UMass Boston

External Advisory Board

SSL’s direction and work is guided by several committees and groups both within and outside of UMB—one of which is our Board of Directors, composed of external advisers.


Stanley Aneke

Student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

Stanley is a first-generation college student at UMass Amherst studying biochemistry and molecular biology on the Pre-Med track. He has years of experience with supporting children, teenagers, and families in under-served neighborhoods as an educator and leader in Boston. He has been involved in many grassroots organizations to tackle climate change and environmental racism. He aspires to be an infectious disease doctor to protect the health of marginalized communities and he also hopes to get a Master's in Public Health to intersect his passion for environmental justice with health equity.


Kalila Barnett


Kalila Barnett

Program Officer of Climate Resilience at the Barr Foundation

Kalila joined Barr as the Climate Resilience Program Officer in 2018. Kalila has over a decade of experience in community organizing around affordable housing, land development, and environmental justice. She served as the Executive Director at Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE) for eight years. Before joining ACE in 2009, she worked as a Senior Organizer at Community Labor United. Kalila has a Bachelor's degree from Bates College, where she studied American Studies and Spanish, and a Master of Public Policy from the Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning School at Tufts University. Kalila currently lives in Roslindale and enjoys walking in the Arboretum, listening to podcasts, and cooking for friends.



Paulina Casasola



Paulina Casasola Mena

Massachusetts Climate Justice Organizer, Clean Water Action & Clean Water Fund

Paulina joined the Clean Water Massachusetts office in February 2021 as the Climate Justice Organizer and, since then, has helped lead the organization's energy justice and air quality advocacy work. Paulina is committed to uplifting marginalized groups' voices and addressing institutionalized racism as we solve critical environmental problems and address climate-related challenges. Growing up in Mexico City, she was exposed to various environmental justice issues that inspired her to become the advocate she is today. Paulina has over six years of experience engaging people from diverse communities in climate justice initiatives and leading JEDI events and workshops. She is bilingual and has a B.S. in Environmental Studies from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Paulina is an aspiring urban planner who aims to find equitable solutions to increase climate resiliency in our most vulnerable communities.


Gabriel Cira


Gabriel Cira, AIA

Principal architect, ARCH CIRA, and Project Lead for The Emerald Tutu

Gabriel Cira is a licensed architect based in Massachusetts. As project lead for The Emerald Tutu—visionary nature-based floating infrastructure for urban-scale coastal flood protection—he has brought it from the initial idea through multiple awards and grants to its present National Science Foundation-funded R&D activities and strong community links. Gabriel is active in local politics and advocacy in the Boston area, including the discourse on city-wide adaptation to climate change. He teaches the longstanding Architecture of Boston course at MassArt, which connects cooperative infrastructure history with the future of climate resilience. Growing up on Cape Cod, Gabriel has been a sailor since he was 5 years old. Other current ARCH CIRA projects include building a geothermal greenhouse for an urban farm, restoring a historic 1886 Black church, and working with The Architecture Lobby’s Coop Network group.


Tim Cronin

Tim Cronin

Massachusetts Director of Climate Policy at Health Care Without Harm

Tim leads Health Care Without Harm’s work in Massachusetts, focusing on advancing local solutions at the intersection of healthcare, community equity, decarbonization, and climate resilience. In this role, he facilitates the Health Care Working Group of the Boston Green Ribbon Commission (GRC). Tim has also worked at Climate XChange Education & Research (CXC) and the Climate Action Business Association (CABA). In 2019, he was the MetroCommon scenario planning co-chair for the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), where he helped support MAPC's 2050 Greater Boston region plan. Tim has a Bachelor's degree in economics and public policy from Stonehill College. He is a candidate for a Master of Public Administration from the McCormack Graduate School at UMass Boston.




Caleb Dresser


Emergency Medicine Faculty, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center / Harvard Medical School

Caleb Dresser is the Assistant Director of the Fellowship in Climate Change and Human Health based at BIDMC, the Harvard FXB Center, and Harvard C-CHANGE. He is a practicing Emergency Medicine physician on faculty at BIDMC and Harvard Medical School and a research scientist with the disaster planning and response organization CrisisReady. His research focuses on understanding the public health and healthcare implications of climate-related disasters and extreme weather events. He is actively involved in efforts to educate healthcare workers, policymakers, and the general public about the value of action to protect human health in the context of the ongoing climate crisis.






Julie Eaton Ernst


Resilience Team Leader, Weston & Sampson

Julie Eaton Ernst is a licensed professional civil engineer devoted to transforming our built, natural, and social environments to be resilient, sustainable, healthy, and equitable. She specializes in integrating climate projections into civil design practices and navigating the intersection of policy and engineered solutions. She has led several award-winning projects that have set the standard for integrating climate resilience in the A/E/C industry. As Resilience Team Leader at Weston & Sampson, she champions their Climate Resilience Strategic Initiative. She serves as chair of the Climate Change and Air Committee for the Environmental Business Council (EBC) of New England. She has bachelor’s degrees in Political Science (University of Rochester) and Civil Engineering (UMass Lowell), and a master’s degree in Civil Engineering (UMass Lowell). Julie has been recognized for her contributions to the industry as the recipient of the 2018 Ascending Leader Award from EBC, 2022 Young Professional of the Year Award from ACEC Massachusetts, and 2022 Young Professional of the Year Award from ACEC Nationals. She is a contributing author of, “Climate Change and the Built Environment,” published by ACEC in 2022.


Isabella Gambill

Isabella M. Gambill

Assistant Director of Climate, Energy, & Resilience, A Better City

In her role representing A Better City’s 130 member business organizations, Isabella works to move equitable climate and clean energy policy agendas forward at the city and state levels in Massachusetts. Isabella also leads A Better City’s extreme heat work with a focus on community resilience and participates in a variety of policy coalitions. She helps staff the Commercial Real Estate Working Group of the Green Ribbon Commission (GRC) and serves on the Community Advisory Board for Boston’s 20-Year Urban Forest Plan, the Advisory Group for the GRC’s Climate Justice Initiative, and the Steering Committee for a MA/Boston Climate Bank. Prior to joining A Better City, she worked as a Policy Officer for the United Nations’ Biodiversity Law and Governance Initiative and on domestic and international conservation networks with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. In addition to the Sustainable Solutions Lab Board, Isabella is honored to serve on the Board of Visitors and Young Leaders Council of Fenway Health. Isabella holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental studies from Wellesley College and a Masters in Conservation Leadership from the University of Cambridge.


Melanie Garate

Melanie Gárate

Director of Climate Engagement, Stone Living Lab

Melanie Gárate is the Director of Climate Engagement at the Stone Living Lab, where she develops and leads their strategies related to outreach with local communities to ensure their efforts are driven by the needs and priorities of people most impacted by climate change. Most recently she served as the Climate Resiliency Manager at the Mystic River Watershed Association and previously served in education specialist roles at Mass Audubon and the New England Aquarium. She is a 2022 Public Voices Fellow on the Climate Crisis with the OpEd Project in partnership with Yale University and brings a wealth of experience working with environmental justice and social justice communities.





Matthew Kiefer


Director at Goulston & Storrs

Matthew is a real estate development and land use lawyer whose practice is at the intersection of private initiative and public policy, focusing on obtaining parcel dispositions and entitlements from public agencies for complex urban projects. These include market-oriented, mixed-income and affordable housing; commercial and mixed-use projects; and facilities and master plans for universities, cultural institutions and other non-profits. He is a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers and has been recognized by Chambers USA as “a pre-eminent force in development and land use work.” In addition to his law practice, Matthew is a thought-leader in land use planning, design and development in Boston. He serves on the Advisory Board and Management Committee of ULI Boston; is an at-large member of the City of Boston’s Community Preservation Committee; is the immediate past Chair of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, which supports best practices in municipal governance; and is an Honorary Member of the Boston Society of Architects and the American Institute of Architects. Matthew is the co-chair of the firm’s Green Business practice and its Climate Change Resilience Task Force.





Amy Korté


President at Arrowstreet

As President, Amy leads the design of much of Arrowstreet’s residential work and has played a key role in orchestrating the firm’s large-scale mixed-use and commercial projects in Boston, Cambridge, Worcester, and Revere. Her multi-disciplinary background in environmental design, retail design, and development allows her to deliver creative project solutions that bridge multiple disciplines. Amy leads much of the research thinking at Arrowstreet, and launched the firm’s Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Studio. She is the recipient of Banker and Tradesman’s award for Women in Real Estate, which recognizes Massachusetts women who demonstrate talent, ambition, innovation, and philanthropy.






Andee Krasner


Public Health Consultant at Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility

Andee is a public health consultant for Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility; her work focuses on the intersection of the built environment, climate change, and public health. She recently co-authored the Health Effects of Gas Stove Pollution report, a collaboration between PSR, Rocky Mountain Institute, Sierra Club, and Mothers Out Front. The report was featured in Vox, Scientific American, Slate and other national media outlets. Prior to her work with GBPSR, Andee served as a Senior Consultant at JSI Research and Training Institute where she provided training and technical assistance to community-based organizations, local and state government agencies, and clinical providers. She is a longtime volunteer for Mothers Out Front and a founding member of the Mothers Out Front Health Impacts Team. Andee earned her undergraduate degree in molecular biology from the University of Washington, Seattle and her Master of Public Health from Yale University.






Julia Kumari Drapkin


CEO and Founder, ISeeChange

Julia Kumari Drapkin is the CEO of ISeeChange, a climate data and engagement platform to help cities combat climate change. Drapkin founded ISeeChange after reporting natural disasters and climate change for 12 years across the globe and in her own backyard on the Gulf Coast. Under her leadership, ISeeChange has received national awards and recognition from the White House Climate Data Initiative, NASA, MIT Solve, Echoing Green, Grist, AGU, the AAAS, Verizon, Exelon, and Morgan Stanley. Prior to journalism, Julia did anthropology research for 7 years in Central America where she geeked out on Mayan farmer’s almanacs.





Lisette Le


Principle, Kittleman & Associates, LLC

Lisette has almost two decades of experience in nonprofit leadership, community organizing, civic engagement, and advocacy at the local, city, and state levels. Growing up in Ohio as a first-generation Vietnamese American, she experienced firsthand the struggles that immigrants and low-income communities faced. She is committed to building a vibrant, civically-engaged Vietnamese community and training young people to become leaders in the community. Lisette is currently a Principal at Kittleman and Associates, a national executive search firm specializing in nonprofit organizations. Before joining Kittleman, Lisette was the Executive Director of VietAID, a hybrid community development corporation and social service organization in Boston. Previously, she was the Director of the Massachusetts Voter Table (part of the State Voices network), a non-partisan statewide coalition of community and advocacy organizations that seek to build the political power of low-income, new citizens, young people, and communities of color. Lisette holds a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University in American Studies.






John Macomber


Senior Lecturer of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

John Macomber is a Senior Lecturer in the Finance unit at Harvard Business School. His professional background includes leadership of real estate, construction, and information technology businesses. At HBS, Mr. Macomber's work focuses on climate adaptation and the future of cities, particularly as aided by the private finance and delivery of public infrastructure projects in both the developed and emerging worlds. His teaching combines infrastructure finance (including public-private partnerships), investing in resilience (notably in the face of sea rise in some areas and drought in others), economic development, and the impact of new technologies in delivering new infrastructure and making old infrastructure more efficient.  His most recent book is Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity (Harvard University Press, 2020).




Jen Stevenson Zepeda


Associate Executive Director, Climable

Jen Stevenson Zepeda (she/her) is the Associate Executive Director at Climable, a Massachusetts women-run nonprofit that provides technical translation to communities around energy and environmental issues. Jen is deeply involved in clean community microgrid projects that work to make these complex energy systems accessible for environmental justice communities. Originally from Maine, she enjoys being out on the water and spending time with family, friends and her dog. She is also passionate about music, equity, and low-impact development. Jen has a BA in Anthropology/Sociology and Spanish from Middlebury College and a Masters in Sustainable Design from the Boston Architectural College.

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