Wendy Philleo, Executive Director
Wendy has been affiliated with New Dream for the last 10 years as a board member and donor. She brings 20 years' experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic fields in the areas of environment and natural resource management, community development, women's empowerment, advocacy, and civic engagement. Prior to joining New Dream, Wendy ran a philanthropy and nonprofit consulting business. She also worked as a program officer at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, focusing on protecting freshwater, public lands, and wilderness in the west. Prior to that, she served as a program officer at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation where she designed and ran a $25 million, five-year cross-cutting initiative on population, health, and environment. Before working in philanthropy, Wendy was a program officer at the World Wildlife Fund working on the adoption of a priority-setting strategy for global biodiversity conservation (Global 200) and on developing an ecoregional approach to conservation. She has also worked for WorldWIDE Network (Women in Development and Environment) and for the United Nations Environment Programme. She received her B.A. from the University of Colorado and her M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Wendy also serves on the board of the Local Food Hub which works to improve small farm viability and increase community access to local food.
Wendy enjoys being outdoors, hiking, mountain biking, camping, and running. She also enjoys squash, art (painting and drawing), and spending time with her family. Wendy lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with her husband, two children, and their dog and two cats.
Taraneh Arhamsadr, Director of Online Media and Engagement
Taraneh joins New Dream with over a decade of diverse experience in communications and outreach, focused primarily on environmental and social issues and public works projects. Most recently, she served as the head of communications for Berkeley’s David Brower Center, a community space serving as the Bay Area’s hub for the environmental movement. She earned her BA in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Irvine, where she also served as the Managing Editor for the weekly newspaper, then went on to earn her Master’s in Public Administration with a focus on Environmental Policy from San Francisco State University. Taraneh lives in Oakland, California, with her husband, baby daughter and dog.
Anna Awimbo, Director of the Collaborative Communities Program
Anna is an expert on issues related to the impact of technological and cultural changes on the economy, society, and the environment. She has more than 20 years of experience identifying and developing effective alternative systems to address poverty, unemployment, and climate change. She has also been a long time advocate for sustainable food production. During her career she has worked for, among other organizations, RESULTS Educational Fund, the Foundation on Economic Trends, WorldWIDE Network (Women in Development and Environment), the United Nations Environment Programme, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Much of her work has involved designing, spearheading, and managing national and global campaigns aimed at developing strong networks and building sustainable economies. Anna is also co-editor of the book New Pathways out of Poverty that explores strategies to bring clean energy solutions and actionable information to the poor. In her free time, Anna enjoys volunteering at her children’s school in Maryland where she has led the effort to launch a green neighborhood initiative and build an outdoor classroom and garden.
Guinevere Higgins, Director of Development
Guinevere joined New Dream in March 2012 as Director of Development. Prior to her work with New Dream, she was Program Officer at the WestWind Foundation, a small, family foundation with program areas in Environment and Reproductive Health & Rights. She has also taught ecology and food studies at a Quaker high school, provided research analysis for Environmental Health News, and managed a small organic farm. In addition to her position with New Dream, she is an organic and edible gardening consultant and helped found Charlottesville, Virginia’s thriving school garden program, City Schoolyard Garden. Guinevere holds a Bachelor’s degree in Peace and Justice Studies from Wellesley College and lives in Charlottesville, VA with her husband and two dogs.
Lisa Mastny, Senior Editor and Director of Publications
Lisa comes to New Dream with 20 years' experience in the environmental and sustainability fields. Currently, Lisa also serves as senior editor at the Worldwatch Institute, where she edits the annual State of the World report and other publications. She also provides editing support to a variety of nonprofit and international organizations, including Food & Water Watch, the UN Environment Programme, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and REN21. Previously, Lisa worked as a researcher at Worldwatch where she focused on issues of green purchasing and consumerism, sustainable tourism, and environmental governance. She also worked briefly at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and with Greenways/Zelene Stezky, a group seeking to promote cultural preservation and sustainable tourism in the Czech Republic. She received her Bachelor's in International studies from Johns Hopkins University and dual Master's degrees in International Relations and Environmental Management from Yale University. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys spending time outside and serves on the board of the Sustainability Alliance of Southwest Colorado in Durango, Colorado, where she lives with her husband and two young daughters.
Edna Rienzi, Director of the Beyond Consumerism Program
Edna is passionate about focusing on “more of what matters” in her life, which is what led her to initially volunteer with New Dream in 2012. Prior to New Dream, she was a lawyer and, then, a full-time mom. She received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University in politics, with certificates in Latin American Studies and Political Theory. She has her Master’s in Political Science from Yale University, and a law degree from Harvard University, where she also served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. In her precious free time, she loves reading everything from Harry Potter to positive psychology studies to poetry, listening to Mumford and Sons, volunteering in her town, and cooking adventurous dishes that her kids often refuse to eat.
Margaret Swink, Communications Director
As a writer and non-profiteer, Margaret has spent her career helping tell the stories of good people trying to make the world a better place. Currently, Margaret is also founding Wee Toys, a company that helps parents of small kids share high-quality toys. Previously, Margaret masterminded social change communications on a wide range of issues including nuclear weapons, rainforests, international climate policy, fisheries, and human rights. She holds a Master’s degree in Comparative Foreign Policy and Human Rights from Yale University and a Bachelor’s in International Relations from Michigan State University’s James Madison College. In between degrees, Margaret served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon, West Africa. Margaret lives in San Francisco where she attempts to overcome gardening in the fog, chases after her adorable toddler, and bikes any time she can.
Casey Williams, Operations Officer and Development Associate
An outdoor enthusiast with a passion for the positive, Casey has dedicated her career to building the capacity of communities to preserve the natural world. Having spent the last 15 years developing workshops related to environmental monitoring, natural resource management and land revitalization, Casey is skilled in using community engagement and collaborative decision-making to develop strategies to address environmental issues. Prior to joining New Dream, Casey managed the Virginia Natural Resource Leadership Institute for UVA’s Institute for Environmental Negotiation. She has helped to figure out creative ways to reuse old industrial properties across the country, developed conservation strategies for a 2,300-acre farm in Albemarle County, Virginia, and conducted wetland and stream restoration programs for Audubon International and the Izaak Walton League. She enjoys pointing out and identifying all kinds of stream critters for her fascinated twin daughters and husband during family hikes along the Blue Ridge mountains. Casey is a “double Hoo,” holding a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and a Master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia.
Alex Levin, Business Development and Marketing Intern
Alex is a compulsive planner. Whether planning his next trip (real or imaginary) or helping build an impactful organization, he can’t get enough. For this reason, he has worked with a variety of nongovernmental organizations and social enterprises in roles related to strategic planning, marketing, impact assessment, and management. Most recently, Alex was CEO of Camara Tanzania. Subsequently, he moved with his fiancée to Chicago, where he is pursuing a master’s degree in Sustainable Urban Development at DePaul University. Alex’s planning side has made him increasingly concerned about U.S. societal path dependence as our ever-increasing inertia takes us, seemingly, toward a cliff of economic, environmental, and social catastrophe. Alex is ecstatic to support New Dream's efforts to build a more thoughtful, sustainable American ethos. Alex graduated from McGill University with a B.A. in Geography and Economics and is also a StartingBloc Fellow. He proudly possesses a small library of books, and very little else.
Sarah Parkinson, Graphic Design Intern
Sarah spent much of her childhood wandering the New Hampshire woods and playing with art supplies in her basement. From those indoor and outdoor explorations grew two of her primary passions, environmental work and design. Sarah graduated from Dartmouth College in 2009 with a BA in Environmental Studies and a concentration in Studio Art. As part of her degree, she spent time in southern Africa studying ecology and conservation and also lived on a research sailboat in the Caribbean to study marine science. After graduating, Sarah moved to a remote atoll in the Marshall Islands to teach high school English. She has also spent time conducting ecology research, teaching wilderness science, and working at a biotech company. Sarah currently lives in Vermont and works as the Communications Manager at the Donella Meadows Institute. She loves pursuing design projects, spending time outside, letterpress printing, gardening, and experimenting with new recipes.
Kim Knuppel, Volunteer
Kim is a library assistant and accounting student from Wisconsin. She enjoys reading nonfiction books on almost any subject, volunteering, and living a simple and frugal life.