About Us

We are Rachel’s Network.

Named in honor of Rachel Carson, we are a community of women funders committed to a safer, healthier, and more just world for all. Philanthropy Women calls us “one of the most significant funding networks in the ecofeminist space.”

Our members…

    • Occupy over 100 director positions on the boards of major environmental organizations
    • Hail from 24 US states and 2 countries
    • Fund solutions in areas ranging from sustainable agriculture and toxics, to conservation and climate change
    • Individually give tens of millions annually for the benefit of our planet


Our Leadership


Fern Shepard, president, has over 30 years of experience in the environmental community, first as a staff attorney with Earthjustice and later as a senior officer managing international lands conservation programs at The Pew Charitable Trusts. She has worked on issues ranging from securing threatened and endangered species habitat to protecting children and at-risk populations from lead contamination and dangerous pesticides. Fern is chair of Earthjustice’s Board of Trustees and is a mother of three.

Mit Allenby, operations director, oversees finances, databases, and human resources, and the integration of these to support members and staff. Prior to Rachel’s Network, she worked in higher education focusing on strategic planning, organizational learning, and student and community engagement. Mit is a senior fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program.

Jamie Boese, program director, designs and implements our comprehensive program calendar. Prior to joining Rachel’s Network, she worked in national arts administration, focusing on programs, events, strategic planning, and board and staff development.

Ariana Carella, network engagement director, facilitates our membership’s collective funding program; manages the Rachel’s Network Catalyst Award; and cultivates board and community connectivity. Prior to Rachel’s Network, she worked in the museum field.

Erica Flock, communications and advocacy director, oversees the Network’s website, print publications, and social media. She also manages the Network’s 501(c)(4) Rachel’s Action Network. She previously worked in communications and marketing for EarthShare, the National Wildlife Federation, and Kumarian Press. She’s an advocate for climate policy, the Great Lakes, and sustainable planning & transportation.

Casey Hansen, membership and development director, cultivates future Rachel’s Network members and supports existing members, primarily on the West Coast. She spent seven years at the Pew Charitable Trusts, where she focused on fundraising for environmental initiatives, following her work in development at the Johns Hopkins University. Before that, Casey worked for more than a decade as a theatrical stage manager and production manager.

Board of Directors
  • Kef Kasdin, Chair
  • Molly Ross, Vice Chair
  • Fa Liddell, Secretary
  • Ann Hunter-Welborn, Treasurer
  • Kim Bendheim
  • Kathy Borgen
  • Betsy Davidson
  • Martha Davis
  • Barbara Gonzalez-McIntosh
  • Laurie Kracum
  • Annarie Lyles
  • Elena Marszalek
  • Janet Miller
  • Abigail Rome
Environmental Leadership Liaisons

Our Liaisons are women CEOs of influential national or international environmental and social justice nonprofits who provide high-level expertise and keep us connected to nonprofits that share our goals.

  • Nan Aron, Founder and President, Alliance for Justice
  • May Boeve, Executive Director, 350.org
  • Keya Chatterjee, Executive Director, US Climate Action Network
  • Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO, Defenders of Wildlife
  • Suzanne Ehlers, President and CEO, Population Action International
  • Katie Frohardt, Executive Director, Wild Earth Allies
  • Seema Jalan, Executive Director, Universal Access Project
  • Janis Searles Jones, CEO, Ocean Conservancy
  • Annie Leonard, Executive Director, Greenpeace USA
  • Jaime Matyas, President and CEO, Student Conservation Association
  • Theresa Pierno, President and CEO, National Parks Conservation Association
  • Kathleen Rest, Executive Director, Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Nicole Silk, President, River Network
  • Rhea Suh, President, Natural Resources Defense Council
Circle of Advisors

Our Advisors are women leaders in their fields of importance to our community who provide high-level expertise and keep us connected to nonprofits that share our goals.

  • Maite Arce, President & CEO, Hispanic Access Foundation
  • Rev. Sally Bingham, President and Founder, Interfaith Power & Light
  • Dr. Helen Caldicott, Founder, Physicians for Social Responsibility
  • Paula DiPerna, Special Advisor, Carbon Disclosure Project – North America
  • Dr. Sylvia A. Earle, Oceanographer and Explorer-in-Residence; National Geographic Society
  • Kathryn S. Fuller, Chair, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
  • Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder, Jane Goodall Institute and Gombe Stream Research Center
  • Hazel Henderson, Founder, Ethical Markets Media, LLC
  • L. Hunter Lovins, Founder and President, Natural Capitalism Solutions
  • Carolyn Merchant, Professor of Environmental History, Philosophy, Ethics, UC Berkeley
  • Julia Olson, Esq., Executive Director & Chief Legal Counsel, Our Children’s Trust
  • Janelle Orsi, Esq., Executive Director & Co-Founder, Sustainable Economies Law Center
  • Nora Pouillon, Author, Chef and Founder, Restaurant Nora
  • Carolyn Raffensberger, Executive Director, Science and Environmental Health Network
  • Vicki Spruill, President and CEO, New England Aquarium
  • Whitney Tome, Executive Director, Green 2.0
  • Debbie Walsh, Director, Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University
  • Alice Waters, Author; Chef and Owner, Chez Panisse Restaurant
  • Terry Tempest Williams, Author, Naturalist, and Conservationist
Founders’ Circle Members

These 18 women started Rachel’s Network in 2000 with a shared a commitment to conservation.

  • Sally Brown
  • Harriet Bullitt
  • Gladys Cofrin
  • Caroline Gabel
  • Annette Gellert
  • Renee Ingold
  • Sidne Long
  • Alysia May
  • Winsome McIntosh, Founder
  • Dane Nichols
  • Christine Russell
  • Jocelyn Sladen
  • Victoria Stack
  • Barbra Streisand
  • Margery Tabankin
  • Leslie Turner
  • Lynde Uihlein
  • Carolyn Weinberger
Rachel Carson

About Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson was a scientist, ecologist, and writer who courageously advocated for policies that protected human health and the environment. Her research and writing spurred the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the modern environmental movement. Buoyed by her vision and audacity, we continue her legacy of fighting for the safety of our communities and our planet.

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