CELF’s Board of Directors’ expertise spans environmental and social sciences, education, marketing, finance, law and publishing. We strive to work together as systems thinkers to bring to education the kind of professional development and support necessary for creating critical thinkers and leaders for a sustainable future.
Tara Stafford Ocansey, Executive Director
Tara joined CELF in January 2022 after a decade with the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, where she facilitated teams across the globe to identify, advocate for, and implement strategic approaches for creating a more sustainable future through increased access to lifelong learning opportunities for all. Tara has led global education programs across the lifelong learning spectrum, collaborating with diverse stakeholders from government, non-profit, corporate, academic, and grassroots sectors.
Evan Matzen, President
Evan Matzen has nearly two decades of experience leading corporate social responsibility and sustainability programs throughout the world. As Managing Director of Sustainable Finance at PNC, he worked internally and externally to support the transition to an inclusive, low-carbon economy. Prior to this role he led the creation of retail and commercial financial products and services at BBVA that supported their €100 billion Climate Action and Inclusive Growth ambitions, and led the Corporate Citizenship division at BBVA USA. Before entering banking he was a fellow with the Robert Bosch Stiftung, supporting transatlantic cooperation in corporate social responsibility, was Head of Sustainability at HD Supply, and Director of Energy Efficiency at Element Markets.
Maureen Brady Atinsky, Vice President
Founder and Former Director, Prodigy Recruiting, a legal search firm in NYC. Maureen is currently on the PA Board at The Hewitt School and is a sustaining member of The Junior League of the City of New York. Past positions include President and Board Member of the PS 6 PTA; Junior League Management Council and Board of Directors, Member of NY Foundling Public Relations Committee; Former Director of Recruiting- Hudson Highland Group and Trial Coordinator with Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom. Maureen resides in Manhattan with her husband and three daughters.
Bill Davis, Treasurer
Founder and Managing Director, Stance Capital. Former: Co-Founder and Managing Director, Empirical Asset Management, Portfolio Manager on EAM Sustainable Equity; Founder and CEO of Ze-gen, CEO or founder of numerous companies including: Database Marketing Corporation, Holland Mark, and Cambridge Brand Analytics. Board Member, HoneyDrop Beverages and Mafic, S.A.. Founding Member, President’s Council of Ceres and Advisory Board Chair of Seven Hills Global Outreach. Mr. Davis has taught Environmental Entrepreneurship at Columbia University Center for Environmental Research and Conservation, and guest lectured at Harvard College, Harvard Business School, MIT, MIT/Sloan, and Boston University.
Samarth is a data and strategy professional with experience in media, tech and politics. Until recently, he helped manage the digital transition of the New York Times newsroom. Mr. Bhaskar was born in New Delhi, India and raised in Normal, IL.
Maureen Burgess is the Assistant Head of School for Learning and Innovation at The Hewitt School, a K-12 independent girls’ school in New York City. In her current role, Maureen is charged with leading a K-12 team of educators in designing a program that embodies Hewitt’s new mission: “The Hewitt School inspires girls and young women to be game changers and ethical leaders who forge an equitable, sustainable, and joyous future.” Hewitt’s partnership with CELF significantly informed the strategic visioning process that led the school to include sustainability in its new mission. Prior to her current role, Maureen has served in independent schools as a K-12 English department chair, an upper school division head, a middle school division head, and K-12 dean of teaching and learning. Maureen earned her Ph.D. in English at Ohio State University and is a faculty associate at Bard College’s Institute for Writing and Thinking. She works closely with the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science, studying in both the Contemplative Psychotherapy and Boundless Leadership programs.
Cassandra E. Clark
Cassandra E Clark, managing director, is the Co-Head of the Northeast Investment team within J.P. Morgan Asset Management – Real Estate Americas (REA). She joined the firm in 2002 and leads a team responsible for all equity and debt investments in the New York, Boston and Philadelphia metro areas. Past board positions include, Alpha Sigma Nu- The Jesuit Honor Society and Choices in Childbirth. Cassandra resides in Westchester with her husband and three daughters.
Joanne L. Howard
Senior vice president of sustainability and corporate communications for Crestwood Equity Partners LP prior to its acquisition from Energy Transfer in November 2023. Responsible for managing and advancing sustainability practices at Crestwood and integrating sustainability into strategic planning and operations, as well as managing current and future ESG risks and opportunities. Led the external reporting of Crestwood’s programs and performance, including the publication of Crestwood’s annual sustainability report. She was also accountable for the Company’s carbon management plan and delivering authentic emission reduction solutions. Finally, Joanne managed Crestwood’s community investment program ensuring investments achieve the greatest societal and business benefit. In addition to serving on the Board of the Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation, she also currently serves on the Boards of the British American Foundation of Texas, the Awty International Alumni Association and is the Chair of the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy in Houston.
Alex T. Krueger
Chairman and a Managing Partner, First Reserve. His responsibilities include overall firm management as well as deal origination and sourcing, due diligence and structuring, financing and transaction execution, and ongoing portfolio management. Member of the Board of Overseers for the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania; Advisory Board Member, BlackRock Global Energy & Power Infrastructure Funds; Advisory Board Member, Blue Bear Capital. Former: Energy Group of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.
Founder and President, Acorn International, LLC, a global social and environmental consultancy. Former board member of ROCO, an Emmy-nominated chamber orchestra. Distinguished Lecturer for the Society of Petroleum Engineers and guest lecturer at University of Houston on vulnerable community engagement, human rights, and societal/non-technical risk. Former Director at Arthur D Little in Houston, Texas and Cambridge, MA.
David Stubbs is the Senior Investment Strategist at Blackstone. Based in the New York office, he is responsible for delivering insights on the global economy and thematic investing to Wealth Management clients. He is a frequent guest on CNBC, Bloomberg, CNN and other major market outlets. Prior to joining the finance industry, David worked at the United Nations Department for Economics and Social Affairs and UK’s Department for International Development on sustainable development issues.
Professional Advisory Board
As industry experts, CELF’s Advisory Board informs our approach to our multi- and interdisciplinary programs by providing the most current thinking and resources from across the often interrelated fields of public policy, business and finance, education, engineering, law, marketing, real estate, science, technology and urban planning.
Founder and Executive Director Emeritus
Phil Abelson*, JD
White & Case, LLP
Former CELF COO
Dr. Cynthia Coburn
Daniel Cott, Managing Director
Wells Fargo Capital Finance
Karina Funk, CFA
Jon Jacobs, JD*
Jacobs Law Firm PLLC
Riva Krut, PhD
Former Vice President and Chief Sustainable Development Officer, Linde, PLC
Clare McMillan, MEd
Independent Curriculum Consultant
Beth Sauerhaft, PhD*
VP for Programs at American Farmland Trust
Dr. Brian R. Shmaefsky
Lone Star College-Kingwood, Environmental Sciences
*Board Member Emeritus