Jeanne Dodds, Creative Engagement Director
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 Goldman, National Field Director and Northern Rockies Field Representative
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.S. 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.
Beth Fellenstein, Operations Manager
Beth Fellenstein, Operations Manager for the Endangered Species Coalition, has over 25 years of leadership experience with non-profits. After beginning her career developing leadership and nature programs for youth, she later transitioned into data management, strategic planning, and donor development roles. Prior to joining ESC, she worked for the Cheetah Conservation Fund for 10 years, where she gained deep and wide-ranging operations and finance experience, helping to manage a geographically dispersed organization. Under Beth’s leadership as their Director of Operations and Finance, the organization experienced rapid program and funding growth. When Beth is not working, you are likely to find her at the beach or on the water.
Leda Huta, Executive Director
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. Together with Alicia Wittink, 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.
Mitch Merry, Digital Director
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, Development Associate
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.
John Rosapepe, Pacific Northwest Representative
John Rosapepe, Endangered Species Coalition Pacific Northwest Field Director, combines forty years’ experience as a field biologist and grassroots organizer for conservation organizations. He worked on fisheries and marine mammal research projects in the Bering Sea, the Northern Pacific Ocean and Alaska. He completed a masters in natural resource management from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources, he completed a one year Congressional Sea Grant Fellowship. A change in career path followed leading to a path in community organizing on energy efficiency, renewable energy, salmon and trout restoration, and wilderness designation.
Ryan Sedgeley, Southern Rockies Representative
Ryan is a passionate advocate that has spent the last decade in and around the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. During this time there he gained a profound appreciation for the important role of wolves and bison in North American ecosystems. This appreciation was deepened through his Master’s work on on the political and social dimensions of bison expansion outside of Yellowstone National Park. Along with the expertise gained from his J.D., and M.A. in Environment and Natural Resources, he brings the lived experience of day-to-day life with these animals. Ryan has also worked on federal judicial nominations, union organizing within Yellowstone for government employees, a responsible mining campaign, the Equal Rights Amendment, and has experience working on election campaigns. Ryan also enjoys spending time hiking, skiing, skateboarding, and making art.
Sarah Starman, National Grassroots Organizer
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
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.