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 NGO, government, academic and private sectors. Read the profiles of staff and board members of the Foundation below.
Joe Aldy is an Associate Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, a Visiting Fellow at Resources for the Future, a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a Senior Adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. His research focuses on climate change policy, energy policy, and mortality risk valuation. He also serves as the Faculty Chair of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government Regulatory Policy Program. In 2009-2010, he served as the Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Environment at the White House. In this position, Aldy was responsible for the energy and environmental policy portfolio at the National Economic Council, for coordinating policy development and evaluation for the Office of Energy and Climate Change, and for coordinating international energy and environmental policy in support of the National Security Council. Aldy previously served as a Fellow at Resources for the Future (2005-2008) and worked on the staff of the President's Council of Economic Advisers (1997-2000). He served as the Co-Director of the Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements and Co-Director of the International Energy Workshop before joining the Obama Administration. He earned his doctorate in economics from Harvard University, a masters of environmental management degree from the Nicholas School of the Environment, and a bachelors degree from Duke University.
Adrienne Alvord is the Union of Concerned Scientists’s California and western states director, based in Berkeley, California. She is working to ensure we transition to a clean energy and fuels economy that reduces global warming, promotes equitable economic growth, and improves public health in western states. Ms. Alvord is leading UCS’s effort to ensure robust implementation of the California Global Warming Solutions Act, California’s landmark climate law known as “AB 32.” She also is working to ensure California’s renewable energy standard and clean vehicle standards are enforced.
Prior to coming to UCS, Ms. Alvord was the environmental policy director for California State Senator Fran Pavley and served as lead staff on AB 32. She led successful legislative efforts to establish clean energy programs and accompanying funding sources, clean vehicles and fuel technology standards, air and water quality rules, and natural resources protection programs. She worked extensively in climate, energy, fuels, waste, and agricultural policy and has deep experience both in translating scientific and technical work into policy ideas and creating strategic partnerships to achieve those policies. Prior to working in the California Legislature, Ms. Alvord served as a gubernatorial appointee directing state pesticide legislation and regulations, and previously was policy director for a California non-profit promoting sustainable agriculture.
Bruce has over 25 years of experience in environmental and investment research and management. Currently, Bruce is the Portfolio Manager at Sustainable Insight Capital Management. Previously, Bruce was a Director in Deutsche Bank’s Asset Management division where he acted as an investment strategist conducting high-level analytical research on sustainable investing including clean tech, water and agricultural-based investment strategies as well as ESG/SRI strategies. Prior to that, he managed assets at Smith Barney's Private Wealth Management Group in sustainable investments including agri-business and clean tech for Foundation/Endowment, HNWI and Institutional clients. Bruce currently serves as a Trustee and member of the Finance Committee of the Jesse Smith Noyes Foundation, a US endowment and funder of sustainable agriculture organizations in the US. He also serves as a member of the Board of Visitors for the Gaylord Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and is on the Technical Review Panel of National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Recently Bruce has joined the Advisory Council of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and serves on the Advisory Panel of Mercer Investment Consulting and Management’s Sustainable Opportunities Fund. Bruce holds a BA in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from the University of Connecticut; MS in Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures from Auburn University; PhD in Land Resources from University of Wisconsin, Madison; recipient of both a J. William Fulbright Scholarship and a National Science Foundation Fellowship in ecological economics. Bruce currently is a Lecturer at Columbia University’s Earth Institute in the Sustainability Management Program.
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. Izzy conceived of and directs The Sierra Fund’s Ecosystem and Community Resiliency programs, aimed at restoring the region from the environmental, health and cultural devastation caused by the 19th century California gold rush. Her extraordinary accomplishments were recognized in 2016 when she received a James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award and a California Wellness Leader Sabbatical Award. Izzy is the niece by marriage of Switzer Foundation founder Fred Switzer.
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 the Charter Council at SunRidge Charter School, a docent at the Laguna de Santa Rosa, a docent for the Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods, and 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. Linda also has experience in Nonviolent Communication and volunteers at Restorative Resources in Santa Rosa.
Lauren completed her Master's degree in Journalism at UC Berkeley and taught multimedia journalism at the University of Florida’s Department of Telecommunication. She served on the University's Sustainability Committee and on the Governing Board for the Bachelor of Science in Sustainability and the Build Environment in the College of Design, Construction and Planning. She left academia in 2010 to teach multimedia skills and focus on environmental and sustainability communications.
Laine Kuehn is the Administrative Coordinator at the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation, where she manages the office, assists in programming and other functions, and coordinates details. Previously, Laine worked as Program Officer with the Maine Humanities Council.
In addition to her work with the Switzer Foundation, Laine helps organize the Belfast Poetry Festival and co-runs and co-edits an online literature and arts magazine. When she is not reading or writing, she’s walking the trails, 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 enthusiastic yellow lab, where they all enjoy spending time in Maine's wild open spaces as often as possible.
Lissa Widoff is Executive Director of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation (www.switzernetwork.org), an environmental foundation based in Belfast, Maine that supports graduate Fellowships in New England and California and a Leadership Grant Program supporting NGO partnerships with Switzer Fellows to work on critical environmental issues. Lissa began as Executive Director in 1999 and has overseen the growth of the organization in its program development, governance structure engaging family and non-family trustees and financial management. Ms. Widoff has extensive experience in managing philanthropic initiatives in environmental issues and the arts. Ms. Widoff is trained as an ecologist and has worked for the State of Maine, The Nature Conservancy, the University of Maine, and co-directed the Land for Maine’s Future Program managing state acquisition of over 40,000 acres of new public lands from 1989-1992. She has served on the Boards of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, the Maine Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and until September 2011, on the Maine Board of Environmental Protection. She holds a B.S degree from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and an M.P.A from Harvard Kennedy School.