Melissa Kops is a licensed architect with 17 years of professional experience, works for the City of New Haven Department of Engineering, and is a lecturer at the Yale School of the Environment. She is a LEED and Living Future Accredited Professional and a noted advocate for green building in the state of Connecticut as a board member of the CT Green Building Council. She has served on state and local working groups including the Governor's Council on Climate Change (GC3) Progress on Mitigation Strategies Working Group, and the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) Sustainability Working Group. She was awarded Judy Swann Green Advocate by the CT Green Building Council in 2018 and was named a Living Future Hero by the International Living Future Institute in 2020. As a member of the CT Renews housing coalition she helped to advocate for the successful passage of SB 356 An Act Establishing an Energy Efficiency Retrofit Grant Program for Affordable Housing in 2021.
Aziz Dehkan was born and raised in New York City. With a degree in Biological Sciences from Rutgers University, Aziz built an award-winning passive-solar house and started one of the first organic farms in New Jersey.
In management and development roles, Aziz has worked for social and environmental justice organizations including The Coalition for the Homeless, STRIVE, The Fortune Society, and Mother Jones. As a community organizer and Director of the NYC Community Garden Coalition, in response to structural racism, he has led the fight for land tenure and food security. Aziz served on the steering committee for the People's Climate Movement rallies in NYC, Washington DC, and #Sandy5. Dreaming of a free Iran, Aziz is tirelessly searching for progressive solutions that support justice, equality, and liberation.
Susannah Hatch is the Clean Energy Coalition Director at the Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM), and the Regional Lead for the New England for Offshore Wind coalition. In this work, she drives regional collaboration on offshore wind advocacy with a broad range of partners across New England. Prior to diving into the world of offshore wind advocacy, Susannah worked in volunteer management at the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC). She holds a Bachelors in French and International Studies from Colby College. Her passion for clean energy and environmental policy stems from her interest in sustainability and climate policy, and she is delighted to bring her experience in capacity building and community engagement to ELM and the coalition in support of its goals to deepen regional collaboration and expand New England commitments to responsibly developed offshore wind.
Nathan Frohling is the Director of External Affairs for the CT Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. A 30-year veteran in conserving land, rivers and Long Island Sound, Nathan has turned his attention to the urgent challenge of climate change and the need for clean energy solutions. In his current position he oversees the Chapter’s emerging Climate and Energy Program along with his lead role in government relations
Tom Knowlton is the CEO and Founder of CSR Talent Group and has spent his career in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility, most recently as a Partner and Head of the Corporate Practice at TCC Group, a social impact consulting firm headquartered in New York City. Previous to TCC, Tom was executive director of the CSR rating organization The Council on Economic Priorities.
Tom has worked with companies of every size, across multiple industries to develop their CSR approach and programs, and has written and presented extensively on CSR best practices. Recognizing that companies needed specialized talent at a reasonable price to meet a wide range of CSR, ESG and Sustainability needs, Tom created the first centralized portal of vetted experts with deep subject and issue experience available, “on-tap”, to all companies when they need it – to reach their corporate citizenship goals - while operating in a fast-changing environment.
Tom has a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University and a BA from Trinity College