DC Staff

Washington, D.C. Staff

Jeff Ruch has been the Executive Director of PEER since 1997. With Jeff DeBonis, he helped to start PEER and for its first four years served as General Counsel & Program Director. Prior to that Jeff was the Policy Director and a staff attorney at the Government Accountability Project representing whistleblowers from both the public and private sector. Before coming to DC, Jeff worked in California state government for 17 years, mostly in the State Legislature as counsel to various committees where he drafted literally hundreds of laws on topics ranging from energy conservation to the rights of employed inventors. Jeff served stints as a deputy district attorney, an appellate court clerk and is a graduate of the California Correctional Officers Academy. jruch[at]peer.org

Paula Dinerstein is PEER’s Senior Counsel and an attorney with 18 years of experience. She received her law degree from the George Washington University National Law Center. Prior to joining PEER, she clerked for a federal district court judge in Washington DC and then practiced with small public-interest oriented law firms. Her work included representation of States and advocacy groups in energy and environmental matters, including recovery for overcharges by oil companies for use in state energy conservation programs, challenges to EPA pesticide registrations, challenges to hydroelectric licenses, and litigation concerning regulations which weakened the federal organic food standards. pdinerstein[at]peer.org

Kirsten Stade is PEER's Advocacy Director. For more than a decade she has worked on campaigns targeting extractive industries on public lands, and has published research with WildEarth Guardians on the impacts of livestock grazing on fire ecology and ecosystem health in the American west. She has a Master's degree in Conservation Biology from Columbia University and a Bachelor's in Earth Systems from Stanford University. Kirsten enjoys training and grooming dogs, and volunteers with animal rescue groups in the Washington, DC area. She lives with her partner and a growing number of rescued dogs in Takoma Park, MD. kstade[at]peer.org

Leola Webb is PEER's Membership and Outreach Coordinator. Prior to working with PEER, Leola taught at Community Academy Public Charter Schools in DC. She began her career in activism when she began working with Grassroots Campaigns Inc. in DC. By working on behalf of non-profit organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union and The Nature Conservancy, Leola had the opportunity to work with issues spanning from land degradation, ozone depletion, resource depletion, and energy conservation to women's rights. Leola holds a B.S. in Biology from Southern University Agricultural and Mechanical College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Leola is a Southern girl who enjoys a cool breeze on a nice and sunny day, and looks forward to having pets in her life in the future. lwebb[at]peer.org

Kathryn (Kit) Douglass is PEER's Staff Counsel. Kit received her law degree from Lewis & Clark Law School, specializing in environmental and natural resources law. She has been working on environmental issues for over 10 years. Before joining PEER, Kit clerked for two nonprofits, focusing on sustainable land use practices, protecting endangered species, and ensuring water quality in our nation's rivers. She also did a stint as an intern for a federal district court judge in Idaho. Prior to law school, Kit worked to protect the environment through community organizing, generating media, and working with decisionmakers and stakeholders. She has worked on many campaigns including protecting old growth forests and public lands from destructive uses, and strengthening clean air laws to protect public health. kdouglass[at]peer.org