Our Leadership Team members have experience in business, research, government, green chemistry, sociology, green engineering, inter-sectoral collaboration, and non-profits.
Alissa Cordner, PhD Assistant Professor of Sociology, Whitman College
Dr. Cordner received her PhD in sociology from Brown University in 2013. At Whitman, Alissa teaches courses in Sociology and Environmental Studies, including Social Problems, Environmental Sociology, Environmental Health, and Environmental justice. Alissa's research focuses on environmental sociology, the sociology of risk and disasters, environmental health and justice, and politics and participation. She is currently working on three projects: the social and political aspects of wildfire risk management, farmers' experiences with environmental risks, and the social and scientific discoveries of perfluorinated chemicals. Her 2016 book, Toxic Safety: Flame Retardants, Chemical Controversies, and Environmental Health, examines how environmental health risks are defined and contested, in the face of unavoidable scientific uncertainty and competing, powerful stakeholders. Drawing on in-depth qualitative research on a controversial class of chemicals used as flame retardants, Toxic Safety shows that stakeholders' strategic interpretations and presentations of scientific rationality, uncertainty, and evidence directly impact environmental and public health. Alissa has published articles in Environmental Sociology, The American Journal of Sociology, Health Affairs, Social Movement Studies, Environmental Science & Technology, Teaching Sociology, and Social Science & Medicine. She has also collaborated with a team at Brown University and New York University on a multi-sited collective ethnography in Providence, RI. Their 2014 book, The Civic Imagination: Making a Difference in American Political Life, focuses on civic engagement in Providence, Rhode Island.
Rich Engler, PhD Senior Chemist, Bergeson & Campbell PC
Dr. Engler is a 17-year veteran of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is one of the most widely recognized experts in the field of green chemistry, having served as senior staff scientist in EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) and leader of EPA's Green Chemistry Program. He has participated in thousands of Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) substance reviews at EPA, as well as pre-notice and post-review meetings with submitters to resolve complex or difficult cases, and he draws upon this invaluable experience to assist B&C clients as they develop and commercialize novel chemistries. Dr. Engler's expansive understanding of the specific challenges and opportunities TSCA presents for green and sustainable chemistry is a powerful asset for clients during regulatory review. He assists clients in performing toxicological reviews, performing environmental fate modeling using Sustainable Futures tools, and preparing scientific and test data for regulatory submission. He is particularly skilled in preparing Pollution Prevention (P2) statements to highlight the concrete environmental benefits of bio-based or renewable chemicals, as well as other sustainable chemistry products and processes.
John Frazier, MS Senior Technical Director, Hohenstein Institute America
In his role at Hohenstein he supports footwear and apparel clients across North America in the implementation of green chemistry, textile and materials research, and innovation. Prior to joining Hohenstein, Frazier served as the Senior Director of Chemistry for Nike. While at Nike, Frazier focused on closed loops, greener chemistry, climate stability, water stewardship, and thriving communities. His duties included the development, deployment, and oversight of a variety of sustainability and product stewardship programs. These included the Restricted Substance List (RSL), Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (MRSL), Sustainable Chemistry Guidance (Positive Chemistries), the Global Water Quality Program, and the Green/Healthier Chemistry Program. His experience extends to aerospace and athletic footwear, apparel and equipment, as well as to environmental programs through materials and process engineering and chemistry applications.
Libby Sommer, MA Founder & President, Sommer Chemistry, LLC
Libby is currently an environmental science consultant, running her own consultancy firm. Drawing from her experience working for and with industries including apparel, footwear, electronics, fragrances and cleaning products, she helps organizations build targeted and effective strategies. Prior to work as a consultant she was the Conflict Materials and Chemistry Manager for Nike. In this capacity she launched and managed a significant project to improve the chemical profile of the most common materials used in Nike products. She also replaced an inefficient and scientifically out-of-date chemical evaluation approach with a standardized process and on-boarded a rapid and less expensive evaluation tool. In addition she, spearheaded a new Conflict Minerals program to meet Securities & Exchange Commission regulations, rated 2nd best program in the apparel and footwear industry by the Responsible Sourcing Network. Before Nike she spent seven years at the EPA as a Design for the Environment (DfE), Environmental Scientist. Libby earned her MA in Energy and Environmental Analysis from Boston University and a BS in Math at Randolf-Macon Woman’s College.
Ken Zarker Pollution Prevention Section Manager, WA Department of Ecology
Pollution Prevention Section Manager, Washington State Department of Ecology: Mr. Zarker is section manager in the Pollution Prevention and Regulatory Assistance Section at the Washington State Department of Ecology. He has been actively involved with hazardous waste, pollution prevention and toxics reduction programs for over 20 years. Mr. Zarker has been responsible for managing state environmental programs in Texas and in Washington State on hazardous waste permitting, policy, toxics reduction, and sustainability. Mr. Zarker has also held various leadership capacities in organizations at the national and international levels, including chairman of the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable, delegate to the North American Pollution Prevention Partnership, and member of the U.S. EPA Forum on State and Tribal Toxics Action, and the Environmental Council of the States Cross Media Committee. He is actively working to promote the shift towards more sustainable production and consumption systems. He holds a B.S. in environmental management from the University of Houston at Clear Lake City.
Anna Montgomery, MPA, Doctoral Candidate, USC Rossier School of Education
Biography available on staff page.
Former Members of the Leadership Team
Paul Anastas, PhD Director, Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale
Mark Heaney, MS Vice President, TechLaw, Inc.
Kendra Kuhl, PhD CTO, Opus 12
Clarita Lefthand-Begay, PhD Assistant Professor, U. of Washington, Dept. of American Indian Studies
Roy Nott President, Surfactor Americas