Staff and Trustees
The foundation operates with a very small staff and a dedicated board comprised of Switzer family members, Switzer Fellows and environmental professionals from the nongovernmental organization, government, academic and private sectors. Read the profiles of staff and board members of the foundation below.
Michael Billingsley is a Senior Director at Nuveen Green Capital, a national leader in providing sustainable construction financing to commercial real estate development companies across the United States. Michael manages the Washington D.C. office’s Originations team, which is responsible for providing capital to commercial real estate development projects that demonstrate a commitment to environmentally-conscience building design and construction. Michael serves on the Switzer Foundation Board of Trustees Investment Committee responsible for overseeing the foundation’s investment strategy, policies, and performance.
Ekow Edzie is a Foreign Service Officer, currently serving at the U.S. Embassy in Conakry, Guinea. He was a 2018 Switzer Fellow and has served on the Switzer Fellows Advisory Committee (FAC). His interest in serving on the board was largely motivated by his experience serving on the FAC, where he had the opportunity to collaborate with other Switzer Fellows, Switzer staff, and the board on a range of initiatives, including exploring opportunities to increase engagement with the Switzer Network at large in the foundation's decision making processes. His intent as a new board member is to build off of his experience on the FAC and collaborate with fellow trustees to seek further opportunity to engage the network in decision making and explore opportunities for innovation.
Scott Fruin works in the Environmental Health Division at the Keck School of Medicine at USC, focusing on exposure assessment and field measurements to support longitudinal health impact studies. One of his research interests has been measuring and characterizing pollutant exposures occurring inside vehicles and near roadways to highlight the dominant role played by vehicles in our exposure to air pollution. He has a doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering from the UCLA School of Public Health, where he was a Chancellor's Fellow. He previously worked for the Research Division of the California Air Resources Board.
Elizabeth "Izzy" Martin, CEO of The Sierra Fund, is an organizer and advocate with forty years of experience working in rural communities to promote economic and environmental justice. She has worked with farm workers, farmers, and environmentalists to develop pioneering programs to promote organic agriculture and reduce community exposure to pesticides. While serving as Nevada County Supervisor Izzy led the fight in the legislature to put the Yuba River into the state’s wild and scenic river system, spearheaded the effort to clean up an abandoned mine in her district, and began a successful five-year campaign to establish the Sierra Nevada Conservancy.
Roger Perez is a Program Officer with the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation where he helps guide the Foundation’s Affordable Housing Preservation, Criminal Justice Reform, and Environmental Justice grantmaking and strategy. He was a 2015 Switzer fellow and has since stayed connected with the foundation as an application reviewer and Fellows Advisory Council Member. Roger looks forward to giving back to an organization and network that has done so much to educate him on the intersectional nature of environmental work and help shape his personal and professional trajectory.
Linda Switzer Clopton
Linda Switzer Clopton passionately believes in and supports environmental leadership, positive environmental change, and stewardship of the Earth and all its resources. She is a member of Pepperwood Preserve and other environmental organizations. Prior to serving on the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation’s Board of Trustees, Linda served as Board Member for several other organizations, taught students of different ages, and became a certified UC California Naturalist. She has a Masters in Education (ABT) and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science, both from San Diego State University.
Laine Kuehn is the Administrative Coordinator at the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation, where they manage the office, assist in programming and other functions, and coordinate details. Previously, Laine worked as Program Officer with the Maine Humanities Council.
In addition to their work with the Switzer Foundation, Laine helps organize the Belfast Poetry Festival. When they aren't reading or writing, they're walking the trails with their cat, gardening, and working on the yurt.
Erin has been with the Switzer Foundation since September, 2003. She joined the Foundation after working in the land conservation field for various land trust organizations in northern New England. Erin received her master’s degree in Conservation Biology from Antioch New England Graduate School in 2001, and subsequently worked as a conservation planner for Maine Coast Heritage Trust in Topsham, Maine, and as Director of Lands and Stewardship for the Damariscotta River Association in Damariscotta, Maine. In addition to her work with the Switzer Foundation, she volunteers with her local land trust and serves on the board of the John Sage Foundation. Erin lives in Hallowell, Maine, with her husband, daughter, and an array of pets, where they all enjoy spending time in Maine's wild open spaces as often as possible.
Cora Lund Preston is the Network Manager for the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation, where she cultivates Switzer Fellows’ engagement as participants, contributors, and leaders of the Switzer Network, manages the foundation’s communications, and promotes Switzer Fellows as recognized leaders driving positive environmental change for natural and human communities. Previously, Cora has worked as a consultant, as communications specialist for the Monarch Joint Venture, and in campaign organizing on clean water, democracy and clean energy. She holds a B.S. from the University of Minnesota in Environmental Science, Policy and Management with a focus on Environmental Education and Communications. Cora lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with her husband and cat, and enjoys exploring outdoors and playing board games.
Dr. Sarah Reed is Executive Director of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation, a results-driven family foundation that invests in individuals and organizations to drive positive environmental change. Through fellowships and grants, the foundation supports a network of nearly 700 Switzer Fellows who are emerging leaders in environmental science, policy, and justice. Sarah is also an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology at Colorado State University, where she works with communities and government agencies to apply conservation science to land-use planning and natural resource management decisions. Sarah is the recipient of a Smith Conservation Research Fellowship and Switzer Environmental Fellowship, and she recently served on the global Board of Governors of the Society for Conservation Biology. In her free time, Sarah enjoys growing and cooking food, traveling and recreating with her spouse and dogs, and serving as a mentor and foster parent for teenagers.