Jeanne Dodds, Creative Engagement Director, is a visual artist whose work investigates human and more-than-human relationships, conflicts and interdependencies. At ESC, she oversees the Pollinator Protectors campaign for native plant and pollinator conservation and values working with creatives who are dedicated to protecting wildlife and wild places. She graduated with a Master of Environmental Studies from The Evergreen State College in Washington. Her thesis explores wildlife trafficking, animal welfare, and the use of visual art for biodiversity conservation. As a researcher, she continues to explore these subjects, presenting on the wildlife trade and the role of art in biodiversity conservation for organizations in Malaysia, Colombia, New Zealand and the United States. After earning a BFA in Photography and a Certificate in Scientific Illustration, she owned and operated a small arts business for a decade, creating artwork and teaching via artist residencies in the US and internationally. As a long-time arts and environmental education professional, she designed and presented curriculum for schools, museums and non-profits across the Pacific Northwest. She strongly values linking biodiversity conservation and environmental justice in her work at ESC. As a passionate naturalist, she loves equally experiencing deep wilderness and the local ecology of urban and rural spaces.
Derek has worked with the Endangered Species Coalition since 2005. He has advocated and organized primarily around gray wolf and grizzly bear issues, in addition to other species issues in the region. Derek has spent 14 years as a campaign manager with M+R Strategic Services, where he developed and implemented local ballot issue campaigns, including a successful effort to protect an aquifer from a water bottling operation, and funding measures for open space conservation, public schools, a new library and public transportation. Derek cut his teeth on wildlife conservation issues as a legislative intern with Montana Audubon, and a field volunteer with the Buffalo Field Campaign. He also has been engaged in social justice issues, serving as a board member of a grassroots Latin American solidarity group, which mobilized against unfair trade policies and U.S. intervention in Latin America. Prior to earning a M.A. Environmental Studies from the University of Montana in 2004, Derek worked as a river guide in Wyoming, Alaska, Utah and Montana and a snowboard instructor in Wyoming. He lives in Missoula, Montana, where he enjoys exploring the backcountry by foot, boat, snowboard and paraglider.
Dillon leads ESC’s organizing efforts in Colorado, where he focuses on issues including wolves, pollinators, and wildlife corridors. Before joining ESC, Dillon worked on sustainability issues for the public school system in Lincoln, NE, was a part of the climate and energy team within the Wilderness Society, and most recently was a RAY Fellow with NRDC in San Francisco. During his time with NRDC, Dillon worked on issues including protecting marine mammals, combatting illegal fishing, conserving sharks, and helping to advance strategies to fight ocean plastic pollution. He received his bachelor’s degree in Fisheries & Wildlife and Environmental Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Originally from Nebraska, he is currently based in Denver, CO. When not working, you can find Dillon exploring the Denver area, working on his wildlife photography, and enjoying the outdoors.
Leda Huta, Executive Director of the Endangered Species Coalition, has 25+ years of environmental experience—managing grassroots, national, and international campaigns. She leads staff in protecting imperiled wildlife, from the gray wolf to the Rusty patched bumblebee. Previously, Leda was the Acting Executive Director for Finding Species, an organization that advanced science and conservation, primarily in the Amazon. Leda has protected forests by working with university presses, advocated for better medical school education on environmental causes of disease, and developed markets for environmental and energy-efficient products. She has served on nonprofit boards and spoken at congressional events, conferences, and festivals. Leda co-founded EcoWomen—a nonprofit with five chapters—that empowers environmental leaders. Leda speaks Ukrainian and Spanish. She completed a Bachelor’s of Science degree in environmental science and environment and resource management at University of Toronto and graduated with distinction from Vermont Law School with a Master’s degree in environmental law and policy.
Katie Little, Executive Assistant for the Endangered Species Coalition, has more than 15 years of administrative experience, much of which was spent with environmental organizations. In her position, Katie is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization. In addition, she helps with grassroots organizing in the Mid-Atlantic region and policy advocacy in D.C. Before advocating for endangered species, Katie spent several years protecting wilderness areas in Alaska including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Tongass National Forest. During that time she had the opportunity to oversee the Alaska Coalition’s online activist network as well as participate in an outreach tour across the Midwest educating the public and increasing the number of supporters. Katie is also a board member of Raising Community, a non-profit organization in Ecuador that assists economically-marginalized people and abandoned animals with resources to improve their quality of life. Katie has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Penn State University, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado. When she’s not working, Katie enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, snowshoeing, and kayaking with her family, friends, and her dog, Pepper.
Mitch Merry, the Digital Director for the Endangered Species Coalition, has been with the organization for more than a decade. He manages the organization’s website, email campaigns, and technology. He lives in Baltimore, MD and is an enthusiast runner and enjoys reading and microadventures in his time outside of work.
Gabby Mora is the Development Associate at ESC. After going vegan in 2015 thanks to the adoption of her dog, Arlo, Gabby left her previous career in higher education to follow her passion for helping animals and the environment by working at nonprofits. Gabby has worked at diverse animal rights, food justice, and political organizations—including as a philanthropic specialist at PETA and a donor relations officer at Farm Sanctuary—before coming to ESC. Originally from Venezuela, Gabby came to the United States on a tennis scholarship at Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee. She graduated with dual degrees in Mass Media and Business, continuing on to complete an M.S. in Advertising and Communications from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an M.S. in Community Development and Public Affairs from Rutgers University-Camden. Gabby lives in Chicago with her two three-legged pit bulls, Arlo and Mabel, with whom she enjoys going on hikes and watching horror movies.
Sarah Starman graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Urban Studies and a minor in Sustainability & Environmental Management. After college, she also completed Green Corps’ one-year fellowship program for environmental organizers. She is deeply committed to protecting our environment and advancing justice through grassroots organizing. Over the past four years she has worked on or led diverse campaigns across five states, on issues such as voter registration and mobilization, homelessness and affordable housing, stopping offshore drilling, protecting wildlife habitat from agricultural expansion, banning single-use plastics, and restoring watersheds in the Pacific Northwest. She currently manages three projects for ESC: Endangered Species Day, a day of celebration and education around endangered species; the Stop Extionction Challenge, a coordinated, nationwide lobbying event to support strong conservation policies; and the Activist Training Lab, a yearlong training program for aspiring grassroots organizers. Originally from Michigan, she is currently based in Seattle, Washington. Outside of work she spends her time reading, enjoying the great outdoors, and cooking.
Tara Thornton, Deputy Director for the Endangered Species Coalition, has worked for ESC for the last fourteen years. She began as the Northeast Representative, then advanced to Program Director and now serves as Deputy Director. In this capacity, Tara supervises staff, develops our policy and program priorities, works with our coalition partners to formulate joint strategies and tactics, and is an integral part of our leadership team with a focus on organizational development. Prior to joining ESC, Tara worked on environmental and social justice issues for twenty years. She was the Executive Director for the Military Toxics Project, a national non-profit network of neighborhood, veterans’, Indigenous, peace, environmental, and other organizations representing people affected by military contamination and pollution. Tara also help found the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW), a global coalition that campaigns for a ban on the use, transport, manufacture, sale and export of all conventional weapon systems containing uranium (usually called depleted uranium weapons). It also seeks health monitoring and compensation for communities affected by the use of uranium weapons and the environmental remediation of such sites. Before that, Tara was a Canvass Director and worked on outreach programs for NGO’s and politcal campaigns in New York, Virginia, South Carolina and Texas. Tara earned a B.S. in Communication and Political Science from Ohio University.
Corry has spent twenty years working with the US Congress and several administrations in Washington DC to protect our air, water and wildlife. She did this in her roles as legislative director for the National Wildlife Federation, federal policy director for Oceana and as a lead specialist on oceans policy at World Wildlife Fund. Early in her career, Corry worked for the Environmental Protection Agency in the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water and the American Indian Environmental Office. Corry grew-up in Florida believing the environment is crucial to quality of life. It is also the most important economic driver in the state, so in 2014 and 2016 she ran for US Congress in Florida’s 8th district to protect it. Corry has a bachelor’s degree from Florida International University and a master’s degree from George Washington University. She also served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in the Eastern Caribbean. Corry has visited all fifty states and all seven continents, with most of her trips focused on exploring nature and watching wildlife.