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One Book - One Day 2022: Speakers

Meet the Speakers:

Samantha Atkins Ahdoot '87, MD, FAAP

Dr. Ahdoot is the lead author of the American Academy of Pediatric's Policy Statement on Global Climate Change and Children's Health as well as the accompanying Technical Report.

Aja Barber

Aja Barber is a writer, stylist, and consultant focusing on the intersections of sustainability, fashion, and the textile industry.  Her work explores the traditions of  privilege, wealth inequality, racism, feminism, colonialism, and how these systems of power affect our buying habits.

Danielle Hopson Begun - Member, Shinnecock Kelp Farmers

A member of the Shinnecock Kelp Farmers Coop, Ms. Begun is one of six Indigenous women working to preserve the coastline of the Nation's territory with this regenerative ocean farming project.

Jake Berlin - Program Mgr., Tech to Market

Jake Berlin is the Program Manager of Tech to Market at the NY Energy Research and Development Authority, where he works to commercialize and scale innovative climate tech solutions.  He has also held roles with ICF, Rethink Energy, the NY Power Authority, Willdan Energy Solutions, and Rentricity.  He sits on the Board of the Center for Humans and Nature, and is an Advisor to the NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business.

Reid Capalino '02 - SVP, LS Power

Reid Capalino is a Senior VP for Business Development with LS Power, an investment and operating company focused on power generation, electric transmission and energy infrastructure.  He previously held positions with Aligned Climate Capital and Aligned Intermediary, both investment platforms focused on deploying capital into clean energy and related areas.  Reid has managed complex research engagements with partners such as the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the US Partnership for Renewable Energy Finance, and the Investor Network on Climate Risk.  He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Environmental Voter Project.

Jonathan Flaherty '96 - Sr. Dir. of Sustainability, Tishman Speyer

Mr. Flaherty oversees global sustainability, energy, telecom and smart building efforts for Tishman Speyer. Mr. Flaherty is the chair of the board of directors for the Building Energy Exchange and is a team leader for the ACE Mentor Program. He also worked as a legislative aide for Senator Schumer in Washington, DC.

Dr. Wendy Greenspun - Climate Therapist

Dr.Greenspun is a clinical psychologist specializing in climate distress and anxiety. She has presented papers and workshops nationally and internationally on climate psychology and provides workshops and courses for mental health professionals on ways to work with climate distress and grief. She also conducts workshops on building emotional resilience for climate activists and university students and has run group forums for processing climate distress.

Dr. Genevieve Guenther P'28 - Author

Dr. Guenther is an author, climate activist, and native New Yorker. An expert in climate communication and fossil-fuel disinformation, she is the founding director of End Climate Silence and affiliate faculty at The New School, where she sits on the advisory board of the Tishman Environment and Design Center. Dr. Guenther also serves as an Expert Reviewer for the contribution of Working Group III to the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report. Her next book, The Language of Climate Politics, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

Michael Hwang P'21, P'22 - Chief Financial Officer and Asst. Head of School for Operations 

Michael Hwang manages operations for The Dalton School's campus as well as serving as Chief Financial Officer.  Prior to joining Dalton in 2015, he served as CFO at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School and Director of Financial Reporting & Analysis at MTV Networks. 

Hahnji Jang (장한지) - Activist, Fiber Artist, Costume Designer

Hahnji Jang (they/them/형) is an activist-stylist and designer. Working primarily in theatrical costume design & personal styling Hahnji utilizes their passion for fiber art techniques to upcycle garments, create protest clothing, and offer affordable styling outside the limiting gender and size binaries imposed by capitalism. They are on a continual journey to decolonize the closets of the individuals and institutions around them. They were recently featured in Refashion Week NYC 2022 and continue to collaborate with the Broadway Green Alliance to bring sustainable resources to theaters across the world. Their work can be viewed at

Sarah M. Kaufman P'29, P'31 - Associate Director, NYU Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management

Sarah M. Kaufman has researched cutting-edge technologies in transportation for nearly ten years and teaches Intelligent Cities and Advanced Projects in Urban Planning. Ms. Kaufman has directed several research projects, including: Autonomous vehicles' impacts on NYC; The Pink Tax on Transportation; and Intelligent Paratransit, to investigate technologies useful for transporting seniors and the disabled. She also directs the Emerging Leaders in Transportation Fellowship, an annual program to enhance innovation in transportation planning and policymaking.

Johanna Lawton - Asst. Project Manager, Rebuild by Design

Johanna Lawton is a Project Assistant at Rebuild by Design, supporting the NYS Resilient Infrastructure Fund initiative. Her research experiences in Sri Lanka and New Zealand, investigating conservation practices and historical land-use policy respectively, have fueled her interest in climate change adaptation strategies and local resilience planning. She is committed to working on environmental justice issues, and draws on her experiences as a lifelong New Yorker to identify state-wide disaster-related inequities.

June Jo Lee - Food Ethnographer

June Jo Lee is the Resident Food Enthnographer for Google's Global Food Program, providing UX Research, Insights and Strategy. Her research focuses on understanding food culture through analysis of eating patterns and narratives around health, identity, taste, and desire.  She is co-founder of Readers to Eaters, an independent children's book publisher dedicated to promoting food literacy, and Wunderland Kitchen, and open-sourced Community Supported {FOOD} Art Project.  She is the co-author of Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix.

Elaine Levia - Dalton HS Librarian

Elaine is a High School Librarian at the Dalton School. A lifelong learner and educator, Elaine has taught History, Information Literacy, and research classes since 2012. As a teaching artist, they have facilitated writing workshops in schools, universities, and community organizations in California and New York. In her work, she endeavors to bring joy, curiosity, and cohesion to the research process, and is committed to helping young people find a meaningful, embodied connection to research, writing, and the world around us.

Nikki Lindt P'24 - Artist

Nikki Lindt is a Brooklyn artist currently working on a deep soil sound project as a part of the NYC Urban Field Station Residency for 2021. She is exploring the underground in both rural and urban locations and collaborates with soil scientists and social scientists.  She is concurrently studying the thawing permafrost in the Fairbanks area and North Slope Borough of Alaska. She has worked with several prominent scientists in the field of permafrost, in the Arctic, to study the collapsing landscapes that are being created as a result.

Dr. V. Faye McNeill P'30, P'34 - Professor of Chemical Engineering

Dr. McNeill is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Columbia University. She specializes in the study of atmospheric chemistry and its impact on the climate. She is an active director, editor, and contributor to a number of specialized publications: ACS Earth and Space Chemistry, ACS Committee on Environmental Improvement, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, and Chair of the AlChE (The Global Home of Chemical Engineers) Environmental Division. 

Council Member Julie Menin P'22, P'23

Ms. Menin is the newly elected NYC Council Member for the 5th District. As an attorney and civic leader with over two decades of experience in the legal, regulatory, and public sectors, Menin served as the Director of NYC Census 2020 and as Executive Assistant Corporation Counsel at the NYC Law Department. She has led three New York City agencies including serving as Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Patrick Metellus - Founder and CEO, ScrapNYC

ScrapNYC provide an actionable and transparent clothing donation option for one of the largest fashion capitals of the world. 

Kara Meyer - Managing Director, + Pool

Kara Meyer oversees the development of the world’s first water-filtering, floating swimming pool in the East River. She heads the organization’s operations, programming, and administration, with a focus on fundraising and expanding partnerships for the development of the + POOL project. 

Jacqui Patterson - Founder and Executive Director of The Chisholm Legacy Project: A Resource Hub for Black Frontline Climate Justice Leadership

Jacqui Patterson  has worked as a researcher, program manager, coordinator, advocate and activist working on women‘s rights, violence against women, HIV&AIDS, racial justice, economic justice, and environmental and climate justice. She currently serves on the Boards of Directors for the Institute of the Black World, The Hive: Gender and Climate Justice Fund, Greenpeace, People’s Solar Energy Fund, and more.

Jack Rusk

Jack Rusk is a writer, designer, and researcher in New Haven, Connecticut. As a Sustainability Research Fellow at EHDD Architecture, he leads the development of the Early Phase Integrated Carbon Assessment (EPIC), a freely available data model and design tool for reducing the carbon footprint of buildings.

Judith D. Schwartz - Journalist

Judith D. Schwartz is a journalist who focuses on nature-inspired solutions to global crises. She writes for numerous publications and speaks to audiences throughout the world. Judith’s books include The Reindeer Chronicles and Other Inspiring Stories of Working With Nature to Heal the Earth, Water In Plain Sight: Hope for a Thirsty World, and Cows Save the Planet and Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth

Dr. Jun Shimada P'19, P'26 - Founder and CEO of ThinkEco

Dr. Shimada has built technology platforms to tackle current problems in energy efficiency, finance, and pharma. His work has led to the creation of 100+ green jobs and the first tariff-based program in New York State targeting load management of window air conditioners and other high energy consuming plug loads. He has  received the Stars of Energy Efficiency award from the Alliance to Save Energy. 

Kevin Slick - HS History Teacher

Kevin Slick is a member of the Dalton School history department.  Passionate about food, sustainability, and education, he seeks to bring these areas together in support of a hands-on approach to environmentalism.

Bob Sloan - Chair & Teacher, Theater Department

In addition to his work at Dalton, Mr. Sloan has also published a series of detective novels, many cookbooks, and has had several of his screenplays optioned, though that is not quite the accomplishment it might, at first, seem.

Dr. Bill Solomon - Co-Chair, Music Dept.

Dr. Solomon is co-chair of Dalton high school and middle school music department and teaches percussion, pop music, and leads the music capstone. He has presented papers workshops, recitals and lectures at universities nationally and internationally.  His writing is included in the forthcoming collection Queer Music Theory published by Oxford University Press, and he performs regularly at major venues throughout the US.

Tela Troge - Member, Shinnecock Kelp Farmers

Ms. Troge is an attorney for the Sinnecock Tribal Nation and a member of the Shinnecock Kelp Farmers Coop.  This group of six Indigenous women are working to preserve the culture and coastline of the Nation's territory on Long Island.

Alexandria Villaseñor

At the age of 13, Alexandria Villaseñor co-founded the U.S. Youth Climate Strike movement. Now, at the age of 15, Alexandria has become an internationally recognized environmental activist, public speaker, author and founder of several more initiatives, including the climate education focused non-profit, Earth Uprising International. She has addressed the Democratic National Convention, the United Nations and the World Economic Forum. Alexandria is also a child petitioner for a ground-breaking international complaint to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child and serves on the advisory board of Evergreen Action. For her work, Alexandria has received the Earth Day Network Youth Leadership Award, The Rachel Carson Environmental Justice Award, the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival “Disruptor” award, and was included on Politico’s top 100 people influential in climate change policy list.

Rob Watson P'34 - "Father of LEED"

Rob is an award-winning leader in the green building movement and CEO and Chief Scientist of The ECON Group. He founded the LEED Green Building Rating System of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and founded the EcoTech International Group (ETI) to meet the fast-growing demand for green building technologies and services in China, Russia, India and the U.S., work that has been featured in Fortune Magazine and The Economist. In Thomas Friedman's 2008 book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded, Watson is described as "one of the best environmental minds in America." He was the only foreigner to have been honored by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of the People's Republic of China with its first Green Innovation Award in Beijing in 2005.