Pesticide Action Network North America is endowed with the commitments and capabilities of its staff of scientists, campaigners, writers, interns and support specialists. Here you can get contact information for and learn a little about some of the people behind PAN’s work for pesticide reform.
Brenda J. Willoughby
B.A., Urban Studies, Vassar College
After interning in PAN's Development office in 2009, Matt returned in 2011 to work as the Development Assistant. He graduated from Vassar College in 2009 with a degree in Urban Studies. Originally from New York, Matt relocated to San Francisco shortly after college and has now found a home at PAN. He was promoted to Associate in 2013.
Information Technology Manager
DigitalVideo, Berkeley City College, Berkeley, California
Clint had over 20 years experience as a network technician, webmaster and consultant, specializing in Mac systems, prior to joining PAN in 2006. He served as network coordinator for Vista College in Berkeley, consultant to the advertising and publishing industries, and as webmaster, network administrator, and a contributing writer at macHOME magazine. Clint maintains PAN’s computing systems, network, cloud computing and telecommunications services.
Ph.D., Environment and Social Justice, University College London
Medha has 16 years experience in urban design, environmental protection, international development and social justice work in India, the UK, and in the U.S. Before moving to the U.S., Medha worked on environmental conflict and justice issues in India and the UK, focusing on low income urban and peri-urban communities. At PAN North America, Medha leads a team focused on international and domestic pesticide campaigns, and is the coordinator of PAN International’s Working Group on Pesticides and Corporations. Medha has written for academic as well as NGO publications. She is trilingual in Bengali, English and Hindi.
Alicia is a rising sophomore at Kalamazoo College, where she is pursuing Anthropology & Sociology majors. She has been a long-time participant in Girls, Inc. and is now involved in a host of social justice issues on her campus through MECha de Kzoo and the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. She has worked to organize spaces for students of color on campus, and participated in actions for the 43 missing Ayotzinapa students and for Black Lives Matter. She is also involved with Hermanas Unidas de Kzoo, Women of Color Alliance, and NaKed Music and Culture Magazine. Alicia is proficient in Spanish.
Organizer and Partners Program Coordinator
B.A., Economics, Whittier College
Devika grew up on a small farm in Northern India where her parents continue to grow most of their own food using traditional ecological farming practices. Upon moving to the U.S. she was appalled and mobilized as she learned about food waste, and the health and livelihood harms inherent in our global agricultural system. As a student, Devika organized and led campus workers' rights and ecological sustainability initiatives, helping to build strong multi-racial alliances around these and other social and environmental justice campaigns. She interned with PAN in summer 2010, joined the staff in 2011 and became an Organizer and International Campaign Coordinator in 2012; she currently leads PAN issue drives on corporate control and food democracy and coordinates PAN's interns and Partners Program (organizational allies). Devika identifies as Desi/Indian/South Asian and is bilingual in Hindi and English.
B.A., Linguistics, Northwestern University
Judy joined PAN in June 2012. Since 1981, she has worked as a grant maker, a program manager, a consultant and a trainer for social justice groups all over the country. Previous employers include National People's Action, Amnesty International USA, the Funding Exchange, the Crossroads Fund, the Community Resource Exchange and the Center for Community Change. She was a consultant with the Grantsmanship Center and the Women of Color Fundraising Institute, among other organizations. Most recently, Judy served as Director of Programs, then Executive Director, of the Environmental Support Center, which helped build the capacity of environmental justice and advocacy organizations around the country through grants and other resources. Judy currently serves on the boards of directors of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, and the national progressive foundation RESIST. Since moving to Oakland, she's been happily volunteering at the East Bay Meditation Center.
Ph.D., Physics, Harvard University
Brian served PAN as a staff scientist and as the science department director from September 2004 to November 2009. Before joining PAN, Brian was working in the Energy Analysis Department of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. Prior to that he was a software engineer, including working at NeXT and Apple on the development of Mac OS X. His doctoral and post-doctoral research in physics included Monte Carlo calculations of the properties of particles known as “heavy mesons.” At PAN, Brian has done technical analyses and software development for PAN’s PesticideInfo website and its What’s On My Food? software, and analyses of environmental modeling. He regularly engaged U.S. EPA and California Department of Pesticide Regulation processes, particularly on fumigants, in order to improve protections for health and the environment. As a consulting analyst, he continues to do technical analyses, data updates and software enhancements for PesticideInfo and What’s On My Food?.
B.A., African American Studies and Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, Wesleyan University
Lex joined PAN as Organizer in the summer of 2013. He comes to PAN with experience in multiple social justice movements—including student-labor solidarity work, organizing against mass incarceration, and building community power with transgender youth—that have deeply shaped him as an organizer. In 2013, he participated in the Anne Braden Anti-Racist Training Program, where he was trained in histories and strategies of anti-racist movement building. Lex was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, and currently lives in Minneapolis. He is proficient in Spanish.
Shira is a rising senior at Vassar College, majoring in Science, Technology and Society, a multidisciplinary field that focuses on the technical and social dimensions of science and technology. She is also working towards a minor in Computer Science. Shira recently studied abroad in Vietnam, Morocco and Bolivia in the fall of 2014, under a program that focused on climate change, environmental policy, and economic development. Shira hails from Jakarta, Indonesia and Manila, Philippines.
Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University
Marcia Ishii-Eiteman is a senior scientist and director of the Grassroots Science Program at PAN. Before joining PAN in 1996, Marcia worked in Asia and Africa for 14 years. She developed farmer field schools in ecological pest management, sustainable agriculture and community-based rural development projects in Southeast Asia, and women's health, literacy and resource conservation projects on the Thai-Cambodian and Somali-Ethiopian borders. Marcia holds a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University and a B.A. in Women’s Studies from Yale University. She has written extensively on the ecological, social and political dimensions of food and agriculture and was a lead author of the UN-sponsored International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development.
B.A., Public Relations & Political Science, Western Michigan University
Sharmila — Mila — joined PAN as Development Director in 2014. Her nonprofit career, mostly in fundraising and communications, spans almost 17 years in a range of social justice and environmental issues including public health, domestic violence, international environmental justice and wildlife protection. Mila is Malaysian, was educated in England and the United States, and considers herself a global citizen. She is excited to take PAN to new and creative heights through donor communities all over the world, an endeavor she sees as urgent due to PAN’s unique work crafting relevant solutions to the most trying global concerns of our time – from climate change and food democracy to public health and human rights. Mila unequivocally calls Penang, Malaysia (in the Global South) and Oakland, California (in the Global North) among the best places in the world to live and work.
Ph.D., Organic and Inorganic Chemistry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Postdoctoral in Organometallic Chemistry, Colorado State University and University of California, Berkeley
Susan served as a senior scientist at PAN from 1998-2009, and continues as Consulting Scientist. Before joining PAN, Susan taught at Middlebury and Williams Colleges, where she began doing environmental research on PCB-contaminated soils. She moved to UC Berkeley in 1992 and developed an Environmental Chemistry course focused on methods to evaluate environmental contamination, including pesticides and heavy metals. Susan directed PAN’s Science Department from 2002 to 2007, during which time she oversaw development of the PAN Pesticide Database, www.pesticideinfo.org; our program of technical engagement with pesticide regulatory agencies; and our environmental monitoring program, for which she developed PAN’s Pesticide Drift Catcher air monitoring device. Her current work focuses on the science and policy related to airborne pesticides. Susan is Principal and CEO of Pesticide Research Institute.
M.A., Media Studies, New College of California
Before joining PAN in 2011, Sara spent four years working with a public opinion research firm helping to craft winning communications and campaign strategies for progressive candidates and ballot measures. She has written about policy and environmental issues for several outlets, including YES! Magazine and Earth Island Journal. During graduate school, her studies focused on environmental journalism and effective uses of media for social change, culminating in a multi-media Master’s thesis on food politics and the corporatization of our food systems. At PAN, Sara leads the Communications team, driving the organization's message development, digital engagement and communications strategy
Cassandra is a rising senior at Kalamazoo College, where she will be finishing her English and Ethnic Studies majors along with her minor in Anthropology/Sociology. Cassandra has gained a magnitude of experience through social justice work on campus, as well as off-campus. Her focus has been aimed at the retention of students of color at Kalamazoo College through actions in demand of an Ethnic Studies program to the implementation of an Intercultural Center. She plans on pursuing a law degree and work on civil rights law to protect communities of color, especially undocumented workers. Cassandra is from Chicago, IL and is proficient in Spanish.
Ph.D., Biology, Boston University
Emily began studying reptiles as an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, working on effects of sex steroids on sex determination and development in snakes, turtles, and lizards. While in graduate school at Boston University, she studied live-bearing snakes and wrote her thesis on the impact of contaminated soil on expression of genes that play a role in reproduction, using turtles as a model. Emily's research background is in comparative endocrinology, reproductive development and endocrine disruption. Before joining PAN in 2012, Emily briefly did postdoctoral research projects at UC Davis and UC Berkeley. She has also volunteered at the nonprofit Bikes Not Bombs, teaching bike mechanics to youth from the Boston area. Emily manages PAN's Grassroots Science Program, including community monitoring of air and water for pesticide exposure. She co-authored PAN's report on children and pesticides: A Generation in Jeopardy (2012).
B.A., Economics, University of California, Irvine; graduate studies, University of Utah
Johnnae joined PAN in 2013 with more than five years of communications and outreach experience. While working on her masters in communication, she developed a communications plan to increase student engagement with the University of Utah’s sustainability office. Prior to graduate school she worked with the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity facilitating increased funder engagement on climate change and energy issues. Johnnae works with the Communications team and PAN staff in developing digital content and managing social media outreach.
B.A., English Literature, University of South Florida
Andrew originally joined PAN in 2009. Previously, he spent five years as the Public Affairs Specialist with The San Francisco Foundation and led the drive in developing their CMS website. After a year as the Web Manager with the Taproot Foundation, Andrew is back at PAN, bringing 14 years of experience in developing websites and writing copy, with an emphasis on nonprofit organizations. Andrew is responsible for maintaining and upgrading PAN’s websites, and engaging online communities. His extensive travels have allowed him to interact with and experience a great variety of cultures around the globe. Andrew speaks conversational Spanish.
Emma is the 2015 Summer Agroecology Intern, and comes to PAN with experience on organic vegetable, dairy, and livestock farms in France, Switzerland, the U.S., and Sri Lanka. She was drawn to PAN’s international activism on behalf of frontline communities affected by pesticides, including farmworkers, rural people, and indigenous groups, and PAN’s work to publicize sustainable and beneficial alternatives to pesticides. Emma graduated in 2014 with a BA in history from Carleton College and is interested in learning about farming cultures across the world. She is working on a series of farmer interviews for the “Stories from the Field” series, focusing on the policy, technical, and financial support that is essential to successfully implementing agroecological practices.
Ph.D., Agricultural Ecology, University of Michigan; Postdoctoral in Agronomy, Ohio State
Before joining PAN in 1996, Margaret spent most of nine years in Central America, teaching and conducting research in tropical agricultural ecology. She worked with university colleagues and NGOs to improve productivity of low-input ecologically sound agricultural methods. Margaret has published her work in Spanish and English in professional and educational journals as well as popular venues. Since the early 1980s, she has worked in support of farmworker rights and has been a member of New World Agriculture and Ecology Group. At PAN, Margaret focuses on environmental health and justice, particularly farmworker health and safety. Margaret speaks Spanish.
Program & Policy Director
M.A., Social Change and Development, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
Before joining PAN in 1996, Kristin worked for the World Resources Institute’s Sustainable Agriculture program, as a communications specialist for the U.S. EPA, and as an agro-forestry extension officer with the Peace Corps in Kenya. Prior to becoming Program and Policy Director, Kristin was PAN’s Campaigns Department Director. She coordinated the international persistent organic pollutants (POPs) campaign under the Stockholm Convention for several years, as well as PAN's campaign to phase out methyl bromide under the Montreal Protocol. Kristin has been lead author on several PAN North America reports, including Chemical Trespass: Pesticides in our Bodies and Corporate Accountability (2004) and Nowhere to Hide: Persistent Toxic Chemicals in the U.S. Food Supply (2005) and co-authored A Generation in Jeopardy (2012). She also authored several studies on methyl bromide, including a pamphlet in Spanish for farmworkers on methyl bromide hazards, and two reports for the U.N. Environment Programme designed to help developing nations phase out this hazardous fumigant. Kristin speaks conversational Spanish.
Chief Financial Officer
Ph.D., History and American Studies, Indiana University
From 1969 to 1985, Steve taught and served as a dean at Ohio Wesleyan University and John F. Kennedy University in California. From 1985 to 1991, he and his partner owned and operated a restaurant in Davis, California, and he worked in restaurants and organic foods retailing in the Bay Area. He served as co-director and/or managing director of PAN from 1991 to 2012. Today, Steve’s responsibilities as CFO include finance and operations, and he serves on the executive committee for Californians for Pesticide Reform, of which PAN North America is a founder and primary fiscal sponsor. He has also served as treasurer on the boards of the Institute for Food and Development Policy (Food First) and Earth Share of California.
Leticia was born, raised and graduated from high school in Mexico, moving to San Francisco in 1973. Her previous work experience includes nursing and manufacturing. Before coming to PAN as receptionist in June 2002, she completed a computer and office skills training program, and she has been Office Manager since 2004. Leticia is bilingual in Spanish and English.
Organizing and Media Director
B.S., Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning, University of California, Davis
Paul joined PAN in summer 2011 bringing more than eight years experience in community organizing, fundraising and organizational development with environmental, health and social justice organizations. Before coming to PAN, he directed Pesticide Watch and Pesticide Watch Education Fund, sister California organizations dedicated to reducing pesticide use and promoting healthy farming. Previously, Paul was a community organizer with New England-based Toxics Action Center, and he is a graduate of Green Corps, the field school for environmental organizing. Paul's media background comes from serving as Public Affairs and General Manager of KDVS-FM and as a co-founder of Common Frequency, a media justice nonprofit. At PAN, Paul provides support to partner organizations and communities, coordinates the Organizing Hub, and acts as primary contact for print media, television and radio. Paul speaks conversational Spanish.
Ph.D., Environmental Science, Ohio State University
Chela coordinates international campaigns, working primarily from the PAN Asia and the Pacific office in Penang, Malaysia. Before coming to PAN, Chela worked as a community organizer and development coordinator with Centro Campesino, a farmworker organization in Minnesota focused on labor justice, youth leadership, health promotion and immigration reform. She has done international campaigning as a Senior Policy Analyst at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and received campaigning and media training through the Organizing Apprenticeship Project, Center for Third World Organizing, Institute for Justice, Farm Labor Organizing Committee, and Progressive Technology Project. She serves on the boards of the Minnesota Water Alliance and the Women’s Environmental Institute, and on the environmental justice grantmaking committee of the Headwaters Foundation for Justice. Chela is from Ecuador and bilingual in English and Spanish.
Associate Director of Organizing
B.A., Political Sciences & Global Development, Grinnell College
Linda joined PAN in winter 2011, bringing nearly a decade of organizing experience with environmental and economic justice issues. Before PAN, Linda's environmental work focused on protecting endangered ecosystems through marketplace campaigns with ForestEthics. Linda is also a co-founder of the nationwide Hand in Hand — the domestic employers association, which seeks to create fair working conditions for domestic workers. As part of her dedication to strong multiracial movements for justice, Linda has served on the leadership team of the Catalyst Project’s Anne Braden training program for white social justice activists; and she is a graduate of Green Corps, the field school for environmental organizing. Linda is a fourth-generation Iowan from Davenport. She is based in Minneapolis and provides support to PAN partner organizations and communities, particularly in Iowa and Minnesota, as well as helping to lead PAN's organizing staff. Linda speaks conversational Spanish.
Brenda J. Willoughby
Staff Accountant, Database Administrator and Desktop Publisher
B.A., Biology and Spanish, Manchester College
From 1990 to 1993, Brenda volunteered full-time with Brethren Volunteer Service, working two years with the Church of the Brethren Latin American/Caribbean Office in Elgin, Illinois, then with PAN, assisting with Regional Coordination and doing research for the PAN international Dirty Dozen Pesticides campaign. She was hired as the office manager and bookkeeper in April 1993. Today, Brenda administers our constituent relationship managment system, provides desktop publishing and design services for PAN and Californians for Pesticide Reform, and is our staff accountant.
Nikta interned in the Development department at PANNA from December 2012-April 2013. “Working at PAN was my first experience in a ‘real’ office, and I really enjoyed all that I learned both about nonprofit fundraising and about PAN's program work, which prepared me for where I am today.”
Today, Nikta works at Prevention Institute, where she supports their work in improving access to healthy eating and physical activity to create healthier and more equitable communities.
Janice interned with PAN September 2014-May 2015 and worked on our agroecology and chlorpyrifos campaigns. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a major in conservation and research studies with a concentration in environmental health and agroecology. Her interest in these subjects brought her to PAN and we're excited to see where they take her next.
Human Rights Intern
Emily Harden was a Human Rights Intern at PAN from June of 2013 until May of 2014. As an MA student studying Human Rights Education at the University of San Francisco, Emily came to PAN with a strong interest in both corporate accountability and the intersection of human rights and environmental rights. While at PAN, she researched points of leverage to hold agrichemical corporations accountable for human rights violations in the United States. In addition, Emily worked with colleagues at PAN and Dr. Thomas Kerns of the Environment and Human Rights Advisory in Yachats, Oregon to develop a Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA/P) that would raise public awareness of the relationship between pesticide exposure and human rights.
Today, Emily works full-time as an IRB Coordinator at the Office for the Protection of Human Subjects at UC Berkeley.
Agricultural Development from AgroParis Tech
Olivier interned full-tiime in PAN's Grassroots Science program from April through November 2014, bringing a degree in Agricultural Development from AgroParis Tech. During his studies, he specialized in agroecology and participated in research on biological control at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2013, he studied a region of Guadeloupe, where the past use of the organophosphate pesticide chlordecone has had long-term effects on people's health, the economy, and the environment. Today, Olivier works with Plan Ecophyto, the French action plan to cut the nationwide use of pesticides by 50% in the space of ten years.
Dawna interned at PANNA from July of 2011 to July of 2012. She worked on our multi-year, high-profile campaign to protect public health by eliminating methyl iodide from US agriculture. With Dawna’s leadership, the Safe Strawberries campaign employed creative tactics including a “mock fumigation” on the streets of San Francisco as well as on the steps of the State Capitol building; met with key decisionmakers and legislators; and was eventually successful in forcing this toxic fumigant off the market.
Today, Dawna works on the Local Entities Outreach Systems team at the Sierra Club in San Francisco.
UC Santa Cruz
After graduating from University of California, Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Environmental Studies, Tia launched her organizing career as an intern at PANNA working as the Executive Assistant and Campaigns Assistant on the Safe Strawberries Campaign. After an action-packed 11 months at PAN, Tia went on to successfully complete Green Corps, the Field School for Environmental Organizing. During her time there she worked extensively in the Midwest, organizing on campaigns for clean energy and fair food.
Today, Tia is the Northern California Organizer for Food & Water Watch. Based in Oakland, she works to engage activists and hold elected officials accountable on a range of issues across the region including fracking, water privatization, and food issues including factory farms and genetic engineering.
Starlyn interned at PANNA in the summer of 2010. During her time here, she worked on an environmental justice report examining the racial and socio-economic implications of using methyl iodide as a soil fumigant in California. Upon examining the areas of use in the state of California, a disturbing pattern became evident: the heaviest usage of methyl iodide would be concentrated in areas with heavier percentages of minorities. Starlyn also contributed to the development of an organic foods pledge for local stores and merchants.
Today, Starlyn is working towards her Masters in Natural Resources and plans to continue working towards all forms of environmental equity.
Elise is a student at University of California, Berkeley studying Cognitive Science. She had previously worked as a research assistant for the organization called The Living New Deal, which aims to preserve New Deal art and architecture. Later, Elise wanted more experience with nonprofits and joined PAN as a Development Intern during the summer before her fourth year at UC Berkeley.
Mikenna joined PAN in 2014 as an organizing intern after graduating from the University of Denver. She studied ecology throughout school with a particular interest in plant-insect interactions.