Our team

Leadership Team

Leadership Team

Jad joined American Forests in 2017 as Vice President of Conservation Programs and was named President & CEO in 2018 after a year of leading the organization forward on issues like climate change and society equity. From 2008 to 2017, Jad launched the Climate. Conservation Program at The Trust for Public Land and eventually served as Vice President for Program Development. Jad is widely published writer on conservation topics, including an active presence on Medium, and has played a leading role in authoring and enacting federal legislation to establish forest programs such as the U.S. Forest Service Community Forest Program.

AF Inspiration:

“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.”

Chris leads map-based visual storytelling and data-driven decision-making at American Forests. American Forests has a long history of using Geographic Information Science (GIS) to support effective decisions in community forestry and large landscape forest conservation and restoration. Chris is building on that tradition, using spatial data and analysis to tell compelling forest stories and build decision-support applications that lead to better outcomes for climate, water, wildlife, and people. Prior to joining American Forests, he led GIS development for The Trust for Public Land’s Climate-Smart Cities work nation-wide and spent a decade supporting place-based decision-making for local and federal government agencies. Chris has degrees in Mathematics, Planning, and GIS from the Universities of Massachusetts, Virginia, and Maryland, respectively.

AF Inspiration:

For as long as I can remember, fairness has been my strongest personal value- for people and for the environment. American Forests shares those values and backs it up with action as we work to minimize human impact on our sacred places (FORESTS!) and to support more equitable distribution of our sacred resources (TREES!).

Peter oversees the business and financial operations of American Forests, as well as technology and human resources. Previously, Peter was the vice president of knowledge initiatives at the American Society for Association Executives, where he was responsible for engaging thought leaders from both inside and outside the nonprofit community and developing knowledge resources for the profession.

AF Inspiration:

“I remember loving to climb trees as a child. Each one was a unique puzzle that I wanted to solve to get to the highest point, which offered me a place where I could take in the world from a different vantage point. Now, I can help ensure there are more trees available for future generations of climbers.”

Leslie Jones joined American Forests in 2020. Leslie has over 25 years of experience in shaping conservation policy. As Deputy Undersecretary and Chief of Staff for Natural Resources and Environment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture her work included overseeing the Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service on a variety of natural resource issues, including management of the 193-million-acre National Forest and Grassland System, and implementation of Farm Bill conservation programs on America’s farms, ranches and forests. Leslie was also Chief of Staff at the global ocean conservation organization, Oceana, and General Counsel for The Wilderness Society. Leslie grew up in California and Maine and now lives in Virginia where you will find her playing with her retriever dog in the nearest water body.

AF Inspiration:

“Trees are a strong part of my history from my grandfather’s small-town lumber company, to our family tradition of planting trees on milestone anniversaries, birthdays and events. I feel connected to each of those trees: the redwood in California, the heirloom apple in Maine and our recently planted oak in Virginia. I share in the delight and benefits that trees bring to people in urban and rural communities across the country.”

Ian is the vice president of urban forestry at American Forests. Since 2014, he has led the development of the organization’s award-winning urban forestry program, Community ReLeaf, which has helped more than 20 cities build long-term urban forest management capacity and expand their tree canopy. At the core of the program is a uniquely comprehensive change model, as well as a focus on addressing Tree Equity in lower-income communities. Ian has overseen the development of free national movement building resources, such as Vibrant Cities Lab, a tree care industry career pathways toolkit for low-income people of color, as well as tools to elevate urban forestry in addressing climate change and public health. He has also helped develop innovative finance mechanisms, such as City Forest Credits and urban wood utilization. Prior to American Forests, Ian served as the urban and community forestry coordinator for the District of Columbia, built and ran a successful landscape design business in Michigan, and studied natural resources policy and management at Cornell University.

AF Inspiration:

“American Forests has been at the forefront of every major era in the field of urban forestry. I saw the next era beginning to emerge and knew where I needed to return to help make it happen.”

Christine is responsible for the organization’s grant management, financial closing process and preparation of timely and accurate internal project reports. Christine has over 10 years of progressively responsible experience in and a solid knowledge of managing a broad portfolio of all functional areas of accounting and financial operations. Prior to joining American Forests, Christine led monthly financial statement preparation, budget tracking and development, and managed multiple federal and state grants. She earned a degree in Accounting from Strayer College and a Certificate of Business Administration from Georgetown University.

AF Inspiration:

“Forests are an important feature for maintaining a healthy natural environment. I am proud to be a part of American Forests’ efforts to lead forest restoration and conservation advancement.”

Alix oversees the formation of American Forests’ policy agenda, government relations and external affairs, and advocacy effort. Alix has nearly two decades of experience leading policy improvements in natural resources and health. Prior to joining American Forests, she served as the Federal Policy Director at The Chesapeake Bay Foundation. She is a graduate of Hamilton College and Catholic University Columbus School of Law, and is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland.

Joel oversees efforts to build and promote American Forests’ positions on a range of urban forest policy and related social equity issues. Over the last decade plus, Joel has played a leading role in expanding equitable access to public lands including the creation, and significant growth, of the only federal grant program addressing park equity in cities as well as the launch of the 10 Minute Walk Campaign. Prior to joining American Forests, Joel led Sierra Club’s Outdoors for All campaign and directed urban policy for The Trust for Public Land. Joel is a graduate of the University of Maryland and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center for Leadership.

AF Inspiration:

“Tree equity represents a path toward a more just society where we all benefit from equitable access to nature, a healthy sustainable environment and the multiple transformative powers trees have to offer.”

Jill oversees the development and implementation of American Forests’ marketing and communications strategies. She and her team help raise awareness about the American Forests brand and programmatic work. Jill has nearly 25 years of experience in marketing and communications for nonprofit environmental organizations, including World Wildlife Fund, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and American Farmland Trust. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and editor and various newspapers in the United States. Jill is a member of The Communications Network’s Board of Directors.

AF Inspiration:

“America’s forests are a goldmine of stories. Stories about the people who manage forests, the wildlife that depend on forests to survive, the critical role of forests in mitigating climate change, and so much more. I love finding and sharing those stories, especially when it leads to actions in the public and private sectors that will keep forests healthy well into the future.”

Eric Sprague is the Vice President for Forest Restoration at American Forests. Eric oversees the implementation of our large landscape forest restoration efforts across North America. In this capacity, Eric develops and tests innovative restoration techniques, implements restoration plans and strategies in our priority landscapes, and supports policy initiatives to scale-up action. Throughout this work, Eric is integrating climate-science to ensure America’s forests adapt to a changing climate. Before joining American Forests, he directed the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s efforts to restore forest ecosystems, including accelerating the planting of trees along streams and using market-based forest conservation strategies. Outside of work, Eric enjoys chasing birds through Maryland’s forests with his family and dogs.

AF Inspiration:

“At American Forests, I help restore forests that countless people and wildlife depend on. Our restoration efforts help provide clean water and air to people across the country and expand habitat for thousands of animal species.”

Becky has been with American Forests since September of 2010. She began her tenure here leading the organization’s policy and advocacy work. She now helps oversee the implementation of the strategic vision for the organization, provides insights on its range of programs, and offers select legal guidance. Prior to joining American Forests, Becky was a mediator for environmental policy and law conflicts at The Keystone Center. Becky has a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a JD from Vermont Law School. She is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts and Colorado.

AF Inspiration:

“I continue to be inspired by American Forests’ historic leadership in the forest conservation sector, as well as being hopeful for the bright future of the organization. Forests from cities to rural landscapes provide endless benefits to us all and are key to addressing many of society’s greatest challenges. I am proud to be a part of this organization’s legacy.”

Staff

Mushtaaq joined American Forests in summer 2021 as senior manager of GIS and Data Science. Her role includes working with American ReLeaf on conservation projects regarding large landscape reforestation as well as on forest soil carbon. In addition, she will be joining the Tree Equity Score team to make access to trees more equitable across urban spaces. Prior to joining American Forests, she researched the impacts of fire in savanna ecosystems using remote sensing data. She has a degree in Integrative Biology from Harvard University and is part of the 2019 cohort of the UCSC Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program.

AF Inspiration:

I love the ecology of forests because there is something so wonderful about learning how everything, big and small, is connected. The work done at American Forests inspires me because everyone is both passionate about our commitment to a greener future and aware of how connected we are to each other and the world around us.

Sarah’s work focuses on equipping urban forestry stakeholders to build and retain a diverse, qualified and representative workforce. Previously, she ran Lillie Leaf Solutions, LLC, a consulting firm that helped urban greening stakeholders address equity, access, inclusion and justice in their work. Sarah’s experience includes developing and administering national urban forestry programs, managing constituent engagement for urban tree and city park associations, and facilitating local and national conferences.

AF Inspiration:

“In the face of climate change and increasing urban populations, ensuring that city dwellers connect with nature near them has never been more important. At American Forests, I’m thrilled to focus on improving equitable access to quality urban tree canopy, as well as access to the careers growing, maintaining and reusing that canopy.”

As part of the philanthropy team, Malissa supports donor stewardship and cultivation, overseeing American Forests’ gift processing activities and ensuring database integrity. With a decade of experience in philanthropic giving and nature conservation, both domestic and international, Malissa is a former U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer who holds a master’s degree in International Affairs and Nonprofit Management along with a bachelor’s degree in English Communications. She is delighted to utilize her talents to strengthen American Forests’ vital mission.

AF Inspiration:

“Reforestation efforts are pivotal to restoring wildlife habitat, preventing species extinction, curbing the effects of climate change, and providing clean air and water for communities. I am proud to join the team at American Forests in this critical work.”

Eric guides implementation of the award-winning Community ReLeaf program in urban centers throughout the country. Eric gained an appreciation for responsible environmental stewardship while working for the late Congressman Dingell, from whom he also learned the value of developing multi-disciplinary collaborations. Prior to joining American Forests, Eric served as the Director of Governmental Relations for The Greening of Detroit.

AF Inspiration:

“Urban trees are silent monuments to both a city’s past and future. I am proud to contribute to American Forests’ efforts, as the oldest conservation organization in the United States, to protect and enhance tree canopy in cities throughout our country.”

John serves as the relationship manager for annual fund donors and leads efforts to ensure an excellent experience for American Forests’ donors. John has experience working in both the private and non-profit sectors in roles including fundraising, advocacy and communications. He has channeled these skills towards missions dedicated to making our country better and has joined American Forests to leave a legacy of a greener and better America for future generations.

AF Inspiration:

“I joined American Forests to help make a collective impact on our future. American Forests has a rich history of preserving our nation’s forests and I joined up to be a part of the movement to revitalize our country’s forests for everyone’s enjoyment and benefit.”

Jon heads up American Forests’ efforts at thornforest restoration in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Through the Thornscrub Conservation Partnership, he works alongside AF’s regional partners to determine methods of restoration strategy and implementation that will have the greatest lasting impact on conserving native biodiversity in this unique region. He has two decades of experience in conservation field research with various agencies, non-profits and universities throughout the U.S. and Latin America, as well as past roles in program management for both the environmental consulting and specialty crop production sectors of south Texas.

AF Inspiration:

“Corridors, connectivity and patches are the watchwords of a management philosophy that has helped to preserve biological diversity in places like extreme southern Texas for decades and we can augment this approach by restoring additional forest cover in otherwise fragmented landscapes. I’m proud to be a part of American Forests’ efforts to lead collaborative, science-driven restoration through innovation and adaptation to the dynamic set of challenges we face in the 21st century.”

Kendall manages our forest climate science projects and supports our Climate Leadership Strategy as a technical expert on forests and climate. Her work focuses on helping to advance supportive policy, integrating climate science and aiding in the building of partnerships. Before joining American Forests, she worked on carbon offset project research and policy recommendations for climate-smart land use. Kendall holds a BA in Environmental Policy from Colorado College, and Master of Environmental Management and Master of Forestry degrees from Duke University.

AF Inspiration:

“As a Colorado native, I grew up loving our forests and everything they provide. In the face of climate change, we need our forests now more than ever – but they also need us. I’m excited to be part of the team at American Forests leading the conversation around smart solutions for forests and climate.”

Brittany serves as American Forests’ California State Director. While American Forests has a rich history of project work in California, prolonged drought, tree mortality, pest disturbances, increased wildfire activity, and an ever-changing climate call for more coordinated, on-the-ground action. Brittany has worked on forest health issues in California since 2009 where she served in leadership positions for a regional nonprofit and local government. She currently serves on the Governors Forests Health Task Force. Her priority at American Forests is to expand the implementation of climate smart restoration treatments as state, federal and private partners accelerate the pace and scale of forest restoration activities. Brittany, an AmeriCorps VISTA alumni, has a B.S. in Communications/Public Relations and most recently obtained a Master of Natural Resources via the Forest Ecosystems and Society program at Oregon State University.

AF Inspiration:

“As a child, I spent much time both sailing the Chesapeake Bay and camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains. An immediate fascination grew regarding upper and lower watershed connectivity, planting an internal seed that would grow for a lifetime. We are facing a number of complex social and political challenges surrounding forest health and it’s an honor to work with an organization with the tenacity to take on wicked problems during dire times.”

Monica joined American Forests in 2020 as the Executive Assistant to the CEO. Monica brings a wealth of experience supporting C-suite executives in the for profit and non-profit arena as well as in the international stage. Prior to joining American Forests, Monica worked for 10+ years at Framatome/AREVA as the EA to the CEO and Project Manager responsible for the international travel program, special events and security drill programs. Originally from Mexico City, Monica has lived, studied and worked in Israel, Austria and France. She is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in French language and literature.

AF Inspiration:

“Forest conservation and maintenance has been a central part of my life since my early education. It is a privilege to be an active participant in this important work.”

Allison manages the communications for American ReLeaf, an American Forests program that leads regional forest policy and landscape-scale restoration initiatives in the Western United States. Prior to joining American Forests Allison was the editor at Oceana, where she was responsible for the organization’s magazine, blog and book projects. Allison has also worked at SumOfUs and Rights and Resources Initiative. She holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Yale University and a master’s degree in new media from the University of Amsterdam.

AF Inspiration:

“Forests are a foundational part of the human psyche, the source of myth and meaning. By restoring and protecting forests, American Forests not only safeguards clean air, clean water and a livable climate, it also nurtures the landscapes that help define our spiritual and cultural lives.”

Eboni is the Senior Manager of Urban Forestry Education where she oversees a new initiative to develop and implement American Forests’ mission into academia. She works with institutions nationwide to expand urban forestry programs and courses, increase awareness of urban forestry as an interdisciplinary field, and provide resources for career paths in urban forestry. Eboni has more than 10 years of expertise in urban forestry, interdisciplinary teaching, community outreach and engagement, climate science, natural resource management, and environmental sustainability, health, and education. She is also committed to providing innovative and effective approaches to share technical information with non-technical audiences by linking the information to and implementing practices in communities it will impact. Eboni graduated from Southern University and A&M College, The University of Georgia, and Texas A&M University with degrees in urban forestry and natural resources.

AF Inspiration:

“The name American Forests reminds me of our duty to sustain America’s forests. We are surrounded by a number of benefits provided by trees, although disproportionately in many areas. Like American Forests, I am committed to investing in our forests to ensure the benefits offered by trees are experienced by all people. I also desire for people, in return, to invest in forests so we can continue to experience the benefits our forests offer.”

Molly joined American Forests in July 2019, as the Rhode Island Urban Tree Equity: Climate & Health Fellow. She was formerly the New England Coordinator for the East Coast Greenway Alliance. In this role, she successfully built and strengthened strategic partnerships to grow the New England portion of the East Coast Greenway, a 3,000-mile traffic-separated bicycling and walking network, connecting communities from Maine to Florida. She graduated in 2010, from Rutgers University with a B.S. in Environmental Planning & Design and a certificate in Urban Planning. Molly lives in Providence, Rhode Island and works remotely out of the Division of Forest Environment office at the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

AF Inspiration:

“I believe every resident should have access to quality greenspace, with trees being an integral part of the fabric of their neighborhood.”

Maisie is responsible for planning, strategizing and overseeing implementation of American Forests’ urban initiatives.  Prior to joining American Forests, Maisie launched the Design Virtue a sustainability consulting firm and co-founded the Urban Studio, a nonprofit dedicated to equitable and sustainable urbanism. She previously led the design and advocacy team for Casey Trees, served as the landscape architect and environmental designer for Morgan State University and managed environmental programs for DC Parks and Recreation and the Greater Washington Urban League.

She brings decades of award-winning leadership to her projects and pays obsessive attention to the work to deliver high quality outcomes. As a 2018 Landscape Architecture Foundation Fellow for Innovation and Leadership, Maisie is used film to explore what landscapes need to be to feel welcoming for all people.

Maisie is an ISA Certified Arborist, with an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University, a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from Morgan State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Afro American studies from Howard University.

AF Inspiration:

“I believe all people deserve daily access to nature. Our work helps make this vision a reality. “

Brian directs the planning and implementation of our regional forest policy and landscape-scale restoration initiatives in the Western US. Prior to joining American Forests, Brian led forest teams at the Pinchot Institute for Conservation and Sustainable Northwest, developing and deploying strategies in federal forest restoration, forest carbon management and incentives, forest market development and sustainability, and forest policy. Brian has also worked for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, directing financial and technical assistance to watershed restoration projects. He holds degrees from Colby College and the Johns Hopkins University in policy and science.

AF Inspiration:

“From an early age, I have drawn inspiration from the beauty, complexity, and resilience of nature. Enhancing our relationship with forest ecosystems drives the work I do. I conserve and restore forests because of their life-sustaining importance to current and future generations. I am motivated by the pressing needs to work with forests in addressing the threats of climate change.”

Michele leads the development of all externally facing content for American Forests and develops and implements communications strategies for the organization. In addition, she works with the development team to boost awareness of the organization’s corporate partnerships and motivate other businesses to become leaders in the conservation movement. Before joining American Forests, Michele provided communications consulting, multi-platform content development and strategic planning for a variety of organizations. Prior to that, she spent a decade overseeing a team of video storytellers at a production company, where she developed TV series for networks such as Discovery, Animal Planet and National Geographic. She began her career reporting for daily newspapers, including The Austin American-Statesman and The Boston Globe.

AF Inspiration:

“Addressing climate change and protecting threatened ecosystems are the most urgent issues of our time. But they aren’t insurmountable. Trees are one of our most powerful tools for tackling both challenges, and I am thrilled to help tell the stories of American Forests’ important work to restore and expand forest landscapes and create tree equity in urban areas.”

Rebecca joined American Forests in January of 2020 to serve as the lead in creating and implementing social media, website and email strategies for American Forests. Prior to joining American Forests, Rebecca worked in digital communications at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, American Rivers, the EPA’s Office of Water, and Potomac Conservancy.

AF Inspiration:

“I grew up exploring the woods and creeks of the county park that ran behind my childhood home, building forts and attempting to catch tadpoles. Now that I live in a city, I understand that that experience isn’t available to everyone — nor are any of the benefits being in nature provides. I’m grateful that now I get to help spread the word of forest restoration and Tree Equity, so that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy a little slice of nature.”

Tiffany works on the Career Pathways Initiative to build greater capacity for local urban forestry career pathways, working hand-in-hand with employers and stakeholders in government, private sector, nonprofit, trade association and workforce development. Tiffany is most recently coming from Pittsburgh, PA where she earned her master’s degree in macro social work and served as the Director of Workforce Development at Landforce, an environmental stewardship workforce development program. She developed the unique and dynamic workforce development program, designed the training curriculum, and created key partnerships with employers and other workforce development organizations to successfully support and prepare Crew Members for the workforce. She also has experience working in community development and mental health.

AF Inspiration:

“I spend time among the trees to reconnect with myself and my purpose and I’m deeply passionate about sharing the peace and wisdom of the woods with others.”

Rohit Musti is the Senior Manager of Data Science at American Forests. In this role, he will focus on improving internal data tracking and management and work to expand American Forests’ data capabilities. His work will initially focus on creating a tree equity score for every urban area in the United States and developing data visualizations and web applications to clearly communicate the science of reforestation to stakeholders. Rohit holds both an undergraduate and graduate degree in Computer Science from the University of Virginia.

AF Inspiration:

Climate change is a massive force, disrupting environments around the world, and we are in danger of losing our natural spaces to it. Through forest preservation and restoration, I hope to contribute to the fight against climate change and hand down days with blue skies, green grass, tall trees and clean air to future generations.

Emily facilitates the development of existing and prospective corporate partnerships in order to bolster the annual programming of American Forests efforts throughout North America. Prior to American Forests, Emily worked in Corporate Social Responsibility at the Hertz Corporation, overseeing the company’s social impact initiatives from volunteerism to charitable partnerships. Emily holds Master’s Degrees in Public Policy from Pepperdine University and in International Relations from the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals.

AF Inspiration:

After having witnessed and lived through the devastation of some of California’s worst recorded wildfires, I am proud to be part of an organization dedicated to reforestation, as well as, championing social inequity through urban forestry and fostering community growth.

Lindsey manages new and existing corporate partner relationships to increase support for the many programs and projects American Forests implements each year. Prior to joining American Forests in April 2016, Lindsey oversaw a variety of corporate partnership accounts for the Dayton Dragons, a baseball team out of Dayton, Ohio and the single-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, for more than five years.

AF Inspiration:

“It’s a great feeling to know I can help American Forests build partnerships that will fund programs that restore crucial ecosystems.”

Shanita Rasheed coordinates all communication for the Community ReLeaf program. She is from South West Philadelphia, PA and now calls Maryland her second home. She has a Bachelors in Environmental Studies from Ursinus College and a certification in Climate Change and Health from Yale University. In various capacities she has worked with local and national stakeholders in both the environmental and public health fields to lead strategic planning and training initiatives, and foster relationships with grassroots environmental justice organizations. Organizations she has worked for include; Chesapeake Bay Program, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Audubon Naturalist Society, Rodia, LLC and Children’s Environmental Health Network. Shanita brings to American Forests experience in environmental health, racial and social equity, relationship building and communications. Shanita has an affinity for building relationships, listening versus speaking and is passionate about depicting holistic stories.

AF Inspiration:

“If there’s one thing that connects all people, it’s trees. The significance of trees span culture, health and faith – bringing us all together. I am honored to work with the American Forests team to expand and protect trees in all places while securing the benefits they provide for people and wildlife.”

Austin manages our landscape-scale restoration initiatives under the American ReLeaf Program. Before joining American Forests, Austin worked on ecosystem service valuation projects as an economic consultant, planted trees along streams in Oregon, studied forest regeneration after wildfire, and herded prairie dogs along Colorado’s Front Range. Originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico, Austin is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Yale School of Forestry.

AF Inspiration:

“American Forests and its local partners are redefining what can be accomplished with tree planting. I’m honored to work with communities to help their forests adapt to climate change.”

Justine manages American Forests’ landscape-level restoration initiatives and programs in California. She has worked for a variety of natural resources entities, including local districts, non-profit organizations and collaborative groups. Her skills include grant writing and administration, project management, event planning and stakeholder engagement. Although her career has focused on forests and rural communities, she grew up in the urban Los Angeles area. Justine graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz and recently completed a Professional Science Masters in Environmental Science from Oregon State University. Reynolds is also a Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership Alumni.

AF Inspiration:

“Connecting people to forests is critical to achieving climate change goals. People protect what they care about. I am excited to support forest adaptation and resilience through holistic landscape-level projects, workforce development, innovative agreements and place-based partnerships.”

Emily manages and directs American Forests’ growing portfolio of foundation relations and is committed to building strong partnerships with people and organizations who share a passion for conservation and the environment. She is especially interested in the interplay of forestry, climate and social equity. Emily brings her years of nonprofit fundraising experience to the organization, along with a background and passion for urban planning and community engagement.

AF Inspiration:

“Forests are our natural heritage and a vital resource for all. I am inspired to be part of the team at American Forests working to conserve and protect these places we all hold dear.”

Sarah develops new and existing corporate partner relationships to support programs and projects American Forests implements each year. Prior to joining American Forests in 2018, Sarah oversaw corporate member engagement for the National Building Museum. Sarah holds a BS in Design Studies and a BA in French from West Virginia University.

AF Inspiration:

“Going to school in West Virginia, I have seen firsthand the impact that people can have on forests. I am thrilled to be part of an organization that works so diligently to restore these areas so we can enjoy them for generations to come.”

With over 15 years of experience providing direct support to executive staff and office personnel through office management, report building, event planning and more, Tia brings exceptional expertise to American Forests in the day-to-day management of the organization.

AF Inspiration:

“I am committed to forest restoration and preservation because forests provide vital resources that people across the nation depend on.”

Wes Swaffar is American Forests’ Director of Forest Restoration. In this role, Wes develops strategy and direction to implement American Forests’ landscape restoration initiatives. Prior to this role, Wes worked for American Forests to help establish 1t.org US, the first regional chapter of a global initiative to conserve, restore and grow one trillion trees. Before joining American Forests, Wes directed developed and directed a reforestation campaign for the National Forest Foundation, facilitating the restoration of thousands of acres. Wes holds a M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from Northern Arizona University and B.S. in Resource Conservation from the University of Montana. Outside of work, Wes enjoys exploring our vast public lands and forests with his wife Emily and their dog, Ruby.

AF Inspiration:

“From my childhood to today, forests and the vast public lands they exist within have been a central focus of my personal and professional interest. I am excited to channel this lifelong passion into restoring forests in the places that matter most to wildlife, watersheds, and communities.”

Rose Tileston is the Senior Manager of Urban Forestry at American Forests. She manages financial grants to locally based non-profit organizations and plans and implements tree planting events for corporate and foundation sponsors as part of American Forests’ Community ReLeaf program. Rose also manages American Forests’ National Champion Trees program by working with all 50 state big/champion tree programs and volunteers from across the country to find and document the largest trees in the United States, and she curates the annual National Register of Champion Trees. Rose has worked in the environmental field for the last 10 years including for local and national nonprofits such as Alliance for Community Trees and Tree Pittsburgh. Rose co-founded Hidden Harvest, Pittsburgh’s first food-rescue urban gleaning program. Rose’s passion for the environment started in her childhood, but her commitment to the battle against climate change started after seeing An Inconvenient Truth in 2006. Rose holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science from Chatham University and a Certificate in Climate Change and Health from Yale University. In her free time, Rose enjoys participating in citizen science projects such as iNaturalist, and designing and developing her garden.

AF Inspiration:

“Planting trees in urban communities can have a positive impact on people. From reducing the urban heat island effect, helping with stormwater runoff to reduce flooding, and reducing asthma and respiratory disease rates, urban trees are a critical component to creating healthy and vibrant cities.”

John joined the American Forests team as a senior manager of data science and GIS in spring 2021. His portfolio will include supporting the American ReLeaf team’s work on forest soil carbon and large landscape reforestation. Prior to joining AF, John spent a few years in political data for Democratic campaigns, most recently working for Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s primary campaign and Gov. Steve Bullock’s campaign for U.S. Senate in Montana. He earned his undergraduate degree in computer science from Columbia University.

AF Inspiration:

“From the beech-maple forests I grew up in, to the giant cedar and Douglas-firs of the Northwest, I’ve always felt most at home in the woods. Even aside from all of the many ways forests make our lives possible, they make human life richer. Just in my lifetime, though, I’ve seen the places that I love suffer drastically from the effects of climate change. I’m in this fight because I won’t be part of the last generation to grow up knowing the joys of healthy forests.”

Jordan is responsible for supporting the U.S. Chapter of 1t.org’s community of practice, soliciting leadership pledges for the chapter and working within a four-person team that leads the daily operations of the chapter. Prior to joining American Forests, he was a project director for Earth Economics, where he worked with public and private sector organizations to identify funding mechanisms for ecosystem conservation and restoration. He has led partnerships with federal agencies, private corporations and municipalities to make the case for investing in nature-based climate solutions. He is a recipient of the Natural Resource Defense Council’s E2/1Hotels fellowship and a former Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps fellow. He has a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Washington.

AF Inspiration:

“Growing up in the Oregon wilderness, I developed a huge appreciation for forests and all the values they provide – from clean air and water to recreation and economic livelihoods. I am excited to help preserve, enhance, and restore these natural spaces for future generations.”

During his four-decade career in forest policy and programs, Larry founded and led several nonprofit conservation and education organizations. As founding CEO of American Forest Foundation from 1983, he led its continuous growth for nearly 30 years. By 2009, the Foundation had grown to 32 staff, a budget of $11 million with an endowment of $150 million. Afterward, he served as the Administration-appointed chair of the Congressionally-chartered National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council, and founded a consulting practice called CenterLine Strategy.

Larry’s first foray into urban forestry came when he was asked by the White House to help develop and lobby Congress for President George H. W. Bush’s signature America the Beautiful initiative. After its passage, he was recognized in a Rose Garden ceremony. Throughout his career Wiseman has counseled many local, national and international agencies and organizations on both policy and practice in rural and urban settings. Larry was recognized in 2010 by the National Arbor Day Foundation with its national Legacy Award for career achievement in forest conservation.

Wiseman began his career as a film and television producer for a public television national production center. He earned an AB [Highest Distinction] from Dartmouth College, and an MPA from Princeton University School of Public and International Affairs.

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