ELAW U.S. Staff

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2012 Board Meeting



Bern Johnson, Executive Director

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Bern Johnson Executive Director
Bern directs the work of ELAW and develops initiatives to protect the environment through law and science. Bern was the first Staff Attorney at ELAW before assuming the position of Executive Director in 1993. His work to protect the environment has taken him to the former Soviet Union, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the South Pacific, and Central and South America. Prior to joining ELAW, Bern practiced law with the firm of Culp, Guterson and Grader in Seattle. He was President of the Environmental Law Society at Harvard Law School, where he graduated cum laude. Before attending law school, Bern worked on environmental issues in the U.S. Congress as a Legislative Assistant to Representative James Weaver. The Harvard Law Bulletin, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Grist, Christian Science Monitor, and E Magazine have reported on Bern's work with ELAW.

Lori Maddox, Associate Director

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Lori Maddox Associate Director

Lori helped launch the ELAW network in 1991 and has traveled to Asia, the Middle East, the Pacific, and Central and South America to reach out to public interest advocates and help build strong organizations and cross-border collaboration. She designed and ran the ELAW Fellows Program and Technology Program for more than 10 years. Lori continues to work on building the global ELAW network and the ELAW Secretariat's capacity to meet the growing needs of the network. She leads ELAW's work in Mexico and Central America, and works closely with the Mesoamerican Legal Strategy Group to protect marine and coastal biodiversity, and build public interest environmental law in SE Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. Lori oversees ELAW administration and finance. She serves on the Board of the Western Environmental Law Center, a regional public interest law firm in the Western United States. Lori has a B.A. degree from Hollins University in English with a minor concentration in Theater Arts. She completed an Entree to Business Program for Graduates at the Katharine Gibbs School in Boston, MA, and certification as a paralegal in Oregon with a focus on environmental and administrative law. Prior to joining ELAW she worked as an environmental activist and as a paralegal in environmental and nonprofit law.

Mark Chernaik, Staff Scientist
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Mark Chernaik Staff Scientist
Mark helps attorneys and citizens make effective use of scientific information to defend the environment. Mark received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Johns Hopkins University. His work has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A, and the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Mark received his law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law in May 1993, and has worked on litigation challenging pollution from pulp mills in the Pacific Northwest. He joined ELAW in 1992. Mark's work has taken him to Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Jackie Chimelewski, Office Manager
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Jackie Chimelewski Community Outreach Coordinator
Jackie Chimelewski is the Community Outreach Coordinator for ELAW. Jackie graduated with a degree in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh in 2007 and has since worked in public policy and grassroots organizing wings of political and social justice nonprofit organizations in Washington, DC and Pittsburgh, PA.

Kalindi Devi-Dasi, Bookkeeper

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Kalindi Devi-Dasi Bookkeeper
Kalindi began work at ELAW in 1996. She graduated from the University of Oregon in 1995 with a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish, and a minor in Environmental Studies. Kalindi has lived in or traveled to Sweden, Japan, Mexico, and Ecuador.

Glenn Gillis, Information Technology Manager

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Glenn Gillis Information Technology Manager
Glenn joined ELAW in 2000 to manage ELAW's computer network. Glenn works with ELAW's international partners to help them use technology to protect the environment. His work has taken him to Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Nepal, Cambodia, and Thailand. Prior to his work at ELAW, Glenn worked as a User Support Technician and Programmer Analyst at the Lane County Department of Information Services.

Jen Gleason, Staff Attorney

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Jennifer Gleason Staff Attorney
Jennifer manages ELAW's Legal Assistance Program and collaborates with lawyers around the world to strengthen and enforce laws that protect the environment and human rights. She joined ELAW in 1993. Jen's current focus is helping lawyers challenge global warming by promoting laws that encourage the production of electricity from renewable sources, and challenging projects that produce harmful greenhouse gases. Jen's work with ELAW has taken her to Africa, the Caribbean, Central America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. Jen graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1993 with a certificate in Natural Resources Law. Jen is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Oregon School of Law, where she teaches Energy and the Law.

Maggie Keenan, Communications Director

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Maggie Keenan Communications Director
Maggie writes grants, produces ELAW publications, works with journalists, manages the ELAW Fellows Program, and helps ELAW advocates build strong organizations. She joined ELAW in 1999. Maggie holds a Master's in Professional Studies in International Agriculture and Rural Development from Cornell University. She served for three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines and worked for three years in Uganda as a consultant for the Uganda Wildlife Society, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, and various USAID-funded maternal health projects. Her work at ELAW has taken her to Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ukraine, Bolivia, and Chile. Maggie is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Oregon College of Arts and Sciences, where she teaches Cross Cultural Communication.

Pedro Leon Gutierrez, Attorney on Contract

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Pedro Leon Gutierrez Attorney on Contract
Pedro Leon works on contract for ELAW, providing legal assistance to environmental advocates around the world. He is the former coordinator of the Human Rights and the Environment Program at the Instituto de Derecho Ambiental (IDEA) in Guadalajara. He received a law degree from the Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (ITESO) in Guadalajara and a Master's degree in International Human Rights Law from Lund University in Sweden. He has worked on contract for ELAW since 2011.

Meche Lu, Environmental Research Scientist


Graciela M. Mercedes (Meche) Lu Environmental Research Scientist
Meche provides on-site support for air, water, and soil quality analysis, and expert opinion on environmental impact assessments (EIAs) and environmental health. Her work with ELAW began in Peru in 1991. She joined ELAW's U.S. office in 2003. Her work has taken her to Latin America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Australia, and Eastern Europe. Meche has an M.A. in International Studies from the University of Oregon, with emphasis on environment and development in Latin America, and a B.Sc. in Pharmacy and Biochemistry from the National University of San Marcos. She pursued graduate studies in Ecology and Environmental Management at Cayetano Heredia University in Lima. Meche is a founding member of the Peruvian Toxicological Association and member of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC).

Liz Mitchell, Staff Attorney

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Liz Mitchell Staff Attorney
Liz provides legal assistance to grassroots attorneys outside the U.S. who are working to protect communities and the environment. She joined ELAW in 2007. Liz holds a B.A. from Middlebury College and was a Thomas J. Watson fellow. After graduating from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1994, with a certificate in Natural Resources Law, Liz was a staff attorney at the Western Environmental Law Center. Liz has traveled to Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean to help partners protect communities and the natural environment.

David Pugh, Staff Web Developer
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David Pugh Web Developer
David manages ELAW’s website and helps ELAW partners around the world use web-based tools to protect communities and the environment. He has a wide variety of computer skills that span from server engineering to front end web development. David graduated from the University of Oregon in 2006 with a degree in Biochemistry.

Heidi Weiskel, Staff Scientist
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Heidi Weiskel Staff Scientist
Heidi brings expertise in marine and coastal ecology to ELAW. She has degrees from Harvard and Tufts, and a PhD in Ecology from the University of California, Davis, where she studied the effects of nutrient pollution on marine species. In addition to her field research experience, Heidi also worked on the staff of the Pew Oceans Commission to develop recommendations for Congress to improve national marine resource laws and regulations. She also worked as an environmental policy research fellow at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. She has worked with scientists in Cuba, Panama, and Argentina, and is a great addition to our science team.

Ashley White – Director of Philanthropy and China Program

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Ashley White Director of Philanthropy and China Program
Ashley manages ELAW’s China Program, and works with donors to ensure their gifts help ELAW and its partners achieve lasting impacts around the world. She received her LL.M. from Ocean University of China in Environmental & Natural Resources Protection Law, holds a B.A. from St. Lawrence University, and graduated from Willamette University College of Law with certificates in International & Comparative Law, and in Sustainable Environmental, Energy & Resources Law. Ashley is a former ELAW legal intern, and joined ELAW in 2014.