Board of Directors
Natalie Popovich, President
Natalie is a scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where she studies the climate and equity impacts of new transportation technologies. She is an Ellen MacArthur Fellow and works to include circular economy principles into her research to create regenerative systems that improve the lives of humans and other creatures. She dreams of a world in which cars are obsolete and all people have safe, affordable, and fun ways to access opportunities and connect to their communities. She holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics and an M.S. in Transportation Policy from UC Davis. Her college studies focused on environmental justice, with a B.A. in Race and Ethnic Studies from Whitman College.
Jake Kornack, Vice President
Jake Kornack is a legislative assistant who supports Earthjustice’s Climate & Energy and Lands, Wildlife, & Oceans teams. Prior to Earthjustice, Jake was a legislative intern for Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) where he worked on climate and energy-related matters. He also previously interned with Senator Jeff Merkley’s (D-OR) environmental team. He worked as an energy consultant with Dandelion Energy, a Google X spin-off that specialized in geothermal energy systems. His climate-related articles have been published in The Hill, The International New York Times, and USA Today. In his spare time, Jake serves on the board of Our Climate, a Washington-based nonprofit that mobilizes and empowers young people to advance strong climate policy. Jake received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Willamette University, where he led the effort to divest the university endowment from fossil fuels. Jake is currently an MBA candidate at Georgetown University, participating in their evening program.
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 also managed onsite climate change adaptation projects with APS in Sao Paulo and GIZ/European Commission in East India. Ty is currently the Kansas Campaign Representative for Sierra Club in Kansas City.
Leyana Dessauer, Secretary
Leyana Dessauer is originally from Syracuse, NY and lives in New York City. She 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. Prior to joining the board, she was an Our Climate Fellow, a Development Committee member. She holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College where she studied Environmental Studies.
A self-described ‘climate convert’, Sienna presently is dedicated to the fight against COVID-19 as she leads all U.S. Outreach and Engagement for the Path Check Foundation, a global nonprofit building open source software and standards for digital contact tracing and exposure notification. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, her work was focused on environmental justice and the disproportionate impact crises like COVID and climate-related disasters have on those who are most disadvantaged. A contributor to the Climate Refugees Project based on her work in the Bahamas, she also serves as a strategic advisor to the Kannico Agency and the Cova Experience Design group. Sienna earned her Bachelor of Arts at Harvard in Government, and recently completed her Master in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government with a focus on crisis management.
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 is a master in public policy student at the Harvard Kennedy School, with a focus on climate policy. In addition to Our Climate, they volunteer with the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Raven previously worked in the Swarthmore College Office of Sustainability to launch an internal carbon fee, chart the utility plan to reach carbon neutrality, and educate the community about the climate crisis. They have interned with Representative A. Donald McEachin, the Years of Living Dangerously Documentary series, and the Earth Quaker Action Team. Raven earned their B.A. at Swarthmore College in Biology and Chemistry, where they campaigned for fossil fuel divestment.
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.