Board of Directors

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Richard Kabat - American Forests

Richard Kabat
Board Chair

Richard has developed dozens of shopping malls in the Washington, D.C., area. Prior to that, he served as general counsel for a regional retail chain and helped create Crown Books and Trak Auto.

Why American Forests? “Forests are vital for life on the planet. If we don’t take care of them, we are in real trouble. American Forests gives me a way to make a difference.”

Jeff Elliott - American Forests

Jeff Elliott
Vice Chair & Treasurer

Jeff is executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer at Iridian Asset Management LLC. He served as Capital Campaign Chair at his alma mater, Williams College. He is an active supporter of environmental and outdoor causes.

Why American Forests? “Trees and forests have a deep resonance for me. I grew up surrounded by the oak, apple, and maple trees of New York’s Adirondack foothills. I’m inspired by the more than 140-year commitment of American Forests to restoring threatened forests and believe this work will provide a worthy legacy for generations to come.”

Bruce Lisman - American Forests

Bruce Lisman
Immediate Past Chair

Bruce is the founder of the Campaign for Vermont. Previously, he served as chairman of global equities for JP Morgan Chase & Co. and as co-head of global equities at Bear Stearns, a position he held for 20 years.

Why American Forests? “I have been passionate about trees my entire life. I think planting trees is one of the best things we can do for the environment and American Forests plants millions of them every year.”

Jad Daley
President & CEO

Jad joined American Forests in 2017 as VP of Conservation Programs and was named President and CEO in 2018 after a year of leading the organization forward on issues like climate change and social equity. Prior to coming to American Forests, Daley served as VP for Program Development at the Trust for Public Land, where he launched the Climate Conservation Program.

Why American Forests? “My love of forests was birthed during childhood summers roaming an undeveloped island in Maine. I embrace the Japanese concept of ‘forest bathing’ to calm our minds and hearts, and also the very tangible power of forests to provide everything from wildlife habitat to sustainable wood products. Each tree we plant is a gift that keeps on giving.”

William (Bill) H. Bohnett

Bill Bohnett is president, Whitecap Investments LLC. Bill recently finished his third three-year term as a member of the National Board of the Smithsonian Institution, and serves as the vice chair of the advisory board of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

Donna Dabney - American Forests

Donna Dabney

Donna is the former executive director of the Governance Center for The Conference Board, a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Prior to joining the Conference Board, she served as vice president, corporate secretary and corporate governance counsel of Alcoa Inc.

Why American Forests? “I am a history buff. American Forests has been a leader in forest conservation since shortly after the Civil War. There are few organizations that have stood the test of time like this, and American Forests is having even greater impact today.”

Roderick DeArment - American Forests

Roderick DeArment

Rod retired as a partner at Covington & Burling LLP, an international law firm, and currently enjoys farming. He served as deputy secretary of labor in the first Bush administration, as chief of staff to the U.S. Senate majority leader and chief counsel and staff director of the Senate Finance Committee.

Why American Forests? “As an avid fisherman, I spend a lot of time out in nature. Forests are critical for wildlife habitat, and also for the role they play in cleaning and cooling rivers and streams that support fish populations. American Forests has done hundreds of projects to expand habitat and protect waterways.”

Bill Hazelton - American Forests

William (Bill) Hazelton

Bill serves as division president of the Chubb Group Environmental Risk Division. Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty group.

Why American Forests? “I have been a champion in my company for getting more involved in environment and sustainability issues. Working with American Forests has been an important way for us to advance our goals in this area.”

Jeffrey Prieto

Jeff currently serves as general counsel for the Los Angeles Community College District, one of the largest community colleges in the country. Previously, Jeff was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate as general counsel of the Department of Agriculture and brings exceptional experience working within governmental agencies to leverage positive change for America’s forests on a grand scale.

Why American Forests? “It is imperative that low-income and disadvantaged youth in urban places have access to our forests and natural resources. I believe American Forests can play a key role in providing opportunities to the next generation of young people.”

Elisa Rapaport - American Forests

Elisa Rapaport, Ph.D.

Elisa was previously an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Molloy College in New York, and served as the Chair of the Philosophy Department and Director of the Center for Social and Ethical Concerns. She is also a trustee for the Rapaport Family Charitable Trust, and a volunteer leader with organizations as diverse as the American Red Cross, the Anne Frank Center USA, and the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association.

Why American Forests? “I believe in giving back — to my community, to the nation, and to the world. American Forests gives people an effective, tangible way to have an impact on the environment.”

Jonathan Silver - American Forests

Jonathan Silver

Jonathan is one of the country’s leading clean energy advisors and investors. He is the CEO of Greenbanc Global, LLC, an advisor to both clean energy companies and investors. During the first Obama Administration, Jonathan led the federal government’s $50 billion clean energy investment fund. He has served as senior policy advisor to four U.S. cabinet secretaries: Energy, Commerce, Interior and Treasury.

Why American Forests? “The future is about creating a clean and sustainable world for people around the globe. Forests are a critical part of the equation. That’s why I’ve supported American Forests’ work for nearly two decades.”

Robert Steinberg - American Forests

Robert Steinberg

Robert retired in 2008 from a 40-year career at Bear Stearns & Co., where he was a member of the Management Committee. In 1986, he founded the Steinberg Family Foundation, which is a major benefactor to animal care, religious, and conservation organizations.

Why American Forests? “As a father of ten and grandfather, I want to make sure we leave the planet in good shape for future generations. My work with American Forests is a way for me to pay it forward.”

Mary Wagner

Mary Wagner most recently served as associate chief of the U.S. Forest Service where she stewarded 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands and led a workforce of 28,000 employees. Mary was raised in southern California, where her love for the outdoors grew in the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains.

David M. “Max” Williamson

Max Williamson is a nationally recognized environmental lawyer based in Washington, D.C. and New York, where he advises clients on social impact investing, conservation finance, climate and carbon markets, agriculture, bioproducts and renewable energy.

Why American Forests? “Growing up in a rural Appalachian community, the woods were literally our home, providing jobs for the mill, food for the table, clean water, clean air, and space for recreation. All Americans, rural and urban, have a birthright to forests and their benefits – something American Forests has championed over three centuries.”