Staff and Board

Tim Whitehouse
Executive Director

Tim Whitehouse has more than 25 years of experience working on a wide range of environmental issues with governments, businesses, nonprofit organizations and community groups. Tim was a senior attorney at the United States Environmental Protection Agency for 10 years, where he specialized in enforcement of the Clean Water Act and in hazardous waste compliance issues. He was also head of the Law and Policy Program at the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation in Montreal, Canada for 5 years. He has worked as a consultant for companies on environmental compliance issues, and with non-profit organizations focusing on clean energy issues. Most recently, he was executive director of Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility, a health advocacy group working to address climate change, toxics pollution, and nuclear disarmament issues in Maryland. He holds a JD and BA from Emory University and an MA from New York University. twhitehouse@peer.org

Kevin Bell
Staff Counsel

Kevin received his law degree from New York University, where he focused in administrative procedure and competed in Moot Court. Previously, he studied Politics at Willamette University, where he was a member of the debate team. Before joining PEER, Kevin worked with Matsikoudis & Fanciullo, a small environmental law firm in Jersey City, New Jersey, and held a fellowship with the Administrative Conference of the United States, an agency responsible for promoting improvements in the efficiency, adequacy, and fairness of the federal administrative process. He also assisted ACUS’s former Chairman, Paul R. Verkuil, in the publication of his volume on overuse of civilian contractors and the importance of professional government: Valuing Bureaucracy. Kevin enjoys board and PC games, volunteer judging for mock trial and debate tournaments, reading science fiction, and trying to make it at least halfway up the easy trails in our National Parks. kbell@peer.org

Kyla Bennett
Director of Science Policy

New England PEER’s Director and PEER’s Director of Science Policy, Kyla previously worked at EPA Region 1 for 10 years as a wetland permit reviewer and as the Region’s Wetlands Enforcement Coordinator. Kyla first became involved with PEER in the mid-1990s, when she became a whistleblower herself. Kyla has a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Connecticut and a law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. Her familiarity with science, the law, and the inner workings of state and federal governmental agencies enable her to assist public environmental employees throughout New England. kbennett@peer.org

Paula Dinerstein
General Counsel

Paula has been with PEER since 2006. She represents PEER in whistleblower, environmental and FOIA cases. 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 pesticides and organic food standards. pdinerstein@peer.org
 

Joy Edmondson
Associate Director

Joy works within the equitable community development and emerging sustainability sectors to empower communities from the inside out. She brings nearly 20 years of cross-functional experience in social enterprise, faith-based nonprofits, education, and community engagement with strengths that include communications, administration, equity frameworks, and organizational development. Joy holds an M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary, a Columbia University affiliate in New York City, where she matriculated as a Union Scholar. She earned a B.A. with honors in communications management concentrating in business administration from Howard University. She was a Green For All Fellow, the recipient of an NAACP Community Service Award, and completed a reparative justice project in South Africa as an FTE Ministry Fellow. jedmondson@peer.org

Peter Jenkins
Senior Counsel

Peter has been an environmental, land use and consumer attorney and advocate since 1983. Peter received his law degree from the University of Puget Sound (now Seattle University) School of Law and also has a Masters in Environmental Studies from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, with a focus on conservation biology. His career has centered on bringing the best science to bear in environmental protection efforts; he has specialized at working with scientists so their findings can inform good policy, as well as in federal litigation. Most of his work has been in aid of wildlife conservation, but also in the fields of pesticides, GMOs, invasive species, wildlife disease prevention, international trade, land-use conflicts and other areas. Peter’s prior positions in Washington, DC since 2000 have been: Of Counsel, Center for Food Safety; Vice President for U.S. Government Policy, Conservation International; Director of International Conservation, Defenders of Wildlife; and Staff Attorney, Center for Science in the Public Interest. From 1993 to 2000, he was in New Mexico working primarily as a contracted consultant on endangered species recovery efforts with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Turner Endangered Species Fund. Prior to then, he served as an Attorney and Policy Analyst for the U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, and also was in private law practice. pjenkins@peer.org

Jerry Phillips
Florida PEER Director

Jerry is a former enforcement attorney with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. In that position he was responsible for initiating enforcement actions against wastewater facilities that were in violation of environmental regulations. Jerry was also involved in developing the enforcement aspect of Florida’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program. His most recent work has been with the Clean Water Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that Florida’s environmental laws are enforced, thus protecting its fragile ecosystem. jphillips@peer.org

Chandra Rosenthal
Rocky Mountain PEER Director

Chandra, a Colorado native, heads up the office as Rocky Mountain PEER Counsel. Chandra, formerly staff attorney with Defenders of Wildlife specializing in endangered species and public lands issues, has also worked for the U.S. Department of Justice and, under a legal fellowship, worked on a Superfund site with the Department of Energy. “I view my job as helping the region’s public service professionals do their jobs of protecting the diverse and abundant natural resources of the Rockies,” states Rosenthal. Chandra earned her law degree in 1993 at the Lewis and Clark Northwestern School of Law, where she focused her studies on environmental law. crosenthal@peer.org

Jeff Ruch
Pacific PEER Director

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@peer.org

Susan Sargent
Membership & Outreach Director

Prior to joining PEER, Susan ran a national physics teacher education program and has worked on several environmental campaigns. She has extensive experience in outreach, communications and project management through her work with local and national organizations such as AARP, the National Ocean Service, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the International Foundation for Election Systems. She is active on her community HOA board, planning local events, and managing neighborhood life. Susan enjoys spending time with her family biking, hiking, and exploring national and state parks. ssargent@peer.org

Kirsten Stade
Advocacy Director

Prior to coming to PEER, Kirsten worked to promote scientific integrity with the Center for Science in the Public Interest and on campaigns targeting extractive industries on public lands with WildEarth Guardians in New Mexico and the Gifford Pinchot Task Force in Oregon. Kirsten has published research on the impacts of livestock grazing on fire ecology and ecosystem health in the American west, and has a Master’s degree in Conservation Biology from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s in Earth Systems from Stanford University. She is also a dog groomer, rescuer, and trainer, and enjoys studying and performing African music and dance. kstade@peer.org

Barry Sulkin
Tennessee PEER Director

Barry is a Volunteer State native and former Chief of Enforcement and Compliance for the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC). Barry contacted PEER more than a year prior to the opening of the office, urging PEER’s immediate involvement in helping state employees stand up for resource protection in the face of intense political pressure. “In my experience as a state employee, at times factors other than science dictated what was supposed to be purely an environmental decision,” says Sulkin. “PEER’s ‘anonymous activism’ offers a way for good employees to stay within the system by giving them a completely safe channel to communicate with their real employer – the public.” Barry worked for TDEC from 1976 – 1990, leaving shortly after testifying that the agency had issued an illegal permit. Since then, he has created an extensive private practice as an investigator and scientist serving citizen groups and others on a wide range of water quality issues. His more than 25 years of experience in Tennessee resource management, both in state service and private practice, are being put to good use by PEER. bsulkin@peer.org


BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Louis Clark, Chair
Louis is the founder and Executive Director, since 1978, of the Government Accountability Project. G.A.P. is a public interest law firm that specializes in whistleblower protection and environmental advocacy. A lawyer and Methodist minister, Mr. Clark was active in the civil rights movement and worked for prison reform before founding G.A.P. Founding Board member December 1993.

Christine D. Berg, M.D.
Chris is a research oncologist who spent much of her career at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Berg currently serves as a Special Volunteer to the director of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the NCI. In her capacity as Chief of the Early Detection Research Group, Division of Cancer Prevention, NCI, NIH, she oversaw the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening (PLCO) Trial and the PLCO biospecimen repository. The NLST documented a 20% decrease in lung cancer specific mortality from three rounds of low-dose computerized tomographic screening. This led to insurance coverage of screening and Medicare coverage as well. Dr. Berg earned a Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University and a Doctor of Medicine from Northwestern University’s Medical School. She is certified in Therapeutic Radiology by the American Board of Radiology, and Medical Oncology and Internal Medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Berg is widely published and has received numerous awards for her work. In addition to her passion for oncology research, Dr. Berg is a staunch supporter of climate crisis amelioration and adaptation. Dr. Berg is adamant about the scientific process and scientific evidence and strives to find the truth through research which should be an approach applied to the climate crisis

Frank Buono
Frank retired following a more than 33 year career with the National Park Service, culminating in service as Assistant Superintendent at Mojave National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park. In 1994 the National Parks and Conservation Association conferred upon him the prestigious Mather Award for public service. Joined Board May 2000.

Zoe Kelman
Zoe is a chemical engineer who had worked at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for 18 years following extensive experience in the private sector. While at DEP, Zoe exposed that state assessments of the public health danger of hexavalent chromium in sites deemed to be clean was far greater than admitted. Joined Board September 2009.

Ben Lomeli
Ben retired in 2017 from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management after a 44-year career as a Hydrologist and Natural Resources Scientist with experience in all levels of government and private sector consulting. His specialties include sustainability, engineering, water rights, riparian ecosystems, flood control, riverine morphology, grazing systems, erosion control, site and water development, groundwater, interdisciplinary planning, and International Issues. Ben belongs to several professional associations in his field and is active in a wide range of volunteer activities. He is also versed in English/Spanish translation of natural resources, engineering, and technical literature. As a federal employee, he compiled a decades-long track record of upholding scientific integrity, in some cases at significant career risk. As a PEER Board Member he hope to continue assisting scientists facing retaliation for defending scientific integrity and telling the truth. Joined board September 2017.

Edward Patrovsky
Edward grew up in Southern California with a love for the outdoors. After graduating with a BA in History from California Polytechnic State University, he worked 3 years for the Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo County. His career for the next 28 years was as a law enforcement ranger, mainly for the National Park Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management. During this time, Ed observed many instances when agencies misused disciplinary procedures to punish employees for telling the truth. He is also concerned that the Federal land management agencies and the Department of Justice often don’t do enough to protect field employees from threats and intimidation. Ed has been an active member of PEER for well over a decade and was a charter member of PEER’s Rangers for Responsible Recreation advocating for protecting public lands from needless off-road vehicle abuse. In 2013, he was appointed to the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission. In his spare time he enjoys working on many volunteer and environmental projects and lives in Apple Valley, California. Joined Board June 2015.

Richard G. Steiner
Rick advises NGOs, governments, and industry as an international conservation and sustainability consultant in Anchorage, Alaska. For 15 years Rick worked as a professor and statewide conservation specialist at the University of Alaska and had primary responsibility for the university’s Environmental Conservation Extension Mission. Previously, Rick was an Associate Professor and Marine Advisory Program Agent for Prince William Sound in Cordova, Alaska. Rick fulfilled leadership roles in coordinating the response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill by helping organize and direct the emergency response on behalf of the local fishing industry; initiating the effort to settle natural resource damage claims among the State, the U.S., and Exxon resulting in landmark $1 billion settlement and environmental restoration program; co-founding the Prince William Sound Science Center in Cordova; and helping initiate the PWS Oil Spill Recovery Institute. Rick’s outspoken and effective criticism of the oil industry caused him to lose his federal grant funding at the University of Alaska, after which he joined the PEER board. Rick has brought his expertise in coordinating oil spill response efforts to the recent BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Joined Board May 2010.

Tim Whitehouse
Tim Whitehouse has more than 25 years of experience working on a wide range of environmental issues with governments, businesses, nonprofit organizations and community groups. Tim was a senior attorney at the United States Environmental Protection Agency for 10 years, where he specialized in enforcement of the Clean Water Act and in hazardous waste compliance issues. He was also head of the Law and Policy Program at the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation in Montreal, Canada for 5 years. He has worked as a consultant for companies on environmental compliance issues, and with non-profit organizations focusing on clean energy issues. Most recently, he was executive director of Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility, a health advocacy group working to address climate change, toxic pollution, and nuclear disarmament issues in Maryland. He holds a JD and BA from Emory University and an MA from New York University.

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