Board of Directors
Natalie Popovich, President
Jake Kornack, Vice 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, Treasurer
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.
Leyana Dessauer, Secretary
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.
Michael (he/él) is a researcher, writer, and organizer with more than ten years of experience working for social and environmental justice. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he specialized in the political ecologies of violence and peace. His written work has appeared in the Journal of Resistance Studies, Feminist Review, Terrorism and Political Violence, Peace Review, Human Rights Review, The Washington Post, Al Jazeera, AlterNet, Latino Rebels, CounterPunch, the Environmental Justice Atlas, and others, and his book on resisting environmental violence is forthcoming via Vanderbilt University Press. His research has been supported by, among others, a University of California Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship, a Jennings Randolph Peace Scholarship from the United States Institute of Peace, and a Ph.D. Fellowship from the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.
Raven, 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. Raven recently worked for the Swarthmore College Office of Sustainability as the Climate Action Senior Fellow to implement an internal carbon charge program. They are now a graduate student at the Harvard Kennedy School.
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.