Board | Pesticide Action Network
Reclaiming the future of food and farming


PAN Board

PAN's Board of Directors brings the very best of non-profit, business and legal expertise to our organization. They represent the broad diversity of our membership and contribute significant amounts of time, talent and energy to ensure PAN succeeds in its mission. Pesticide Action Network North America’s Board of Directors include:

Kyra Busch

Kyra BuschProgram Officer for the Christensen Fund’s Global and U.S. Southwest Programs
Kyra Busch is the Program Officer for the Christensen Fund’s Global and U.S. Southwest Programs focusing on agrobiodiversity and food sovereignty and resilient biocultural landscapes. Through these programs, she partners with international organizations and communities to foster and support Indigenous innovation in food, land and livelihood processes. She also serves as a donor advisor to the AgroEcology Fund and Steering Committee member for the Global Alliance for the Future of Food. Prior to joining the Christensen Fund, Kyra worked on issues of community-based conservation, food sovereignty, trade, health, education, climate and human rights with organizations ranging from Indigenous Peoples’ and non-governmental organizations in the U.S. and Thailand, to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and represented the Maldives in the United Nations climate negotiations. Kyra holds a Master’s in Social Ecology of Conservation and Development from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Kyra is fluent in English and Thai and conversant in French and Spanish.

David Chatfield

David ChatfieldRetired, former Executive Director of Californians for Pesticide Reform
David Chatfield was the Executive Director of Californians for Pesticide Reform (CPR) from 1997 to 2011. Before joining CPR, he was California Director of Clean Water Action for two years, Regional Director of Greenpeace for 10 years (southwest US), Chair of the Greenpeace USA Board, and International Pesticide Coordinator. David also served as International Director of Friends of the Earth (FoE) under David Brower, helping expand the FoE network globally. David started social justice advocacy with the American Friends Service Committee in San Francisco, where he worked as staff and served on AFSC’s regional Executive Committee as Associate Chair. David was also Chair of the Board of the U.S. Greenpeace Fund for 20 years, resigning in 2012. He was Treasurer, then Board Chair of Global Community Monitor (the “Bucket Brigade” organization). David currently serves on the Center for Environmental Health’s Justice Grants Committee and the board of Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility. This is his second time on PAN's board, as he served as a founding board member from 1984 to 1997.

Cheryl Danley

Derenoncourt Consulting
Cheryl trained as an agricultural economist, has broad experience in community development, agricultural marketing, natural resource management and policy. She has held positions at Michigan State's Center for Regional Food Systems and Partnerships for Food Industry Development, and been involved in teaching and research in a number of African countries. As a Food and Community Fellow with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, her areas of focus included community food assessments, local food councils, school food value chains, and equity for socially disadvantaged and underrepresented groups. Cheryl was a Program Manager with FoodCorps and currently is a community food systems specialist associated with Derenoncourt Consulting. Although Cheryl was raised in Detroit, Boston and New York City, she takes great pride in the Florida farmland her family has maintained for five generations.

Kamyar Enshayan

Kamyar EnshayanUniversity of Northern Iowa's Center for Energy & Environmental Education
Kamyar Enshayan directs University of Northern Iowa's Center for Energy & Environmental Education where he and staff engage students, community leaders, and local governments in implementing policies towards climate action, local food system development, and soil and water conservation. Kamyar was awarded the Sustainable Agriculture Achievement Award by Practical Farmers of Iowa. He oversees several AmeriCorps programs, and manages a food security AmeriCorps program in Waterloo, Iowa. In 2016, Kamyar, his students, and statewide partners began Good Neighbor Iowa to reduce children's exposure to urban pesticides.  An agricultural engineer by training, he teaches classes on food & agriculture in Iowa and energy literacy. Kamyar served as a local elected official on the City Council of his hometown of Cedar Falls, Iowa for eight years.

Eriberto Fernandez

Eriberto FernandezCivic Engagement and Policy Coordinator for the United Farm Workers Foundation
Eriberto is the Civic Engagement and Policy Coordinator for the United Farm Workers Foundation, a sister organization of the United Farm Workers of America – the nation’s first successful and largest farm workers’ labor union. Eriberto is the proud son of farmworkers and was a former child farmworker himself, and specializes in organizing areas of worker mobilization, participatory education and workers’ rights. Eriberto works closely with civil rights and environmental organizations to implement national and California state policy changes affecting largely immigrant and Latino farmworker communities, including workplace safety protections and pro-immigrant policy reforms.

Jodi Neuman

JodiInvestment Manager, Trillium Asset Management
In her role at Trillium, Jodi helps clients build portfolios to work toward financial, social and environmental goals. Jodi enables clients to use their voice as an investor to press for change using shareholder advocacy and public policy in a broad range of issue areas including sustainable agriculture and human rights in the supply chain. Jodi is s a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder, and earned an M.B.A. from the HEC School of Management in Paris specializing in Finance. While attending HEC, she consulted with a rural microfinance firm based in Puno, Peru whose client base worked primarily in agriculture. Jodi also holds a B.B.A. in Business Economics from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. She is a member of Spark SF and Women Investing in a Sustainable Economy (WISE). Although she currently resides in San Francisco, Jodi is a native of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Virginia Nesmith - Board Treasurer

Lupe MartinezFarmworker advocate
Virginia has been an advocate for the rights of farm workers for much of her life, beginning in 1976 with the National Farm Worker Ministry. NFWM engages faith based groups and individuals in support of farm workers across the country who are organizing for a better life. Virginia later served as Executive Director of NFWM for fifteen years, retiring from that position in 2013. She also worked for the United Farm Workers, organizing the public action component of several contract campaigns, and fought with them and others for just immigration reform. She was one of the founders and steering committee members of the Equitable Food Initiative, in which PAN participates. She values the diverse participation of workers, growers and retailers in the EFI towards common goals of improving working conditions, pesticide management and food safety, and was part of another successful multi-stakeholder approach in previous work on economic conversion in her hometown of St. Louis, MO. Virginia graduated from Webster University with a focus on Peace and Conflict Studies and studied in the Master of Divinity Program at Eden Seminary. She admits to being a pretty poor grower of her own food but is hoping she does better in helping develop a large pollinator garden in the community.

Denise O'Brien

Denise O'BrienIowa farmer and organizer
Denise is a farmer and community organizer from Atlantic, Iowa. She and her husband Larry Harris, a fourth generation farmer, have farmed for 36 years on land Larry grew up on—sixteen acres of fruit, vegetables, turkeys and chickens. As a farmer Denise has worked on state, national and international agriculture and conservation policy. She has written and spoken across the U.S. on women in agriculture, organic and sustainable farming and local food systems, and in 2006 ran for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. Denise is the founder of Women Food and Agriculture Network, organized the Women's Task Force of the Iowa Farm Unity Coalition, directed the Rural Women's Leadership Development Project of PrairieFire Rural Action, Inc., and served as president of the National Family Farm Coalition. She was inducted into Iowa's Women's Hall of Fame in 2000, received the 2004 Iowa Farmer's Union Life Time Achievement Award as well as the 2005 Practical Farmers of Iowa Sustainable Agriculture Achievement Award. O’Brien recently completed a year as a USDA agriculture adviser in Afghanistan

Sapna E. Thottathil - Board Secretary

Sapna E. ThottathilAssociate Director of Sustainability, University of California
Sapna E. Thottathil, PhD is the author of India's Organic Farming Revolution. She has 10 years of experience in international development, environmental sustainability, and food and agriculture. She has worked on environmental policy and climate change for multiple organizations, including the Environmental Protection Agency, School Food Focus and Health Care Without Harm, and has contributed to several articles on sustainable meat procurement, featured in outlets such as Civil Eats and the American Journal of Public Health. She earned her BA from the University of Chicago, where she was awarded the Udall Scholarship for environmental leadership, before going on to receive an MSc from Oxford University and a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley, where she was the recipient of a Fulbright fellowship. She currently serves on the Oakland Food Policy Council and is on the National Advisory Council for the Women, Food and Agriculture Network. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking, and identifying wildflowers and birds. She lives in Oakland, California.

Kyle Powys Whyte - Vice President

Kyle WhyteTimnick Chair in the Humanities at Michigan State University
Kyle holds the Timnick Chair in the Humanities at Michigan State University. He is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Community Sustainability, a faculty member of the Environmental Philosophy & Ethics graduate concentration, and a faculty affiliate of the American Indian & Indigenous Studies and Environmental Science & Policy programs. He is Potawatomi and an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. His research, teaching, training, and activism address moral and political issues concerning climate policy and Indigenous peoples and the ethics of cooperative relationships between Indigenous peoples and climate science organizations. His work has recently extended to cover issues related to Indigenous food sovereignty.

Nsedu Obot Witherspoon - Board President

Nsedu Obot WitherspoonChildren's Environmental Health Network
Nsedu is Executive Director of the Children’s Environmental Health Network in Washington, D,C., a national organization that works to protect the developing child from environmental health hazards and promote a healthier environment. Nse is trained in public health and medical sciences, and brings a broad background in teaching, publishing, presenting and policy advocacy, including testifying before Congress. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Environmental Health Sciences Roundtable, advisor to the Columbia Center for Children’s Health and the Environment, and is appointed to the Maryland Children’s Environmental Health Protection Advisory Council. Nse has worked with the National Institutes of Health-D.C. Initiative to Reduce Infant Mortality at the George Washington University School of Public Health; the Transplant Recipients International Organization; and with the Washington Free Clinic. She is an active member of the American Public Health Association. Nse has a Masters in Public Health from George Washington University.