Get In Touch With Our Teams:

 

Community Broadband Networks Initiative

DeAnne Cuellar — Community Broadband Outreach Team Lead

DeAnne Cuellar is a tech equity advocate and communications strategist from San Antonio, Texas. She served as Mayor Ron Nirenberg’s digital inclusion appointee to the City of San Antonio’s Innovation & Technology Committee, resulting in several policy and funding priorities to close the digital divide. As a social impact entrepreneur, she co-founded several cross-sector nonprofit initiatives, advocating for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion for historically underrepresented communities.

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Emma Gautier — Research Associate

Emma Gautier is a Research Associate with ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative. She supports data collection and analysis within the broadband initiative. Emma recently received a BA in Women’s and Gender Studies from Carleton College, and since graduation has been working in research, advocacy and political organizing for social and environmental justice. She is interested in the synthesis of research and on-the-ground action in communities.

Sean Gonsalves — Senior Reporter, Editor and Communications Team Lead

Sean Gonsalves is a Senior Reporter, Editor, and Researcher for ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative. Sean was a longtime former reporter, columnist, and news editor with the Cape Cod Times. He is also a former nationally syndicated columnist in 22 newspapers, including the Oakland Tribune, Kansas City Star and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. His work has also appeared in the Boston Globe, USA Today, the Washington Post and the International Herald-Tribune.

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Ry Marcattilio-McCracken — Senior Researcher and Research Team Lead

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken is a Senior Researcher with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative. He is interested in the democratizing power of technology, systems engineering, and the history of science, technology, and medicine. Previously, Ry worked as an Adjunct Professor of American History in Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Minnesota. Ry holds a PhD in American History from Oklahoma State University.

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Christopher Mitchell — Director, Community Broadband Networks Initiative

Christopher Mitchell is the Director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative with ILSR. He is a leading national expert on community networks, Internet access, and local broadband policies. Christopher built MuniNetworks.org, the comprehensive online clearinghouse of information about local government policies to improve Internet access. Its interactive community broadband network map tracks more than 600 such networks. He also hosts audio and video shows online, including Community Broadband Bits and Connect This! 

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Christine Parker — GIS and Data Visualization Specialist

Christine Parker is a GIS and Data Visualization Specialist with ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative. Christine spent 15 years working on projects to support efforts from non-profit entities focused on bird and habitat conservation. She is interested in creating and sharing maps and images that illustrate complex information in a way that is accessible and impactful. Christine earned her PhD in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Composting for Community Initiative

Linda Bilsens Brolis— Project Manager, Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders Program

Linda Bilsens Brolis is the Senior Project Manager for ILSR’s Composting for Community Initiative. Her work focuses on advancing composting at the community level as a tool for reducing waste, regenerating soils, supporting local food production, and fighting climate chaos. Linda manages ILSR’s Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders Composter Training Program and leads ILSR’s work advancing on-farm composting.

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Sophia Hosain — Baltimore Project Lead

Sophia Hosain is the Baltimore Lead on ILSR’s Composting for Community project.  A graduate of ILSR’s Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders program and part-time vegetable & flower farmer, Sophia now works in sustainability and is interested in alternative energy, permaculture and circular economies.

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Sophia Jones — Policy and Development Associate

Sophia Jones is a Policy Associate with ILSR’s Composting for Community initiative, where she researches, analyzes and supports the building of U.S. policy that advances local composting. She also works on the Development team, supporting fundraising and outreach for ILSR. She received her B.A. in Environment and Development Studies from McGill University.

Clarissa Libertelli — Community Composter Coalition Coordinator

Clarissa Libertelli coordinates the Community Composter Coalition for the Composting for Community initiative, as well as provides graphic design support across all initiatives. She received her Bachelor’s at the University of Vermont in Environmental Studies and Political Science.

Megan Matthews — Intern

Megan Matthews is an intern with ILSR’s Composting for Community Initiative assisting with research, data analysis, and administrative support. She is interested in using data and outreach to promote sustainability, food equity, and environmental justice through the lens of agroecology. Megan earned her PhD in physics from the Georgia Institute of Technology studying plant-pollinator interactions.

Brenda Platt — Director, Composting for Community Initiative

Brenda Platt directs ILSR’s Composting for Community project, which is advancing local composting in order to create jobs, enhance soils, sequester carbon, reduce waste, and build healthy communities. She has worked 35 years fighting trash burners and promoting a zero waste economy. She is nationally known for her research documenting jobs through reuse, recycling, and composting.

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Energy Democracy Initiative

Drew Birschbach — Audio Engineer

Drew Birschbach is a former Energy Democracy Intern working as an audio engineer on the Local Energy Rules and Building Local Power podcasts. They recently graduated from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities with a BA in Journalism with minors in Sustainability Studies and Information Technology.

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John Farrell — Co-Director of ILSR & Director, Energy Democracy Initiative

John Farrell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its work on energy democracy. John is best known for his vivid illustrations of the economic and environmental benefits of local ownership of decentralized renewable energy.

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Katie Kienbaum — Senior Researcher

Katie Kienbaum is a Senior Researcher with ILSR’s Energy Democracy initiative, where she researches and writes about equitable and decentralized clean energy and its impact on communities across the country. Before joining the Energy Democracy initiative, she was a Research Associate with the Community Broadband Networks initiative.

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Maria McCoy — Research Associate

Maria McCoy is a Research Associate on the Energy Democracy initiative, where she contributes to blog posts, podcasts, video content, and interactive features. Her research focuses on how communities can transition to clean, decentralized energy systems that are both equitable and economically viable.

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Independent Business Initiative

Luke Gannon — Communications and Research Associate

Luke worked as an intern for the Independent Business initiative before moving to her current position where she contributes to research projects, podcasts, social media, video content, and web posts. Her interests and research focus on the history of antitrust laws and their current enactment at the federal level.

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Lauren Gellatly — Advocacy and Campaigns Manager

Lauren is the Advocacy and Campaigns Manager for ILSR’s Independent Business team where she brings her background in advocacy, economic development, and independent business support. Lauren executes campaign strategies and manages relationships with allied organizations and coalition partners, including a coalition of nearly 30 independent business groups and alliances – Small Business Rising – advocating for antimonopoly reforms.

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Susan Holmberg Senior Researcher and Editor

Susan Holmberg is a political economist and the Senior Editor and Researcher on the Independent Business team. She shapes the strategic direction of the initiative’s research and manages the publication quality for all team content. She writes on corporate power, small business, inequality, and systemic racism. She has been published in The New York Times, Financial Times, The Atlantic, Time, The Nation, and Democracy Journal. Susan holds a Ph.D. in economics from UMass, Amherst.

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Ron Knox — Senior Researcher and Writer

Ron Knox is a Senior Researcher and Writer for ILSR’s Independent Business Initiative. A combined storyteller and antitrust expert, Ron is building our deep bench of reporting and research on the ways extreme corporate concentration has come to dominate and damage industries throughout the economy. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Slate, The American Prospect and elsewhere. He is based in Kansas City.

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Katy Milani — Senior Policy Advocate 

Katy is the Senior Policy Advocate for ILSR’s independent business program where she works closely with coalition partners and policymakers on antimonopoly and small business policy and advocacy. Previously she was Director of Advocacy and Policy at the Roosevelt Institute where she led strategic engagement with allies, partner organizations, and elected officials on a range of corporate power policy areas, including banking reform and corporate governance.

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Stacy Mitchell — Co-Director of ILSR & Director, Independent Business Initiative

Stacy Mitchell is Co-Executive Director of ILSR and directs its Independent Business Initiative. Her reports and articles about monopoly power have shaped the thinking of policymakers, journalists, and advocates. As a strategist, she has helped build coalitions and win campaigns for policies that dismantle corporate power, level the playing field for independent businesses, and strengthen communities.

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Kennedy Smith — Senior Researcher

Kennedy Smith is a Senior Researcher with ILSR’s Independent Business initiative. Kennedy is one of the nation’s foremost experts on commercial district revitalization and independent business development. Her work focuses on analyzing the factors threatening independent businesses and developing policy tools that communities can use to address these issues and build thriving, equitable local economies.

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Waste to Wealth Initiative

Neil Seldman

Neil Seldman — Director, Waste to Wealth Initiative

Neil Seldman, Ph.D., co-founded the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directed its Waste to Wealth Initiative until his retirement in July 2022. Seldman is a leading recycling and zero waste activist, assisting citizen, environmental and small business organizations in stopping garbage incinerators in scores of US cities. Subsequently, he works with cities to increase recovery of materials from the waste stream and grow the local economy by adding value to materials through local processing, manufacturing and job creation. Prior to founding ILSR, Seldman worked in manufacturing and was a professor of political science.

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Toby Harris Contract Researcher  

Toby Harris is a Baltimore based researcher with ILSR’s Waste to Wealth Initiative. They remain involved with SBCLT’s youth-led outreach and implementation efforts grounding Baltimore’s Fair Development Plan for Zero Waste. Toby has a Master’s in Environmental Health & Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Research on national recycling and reuse trends are also central to Toby’s works.

Communications, Development, and Operations

David Morris

David Morris — Distinguished Fellow

David Morris is co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and currently ILSR’s distinguished fellow. He writes the blog, From the Desk of David Morris. He has served as an adviser or consultant to local, state and national governments and to private businesses large and small.

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Reggie Rucker — Communications Director

As Communications Director at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Reggie manages media relations, develops communications strategies, and leads campaigns to build public support for ILSR local power initiatives. Prior to joining ILSR, Reggie spent over a decade in Modesto, California, helping small businesses to engage the community and activating residents to participate in the civic process. His passion for basketball is only surpassed by his devotion to creating communities where every member feels empowered to know its past, own its present, and shape its future.

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Andrew Frank — Digital Communications Manager

Andrew Frank is the Digital Communications Manager at ILSR, where he works to maximize the reach of the organization’s initiatives, research, and reporting. Previously, he spent a decade as a communications strategist, magazine editor, and journalist in the performing arts, where his work focused on supporting independent musicians, concert presenters, and cultural organizations.

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John Bailey — Development Director

John is the Director of Development and is responsible for coordinating fundraising and related outreach for ILSR. He was a senior researcher at ILSR from 1992 until 2011, specializing in decentralized energy policy and analysis including topics of renewable energy, climate change, efficiency, tax policy and electric vehicles.

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India Gorden — Operations Director

India Gorden is the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Operations Director. India has managed day-to-day office operations for non-profit organizations since 2003 and maintains her professional relationship with various vendors. Her focus is in office management, finance and general human resources.

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Executive Directors

Stacy Mitchell — Co-Director of ILSR & Director, Independent Business Initiative

Stacy Mitchell is Co-Executive Director of ILSR and directs its Independent Business Initiative. Her reports and articles about monopoly power have shaped the thinking of policymakers, journalists, and advocates. As a strategist, she has helped build coalitions and win campaigns for policies that dismantle corporate power, level the playing field for independent businesses, and strengthen communities.

Full BioContactRecent Posts – Twitter

John Farrell — Co-Director of ILSR & Director, Energy Democracy Initiative

John Farrell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its work on energy democracy. John is best known for his vivid illustrations of the economic and environmental benefits of local ownership of decentralized renewable energy.

Full BioContactRecent Posts – Twitter

 

Board of Directors

NoraGoldsteinNora Goldstein

Nora Goldstein is the Editor of BioCycle, the magazine and website authority on composting and anaerobic digestion, where she oversees such projects as “www.findacomposter.com” and manages conferences related to composting and zero waste. She received the U.S. Composting Council’s “Hi Kellogg Award” in January 2014, and the American Biogas Council’s “Biogas Visionary Award” in October 2013.

JolieJonesJolie Jones

Jolie Jones is the founder of the Take It Back Foundation, which has worked to encourage recycling efforts.  Her varied career spans art, modeling, and music.

Chris-LewisChris Lewis

Christopher Lewis is President at Public Knowledge. Prior to joining Public Knowledge in 2012, Chris served at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as Deputy Director of the Office of Legislative Affairs and advised the FCC Chair on legislative and political strategy. He is a former U.S. Senate staffer for the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and has over a decade of organizing and campaign experience. Chris graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelors degree in Government. He lives in Alexandria, VA where he loves working on local civic issues and is elected to the Alexandria City Public School Board.

KirkMarckwaldKirk Marckwald

Kirk Marckwald, the Chairman of the Board, helms California Environmental Associates, a consulting firm that works with a wide range of businesses, nonprofits, foundations, and public institutions to promote conservation. Marckwald has extensive experience with energy and environmental regulation, and prior to founding CEA in 1984, worked as the Under Secretary of California’s Natural Resources Agency, and as a consultant with the Environmental Defense Fund.

David MorrisDavid Morris

David Morris is co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and currently ILSR’s distinguished fellow. He writes the blog, From the Desk of David Morris. He has served as an adviser or consultant to local, state and national governments and to private businesses large and small.

RoyPriestPhotoRoy Priest

Roy Priest is a Commissioner on the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County (Md.) and retired Executive Director and CEO of the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority in Alexandria, Va.  Priest has worked in community economic development and finance over his 50-year career, and prior to his current position, served seven years as the President and CEO of the National Congress for Community Economic Development, and 17 years with the U.S. Department for Housing and Urban Development, including as the Director of the Office of Economic Development.

AndyReicher

Andrew Reicher

Andrew Reicher is Executive Director of the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board, where he started in 1978 and which he has led since 1981. Over his tenure, UHAB’s base of tenant-run and tenant-owned housing cooperatives has grown from several dozen to more than 1,500 in New York City and beyond. He is the 2003 recipient of the National Association of Housing Cooperatives’ highest honor, the “Jerry Voorhis Award.”

Photo credit: Carol J. Ott

Gina Schaefer

Gina Schaefer is the Founder and CEO of 13 Ace Hardware stores in and around Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Md. She and her husband employ more than 250 people and have formed an ESOP to begin transitioning ownership of the company to their teammates.

She serves on the Board of Directors of CCA Global Partners.

Neil SeldmanNeil Seldman

Neil Seldman, Ph.D., co-founded the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directed its Waste to Wealth Initiative until his retirement in July 2022. Seldman is a leading recycling and zero waste activist, assisting citizen, environmental and small business organizations in stopping garbage incinerators in scores of US cities. Subsequently, he works with cities to increase recovery of materials from the waste stream and grow the local economy by adding value to materials through local processing, manufacturing and job creation. Prior to founding ILSR, Seldman worked in manufacturing and was a professor of political science.

 

To reach ILSR staff members not listing an address, please e-mail info@ilsr.org