Jackson Fellows Alumni
Alex Adams (Class of 2017) currently works for the Port of Seattle as Senior Environmental Program Manager. Previously he worked at King County Department of Transportation where he worked 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.
Connor Birkeland (Class of 2017) 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.
Tom Bugert (Class of 2016) 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.
Stephanie Celt (Class of 2018) currently works to help unite labor and environmental groups in her role as Washington State Policy Coordinator with the BlueGreen Alliance. She has a strong background in ethical trade policy and economic justice issues. She earned a Master’s degree in International Studies at the University of Washington with a focus on International Political Economy, and then served as the Director of the Washington Fair Trade Coalition, coordinating an alliance of labor, environmental, faith, and social justice organizations in support of trade policy that benefits all people and the planet. She also worked as Senior Project Manager at a fair trade and sustainable development organization in London called Traidcraft. Stephanie lives in Seattle with her husband and two young children.
Matthew Combe (Class of 2016) 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 the 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.
Radha Friedman (Class of 2017) was previously 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.”
Michele Frix (Class of 2016) 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.
Danielle Granatt (Class of 2018) is an environmental, land use, and corporate business attorney. Currently, Danielle is supporting Landesa’s Responsible Investments in Property and Land project, which offers guidance to companies, governments, and communities to achieve socially responsible investments in agricultural land, and earning a certificate in Climate Change and Health from the Yale School of Public Health. Danielle practiced law at Veris Law Group PLLC, where she resolved environmental compliance and enforcement matters arising under state and federal laws, worked with clients and community partners to develop and implement advocacy and communication strategies to advance public policy discussions, litigated land use appeals and environmental cost recovery actions, advised clients on hazardous substance cleanup projects, and worked with clients as outside corporate counsel.
Jaime M. Hawk (Class of 2016) 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.
Brandon Hersey (Class of 2018) is a 2016 Washington Teach for AmericaCorps member currently working for the Federal Way Public School District as a primary educator. Prior to relocating to the Pacific Northwest, Brandon worked as a Truman-Albright Fellow in the Department of Health and Human Services in the Office of Planning Research and Evaluation under the Obama Administration in Washington, D.C. A proud Eagle Scout and member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., he enjoys spending his free time exploring the natural beauty of Washington State and mentoring youth of color as an Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 008 based in the Rainier Beach Neighborhood. Brandon graduated cum laude from the University of Southern Mississippi Honors College, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. In 2013, Brandon was appointed as the first African American Truman Scholar from the University of Southern Mississippi. Brandon has loved his transition to Seattle and is looking forward to continuing his growth as a leader in hopes of making a long-lasting impact on his students and other youth.
Ilana Cone Kennedy (Class of 2016) 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.
Andrew Lewis (Class of 2016) 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.
Arianna Muirow (Class of 2018) is the Editor and Policy Affairs specialist at Puget Community Coop (PCC), the nation’s largest community-owned food market. PCC aims to create a cooperative, sustainable environment in which the natural and organic food supply chains thrive. Arianna helps to promote consumer education and mobilization for healthy and sustainable food policy across the region and the nation. Arianna completed her PhD in Geography in November 2017 at the University of Washington, where her research focuses on the intersections of new technologies and the alternative food movement. Arianna also has a Masters in Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, focused on regional planning for healthy food systems, and an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University. In her spare time she can usually be found climbing Washington’s big mountains with her husband Evan and her first child that arrived in March 2018.
Joe Nguyen (Class of 2018) is a program manager at Microsoft and is a newly elected Washington State Senator for the 34th District. He is the son of immigrant parents, born and raised in South Seattle, and is committed to serving the marginalized in our community. Joe is the President of Wellspring Family Services’ Associate Board, which at 125 years is one of the oldest nonprofits in Washington state working to assist families experiencing adversity, such as housing stability, domestic abuse, and adverse childhood experiences. He’s helped organize groups that empower activists, most recently working on police relations between communities of color and the King County Sheriff’s office. Additionally, part of Joe’s service includes leveraging his technology background to support small businesses thrive by helping them develop a web presence. Joe graduated from Seattle University with degrees in Finance, Economics and Humanities while serving as a two-term student body president and received the Distinguished Graduate Award for his work to better the community. He is a proud father of two wonderful kids, Junie and Ducky, and lives with his wife Tallie in West Seattle.
Nora Ferm Nickum (Class of 2017) 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.
Shin Yu Pai (Class of 2018) is Deputy Director of the Obscura Societies for Atlas Obscura. She has worked in philanthropy-related roles for organizations including Amplifier, ArtsFund, and Philanthropy Northwest, where she also served on their consulting team. Before moving back to Seattle in 2012, Shin Yu worked as an acquisitions curator for The Wittliff Collections and was managing director of the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation at Hendrix College, where she oversaw a broad portfolio of grantmaking related to the humanities. As a former ambassador for On The Boards, she worked to assist the organization in connecting to new audiences by broadening the scope of their Open Studios program and re-imagining the editorial direction of their online blog. She currently works with the City of Redmond as their fourth Poet Laureate to engage the larger community by using poetry as a tool for public discourse. She has also worked with King County’s Equity & Social Justice Initiative to use the literary arts as a tool to promote racial dialogue. A former Stranger Genius Nominee in Literature, Shin Yu holds an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received her MA in Museology from the University of Washington. She lives in Bitter Lake with her husband and 4-year-old son.
Alyssa Patrick (Class of 2017) 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. 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.
Tamara Power-Drutis (Class of 2016) is a strategic communications expert with a background in journalism, innovation, and nonprofit leadership. She currently provides storytelling services to leaders and organizations with transformative concepts. She is the former Chief of Staff of Amplifier, the visual design lab that flooded the streets with messages of hope during the 2017 inauguration and Women’s March on Washington. Prior to Amplifer she served as the Executive Director of Northwest news site Crosscut Public Media, leading a successful merger with PBS member station KCTS9. 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.
Stephen Robinson (Class of 2018) is an advisor of philanthropic services at the Seattle Foundation. He has spent his career developing ways to bring both contemplative practices and rigorous qualitative methods into broader contexts where they can be employed to shape conversations and decisions. He now draws on these tools as he advises families and individuals on effective philanthropic strategies to support their community interests, realize philanthropic impact, and unlock their full generosity potential. Additionally, Stephen manages Seattle Foundation’s Scholarship Program, which puts $1.2 Million into the hands of often underrepresented students. Outside of the office, Stephen serves on the board of the University of Washington’s Office of Minority Affairs, the steering committee of Emerging Practitioners In Philanthropy (EPIP), and teaches meditation at a local Buddhist center. Stephen’s heart lies in adjusting society through individual relationship building.
Christina Sciabarra (Class of 2018) is the Director of the Center for Career Connections/Women’s Center at Bellevue College where she also teaches courses in political science. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy and a veteran of the war in Iraq, she works with students in transition, including women seeking to reenter the workforce, immigrants seeking employment/academic help, and veterans returning to school. Christina also holds a B.A. in Russian and Political Science from the University of Arizona and an M.A. in International Diplomacy from Norwich University. She just completed her PhD in Political Science at the University of Arizona. Christina participated in the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Fellowship and is committed to promoting understanding across cultures. She is the US program director for the Youth to Youth Initiative and is the new president of Civil Vision International, an organization focused on facilitating cross-cultural dialogue.
Kiana Scott (Class of 2017) is at Real Wages Now. Previously she was the Director of External and Alumni Relations at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at UW. She recently completed her Ph.D. in political communication, studying American legislative communication, and wrote her dissertation about the 2016 presidential election. 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.
Amarpreet Sethi, (Class of 2017) 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 guesswork 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.”
Simphiwe Laura Stewart (preferred name Laura) (Class of 2016) is currently pursuing her PhD at Oxford University. She previously was 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 alumnus 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.
Jeremy Wood (Class of 2018) is an attorney, currently clerking on the Washington State Court of Appeals. He also chairs the Seattle Human Rights Commission, appointed to that role by Seattle’s City Council to advise the Mayor and Council on pending legislation. He also sits on a committee to evaluate judicial candidates and other community boards. He holds a B.A. from the University of British Columbia and a J.D. from the University of Washington. While in law school, he externed for the Honorable John C. Coughenour, District Court Judge for the Western District of Washington, and clerked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Solicitor of the Interior’s Office, and practiced as a student public defender in the Tulalip Courts. He graduated from law school with honors and received the Dean’s Medal and election to the Order of Barristers. Before entering the law, Jeremy worked as a care advocate for youth living with HIV and taught English in Israel/Palestine. In his little free time, he loves to run the Cheshiahud loop, grill sockeye, and publish academic articles in the field of Indian law.
Maggie Wykowski (Class of 2017) is at the UW Law School earning her JD. Previously sh led the Seattle Foundation’s research and analysis efforts to support strategy development, learning, and evaluation. Previously, Maggie served as the 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.
Hans Zeiger (Class of 2017) 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.