John Gilroy (President)
Program Director, Campaign for America’s Wilderness
John Gilroy is the Program Director of the Campaign for America’s Wilderness, at the Pew Environment Group. John has also been a consultant to various national foundations and organizations over the years. His work has focused on developing and promoting regional and national campaigns to protect wilderness on federal public lands, old growth forests, critical habitat, and roadless areas on National Forests. John also spent a year at the Rockefeller Family Fund as a program associate. From 1988 until 1992 he was the executive director of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group. Prior experience was with the Center for Study of Responsive Law, US Public Interest Research Group, and the New York Public Interest Research Group.
He is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center (JD) and New York University (BA). He serves on the serves on the boards of the Alaska Wilderness League, Public Interest Projects and the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation. He lives in Pittsford, New York.
Mark Colón (Vice President)
Deputy Counsel, New York State’s Division of Housing & Community Renewal
Mark Colón is the Deputy Counsel of New York State’s Division of Housing & Community Renewal (“DHCR”), where he provides legal advice to the State’s housing commissioner and assists DHCR’s executive staff in the formulation and enforcement of agency policy. Previously, Mark spent several years as an associate in the Real Estate & Finance practices of two major international law firms.
Mark is an active member of the Puerto Rican and New York City Bar Associations. He graduated magna cum laude from Hunter College (CUNY) and received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was the Managing Editor of the Yale Law & Policy Review. Upon graduating from law school, he clerked for the Honorable Julio M. Fuentes, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Prior to attending law school, he worked for the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), focusing on issues of environmental justice and public health.
Gina Kim (Secretary/Treasurer)
Gina Kim is a television producer who’s worked for NBC, CBS, MTV, Bravo and PBS. She was most recently the supervising producer of a daily, political news show, GRITtv with Laura Flanders.
Gina has produced for NOW with Bill Moyers and David Brancaccio, a political news magazine show on PBS, Phil Donahue on MSNBC, comedian Lewis Black, and filmmaker Michael Moore on “The Awful Truth” and “Bowling for Columbine”. She worked with NBC’s Tom Brokaw in the run up to the 2003 Iraq War and produced videos for the rock band, Rage Against the Machine.
Prior to her career in television, Gina directed campaigns on climate change and tort reform for the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) and worked for the White House Office of Advance for Bill Clinton.
President and CEO, Breakthrough
As the President of Breakthrough, Mallika has spearheaded the use of art and culture as an essential strategy for mainstreaming the global dialogue on human rights. She has conceived and led Breakthrough’s award-winning campaigns on violence against women and immigration reform that have reached millions. She has amplified the project of bringing human rights home through groundbreaking and unlikely partnerships ranging from grass-roots community organizations to the entertainment industry. Mallika has overseen Breakthrough’s evolution from a single campaign to a global leader in advancing human rights through cutting edge multimedia and pop culture tools.
Prior to founding Breakthrough, Mallika served as Program Officer for Human Rights at the Ford Foundation’s New Delhi Office where she initiated the Foundation’s work in police reform and forged unique partnerships between police, NGOs, and civil society groups. Mallika also acted as the Associate Director of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University, and was at the forefront of the global movement for gaining recognition for women’s rights as human rights.
Mallika is a co-founder of SAKHI for South Asian Women and has served on several boards and committees, including the Human Rights Watch Women’s Rights Project and Asia Watch, The Sister Fund, Asian American Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, and the US NGO Coordinating Committee for the UN World Conference Against Racism. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and currently serves on Boards of WITNESS, the Open Society Institute US Programs, and Games for Change, and on the Rights Working Group Steering Committee.
The recipient of several awards, Mallika began her career as an Associate at Debevoise & Plimpton. She graduated from NYU Law School in 1989, received a Masters in International Affairs and South Asian Studies from Columbia University in 1996, and an A.B. in International Affairs from Mt. Holyoke College in 1983.
Madeline Janis, Esq.
National Policy Director, LAANE
Under her stewardship, LAANE has become an influential leader in the effort to build a new economy based on good jobs, thriving communities and a healthy environment. Combining dynamic research, innovative public policy and the organizing of broad alliances, LAANE has helped lift tens of thousands of working people out of poverty and has won major health and environmental victories for communities throughout Los Angeles County.
In 2002, Ms. Janis was appointed by the mayor as a volunteer commissioner to the board of the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency, the country’s largest such agency, and then reappointed to that position by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in 2006. She is also a Senior Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Affairs.
Ms. Janis led the historic campaign to pass L.A.’s living wage ordinance, which has since become a national model. Over the past decade, she has provided training and assistance to community organizations and unions in dozens of cities across the country, and is widely regarded as an innovator in devising strategies to create good jobs and healthy communities. She serves on the boards of directors of Good Jobs First, the Partnership for Working Families, Brave New Foundation and the Phoenix Fund for Workers and People for the American Way.
LAANE and Ms. Janis have received many honors, including the UCLA Law School’s Antonia Hernandez Public Interest Award and the Los Angeles Roman Catholic Archdiocese’s Empowerment Award, awards from the Liberty Hill Foundation and Office of the Americas, and numerous commendations from the Los Angeles City Council and the California Assembly and Senate.
Prior to founding LAANE, Ms. Janis served as executive director of the Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) from 1989 to 1993, where she helped lead a successful campaign.
Vice President, External Affairs & Info Services, Consumers Union
Chris Meyer is responsible for management and oversight of multi-state campaigns, community building and grassroots initiatives and activism. In addition, he explores new initiatives in consumer education. Mr. Meyer supervises campaign staff in Consumers Union’s Yonkers, New York headquarters and its regional offices in Austin, Texas and San Francisco, California.
Prior to his promotion to Vice President for External Affairs and Information Services in 2006, Mr. Meyer was Senior Director, Public Policy and Advocacy for Consumers Union.
Before joining Consumers Union in October 2004, Mr. Meyer worked for two decades as an organizer, lobbyist and, from 1997 to 2004, as executive director of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), New York State’s largest consumer, environmental and government reform organization. Mr. Meyer developed an expertise on public health issues, including lead poisoning prevention, drinking water quality and tobacco control. He oversaw statewide campaigns on increased higher education funding and the successful 1996 environmental bond initiative, and was lead lobbyist on efforts to defeat construction of garbage-burning incinerators in New York City in the early 1990′s. Mr. Meyer was named “Best Lobbyist” by New York Magazine in 1993 and was quoted regularly in The New York Times and other New York City and State electronic and print media on good government issues.
Mr. Meyer is a graduate of Haverford College and the New York University School of Law.
Senior Portfolio Manager, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
Christina manages the financial lives of wealthy families and small businesses as a Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley. More confidante than Financial Advisor, she enjoys wearing many hats and is often involved in her clients’ personal as well as fiscal matters. As the wife of an FDNY Lieutenant and mother of five, she has mastered the art of multi-tasking under pressure.
An activist at heart, Christina derives her strength and passion from a desire to tackle complicated issues. During an acceptance speech for a volunteer award she received, Christina stated that she does not believe you have the right to complain about a problem unless you are willing to be part of the solution. The seed of activism was planted while at the University of Maryland when she worked for Citizen Action, a grassroots lobbying organization. Upon returning to New York after graduation, she volunteered at Women Helping Women, a shelter for battered women and their children. Christina later joined the Board and continued to advise the organization for ten years.
As a personal advisor at a large firm for more than 18 years, Christina is in the unique position to understand the entrepreneur mindset and the constraints of a regulatory corporate structure. Her experience and balanced approach come together to offer objective, macro analysis.