Institute at Brown for Environment and SocietyIBES

Advisory Council

Kenneth Rivlin (Advisory Council Chair) is head of Allen & Overy's Global Environmental and Regulatory Law Group, U.S. Environmental and Regulatory Law Group and U.S. Pro Bono Program. He and his team advise on environmental and regulatory risk in M&A, projects, capital markets, lending and real estate transactions, compliance with U.S. and EU environmental and regulatory requirements, conflict minerals, emissions trading and climate change, environmental disputes, toxic tort risk, SEC disclosure requirements and corporate governance issues. Ken and his team also advise on the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, U.S. and international economic sanctions, Exon-Florio and similar matters.

Ken has served on numerous bar committees, is a member of the Committee of the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice, a member of the Editorial Board of "Environmental Liability", a Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia University School of Law and an Adjunct Professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He writes and speaks frequently on environmental and regulatory matters. He is also a Trustee at Montclair Kimberley Academy, and a board member for the Blacksmith Institute and the Human Needs Food Pantry of Montclair, NJ.

Wendy Abrams is an environmental activist and the founder of Cool Globes. She is a Trustee for Waterkeeper Alliance,  and serves of the board of the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund, the Center for American Progress (c4) and Chicago’s PBS station, WTTW.  In 2011, she helped establish The Abrams Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School. She is a principal shareholder of Medline Industries, Inc.  She received a bachelor's degree from Brown University and an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Wendy and her husband, Jim, live in Highland Park, IL. They have four children (their youngest, Jacob, will be in the Brown Class of 2021.)

Catherine Merten Allchin graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brown University in 1988 with a double concentration in International Relations and French Civilization.  With a background in public relations and public affairs in both the private and public sectors, she is currently a freelance writer for The Seattle Times and The New York Times.  Catherine has served on the boards of the Nature Conservancy (Washington State Chapter), Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation, and the Environmental Federation of Oregon.  She and her family are passionate about education and marine conservation.

Ricardo Bayon is a Founder and Partner of Encourage Capital, a new breed of asset management firm focused on profitable and strategic investments to solve critical social and environmental problems. Encourage Capital seeks to build a community of investors, foundations, market leading companies, governments and non-profits who are working together to address some of the world’s most challenging issues while generating financial returns for its investors. Encourage was formed through the merger of Wolfensohn Fund Management (the firm created by the former head of the World Bank, Jim Wolfensohn) and EKO Asset Management, a firm that Mr. Bayon created with his business partner, Jason Scott. Encourage is managing or has managed hundreds of millions of for Foundations, high net-worth individuals, family offices, and other impact investors. The company has done work and made investments on issues like financial inclusion, carbon markets, solar energy, fisheries, water, and green infrastructure. Mr. Bayon also serves on the company’s board of directors. Prior to co-founding EKO, he helped found and served as the Managing Director of the “Ecosystem Marketplace,” a web site and information/analysis service covering these emerging environmental markets.  In that capacity he co-authored a number of publications on voluntary carbon markets, mitigation banking, and ecosystem services including “The State of Voluntary Carbon Markets 2007: Picking up Steam” and “Voluntary Carbon Markets: An International Business Guide to What They Are and How They Work,” and “Conservation and Biodiversity Banking: A Guide to Setting Up and Running Biodiversity Credit Trading System”. For nearly two decades he has specialized on issues related to finance, banking, ecosystem services, and the environment. He has done work for a number of organizations, including Insight Investments, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank, IUCN, The Nature Conservancy, Domini Social Investment, among others. His articles have appeared in publications such as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, the International Herald Tribune,. He has also written numerous articles and books on mitigation banking, renewable energy, biodiversity markets, markets for water quality, and other environmental markets. He was born in Bogota, Colombia, and is currently based in San Francisco.
Elizabeth Belfer is an equity analyst at Belfer Management, LLC, focusing on the consumer and retail sectors, although she spends much of her time in non-profit fields focusing on the Environment, Urban Design and Planning, and the Arts. Elizabeth serves on the Board of the American Federation of Arts and is a Trustee of the Museum of the City of New York, where she has recently been elected Chair of the Program Committee. She is a founding member of the Global Leadership Council of the World Resources Institute (WRI) and is involved with WRI’s newly created Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. Having previously served on the Board of the Municipal Art Society, she has also become involved with the Regional Plan Association, jointly advocating for major re-investment in the tri-state area’s infrastructure, as well as for visionary resilience planning for New York and its environs. She is also a part of the High Line Trust, having been a long-time supporter and champion of the project, she was honored at the group’s benefit in the Spring. She is delighted to be part of the IBES Advisory Council. 

Kate Brandt leads sustainability across Google’s worldwide operations and products. In this role, Kate coordinates with Google’s data centers, real estate, supply chain, and product teams to ensure the company is capitalizing on opportunities to strategically advance sustainability and circular economy. Previously Kate served as the Nation's first Chief Sustainability Officer and was responsible for promoting sustainability across Federal Government operations. Kate received a Masters degree in International Relations from the University of Cambridge where she was a Gates Cambridge Scholar. She graduated with honors from Brown University.

Therese (Tess) Carter is a PhD student in atmospheric chemistry at MIT, working on air quality, climate, and fires. Prior to MIT, Tess was the National Climate Assessment Program Coordinator as a contractor to the US Global Change Research Program’s National Coordination Office, which coordinates the climate science research of 13 federal agencies. She is a 2016 graduate (Honors) of Brown University with a B.S. degree in chemistry. At Brown, she received both a Voss Environmental Fellowship and a Royce Fellowship to investigate the regulation of nitrogen and how to communicate these findings to scientists, policymakers, and citizens – she subsequently published a peer-reviewed article on this work in Ecosphere. She has also published Op-Eds in the Huffington Post and US News and World Report on student and faculty diversity movements and green chemistry. 

David Cogut is a Principal at Pegasus Capital Advisors. Prior to joining Pegasus, Mr. Cogut was an investment banker at Moelis & Company, where he focused on mergers & acquisitions, corporate restructurings and financing transactions across the gaming and lodging, industrials, media, real estate, and technology sectors. Investments in which he has been highly involved include Halo, HTS, Pantheryx, Six Senses, and T&M Protection Resources. He currently serves on the boards of the following Pegasus portfolio companies: Pantheryx and Six Senses.  He also serves on the board of ZeroBase Energy.  Mr. Cogut graduated from Brown University with a major in Economics.

David Crane is senior operating executive at the private equity firm Pegasus Capital Advisors and a B Team leader. He was formerly the CEO of NRG Energy, a Fortune 250, NYSE-listed power company, where he launched an ambitious initiative to transform the company from fossil fuel-based to renewables. Previously to NRG, he was CEO of International Power, a FTSE 100, LSE-listed power company based in London. Crane holds a bachelor degree from Princeton and a JD from Harvard Law School.

David A. Crown is a Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona. David’s professional interests include research in planetary geology, physical volcanology, and remote sensing as well as science education. David is a 1985 graduate (Magna Cum Laude, Honors) of Brown University, with a B.S. degree in Geology-Physics/Mathematics, and received a Ph.D. in Geology from Arizona State University in 1991. He is the author of 11 geologic maps and more than 50 other scientific publications. He serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum in Chicago, IL and is on the Board of Directors of Farmers Investment Company and Food Allergy Research and Education, Inc.

Barbara Entwisle is Kenan Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Adjunct Professor of Geography, Faculty in the Ecology and Environment Curriculum, and Fellow of the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a PhD from Brown University. As a social demographer, her research focuses broadly on the study of social, natural, and built environments and consequences for a range of demographic and health outcomes. Dr. Entwisle’s research contributions have been recognized by her election as President of the Sociological Research Association (2015), President of the Population Association of America (2007), and Fellow of the AAAS (2003). 

Nathalie Farman-Farma is a 1990 Brown graduate. She has masters in Classics from Columbia University and a DEA in history from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. After working in cultural journalism at The New Yorker and Charlie Rose, she moved to London with her family and started a textile company and design studio called Decors Barbares that specializes in ethnographic fabrics. She is board member of the Palo Alto based Flora Family Foundation and spearheaded its Climate Protection Program in 2005. Since then she has been actively involved in philanthropy around climate issues.

Kathryn S. Fuller is Vice Chair of the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History, having previously served as Chair. She was Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Director of Public Policy at the World Wildlife Fund, becoming President and CEO from 1989 to 2005. She received her BA in English and American Literature and an LhD from Brown, a law degree with Honors from the University of Texas, and pursued graduate studies in marine ecology at the University of Maryland. Her board experience includes service as a trustee and fellow of the Brown Corporation and as Chair of the Ford Foundation. She currently sits on the Alcoa Corporation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Summit Foundation and WWF boards.

James B. Garvin is Chief Scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. He received his Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from Brown University in 1984. In his present capacity, he is helping to lead efforts to sustain NASA’s Mars exploration program, catalyze new missions to Mars, Venus, and Europa, orchestrate innovative scientific research, and to help integrate human and robotic exploration. Jim has received multiple NASA Outstanding Leadership awards for his work with Mars, and two Presidential Rank Awards for his work as a NASA scientist. In 2004, he was selected as Brown’s William Rogers award recipient. In 2013 he participated in his first TED event, speaking about his passion for space exploration. In January of 2004, Jim appeared on Late Night with David Letterman to talk about Mars.

Robert Goodman is a managing partner of Bessemer Venture Partners, a global venture capital firm, where he focuses on investments in software, mobile, digital media, and healthcare IT. Goodman received a Bachelor of Arts from Brown in 1982, concentrating in Latin American Studies. He went on to earn an M.B.A. in 1986 from Columbia Business School. He serves as a Trustee for Brown. Goodman serves on the board of the MetCouncil, a nonprofit that provides social services to aid, sustain, and empower poor and near-poor New Yorkers. He serves as well on the board of the PlayGroup Theatre, which provides quality performing arts programs to children and teens in New York’s Westchester County and the surrounding areas.

Warren B. Kanders is Executive Chairman of the Board of Black Diamond, Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of technical outdoor and active lifestyle products. He is Chairman of The Safariland Group, manufacturers of safety, survivability and other products for the law enforcement and military markets. He is also President of Kanders & Company, a private investment firm based in Stamford, Connecticut. Mr. Kanders serves on the Board of Trustees of the Winston Churchill Foundation and Whitney Museum of American Art. He was previously a Trustee of the Choate Rosemary Hall Foundation. He received a B.A. degree in Economics from Brown University and attended The Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies. 

Sophie Purdom is the co-author of Sustainable Investing: Revolutions in Theory in Practice and led the foundation of the Brown University Sustainable Investment Fund, the first ESG fund at a leading university endowment. 

Alongside these efforts, she developed and taught a course on sustainable investing. Her book argues pathways for the continued evolution of sustainable investing, with a focus on profit, solutions, and effective partnership across stakeholders.

Sophie consulted at Bain & Company where she focused on private equity diligence.  As a member of the Brown Class of 2016, she worked extensively at the nexus of business and environment by participating in the UN climate negotiations and co-writing Rhode Island’s first climate change law.  Additionally, she serves on the Advisory Council for the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society and is a Henry David Thoreau Scholar. 

Sophie currently advises a venture capital-backed agricultural technology business that replaces chemical fertilizer with a microbial solution.  She has been admitted to Harvard Business School but is deferring in favor of pursuing more entrepreneurial opportunities.

Taylor Ricketts is Director of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics and Professor at the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont. Before arriving at UVM in 2011, he led World Wildlife Fund’s Conservation Science Program for nine years and continues to serves as a Senior Fellow at WWF. Taylor is co-founder of the Natural Capital Project, a partnership among universities and NGOs to quantify and map nature’s benefits. He has also served on both the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, two UN-sponsored efforts to assess global ecosystems and their contributions to human wellbeing.

Cynthia Roberts is a life-long environmentalist.  She graduated from Brown University with an A.B. in Environmental Studies (‘81).  After attending Fordham School of Law, she prosecuted criminal cases as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan. Pursuing her interest in environmental protection, she joined the State of Colorado Attorney General’s Office to litigate hazardous waste cases.  

Cynthia served as the Executive Director of Riverbend Environmental Education Center in Gladwyne, Pa. She is certified in Sustainable Landscape Management, Arboriculture and as an Urban Naturalist by the New York Botanical Garden.  She served many years on her local Conservation Advisory Council and currently sits on the Board of Directors of The Friends of Scarsdale Parks and on The Nature Conservancy New York Leadership Council.

J Marshall Shepherd is the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor in the Department of Geography and the Director of the Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Georgia. He is the host of The Weather Channel’s Weather Geeks Sunday talk and a contributor to Forbes Magazine. Dr. Shepherd serves on the Earth Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council and has served on numerous regional to national boards. He was the 2013 President of the American Meteorological Society and has served on its Executive Council. He was the first African American to earn a PhD from the FSU Department of Meteorology, one of the nation's oldest and most respected. In 2004, President Bush honored him at the White House with the Presidential Early Career Award for his pioneering work using satellite data to investigate urban hydroclimate processes. He is also a Fellow of the AMS and a recipient of its Brooks Award. He has also been honored by the Captain Planet Foundation American Association of Geographers.

Bina Venkataraman works at the intersection of science, policy, and public life. She is a writer and leading thinker on emerging technologies, climate change, public health, and public controversies in science, and a policy practitioner who has forged partnerships across the private and public sectors to advance the health of people and the planet.

As Senior Advisor for Climate Change Innovation in the Obama White House, Venkataraman worked with companies, communities, and government agencies to promote resilience to climate disasters. From 2010-2015, she was also the chief policy advisor to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), a role in which she shaped response to the Ebola epidemic, promoted patient access to cancer therapies, and advanced reforms for public school science education in the United States. A former science journalist for The New York Times and The Boston Globe, she is committed to public understanding of science and to rigorous public dialogues about the societal consequences of technologies.

Venkataraman is now the Director of Global Policy Initiatives at the Broad Institute of Harvard & MIT, and Senior Lecturer and Research Affiliate in the program on Science, Technology and Society at MIT. She is also a fellow at New America. She holds degrees from Brown University and the Harvard Kennedy School and is the recipient of fellowships including the Fulbright, Metcalf, James Reston, and Princeton in Asia. In 2015, the French-American Foundation named her a Global Young Leader. Her first book, The Optimist's Telescope: Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age, will be published by Riverhead, an imprint of Penguin/Random House, in August 2019.

Peter S. Voss, a 1968 Brown graduate and parent of a Brown graduate, is a private investor and part-time adviser to firms in private equity and asset management. Prior to his retirement in 2007, Voss served as chairman and CEO of IXIS Asset Management Group (now Natixis Asset Management), a global asset management firm with headquarters in Paris, France and Boston. Prior to the merger with IXIS in 2000, he was the chairman, president, and CEO of Nvest, L.P., a publicly listed U.S. investment firm, which he helped to form in 1992. Having served as a Trustee of Brown, Voss is a Fellow on the Brown Corporation and serves on the Academic Affairs Committee and the Committee on Facilities and Campus Planning. 

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