Lia Cheek

Campaign Director

Lia Cheek is the Endangered Species Coalition's national campaigns director and oversees our field representatives throughout the country. She has a bachelor’s degree in ecology from Dartmouth College and spent three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines, where she focused on community-based marine conservation. With international experience in wildlife conservation, Lia brings her strengths in biological research, project management, community organizing, and cross-cultural understanding to her work with ESC.

Kathleen Cogan

California Field Representative

Kathleen has worked an organizer for the last ten years on issuing ranging from youth voting to women's reproductive rights. She has also worked in electoral politics, managing local and state races. She loves self-help books, mountains and wine. 

Carl Crow

Campaign Assistant

Carl Crow is the Endangered Species Coalition's Vanishing Campaign Assistant. He has spent his time since graduation working on a number of progressive issues, working in communications at the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and on federal policy at Friends of the Earth. Carl holds a B.A. in Political Science from Kenyon College.

Derek Goldman
Northern Rockies Field Representative

Derek previously worked as an organizer for the Montana Wilderness Association. After receiving his MS degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana, he spent the 2005 Montana state legislative session in Helena lobbying on environmental issues with Montana Audubon. As a volunteer and board member of a local social justice nonprofit, Derek helped organize an international coalition opposing the Central American Free Trade Agreement, Free Trade Area of the Americas and other socio-economic issues. Derek has been a river guide in Wyoming, Alaska, Utah and Montana and a snowboard instructor in Wyoming.

Kathy Henley
Northeast Wolf and Predator Organizer

Kathy has valuable work experience and knowledge in wildlife and conservation education, research, and outreach through many organizations—the Denver Zoo, Center for Tropical Ecology and Conservation, Project Coyote, Conservation Psychology Institute, The Caterpillar Lab, African Wildlife Conservation Fund, Painted Dog Conservation, and the Savé Valley Conservancy. Kathy has a BA in psychology from Metropolitan University of Denver, and a MS and a Professional Science Master’s in Environmental Studies from Antioch University New England.

Leda Huta
Executive Director

Leda has 20 years of environmental experience, managing grassroots, national, and international projects. Most recently, Leda was the Acting Executive Director and Board member for Finding Species. Previous to that, Leda worked for Resource Conservation Alliance to protect forests from a “markets” perspective. Leda is a cofounder of EcoWomen, speaks Ukrainian and Spanish and has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in environmental science and environment and resource management from the University of Toronto.

Mitch Merry
Digital Director

Mitch has worked in digital and field organizing roles for multiple environmental and political organizations and campaigns. Most recently he worked with 21st Century Democrats, training progressive organizers and as a blogger with the Environmental Working Group. Mitch was also a volunteer coordinator with the Presidential Inaugural Committee and an organizer with the Campaign for Change (Obama for America) in Iowa. Mitch led our successful effort to obtain a unanimous Senate resolution proclaiming May 15, 2009 Endangered Species Day.

Danielle Moser
Pacific Northwest Wolf Organizer

Danielle coordinates all outreach efforts on wolves in the Pacific Northwest. Her campaign and advocacy experience for conservation issues is extensive, having worked for the National Wildlife Federation and Environment Michigan. Most recently, she served in the United States Peace Corps in Tanzania. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Michigan State University.

Bryan Pritchett
Southern Rockies Organizer

Bryan has a B.S degree in Wildlife Biology from Kansas State University. Just prior joining ESC, Bryan was National Wildlife Federation’s Senior Advisor to the President/CEO where he worked as a liaison to the board of directors and worked with NWF’s affiliate organizations’ boards on improving board effectiveness and organizational strength and capacity. Before joining NWF’s staff, he served on the board of NWF for 16 years, including a two year term as board chair. He spent the first 25 years of his career working for various city and county governments' open space programs, advising on natural resource management issues, overseeing law enforcement operations, and coordinating environmental education and community outreach programs. As a professional natural resource manager, Bryan brings special conservation proficiency and has particular expertise in understanding public lands management issues. Bryan lived in Kenya as a teenager and that is where he gained his interest in wildlife and conservation. He has a personal commitment to global environmental issues and has attended a number of international environmental conferences.

David Robinson
Environmental Education Director

David Robinson, Endangered Species Day Director, is a San Diego-based writer/editor who has a long-time commitment to conservation issues. David has written “San Diego’s Endangered Species” (an award-winning booklet) and several magazine articles on endangered species. David first approached the Endangered Species Coalition in 2005 with the idea to create Endangered Species Day.

Dr. Mark Rockwell
Pacific Coast Field Representative

Mark is a retired chiropractic doctor, is a fishing guide and Vice President for Conservation for the Federation of Fly Fisher’s Northern California Council who has worked with Ducks Unlimited, California Waterfowl, California Trout and the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Melissa Smith
Great Lakes Wolf Organizer

Melissa has a special interest in the role that sociology plays in wildlife management and diversity of values, and is dedicated to wildlife agency reform and transparency, representation and democracy within these agencies. She also is a hobby farmer of Katahdin sheep and uses non-lethal, cruelty-free, and predator-friendly practices. Melissa serves as president and executive director of Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf, is a delegate to the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, and is a board member of Alliance for Animals and the Environment.

Tara Thornton
Program Director and Northeast Representative

Tara has worked in the environmental and social justice movement for 20+ years. Tara worked previously as Executive Director for the Military Toxics Project (MTP), a national network of neighborhood, veterans', indigenous, peace, environmental, and other organizations representing people affected by military contamination. Before that Tara coordinated environmental outreach programs for Texans United in Houston, South Carolina Wildlife Federation, Clean Water Action Project Virginia and the Long Island Citizens Campaign. Tara is a founding member and serves on the Board of Directors for the International Campaign to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW). Tara now lives in Maine and in addition to supervising our field staff, Tara carries our Northeast field work.

Nancy Welch
Director of Operations

Nancy has worked as an independent consultant and freelance writer and editor for more 20 years. Before joining the Coalition, she specialized in web design for individuals with visual, hearing, and cognitive disabilities and was managing editor of a magazine dedicated to sustainability and eco-conscious living.