• Jeff Nesbit, Executive Director

    Jeff is the Executive Director of Climate Nexus. Before becoming our fearless leader, Jeff was the Director of Legislative and Public Affairs at the National Science Foundation from June 2006 to June 2011.

    Previously, he managed his own strategic communications consulting firm in Washington, DC with more than 200 national clients; served as a senior communications official at the Food and Drug Administration and White House during the administration of President George H.W. Bush; and was a national journalist with Knight-Ridder and others.

    Jeff is a graduate of Duke and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He’s the author of 19 novels.



  • Robert Tanner, Managing Director

    Bob brings to his role as Managing Director a career that spans investigative reporting to congressional policy-making, from hearing rooms on the Hill to the Katrina-flooded streets of New Orleans. Now he fuses strategy with tactical execution, with oversight of all operations including editorial content, digital and social strategy, messaging, partnerships and finances.

    Previously, Bob served as senior investigator for the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee during the climate change debates of 2009-2010 and the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Prior to that, as a national editor and reporter for the Associated Press, he helped launch the National Investigative, National Reporting, and Disaster Response teams. Earlier in his 20-year journalism career, he reported for news wires, local newspapers and public television in Maryland, New York, New Hampshire and Washington, D.C.

    Bob is a recovering surfer with a persistent rock-climbing habit, but mostly he reads and watches AYSO soccer games and Marx Brothers movies with his wife and two children.

  • Rachel Potter, Projects Director

    Rachel is a seasoned sustainability practitioner with extensive experience in financial services, consulting and the nonprofit sectors. As Director of Partnerships, Rachel looks after business development and relationship management for the group – working with stakeholders across the public and private sectors to help Climate Nexus change the conversation on climate and energy in the US.

    Prior to joining Climate Nexus, Rachel held a range of positions in the sustainability space, including for Accenture and Standard Chartered Bank. She holds a master’s degree in Environmental Policy, Planning and Regulation from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a master’s degree in History from the University of St. Andrews.

    Outside the office, Rachel enjoys keeping fit, reading, film, and spending time with friends and family.

  • Allan Margolin, Editorial Director

    Allan, our Editorial Director, is a senior level strategic communications and marketing professional with a long record of success in nonprofit advocacy and journalism. An award winning Political Producer with ABC News, Allan also served for nearly twenty years with the Environmental Defense Fund, and participated in the 1997 negotiations of the Kyoto Protocol, and several other international climate negotiations.

    During his career, Allan has created and implemented strategic communications programs that consistently improved the environment and public health, while working with key stakeholders to create lasting and economically sound solutions to environmental challenges by supervising teams of media professionals and consultants under intense deadline and fundraising pressure.

    Allan lives in New York City with his wife and their three young children.

  • Josh Landis, Director of Programming

    Josh heads up our Content Studio here at Climate Nexus. He is a former television network correspondent, who has reported from the South Pole, New Zealand, the Middle East and points across America.

    Prior to becoming a reporter at CBS News, Josh was an award-winning head writer for ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson. Josh has written and produced for Peter Jennings, Diane Sawyer, George Stephanopoulos, Bob Woodruff, Lou Dobbs, Shepard Smith and others. He’s also the co-creator of an Emmy-nominated animated news series.

    Josh spent nearly a year living in Antarctica and knows how to pitch a tent at the South Pole, should the need ever arise.

  • Monika Sharma, Director of Creative Marketing

    Monika has extensive media and communications experience, both with traditional media outlets and new media applications. She puts these skills to good use at Climate Nexus, where she currently oversees digital strategy and branding.

    Prior to joining Climate Nexus, Monika was ‘doing good’ at MTV Networks, where she managed multiple issue-focused campaigns across MTV’s various media platforms. Monika further honed her marketing skills on the social innovation team at Weber Shandwick, where she was responsible for brainstorming and pitching sustainability ideas to corporate clients.

    Monika is a graduate of Duke and Columbia. She is an avid yogini, francophile and music fan, who is constantly inspired by her native New York.

  • Hunter Cutting, Director of Strategic Communications

    Hunter is a veteran political director who develops communications strategy for Climate Nexus. Early in his career, he served as a legislative aide in the U.S. House of Representatives and traveled the campaign trail, directing numerous political campaigns and working in swing districts such as Peoria, IL and Riverside, CA. He has written extensively on media and communications, most recently authoring Connecting the Dots: A Communications Guide to Climate Change and Extreme Weather. As a researcher, he has helped to extend the field of practice, developing new methodologies for media analysis.

    Prior to joining Climate Nexus, Hunter built the energy and climate division of Resource Media, helped to launch and lead We Interrupt This Message, a national media strategy center dedicated to social justice, and led NGO communications in milestone climate change events such as the UNFCCC meeting in Bali and the release of the Nobel-prize winning IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.

    It all started when Hunter earned a Bachelor of Science in Conservation and Resource Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. He now lives in San Francisco with his wife and two teenage boys. On weekends he is likely to be found sailing on the San Francisco Bay, racing an Olson 25.

  • Dianne Saenz, Director of Marine Science Communication

    Dianne runs our oceans desk, working to improve understanding of how rapidly changing ocean chemistry is affecting the web of life undersea and in turn, affecting us. Prior to joining Climate Nexus, Dianne managed external communications strategy and efforts for Oceana’s North American campaigns.

    Dianne started her career as a news aide for The Washington Post, and since then has worked as a communicator for Fleishman-Hillard International Communications, Fenton Communications, Friends of the Earth, Calvert Group socially and environmentally responsible mutual funds, Physicians for Social Responsibility and U.S. Senator Mark Warner’s telecommunications venture capital firm. She was also instrumental in launching the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Public Library of Science (PLoS) Biology and PLoS Medicine in their start-up phases.

    Dianne is a graduate of Vassar College and completed graduate-level professional development work at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Dianne is passionate about cycling, traveling to coastal places to swim and SCUBA dive, and advocating for smart growth in Virginia.

  • Stephanie Hanson Damassa, Director of Policy Communications

    Stephanie Hanson Damassa is the Director of Policy Communications for Climate Nexus, where she develops communications strategies to align with political developments at the federal, state and local level. Based in Washington, DC, she works with Climate Nexus’ partners to strengthen their climate and energy messaging and amplify their efforts.

    Prior to joining Climate Nexus, Stephanie worked for the World Resources Institute from 2006-2011, most recently as the communications manager for WRI’s climate and energy program. In this role, she promoted the program’s U.S. climate efforts through media relations, social media, and congressional outreach. She also served as WRI’s communications lead for the UN climate meetings in 2008 and 2009. At WRI she also served as a managing editor for WRI’s flagship publication, The World Resources Report 2008, and as a communications coordinator.

    Prior to joining WRI, she managed an urban environmental program at a community action agency in Lowell, Massachusetts. Stephanie holds a degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    In her free time, she enjoys baking, traveling and biking around Washington, DC.

 

  • Nora Vogel, Science Content Manager

    Nora is Science Content Manager for Climate Nexus. She helps design media responses and strategies on climate science topics, including monitoring and rebutting climate denier communities, promoting noteworthy new research, and connecting reporters with scientists. She also researches and writes background materials on emerging climate topics to help reporters, advocates, and other communicators portray climate issues more accurately and effectively.

    Before coming to Climate Nexus, Nora studied Science in Society/Environmental Studies at Wesleyan University, where she wrote her senior project on climate communication strategies and the philosophy of climate denial. She also worked in the bio labs conducting research into plant genetics and evolution. During summers she led outdoor adventure programs for children and adults with Calleva Outdoors.

    In her free time Nora enjoys science fiction, history, biking around NYC, and looking at art.

  • Diana Van Vleet, Manager of Policy Communications

    As our Manager of Policy Communications, Diana identifies opportunities to advance science-based policy by helping to strengthen the climate literacy of policymakers and the public. In order to drive these efforts, she works with many different communities, ranging from faith-based organizations to investors, to highlight the wide-ranging impacts of climate disruption and bring attention to solutions.

    Before joining Climate Nexus, Diana worked for ICF International, specifically focusing on energy efficiency for the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy. Diana holds degrees in environmental science and government from the University of Virginia.

    Outside of the office, Diana loves music, anything involving the outdoors and spending time with friends and family.

  • Paige Knappenberger, Media Relations Associate

    Paige is our Media Relations Associate. She writes strategic and engaging press releases, fact sheets, and other media materials for Climate Nexus and partner projects. Paige also manages and develops Climate Nexus’ relationships with journalists and key media organizations. In addition to her communications work, Paige keeps tabs on the impact Climate Nexus is making in social, traditional and online media.

    Prior to joining the Climate Nexus team, Paige worked for the D.C. Sustainable Energy Utility and interned at Oceana and the National Resources Defense Council. Paige completed a dual masters in sustainable development and global environmental policy through American University in Washington, DC and the United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica. As an undergraduate at Tulane University, Paige had to evacuate New Orleans for a full semester because of Hurricane Katrina. The devastation she witnessed upon returning to New Orleans furthered her commitment to communicating the impacts of climate change and advocating for climate policy and clean energy development.

    Paige grew up in Arizona and California and frequently endures the cross-country flight to visit her family out west. In her free time Paige enjoys scuba diving, hunting for treasures at the Brooklyn flea, a variety of arts and crafts, baking and cooking.

  • Philip Newell, Communications Associate

    Philip is a Communications Associate, whose area of expertise is agriculture. Before working at Climate Nexus, Philip was an intern at the World Watch Institute, where he blogged on sustainable agriculture. Prior to that, he worked with EARTHWORKS, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the impacts of irresponsible mineral and energy development while seeking sustainable solutions.

    Philip has an MA in Global Environmental Policy from American University, and a BA in Sustainable Development from Appalachian State University.

    Outside the office, Philip is a big dork that spends his weekends playing Wii and watching cartoons with his wife and cats.

  • Rose Andreatta, Communications Associate

    Rose serves as a Communications Associate at Climate Nexus, where she applies her climate policy expertise to develop and prepare storylines that inform and inspire Americans to call for sound, science-based energy solutions. As part of this process, Rose monitors developments in urban climate change resiliency efforts and the renewable energy sector.

    Before joining Climate Nexus, Rose worked as a Communications and Research Generalist for the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, highlighting cities’ actions to address climate risks.

    Rose has an MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a B.A. in Sustainable Development and Middle Eastern, South Asian Studies from Columbia College. Outside the office, Rose loves escaping into the hills of Inwood Park with her family, studying Spanish and biology, and doing origami.

  • Marlene Cimons, Writer

    For many years, Marlene Cimons was a Washington reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering health policy. These days, she writes for the National Science Foundation, Climate Nexus, Microbe magazine, The Washington Post health section, and has authored several health and science reports. She also is an adjunct professor of journalism at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, where she has been teaching since 2002. She earned a BA in journalism and political science from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. in media studies from the University of Maryland. She is the mother of two adult children, four cats and a dog. An avid runner and swimmer, she lives in Bethesda, Md. Marlene contributes regularly to LiveScience’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

  • Samuel T. Frank, Fellow

    As a Fellow for Climate Nexus, Sam interprets and synthesizes a wide range of scientific research on climate change in order to provide our partners and allies with effective tools to communicate the latest peer-reviewed findings. He also helps with our rapid response team, writes science “backgrounders,” and prepares research materials for climate policy conferences.

    Sam is a doctoral candidate and Graduate Teaching Fellow in Earth and Environmental Sciences at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He teaches a course, Climate Change and Public Policy, in the Urban Studies Dept. of Queens College and is writing his dissertation on the patchwork of state and local climate change policies in the U.S.

    As a native New Yorker, Sam loves to bike around the city and marvel in its unique history and geography.

  • Nancy Shulins, Climate Voices Writer

    As our inaugural Climate Voices writer, Nancy Shulins trains her feature writer’s eye on the people who’ve battled the floodwaters, wildfires, hurricanes and droughts that are harbingers of a warming world. Telling these modern-day messengers’ stories helps put a human face on climate change, transforming abstract numbers into concrete lives.

    Nancy brings decades of storytelling experience to the task. She is the author of several books, most recently the acclaimed memoir, Falling For Eli. Previously, as the first woman special correspondent in the 150-year history of The Associated Press, she wrote in-depth features that earned two Pulitzer Prize nominations and a Clarion award. Her work is included in numerous textbooks and anthologies, and she has taught writing and coached other writers at newspapers from coast to coast.

    Nancy lives in Connecticut with her consultant husband and their Labrador retriever. When not searching for the perfect word, she can often be found striving for the perfect 20-meter circle with her beloved – and extremely spoiled – dressage horse, Eli.

  • Mariya Pylayev, Video Journalist

    Mariya shoots, produces and edits video at Climate Nexus. Before she came here, she covered money news at AOL. She has also contributed to CNNMoney, CUNY TV and WNYC.

    Mariya specialized in business reporting and video production at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, where she earned her master’s degree. Prior to grad school, she worked at a traveling carnival.

    When she’s not making moving pictures at the office, Mariya spends her time photographing strangers and meeting their dogs.

  • Hannah Vogel, Associate

    As a General Associate, Hannah monitors and manages partnerships with the health community, assists in both traditional and social media outreach, and develops informational materials for partner organizations. She is particularly interested in energy policy, grassroots stories, and community engagement.

    Hannah graduated from Wesleyan University with a BA in Biology and Environmental Studies, where she worked in a ichthyology lab on phylogenetic analysis of the blacknose dace. Before joining Climate Nexus, Hannah worked as an intern for Rep. Chris Van Hollen, and prior to that, as a field manager for Environment Ohio’s Cleveland office.

    Outside of the office, Hannah likes to hike, swim, and go on pretty much any kind of boat.

  • Allison Fajans-Turner, Associate

    Allison joins Climate Nexus as an Associate tasked with expanding constituency outreach and coordinating with coalition partners in advance of the UN Climate Summit and People’s Climate March.

    Before joining Climate Nexus, Allison worked with the Disasters and Climate Adaptation Team of the Norwegian Refugee Council in Geneva, Switzerland assessing climate drivers of displacement and conflict. This work convinced her that meaningfully reducing displacement risk for populations worldwide necessitates urgent action to combat climate change. When fresh out of college, Allison plunged into the US political arena and worked on field organizing and community outreach for Obama for America and the Campaign for Change. She has remained an enthusiastic policy wonk ever since.

    Allison has an MA in International Relations and Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a BA in International Development from Brown University. These days, she pursues courses in chemistry and environmental science in her off hours.

    A native of Ithaca, New York, Allison’s earliest motivation to stave off climate change is rooted in a childhood spent skiing and playing ice hockey. More recently she has added hiking and rock climbing to her favorite pastimes. In her less active moments, she is far too addicted to Game of Thrones and is a self-declared foodie.