Board of Directors
Jake Kornack, Interim President
Jake has been a climate activist and community organizer for six years. In college, Jake was an intern for Oregon Climate, director of sustainability of the Eastside for Willamette University, president of Students for Divestment at Willamette University, and author of a toolkit with the American Council On Renewable Energy that has facilitated the adoption of renewable energy on tribal lands. Jake was also an organizing fellow with the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2015, learning the power of grassroots organizing firsthand in the cornfields of Iowa. Recently, Jake completed a 28,000-mile journey around the globe, studying the political economy of climate change, speaking with people impacted by increased drought and changing weather patterns. As an avid organizer and writer, Jake has attended the last two UN Climate Negotiations in Paris and Morocco.
Ty Gorman, Vice President
Ty has worked on climate change mitigation and adaptation projects for 12 years. He has promoted renewable energy and energy efficiency in the U.S. through community and national sustainability programs at the U.S. DOE, EPA, DOT, House of Representatives, Sustainability Institute of N. Charleston, Pacific Gas and Electric, First Light Solar, and Ecova. He managed onsite climate change adaptation projects with APS in Sao Paulo and GIZ/European Commission in East Indian villages. Ty is now a Project Manager at Bonneville Power Administration.
Natalie Popovich, Board Treasurer
Natalie currently resides in her native California where she is pursuing a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Davis. She spends most of her time thinking about how economics can be leveraged to address equity issues in environmental regulation. Her background in environmental advocacy and transportation planning motivates her belief in the power of a carbon tax to fundamentally shift the power imbalance in our economy. She has a soft spot for whales and dreams of a world where everyone has the option to bike or take transit to work.
Nathan, from Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania, was a double major in biology and chemistry at Swarthmore. They've worked on different environmental justice related projects through their time as a student, including working with the Earth Quaker Action team to defund mountain-top removal coal mining, advocating for fossil fuel divestment, interning with the Years of Living Dangerously documentary series on the impacts of climate change, organizing Pennsylvania student turnout for the People's Climate March. Nathan currently works for the Swarthmore College Office of Sustainability as the Climate Action Senior Fellow to implement an internal carbon charge program.
Yassamin Ansari is a Principal Advisor at Mission 2020. She currently spearheads youth and citizen mobilization as a secondment to the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit Team. Previously, Yassamin was based in San Francisco embedded within the Office of Governor Jerry Brown where she served as the Deputy Director of Policy for the Global Climate Action Summit. She also served as the Director of the Climate Action 2016 Summit in Washington D.C. From 2014-2016, Yassamin was the youngest member of the climate team that advised United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and helped to deliver the historic Paris Agreement.
Beyond climate, Yassamin is heavily involved in progressive politics in the US. As the Vice Chair of Civic Engagement for the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian-Americans (PAAIA), she founded the Ansari Fellowship Program, an initiative that empowers young Iranian-Americans to pursue public service careers. She also founded Party for Progress— a unique event with a mission to elect young, progressive leaders to public office. Yassamin holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a master’s from the University of Cambridge.
Leyana Dessauer is originally from Syracuse, NY and lives in New York City. Leyana holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College where she focused on Environmental Studies. She has organized with the campaign to keep hydro-fracking out of upstate NY and was involved in immigration advocacy activism on her college campus. She now works at North Star Fund, a foundation which funds community organizing in NYC and the Hudson Valley. She has been involved with Our Climate as a Fellow, a Development Committee member and now as a Board member.
Gordy is an experienced manager with domestic and international not-for-profits and has a long-standing interest in renewable energy and climate change. Gordy has several decades of management experience, including 20 years with CARE International, an international relief and development agency. His first efforts at increasing solar energy date back to 1982, when he organized one of Oregon’s first solar-energy technician training programs. More recently, he was the Executive Director of Green Empowerment, an organization promoting renewable energy in the developing world. He serves on the board of directors of Solar Oregon and has been active with Oregon Climate/Our Climate since 2013.