Interim Leadership

In an interim leader role, I can create strong and motivated teams, organize your budget, instill confidence in funders to invest in your work, and develop partnerships that effect systems-level change.

Do you have an idea for a new program, but your current staff are already at the max? Or are you in need of an Interim Executive Director? As an interim for periods of six months to two years, I have created significant impact for three organizations:

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The UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics (BCSP). Six UC Berkeley faculty, including author Michael Pollan, came together to advance the science and public discourse about the potential for psychedelics to improve mental health and well-being. For a year, I served as Interim Executive Director and helped these academics transition ideas into concrete plans. We created flagship programs and organizational structures that included: launching the BCSP website, developing an online course, organizing the multimillion-dollar budget, starting a fellowship for Indigenous scientists, and committing 10 percent of the organization’s funds to diversity, equity, and inclusion programs. 

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Ocean Conservancy. In 2009, Ocean Conservancy asked me to help them transition their work from cleaning up beaches to stopping the problem of ocean trash at its source, an issue that at the time no credible scientists or foundations were paying attention to. As Interim Director, I set the strategy for Trash Free Seas, established a scientific working group to create the first ever global assessment of the problem, and started the Trash Free Seas Alliance to bring corporate brands such as Coca-Cola and Dow together with activists such as the Plastics Pollution Coalition. As a result of this strategy, now the whole world is talking about, and looking for solutions to, the problem of ocean trash.

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Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. The Parks Prescription program was a great name for the concept of using public lands to improve health. The strategy we developed and implemented went beyond a name and resulted in programs throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and the US that link doctors to park rangers and educators. We organized a workshop of health professionals and parks professionals that established a nationwide network, participated in a White House listening tour about nature and health, engaged health insurance providers as funders and partners, and created a summary of the leading US programs.