Meet the Team

We’re a team of 36 based in the Emerald City of Seattle, in the Evergreen State of Washington (both green!), with additional contributors scattered the world ’round. We love working with each other. Learn how you can work with us.

Executive

Our fearless leaders. What’s a ship without a captain or a nonprofit without visionary executives? Grist’s CEO and president keep the whole operation sailing smoothly.

Editorial

Editorial is where the magic happens — if you consider great environmental journalism magical (we do). Here you’ll find the Houdinis of longform reporting and essays, the Amazing Randis of pithy explainers, and the Criss Angel army of talented fellows. Is that a coin behind your ear?

Finance & Administration

The folks of the finance and admin team help make all the work of the other teams possible. They keep us running with well-maintained MacBooks and organic, free-trade coffee.

Business Development

The business development team believes Grist’s sponsors are almost as good as solar panels! If you’re interested in aligning your brand with stellar content or advertising to some of the smartest (and best-looking) readers out there, please contact our team.

Development

Grist delivers a real and powerful impact by giving people the knowledge they need to make change in the world. The development team makes sure our supporters feel the love and understand the impact of their generosity.

Marketing

Our marketing wizards manage Grist’s partnerships, social media accounts, and email program. You can find them geeking out on Facebook, Twitter, or posting our staff party pictures on Instagram. Interested in working together? Give them a shout.

Product

By pushing pixels and crafting code, the product team designs and engineers Grist’s digital products.

Board of Directors

Chip Giller, Founder and CEO

Chip founded Grist in 1999 to lighten up a movement known for taking itself too seriously. He’s been honored with a Heinz Award for his media innovations and for making environmental issues relevant to new and broad audiences; and he’s been named a TIME magazine “Hero of the Environment.” Chip has been featured in such outlets as Vanity Fair, Newsweek, and Outside, and has appeared on broadcast programs including the Today show and PBS’s NOW. Before launching Grist, Chip was editor of Greenwire, the first environmental news daily.

A native of Massachusetts, Chip graduated from Brown University with an honors degree in environmental studies. (Yes, he is an obsessive Red Sox fan.) When Chip’s not pondering the future of online environmental journalism, he likes to spend his time with his wonderful wife and two kids at their home on Vashon Island, near Seattle.

Rachel Morello-Frosch, Chair

Rachel Morello-Frosch is a professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management and in the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. Rachel’s research examines race and class determinants of environmental health among diverse communities in the United States. Previously, she held a joint appointment between the Department of Community Health at Brown Medical School and the Center for Environmental Studies. Rachel completed her bachelor’s degree in development studies, a master of public health degree in epidemiology and biostatistics, and her Ph.D. in environmental health sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. Rachel is a co-founder and former board chair of the Environmental Leadership Program and sits on the scientific advisory board of Breast Cancer Action.

John Alderman, Treasurer

John Alderman is the COO of SocialCode, a subsidiary of the Washington Post Company that provides social-media marketing solutions for leading consumer brands. Previously, he was publisher of Slate Magazine and head of business development for Washingtonpost. Newsweek Interactive, the digital arm of The Washington Post Company. John has also run business development for Away.com, a travel website that was sold to Orbitz in 2005, and served in a variety of editorial and business roles at Outside magazine. He has a bachelor’s degree in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard College and an MBA from Columbia University.

Benjamin Strauss, Clerk

Dr. Ben Strauss serves as Vice President for Climate Impacts at Climate Central. He has published multiple scientific papers on sea level rise, testified before the U.S. Senate, and led development of the SurgingSeas.org suite of coastal flood risk tools. His research and tools have been featured in hundreds of stories including in The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and national news programming on NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS and NPR.

Gino Borland, Member

Gino Borland was the founder of Gino Borland, Inc., an internet company that makes personalized e-marketing software. Since selling his company, he has focused his time on environmental interests, including the climate crisis and potential clean-energy solutions. Apart from Grist, he is also involved in Social Venture Partners in Seattle, Wash.

Michelle DePass, Member

Michelle DePass is dean of the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at the New School for Public Engagement in New York City. Michelle joins Milano from the Environmental Protection Agency, where since 2009 she had served as assistant administrator for international and tribal affairs. Prior to joining EPA, Michelle was a program officer at the Ford Foundation. She also served as founding executive director of the New York Environmental Justice Alliance, senior policy advisor to the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and environmental manager for the City of San Jose.

Kristen Grimm, Member

Kristen Grimm is the founder and president of Spitfire Strategies, one of the country’s leading public relations firms dedicated to working exclusively with nonprofits and foundations to create positive social change. She has developed numerous resources for the field including Smart Chart 3.0, Discovering the Activation Point, Just Enough Planning Guide, and Big Ideas to Big Change. Prior to launching Spitfire, Kristen worked as a fellow at the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation. And she was the president and chief operating officer of Fenton Communications, where she wrote NOW HEAR THIS: The Nine Laws of Successful Advocacy Communications. Kristen has a B.A. from Smith College. She serves on the boards of the National Academy for State Health Policy and Alaska Wilderness League.

Elise Hu, Member

Elise Hu covers technology and culture for NPR’s on-air and online platforms. She joined NPR in 2011 to head up the digital and editorial launch of StateImpact, a DuPont award winning public policy reporting network. Previously, she was a founding journalist at the non-profit digital news startup, The Texas Tribune. While working as a political reporter, she also oversaw the Tribune’s social and multimedia journalism and statewide television partnerships. Elise’s work has earned a Gannett Foundation Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism and a National Edward R. Murrow award for best online video. She’s an advisor to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and serves as a panelist for the Knight News Challenge.

Susan L. Kaufman, Member

Susan L. Kaufman is a health care consultant working on health care system transformation in Massachusetts. She has held senior and executive level positions in government, health care delivery organizations and business. Kaufman founded and was a principal of Benova, Inc., a company that provided business process outsourcing services to health and human services agencies. She is also on the Board of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. She has a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and a master’s degree from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Bill McKibben, Member

Bill McKibben writes regularly for The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, Harper’s, Orion Magazine, Mother Jones, The Atlantic Monthly, Outside, and many other publications. His first book, The End of Nature, was published in 1989 after being excerpted in The New Yorker; it was a national bestseller and appeared in 20 foreign editions. His other books include Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future, Enough, The Age of Missing Information, and The Bill McKibben Reader. Bill is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College and led the organizing for StepItUp, which coordinated 2,000 climate change demonstrations in all 50 states. He’s now at work on 350.org, the first attempt at a global grassroots climate change movement.

Eugene Mirman, Member

Eugene Mirman is a comedian who voices “Gene” on Fox’s hit animated series Bob’s Burgers. He has been a regular on Flight of the Conchords and Adult Swim’s Delocated, has two Comedy Central Specials to his name, and is a frequent comedic co-host of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s science radio show and podcast, Star Talk Radio. Eugene was named Best New York City Comedian by the Village Voice, and one of the 10 best comedians of the last decade by Paste Magazine. He’s released three comedy albums and an incredibly funny parody-ish self-help book, The Will to Whatevs. Named by Rolling Stone as a “Hot Twitterer,” Eugene keeps his 330k+ followers entertained daily. He attended Hampshire College and designed his own major of Comedy, doing a one-hour standup act as his thesis — for which he was made fun of, don’t worry.

Matt Mullenweg, Member

Matt Mullenweg is the founding developer of WordPress, the blogging software he guided from a handful of users to the most widely used open source blog tool. WordPress is now used by more than 200 million websites worldwide. After moving from his native Houston to San Francisco to work at CNET Networks, Matt left in late 2005 to found Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, as well as Akismet.com, Gravatar, and other enterprises. He has been named one of PC World’s Top 50 People on the Web, Inc.com’s 30 under 30, and Business Week’s 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

Shivika Sahdev, Member

Shivika Sahdev is an engagement manager at McKinsey’s New York office, where she is part of the Sustainability and Resource Productivity and Public Sector practices. Prior to McKinsey, she was a project leader at Dalberg Global Development Advisors where she worked with foundations, UN agencies, governments, and nonprofit entities.

Wendy Schmidt, Member

Wendy Schmidt is president of The Schmidt Family Foundation, working to advance the wiser use of energy and natural resources. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley, and graduated magna cum laude from Smith College. She is a founder of The 11th Hour Project, and of Climate Central; and also serves on the boards of the Natural Resources Defense Council, California Academy of Sciences, and Green Products Innovation Institute. Wendy is president of The Nantucket Dreamland Foundation, and supports a vital downtown to serve island residents through her work at ReMain Nantucket.

John Vechey, Member

John Vechey is the co-founder of PopCap, a pioneer in the world’s gaming industry, with popular titles like Bejeweled and Plants vs. Zombies. Since PopCap’s beginnings in 2000, John has served in several roles, including interim CEO and VP of Corporate Strategy and Development, and has led the company’s forays into social and mobile product lines. In 2011, Electronic Arts, the leading publisher of video games, bought PopCap in the largest acquisition it has ever made.