People

Members of the Climate Central staff and board are among the most respected leaders in climate science. Staff members are authorities in communicating climate and weather links, sea level rise, climate modeling, engineering assessments, graphic representations of climate data, and other climate science areas. Our journalists have extensive experience in mainstream print, television, digital and social media.

Board

Stephen W. Pacala, Chair

Stephen W. Pacala, Chair

  • Princeton University

Dr. Pacala is Frederick D. Petrie Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University and Director of the Princeton Environmental Institute. He also directs the...

Decker Anstrom

Decker Anstrom

  • Landmark Communications

Decker Anstrom served on the board of directors of Discovery Communications, as well as several national non profit environmental groups (Island Press and Planet Forward) and...

Sally Benson

Sally Benson

  • Stanford University

Dr. Benson was appointed to the position of Director of Stanford University’s Global Climate and Energy Project in January 2009 after holding the Executive Director post since...

Jim Bildner

Jim Bildner

  • Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation

Jim Bildner is the CEO of the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation. Jim is also an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and a Senior Research Fellow at...

Carl Ferenbach

Carl Ferenbach

  • High Meadows Foundation

Carl Ferenbach is Chairman & co-founder of High Meadows Foundation and High Meadows Fund. Mr. Ferenbach was a co-founder of Berkshire Partners LLC, a private equity investment...

Randall Hack

Randall Hack

  • Capstone Capital, LLC

Randy Hack is a 1969 summa cum laude graduate of Princeton University. He received his MBA from Harvard University in 1972 and began a career in commercial real estate...

Robert Litterman

Robert Litterman

  • Kepos Capital

Robert Litterman is the Chairman of the Risk Committee at Kepos Capital LP. Prior to joining Kepos Capital in 2010, Litterman enjoyed a 23-year career at Goldman, Sachs & Co.,...

Kathryn Murdoch

Kathryn Murdoch

  • Quadrivium Foundation

Kathryn Murdoch is co-founder and president of Quadrivium, which supports practical, evidence-based solutions for critical societal problems. Kathryn currently serves on the...

Michael Oppenheimer, Vice Chair

Michael Oppenheimer, Vice Chair

  • Princeton University

Michael Oppenheimer is the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School, the Department of Geosciences, and the Princeton...

Wendy Schmidt, Corporate Secretary

Wendy Schmidt, Corporate Secretary

  • The Schmidt Family Foundation

Wendy Schmidt is a philanthropist and investor who has spent more than a dozen years creating innovative non‐profit organizations to solve pressing global environmental and human...

Founding Board

Jane Lubchenco

Jane Lubchenco

  • Oregon State University

Dr. Lubchenco serves as Administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Prior to her Senate confirmation in early 2009, she resigned from the Board of...

Stephen W. Pacala

Stephen W. Pacala

  • Princeton University

Dr. Pacala is Frederick D. Petrie Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University and Director of the Princeton Environmental Institute. He also directs the...

Wendy Schmidt

Wendy Schmidt

  • The Schmidt Family Foundation

Wendy Schmidt is a philanthropist and investor who has spent more than a dozen years creating innovative non‐profit organizations to solve pressing global environmental and human...

Staff

Leadership

Benjamin Strauss

Benjamin Strauss

Dr. Benjamin Strauss was elected President and CEO of Climate Central in April 2018 and also serves as Chief Scientist. He is author of numerous scientific papers and reports on...

Jessica Cashdan

Jessica Cashdan

Jessica Cashdan joined Climate Central as Vice President for Development in September 2020, bringing more than 20 years of professional expertise to this role. Her development...

Dan Dodson

Dan Dodson

Dan Dodson returned to Climate Central as Chief Technology Officer in September, 2019, having worked previously at Climate Central as Software Developer for the Program on Sea...

Karen Florini

Karen Florini

Karen Florini is Vice President for Programs at Climate Central, where her roles include developing and implementing communications strategies that reach and move large U.S. and...

Steve Rush

Steve Rush

Steve Rush is the Vice President of Finance & Administration and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining Climate Central, Rush worked for many years in the banking industry,...

Development

Barbara Charbonnet

Barbara Charbonnet

Barbara Charbonnet, Senior Director for Development, is responsible for Climate Central’s giving programs with professional and family foundations as well as with individuals....

Anne Hayes

Anne Hayes

Anne Hayes is Director of Development, Western Region, where she focuses on increasing support from individual donors. Prior to joining Climate Central, Anne was Director of...

Regie Roth

Regie Roth

Regie Roth, Development Operations Manager at Climate Central, is responsible for managing the internal operations for the development team.  Her role includes managing the donor...

Communications

Peter Girard

Peter Girard

Peter Girard directs digital communications and media relations for Climate Central. His previous experience includes heading research, audience development, and public relations...

Sarah Jerome

Sarah Jerome

Sarah Jerome is a Digital Content Manager and Web Producer at Climate Central. She has a B.A. in Communications and Digital Media from Rutgers University and has previous...

Editorial

Allison Kopicki

Allison Kopicki

Allison Kopicki serves as a writer and researcher for Climate Central. Most recently she worked on planning and policy issues concerning economic development, smart growth, urban...

John Upton

John Upton

Working closely with researchers in academia, at Climate Central and elsewhere, John Upton leads journalism partnerships with local and national print, radio, television and...

Multimedia

Megan Martin

Megan Martin

Megan Martin is a Multimedia Designer and Meteorologist at Climate Central. She has a B.S. in Meteorology and a B.A. in Visual Arts, both of which are from Rutgers University....

Science

Bill Atkins

Bill Atkins

Bill Atkins is a Senior Software Engineer at Climate Central. He has had diverse professional experience, including working as a software engineer for a global investment bank and...

Don Bain

Don Bain

Don Bain, P.E., is a climate engineer and expert on climate change, adaptation and sea level rise. Dedicated to building a bright future in a dramatically changing climate, he is...

Shari Bell

Shari Bell

Returning in 2020 to Climate Central and her hometown of Kansas City, Missouri, Shari Bell works across programs as Regional Director. Her focus is building strategic...

Jennifer Brady

Jennifer Brady

Jennifer Brady is the Manager of Analysis and Production. In her role she uses data to identify significant trends, patterns and notable climate events, while managing a team of...

Kristie Falconer

Kristie Falconer

Kristie Falconer is a Research and Communications Fellow working with the Climate Matters program at Climate Central. She recently graduated from Princeton University with a B.A....

Daniel Gilford

Daniel Gilford

Daniel Gilford, Ph.D., is a meteorologist and atmospheric scientist with a decade of experience in climate science research. He is scientifically interested in answering the...

Leila Hadj-Chikh

Leila Hadj-Chikh

Dr. Leila Hadj-Chikh serves as Senior Software Developer for Climate Central's Program on Sea Level Rise. Previously, she worked as Software Engineering Lead at Dunbar Security...

Scott Kulp

Scott Kulp

Dr. Scott Kulp serves as principal computational scientist, and his research interests include the impacts of sea level rise on coastal communities. He is also focused on the...

Eric Larson

Eric Larson

Dr. Larson leads energy research at Climate Central. He is a senior research faculty member with the Energy Systems Analysis Group at Princeton University's Andlinger Center for...

Andrew Pershing

Andrew Pershing, Ph.D. is director of climate science at Climate Central, focusing on expanding public awareness and understanding of climate science across disciplines. His role...

Bernadette Woods Placky

Bernadette Woods Placky

Bernadette Woods Placky is an Emmy Award winning meteorologist and director of Climate Central's Climate Matters program. In her role, Bernadette works with fellow meteorologists...

Dan Rizza

Dan Rizza

  • Manager for External Relations and Business Development for Climate Central, Program on Sea Level Rise
  • Email: drizza@climatecentral.org

Dan Rizza serves as Manager for External Relations and Business Development for Climate Central, Program on Sea Level Rise. Previously, he worked at the Climate Policy Center of...

Lisa Sheridan

Lisa Sheridan

Lisa Sheridan is a Research and Communications Fellow at Climate Central, working with the Climate Matters Program. She graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in Ecology...

Sean Sublette is an award-winning meteorologist working on Climate Central’s Climate Matters program, bringing 19 years of experience as a broadcast meteorologist. Before joining...

Claudia Tebaldi

Claudia Tebaldi

Dr. Tebaldi collaborates with Climate Central's Climate Science and Impacts group and provides scientific oversight and advice on the organization's programs. She is a scientist...

Kelly Van Baalen

Kelly Van Baalen is the High Meadows Fellow for the Sea Level Rise Team at Climate Central. She recently graduated from Princeton University with degrees in Molecular Biology and...

Kaitlyn Weber is a data analyst for Climate Central's Climate Matters program. She has a B.A. in Physical Geography from California State University, Sacramento and a M.S. in...

Operations

David Hudasko

David Hudasko

David Hudasko is a Senior Accountant at Climate Central and holds a Bachelors of Science degree from Rutgers University.

Three years prior to joining Climate Central, he was the...

Radoslaw Slabinski

Radoslaw Slabinski

Radoslaw (Rad) Slabinski is Systems Administrator for Climate Central, and is responsible for maintaining and monitoring a wide range of systems from local networks to complex...