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Jackson Fellows Alumni

Alex Adams currently works for the King County Department of Transportation Director’s Office as Climate Change and Energy Program Manager. Alex works with a wide variety of stakeholders to implement the greenhouse gas reduction strategies identified in the King County’s 2015 Strategic Climate Action Plan. Prior to his work on climate and energy topics, Alex served as captain and crew on King County’s Water Taxi, where he developed the Marine Division’s environmental program. He is a licensed boat captain, having spent over a decade leading students of all ages on semester-long ocean education trips aboard tall sailing ships in the waters between Nova Scotia and Trinidad. He was also a fly fishing guide in Alaska. Alex has a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Wheaton College in Massachusetts, where he grew up, and earned a Master’s in Marine Affairs from The University of Washington in 2011. Alex loves living in the Pacific Northwest and is committed to confronting the complex issue of climate change and to continuing his growth as a leader to inspire others to take action. (Class of 2017)

Connor Birkeland is a SolSmart Advisor for the City of Duluth and surrounding region.  As an advisor for the Department of Energy SolSmart program, Connor's role is to assist the city as it evaluates existing programs and processes to apply industry-leading best practices to create a solar friendly environment for local residents.  Prior to his current position, Connor has worked as educator, installer, manufacturer, associate director, and as an advocate for the decarbonization and modernization of our country's electrical grid. Connor received his BS from the Evergreen State College in Astrophysics and more recently, an MPA from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance in Renewable Energy Policy. Previously a Henry M. Jackson Fellow in Environmental Policy at the Evans School, Connor is dedicated in his own way to emulating the beliefs and excellence Senator Jackson showed repeatedly in his life as public servant. (Class of 2017)

Tom Bugert currently serves as the director of state government relations for The Nature Conservancy of Washington, where he builds coalitions across political and ideological lines with corporate leaders, elected officials, government agencies and community organizations to affect natural resource policy and funding. Prior to the Conservancy, Tom served as the State Policy Director for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, which represents over 275 conservation, business, recreation, hunting, fishing, farming, and community interests. Tom serves on the board of the Washington Association of Land Trusts, the Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, and the Big Tent Outdoor Recreation Coalition, as well as several state commissions. A Wenatchee native and graduate of Whitman College, Tom can be found in the great outdoors enjoying the beauty that Washington State has to offer. (Class of 2016)

Matthew Combe is the Program and Operations Director of the Seattle 2030 District. He volunteered for the District when it launched in September of 2011, believing that he could make a difference in the world through the organization. Matthew previously worked for Aedas architects in the UK as a sustainability consultant overseeing sustainable design of all projects in the office, working on commercial office, multi-family and educational buildings. He has brought that passion for sustainability and the environment to all aspects of his work at the 2030 District. Matthew has a Master’s Degree in Architecture and the Environment, and a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Design and Environmental Management, both from the University of Portsmouth in the UK. Matthew has been a resident of Seattle for four years and enjoys skiing, snowboarding, golf and soccer. He is also a huge Seahawks fan. (Class of 2016)

Radha Friedman is the Director of Programs at the World Justice Project, where she leads a portfolio of 90 pilot programs in 61 countries to advance the rule of law. Prior to this, Radha was co-founder and Deputy Director of the Center for Women’s Land Rights at Landesa. Previously, she was Associate Director of SKS Foundation, the U.S. arm of the largest micro-credit organization in India, providing micro-loans to rural women to start their own businesses. Radha has conducted fieldwork in 13 countries and holds an M.A. in International Development Studies / M.S. in Public Service Administration from DePaul University, a B.A. in South Asian Studies from Antioch College, and a post-graduate certificate in Cross-Sector Partnerships from University of Cambridge. She serves on the board of Rangzen, a Tibetan rights organization founded by the Dalai Lama’s family, and Lotus Circle, advancing women’s rights in the Asia Pacific region. Radha also serves with EPIP (Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy) Seattle, and the NW Global Donors Exchange. In 2014, Radha was selected as an emerging leader by the UN Alliance of Civilizations, and in 2009, she was selected by the Global Women’s Leadership Network as one of 20 “Global Leaders for Justice.” (Class of 2017)

Michele Frix currently serves as the Chief of Staff for the Seattle Foundation.  Previously she was the Director of Programs for the Seattle International Foundation (SIF). Under Michele’s leadership, SIF has launched several new initiatives focused on women’s rights, grassroots leadership development and youth empowerment in Central America and Mexico. Previously, Michele was a Research Analyst for the Technology and Social Change Group at the University of Washington. Since 2012, Michele has served as a Commissioner with the Seattle Women’s Commission, which advises the Mayor and City Council on issues and policies affecting women and girls. Michele also serves on the Board of Directors for Splash, a nonprofit and social enterprise committed to clean water for kids around the world. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies, and a minor in Human Rights. (class of 2016)

Jaime M. Hawk is the Legal Strategy Director for the Washington Campaign for Smart Justice at the ACLU of Washington, where she is seeking to reform the state's criminal justice system. Before this position, she was Of Counsel with Terrell Marshall Daudt & Willie in Seattle, working on civil rights litigation. She was previously a federal and state public defender, and a law clerk to a federal judge. She began her legal career as an attorney fellow on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee staff of Edward M. Kennedy in Washington, D.C. Ms. Hawk has taught as an adjunct law professor at Gonzaga University, where she attended law school as a Thomas More Scholar. She is a member of the ABA House of Delegates and serves in other access-to-justice leadership efforts, including as a member of the Washington Task Force on Unaccompanied Children. Hawk is also committed to issues of international human rights, having served on the board of directors for the Center for Women and Democracy and joining in several of its international delegations.(Class of 2016)

Ilana Cone Kennedy is the Director of Education at the Holocaust Center for Humanity in Seattle. For the past 12 years, Ilana has worked with teachers throughout the region to provide and develop teacher trainings, community programs, exhibits, and classroom resources. Ilana received her BA from the University of British Columbia and MA at the University of Connecticut. Ilana is a recipient of the Pamela Waechter award for Jewish Communal Service, an Alfred Lerner Fellow from the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, and has participated in numerous Holocaust education programs nationally and internationally. Ilana has helped to plan and lead several international Holocaust study trips and in 2016 will be leading a trip to Vienna and Prague. Ilana lives in West Seattle and is the proud mother of two children, ages 7 and 9. (Class of 2016)

Andrew Lewis is an Assistant City Attorney in the criminal division of the Seattle City Attorney's Office. Prior to practicing law, Andrew managed Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata's 2009 re-election campaign and served as Secretary of the Seattle Human Rights Commission. While Andrew did receive his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, he roots for his undergrad Huskies in the PAC-12. (Class of 2016)

Nora Ferm Nickum is a Senior Associate at Cascadia Consulting Group, where she leads climate change and natural resource planning work for cities, tribes, and foundations. Working across the Pacific Northwest and internationally, her projects focus on stakeholder engagement, evaluation, and communications. Nora previously spent five years as a Senior Climate Adaptation Specialist at the U.S. Agency for International Development, where she advised on the design of programs in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia, and was a negotiator on the US delegation to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). She also worked for the US Mission to the Organization of American States, organizing US government delegations to regional meetings on sustainable development and science and technology. Nora has a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Bachelor's degree in Latin American Studies from Carleton College. Nora grew up in the Seattle area, and is glad to be back in the region with her husband and baby daughter. (Class of 2017)

Alyssa Patrick is pursuing an MPA at the University of Washington's Evans School for Public Policy and Governance. Her program will focus on social policy, and specifically how to identify and remove barriers to education and successful careers faced by underserved communities. Previously Alyssa served as communication and outreach specialist for Washington State University's offices of research and economic development. Her time there instilled a passion for public education, and the important intersections between the public and private sector. That work in combination with her experience as a mentor through Big Brothers, Big Sisters inspired her to pursue an MPA. Alyssa is also co-founder and co-president of the young professionals board for Crosscut, a local non-profit news outlet. She earned her bachelor’s in communication from WSU. She grew up in Yakima, went to college in Pullman, and has spent the last several years in Seattle - giving her a deep appreciation for the whole state of Washington. (Class of 2017)

Tamara Power-Drutis is the Chief of Staff at Amplifier. She was previously the Executive Director at Crosscut Public Media, the Pacific Northwest's reader-supported, independent, non-profit electronic journal. Like Crosscut, Tamara believes that an informed public is essential to solving the challenges of our time. Now as a Trustee of the World Affairs Council, she previously served on the Council's board of the Young Professionals International Network for five years. With a background in strategic partnerships and communication, Tamara is the former Communications Coordinator at the University of Washington's Center on Reinventing Public Education, a research and policy center developing system-wide solutions for K-12 public education. She began her career as a Research Associate at Ross Strategic, supporting diverse teams and executives working on policy and program development for national environmental information management systems. Tamara holds a BA in Political Science from Pacific Lutheran University, where she served as the Vice President of the Associated Student Body and was a Sustainability Fellow. Born in Tacoma, raised in Cheney, and now a resident of Rainier Beach in Seattle, Tamara is a product of Washington State. (Class of 2016)

Kiana Scott is Director of External and Alumni Relations at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at UW. She recently completed her PhD in political communication, studying American legislative communication, and wrote her dissertation about the 2016 presidential election. Kiana was appointed to the UW Board of Regents by Governor Jay Inslee from 2013-2014, and confirmed by the Washington State Senate. Kiana is active in higher education policy and committed to electing more women to public office.  She serves on the boards of Graduate Washington, a non-partisan advocacy organization supporting public higher education in Washington, and the National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington. Prior to graduate school, Kiana worked on political campaigns for the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, and President Obama’s 2008 campaign, both in Washington and around the country.  She earned her MA in communication in 2014, and her MPA from the Evans School in 2012, where she focused on legislative processes. Kiana graduated from Williams College in 2007 with degrees in art history and history with honors. Now a proud resident of Ballard, Kiana grew up on San Juan Island and returns to the island as frequently as possible. (Class of 2017)

Amarpreet Sethi, is a Principal at DLR Group where she leads the Building Performance Design Team nationally.  Amarpreet is an integral part of DLR Group's National Building Optimization Team. Driven by a passion to provide valuable contributions to clients' sustainability goals through building optimization services, Amarpreet has been performing energy modeling for over 15 years.  Amarpreet's focus on sustainable design first began while obtaining her Architecture degree in India. She went on to achieve a Master's in Energy and Climate and worked for a mechanical consulting firm prior to joining DLR Group. Amarpreet is a Certified Energy Manager, an ASHRAE certified Building Energy Modeling Professional, High Performance Building Design Professional, as well as a LEED and Well building accredited professional.  "What I find most thrilling about what I do, is that I get to take the guess work out of the design process. We have the expertise in the industry to help our clients make the most beneficial choices to take their first cost dollars even further." (Class of 2017)

Simphiwe Laura Stewart (preferred name Laura) is an ORISE Research Participant at the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She holds a Masters in Environmental Law from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, OR, where she received the Environmental Ambassador Award and served as Chairperson of the Environmental Justice Advocates and Vice President of the Black Law Students Association. Her passion is in working with underserved communities to advance the values of environmental justice, climate resiliency and equitable natural resources management. Laura has worked on community projects with various international organizations in Southern Africa, Canada and now the U.S. She is an alumni and steering committee member of the African American Leadership Forum (Portland and Seattle chapters), a member of various civic engagement boards, and part of the executive board of Swaziland’s Environmental Law Center - the only public interest environmental law center in the country. Laura has collaborated on and published various articles including "Putting Justice in GIS: Supporting Communities using EPA Science Tools." In her spare time, she enjoys the great outdoors and non-fiction reading. (Class of 2016)

Maggie Wykowski leads Seattle Foundation’s research and analysis efforts to support strategy development, learning and evaluation. Previously, Maggie served as lead policy analyst at Puget Sound Sage in Seattle and is a former Seattle Planning Commissioner. While at Sage, Maggie led their affordable housing research and advocacy program and specialized in policy analysis, regional planning, strategic research and racial equity policy assessment. Maggie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with Honors from Seattle University. Maggie enjoys arts, cooking and long-distance running with her wife and puppy dog. (Class of 2017)

Hans Zeiger began representing Pierce County residents in 2011, serving three terms in the state House of Representatives before 25th District voters elected him to the Washington State Senate in 2016. Hans serves as chair of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. He is also a member of the budget-writing Senate Ways and Means Committee and serves as vice chair of the Senate State Government Committee.  For his work to complete Highway 167 from Puyallup to the Port of Tacoma, the Associated General Contractors named Hans its 2013 Legislator of the Year.  Hans was named the co-recipient of the Gabrielle Giffords Award for Civility in State Governance in 2015 for his efforts in promoting collaboration in the legislative process.  Hans' civic and volunteer activities include the boards of Puyallup Cares, the William D. Ruckelshaus Center, the Jennifer Dunn Leadership Institute, and the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition. Hans also leads the Chapman Center for Citizen Leadership at the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, and he is an officer in the Washington Air National Guard. Hans holds a BA from Hillsdale College and a Master's degree in Public Policy from Pepperdine University. Hans is married to Erin and has a daughter, Clara, and two stepsons, Cullen and Kannen. (Class of 2017)