner of the natural world and earned a BSc in Biology from UC Berkeley as well as a certification in Natural Resource Management. Over the years she has engaged in coursework ranging from environmental ethics to permaculture and CA natural history to deepen her ability to care for and connect to the ecological wonders of Sonoma County.

Lacey also has a background in nonprofit operations and previously spent 12 years with a foundation supporting Indigenous and local communities. She continues to be humbled and inspired by this work and continues to seek opportunities to support biocultural diversity. In her free time, you can find her either hiking with her dog or tending to her garden.

‘Aulani Wilhelm

Chief Strategy & External Relations Officer

'Aulani is Kanaka ‘Ōiwi, born and raised in the Hawaiian Islands. She brings to Nia Tero decades of experience collaborating with Indigenous communities, bridging culture, community, and science to drive innovations in ocean policy and conservation. ‘Aulani joins our team after serving as the Assistant Director for Ocean Conservation, Climate and Equity at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and as Senior Vice President for Oceans at Conservation International, where she co-led the Blue Nature Alliance, a global partnership to catalyze the conservation of 18 million km2 of ocean.

‘Aulani has played a pivotal role in shaping the emerging field of large-scale ocean conservation, leading the establishment of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and World Heritage Site in Hawai’i. She is also the founder of Big Ocean, a network of the world’s largest marine managed areas. Prior, she was director of ocean initiatives for NOAA’s Office of Marine Sanctuaries, and a social innovation fellow at Stanford University. ‘Aulani is a Mellon Distinguished Scholar at Arizona State University’s Center for Imagination at the Borderlands. She holds an MS degree from Stanford University and a BA degree from the University of Southern California. ‘Aulani is based out of Honolulu, Hawai’i.

Talia Wujtewicz

Grants & Contracts Coordinator

Talia supports Nia Tero’s grants and operations programs. Prior to joining Nia Tero, she spent nine years in the nonprofit sector fundraising for a variety of US-based organizations that tackled issues such as food insecurity and sexual violence.

Talia earned a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from George Mason University. In her free time she enjoys gardening, reading gothic literature, and learning languages.