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Meet the OAEC Board

Blogpost published on: Thursday, October 26th, 2017

OAEC is proud to introduce our new Board of Directors members, the amazing “dream-team” that supports and oversees our self-governing staff collective. We are so grateful for the wealth of experience each one brings to the table and for their vote of confidence in our work!

For more detailed bios, we invite you to check out the Board of Directors webpage.

Photo above from left to right:

Melissa Nelson, President – Melissa is the president/CEO of The Cultural Conservancy, a Native-led indigenous rights organization she had directed since 1993. She is also associate professor of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University.  Her edited anthology Original Instructions – Indigenous Teachings For A Sustainable Future (2008), focuses on the persistence of Traditional Ecological Knowledge by contemporary Native communities.

Lori Maddox, Treasurer – Lori helped launch the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW), a global network of public interest advocates now spanning 80 countries.  She is most deeply engaged with colleagues in Mexico and Central America,  focused on protecting marine and coastal biodiversity and coordinating ELAW’s work to Defend Defenders – fighting back against attempts to chill civil society leaders worldwide.

Gopal Dayaneni – Gopal currently serves on the Staff Collective of Movement Generation: Justice and Ecology Project, which inspires and engages in transformative action towards the liberation and restoration of land, labor, and culture. MG is rooted in vibrant social movements led by low-income communities and communities of color committed to a Just Transition away from profit and pollution and towards healthy, resilient and life-affirming local economies.

Susan McGovern, Secretary – Susan is a member of Sowing Circle, the intentional community that resides at the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, as well as a founding member of OAEC. In her 23 years on the land, she has engaged in consensus-based community governance and land stewardship to support the missions of both the residential community and the non-profit.

Janell Orsi –  Janell is a practicing lawyer and author and is the Co-founder/Executive Director of the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC), which facilitates the growth of more sustainable and localized economies through education, research, and advocacy.  Janelle is the author of Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy: Helping People Build Cooperatives, Social Enterprise, and Local Sustainable Economies (ABA Books 2012), and co-author of The Sharing Solution: How to Save Money, Simplify Your Life & Build Community (Nolo Press 2009).