Sejal provides strategic direction and leadership for Baykeeper's hard-hitting programs and operations to protect San Francisco Bay. She joined Baykeeper straight out of law school in 2002, first serving as an Equal Justice Works fellow, then as program director and in-house attorney. In these roles, Sejal guided Baykeeper's advocacy to reduce industrial pollution, clean up legacy mercury contamination, prevent agricultural pesticide runoff in the Bay's Central Valley tributaries, and stop sewage and oil spills around the Bay's watershed. Sejal became Baykeeper's executive director in 2015, and also sits on the governing council of the global Waterkeeper Alliance, of which Baykeeper was a founding member. She is a leader of the alliance's justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion committee, and she co-founded the Bay Area chapter of Environmental Professionals of Color. Sejal graduated with highest honors from Emory University in Atlanta GA, where she grew up, and she received her law degree with a certificate in environmental law from UC Berkeley. In addition to her work protecting the Bay and its watershed, Sejal serves locally on the board of Sustainable Lafayette.
Eric is Baykeeper's senior attorney responsible for implementing our cutting-edge litigation strategy and supervising our team of legal experts. He joined Baykeeper with over ten years of experience as an attorney at the law firm of Cotchett, Pitre, and McCarthy, where he focused on plaintiff-side fraud and elder abuse litigation, as well as key environmental matters involving land use, water, and the public trust. Eric was the lead attorney on the groundbreaking Martin's Beach public access case representing Surfrider Foundation, and also a lead attorney representing our environmental partners on San Francisco Baykeeper vs. U.S. EPA to protect the Redwood City Salt ponds from development. He received his JD from Georgetown University after graduating from Duke University with a BA in political science.
Nicole is responsible for prosecuting citizen suits through legal research, analysis and field investigation of pollution sources. She also monitors polluter compliance with Baykeeper’s active Clean Water Act enforcement program. She joined Baykeeper in 2014 after graduating magna cum laude from Pace University School of Law. While in law school, Nicole gained practical experience at the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic where she represented Hudson Riverkeeper, New York/New Jersey Baykeeper, and Waterkeeper Alliance. She also served as a law clerk for Hudson Riverkeeper and Earthjustice. Her work focused on protecting water quality in the New York City watershed and defending New York City public parkland under the public trust doctrine. Nicole holds a BA in history and political science from UC Berkeley and a JD from Pace University School of Law with a certificate in environmental law.
Ben is responsible for prosecuting our active docket of high-impact water quality cases through research, litigation, and settlement negotiations. He joined Baykeeper in 2016 after several years in private practice at the environmental law offices of Stephan C. Volker, representing environmental and community groups in civil litigation to protect endangered environmental resources. Ben received his JD from University of California Hastings College of the Law in 2009. While at Hastings, he also gained experience at the San Francisco city attorney’s office and the Stanford Environmental Law Clinic. After law school, Ben was a Fulbright Scholar in Oslo, Norway, where he studied climate change regulation and received a master’s degree in public international law from the University of Oslo. Ben obtained his BA from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, where he double majored in philosophy and psychology.
Jon joined Baykeeper in 2019 as our senior scientist. He is responsible for integrating the best available science into Baykeeper policy positions and legal arguments to protect San Francisco Bay. Prior to joining Baykeeper, Jon worked for over 10 years protecting the Bay's endangered fishes and commercial fisheries as a conservation biologist with The Bay Institute. Jon has conducted scientific research and translated science for attorneys, policymakers, and the public since the early 1990s, when he first encountered San Francisco Bay and its watershed as a research associate for the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund (now Earthjustice). Jon earned his PhD in biology from the University of New Mexico. He also holds a BS in natural resource ecology from Cornell University and a MS in resource management and conservation biology from the University of Michigan.
Ian manages advocacy and research efforts, provides technical hydrology services on Baykeeper's enforcement actions, and regularly represents Baykeeper before regulators, municipalities, and technical committees. He serves as the environmental representative on the technical review committee of the San Francisco Estuary Institute. Prior to joining Baykeeper, Ian spent six years in environmental consultancy as a habitat restoration specialist in Southern California and a hydrologist in London, UK. Ian has worked with a range of public, private, and non-profit organizations in California, Europe, and the Middle East, and is experienced in issues pertaining to urban water quality, coastal diffuse pollution, endangered species, wetland restoration, and the use of low impact technologies to mitigate water quality and flood risk. He studied biology and ecology at UC Berkeley, and holds an MS in hydrology and sustainable development from Imperial College, London. Ian also holds credentials as a professional in stormwater quality and as a qualified developer of stormwater pollution prevention plans.
Cole supports our science team and leads Baykeeper’s pollution investigations by coordinating our boat and drone patrols, responding to Pollution Hotline reports, and strategic water quality testing. He manages our Baykeeper boat program and our volunteer skippers to investigate Bay pollution. He also serves as Baykeeper's point on vessel pollution advocacy, acting as our liaison to the Bay Area recreational and boater community, oil spill response agencies, and community activists. He works directly with Bay Area communities leading shoreline cleanups and coordinating volunteers to inspire stewardship around the Bay. Prior to joining Baykeeper, Cole conducted scientific research in a variety of fields, including agricultural watershed runoff and explosive silicic volcanism. He is certified by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, and holds degrees in geology and environmental studies from Oberlin College.
Eliet Henderson directs Baykeeper's development efforts, managing supporter outreach, funder relationships, and events. She first joined Baykeeper in 2007. She previously worked in communications on a statewide initiative campaign and as an events coordinator and program assistant at Equal Justice Works in Washington, D.C. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in sociology.
Akilah is the newest addition to the Baykeeper’s development team, coordinating event production, donor relationships, and membership growth. Born and raised in the East Bay, she has spent many hours fishing, boating, and splashing around in natural bodies of water sprinkled across the Bay. Akilah has an abundance of work experience in education, mental health, and health industries. You can find her at any Baykeeper event smiling and asking if she can help empower you to make a difference! Akilah is a certified birth doula and has an A.S. in liberal arts with a focus of social & behavioral sciences.
Kirsten serves as director of finance and administration, where she combines her decades of experience providing operations, finance, and human resources support to help Baykeeper deliver on its mission to protect San Francisco Bay. Kirsten has worked for a wide variety of organizations, from small non-profits to a multi-department service center at the University of California with over 800 employees and a $19 million budget. She has managed budget, accounting, contracts and grants, human resources, payroll, facilities, IT, and general administration with the occasional foray into fundraising. Kirsten graduated magna cum laude from Bryn Mawr College with a B.A. in classical and Near Eastern archaeology and a minor in Ancient Greek.
Mark oversees Baykeeper’s communications work, from campaign updates to information strategy. He joined Baykeeper in 2020 after being part of teams at the Sierra Club, Rainforest Action Network, and San Francisco’s Department of the Environment that helped convince President Obama to say no to the Keystone XL pipeline, Home Depot to stop selling old growth wood, and made the nation’s first ban on plastic shopping bags a reality. A California native and longtime Bay Area resident, Mark graduated from UC Berkeley with honors in English. When he’s not here protecting the Bay, you can find Mark looking for clapper rails at Arrowhead Marsh, or up in the Sierra foothills hunting mushrooms and splitting wood.
Fiona creates content for Baykeeper's website, e-newsletter, social media, print materials, and other communications to showcase Baykeeper’s achievements protecting San Francisco Bay. She joined Baykeeper in 2016 after working as an information officer for the US Agency for International Development’s humanitarian and disaster response office in Washington, D.C. Fiona holds a B.A. in literature from UC Berkeley and an M.A. in international policy from Middlebury College.
Aundi joined Baykeeper in September 2020 as a volunteer on the science team, and we then hired her as our field investigator and policy advocate in 2022.She plays a central role in Baykeeper's investigation, advocacy, and outreach to local municipal governments and governmental agencies. Aundi is training to be a certified drone operator, and is on call to respond to our pollution hotline. She also conducts pollution patrols, both on the water and with our aerial patrol partners. In addition to being in the field, Aundi leads projects related to sea level rise and toxic site inundation, including efforts to improve green infrastructure and make shorelines climate resilient. Aundi holds a BA from the University of San Francisco and a masters degree in global sustainability and natural resource management from Virginia Tech. Prior to joining the environmental field, she worked in the healthcare sector as a chiropractor and educator with a doctor of chiropractic degree from Life West Chiropractic College.
Eric was first introduced to Baykeeper when he joined a Coastal Cleanup Day event with the law firm where he worked. He was impressed with Baykeeper's mission, and soon became a regular at Baykeeper's cleanups. When Eric retired after nearly twenty years as the law office administrator for Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP—the Bay Area's preeminent environmental and land-use law firm—he has devoted more time to Baykeeper as a volunteer, assisting with data management, donor oversight, and event planning—basically, whatever it takes to support the Baykeeper team. Eric is an avid bicyclist and hiker. He likes to give Baykeeper credit for helping to make his treks around the Bay healthier, less polluted, and a bit more beautiful. And we're honored to have Eric on the team!
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