Scott Spann

Board Chair

Scott’s work is inspired by his experience with business leaders – trying to do the right thing in complex, competitive situations; his work with Social leaders in NGO’s and government – seeking to satisfy diverse stakeholders in ways that benefit the whole; and his career as a Rolfer and trauma psychotherapist – witnessing people recover from the injuries that life and humanity too often deal us. Scott has applied his unique strategic methodologies successfully with social issues like Climate Change, Affordable Housing, and Social Justice with foundations and NGOs; and on complex projects for HPE, the U.S. Navy and the White House. And he continues to learn by working with Business and Social leaders today via his company, Innate Strategies. Board member since March 2012.

Gary Cook

Vice Board Chair

Gary is the Global Climate Campaigns Director at Stand.earth and formerly a Senior Energy Analyst for Greenpeace International. He works on its CoolIT campaign to produce greater leadership on climate change by the IT sector. He has worked on climate and energy policy for 15 years, including corporate engagement and analysis of global IT brands on policy advocacy and energy supply. Prior to joining Greenpeace, he served as Executive Director of US Climate Action Network in Washington, DC; Deputy Director of ICLEI-USA, and Staff Attorney for the Center for International Environmental Law (including work on WTO and IFI reform). He has been a regular participant in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change process since Kyoto. Board member since December 2011.

Deborah Moore

Board Treasurer

Deborah is the principal with Ripple Effects Consultants, offering campaign strategy, planning, and facilitation services to public interest organizations and foundations. Most recently, Deborah was Western States Campaign Manager at the Union of Concerned Scientists and formerly a Senior Scientist at Environmental Defense Fund, where she spent 14 years, specializing in water issues. She also served as one of twelve commissioners to the World Commission on Dams. Deborah has helped to win protection for many rivers, defeat plans for mega-dams and misguided water development projects, and to promote investments in sustainable, community-based safe drinking water and irrigation programs globally. Board member since December 2006.

Leslie Leslie

Board Secretary

Leslie is an artist and the former Grants Director of the Fred Gellert Family Foundation and has worked in the non-profit sector for four decades. She co-founded one of the first organic food co-ops in Burlington, VT in 1971, as well as three schools and Vermont’s first hospice. She has been involved as an environmental activist in the Bay Area since she began work with Huey Johnson, former Secretary of Resources for California at the Resource Renewal Institute in 1996. She has three grown children, four grandchildren and is married to the writer, Jacques Leslie, who authored “Deep Water: The Epic Struggle Over Dams, Displaced People, and the Environment.” Board member since September 2009.

Susanne Wong

Board Member

Susanne is a Senior Campaigner at Oil Change International and works with NGOs and movements in Asia to stop public financing for fossil fuels. She has worked for social and environmental justice for over 20 years. This includes a stint as the Southeast Asia campaigner for International Rivers where she advocated for compensation for Lao villagers impacted by Asian Development Bank-financed dams and organized an international gathering of dam fighters and their allies. Board member since 2016.

Melina Selverston

Board Member

Melina was founding director of the Amazon Alliance for Indigenous Peoples and Their Environment in WDC, a coalition of 80 organizations – including International Rivers. Recently she was a program officer at the Goldman Environmental Prize. She has consulted with dozens of organizations in the areas of strategic program development and indigenous rights. She has a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University and teaches Latin American politics. Widely published, Melina is the author of Ethnopolitics in Ecuador: Indigenous Rights and the Strengthening of Democracy. Board member since 2019. 

Patrick McCully

Board Member

Paddy works to push the financial sector to divert capital away from fossil fuels in his role as Director of the Climate and Energy Program at Rainforest Action Network. He was previously the Executive Director of Black Rock Solar, a non-profit that built free or low cost solar arrays for tribes, non-profits, schools, and rural communities in Nevada. From 1993 to 2011 he served as Campaigns Director, and then Executive Director of International Rivers. He has written widely on issues related to water, climate, energy, finance, carbon trading, human rights, and development policies. He is the author of Silenced Rivers: The Ecology and Politics of Large Dams, a comprehensive study of the sweeping ecological, economic, and human impacts of dams. Board member since 2016.

Brent Blackwelder

Board Member

Brent is President Emeritus of Friends of the Earth. An environmental advocate for over 40 years, he served as president from 1994 to 2009. He founded and served as the Board Chair of American Rivers, and founded the Environmental Policy Institute. As a leader in the effort to save rivers, he helped expand the U.S. Wild and Scenic Rivers System from 8 rivers in 1973 to over 250 today. He has also worked to eliminate over 200 dams and stream channelization projects that endangered rivers, wetlands, wildlife and areas of special scientific value. He initiated campaigns to reform the World Bank and succeeded in getting the U.S. Congress to enact significant reforms to the Bank and other multilateral lending institutions. Board member since 2009.

Sharon Khan

Board Member

Sharon Khan is a senior director and multilingual economist with over 20 years of global experience in water resource protection. She is currently the Recruiting Director at Waterkeeper Alliance, responsible for expanding its global network of grassroots leaders protecting everyone’s right to clean water. Sharon has lived and worked around the world. In Switzerland, she consulted with the United Nations Environment Programme, authoring publications on the costs and benefits of environmental protection and spearheading global leaders into action. In India, Sharon lived under U.S. diplomatic status and worked with high-level officials in the energy sector. She was born in Guyana, grew up in Canada, and currently lives in New York with two sons off to college. When she can, Sharon loves to spend her time in pristine waters around the world.