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Meet the USCAN Staff

Jim Abernathy, Interim Executive Director | 202-257-8816

Over the past seven years, Jim Abernathy has been a consultant to a wide variety of environmental organizations throughout the United States, assisting them with strategic planning, organizational assessments, leadership transitions, executive searches and other activities aimed at creating stronger, more sustainable advocates. Prior to taking on the task as Interim Executive Director at USCAN, he served three other groups in the same leadership role. He was the founding Executive Director of the Environmental Support Center which provided capacity building assistance to hundreds of nonprofit organizations and their staffs and boards throughout the United States and Canada.


Carrie Clayton, Operations Director | 541-218-4587

Carrie has more than 15 years of management with community-based groups.  Prior to joining USCAN, Carrie was the Deputy Director at Wildlife Images Rehabilitation & Education Center in Oregon.

Carrie holds a Bachelor's degree from Southern Oregon University in Environmental Studies/Biology. She feels it is vital to protect all children and future generations from the effects of climate change by addressing its causes and impacts.


Lara Levison, Program Director/Domestic Policy Director | 202-957-9010

Lara brings extensive experience in climate change issues, nonprofit advocacy, and federal policy-making to USCAN.

As a policy advisor for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Lara was deeply involved in the passage of clean energy legislation in 2007 (Energy Independence and Security Act) and comprehensive global warming legislation in 2009. Having joined Rep. Pelosi’s staff in 2001, her experience spanned Rep. Pelosi’s positions as Appropriations Committee member, Whip, and Leader, as well as Speaker of the House. Her eleven years of experience as a congressional staffer also include two years handling energy and environment issues for Rep. Sherrod Brown, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Leaving Capitol Hill in 2009, she gained executive branch experience in the U.S. Department of the Interior.

As an organizer and advocate with the Union of Concerned Scientists for seven years, Lara participated in campaigns on renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and nuclear arms control. She played a leadership role in a successful 1995-96 campaign to save Iowa’s renewable energy mandate from repeal; as a result, Iowa is a national leader in wind energy production. Lara worked for several other advocacy organizations as well.

Lara grew up primarily in the Midwest and earned her bachelor’s degree in Government with a concentration in International Relations from Smith College in Massachusetts.


Rudi Navarra, Southeast Regional Coordinator

Rnavarra[at] climatenetwork [dot] org | 412-310-3591

Rudi’s primary role at USCAN is to support over 200 member organizations in the Southeast Climate & Energy Network (SCEN). He brings a wide array of organizing expertise to USCAN; over the past seven years, Rudi has engaged in civic engagement and community organizing in and outside of the climate and clean energy space.He has worked for groups as diverse as the National Council of La Raza and People For the American Way.


Most recently, Rudi worked to help elect pro-environment candidates such as U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Florida State Representative Jose Javier Rodriguez. In the last few years, Rudi also worked to register nearly half a million voters and turn out 300,000 voters to the polls in over half a dozen states, including Florida, Texas and Nevada. He has also served on the Steering Committee of the Generational Alliance, a national umbrella group serving low-income and communities-of-color youth, and currently serves as Vice Chair at the Florida Conservation Alliance, a League of Conservation Voters state league.


Rudi earned a Master of International Development from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from Duquesne University. Rudi is proud to call Miami and the Southeast home.


Jennifer Perron, International Policy Coordinator/Adaptation Coordinator

Jperron [at] climatenetwork [dot] org | 802-730-2373

Jennifer brings deep expertise in international and domestic climate change issues to USCAN. Her primary responsibility as International Policy Coordinator is to work with USCAN members and allies on international climate-related policy and strategy, and to promote strong U.S. leadership and global ambition. As Adaptation Coordinator, Jennifer will greatly enhance USCAN’s ability to engage with network members and allies on adaptation and resiliency issues.

As International Policy Coordinator/Adaptation Coordinator, Jennifer focuses on tracking the latest developments in international climate policy, the nexus of climate change and international development, on climate finance, and on adaptation and resilience issues (both domestic and international).

Jennifer holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Policy from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment, and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science.


Marie Risalvato, Communications Director | 352-514-3217

Marie received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in political science with an emphasis in environmental politics and sustainability. Before joining USCAN she gained experience as Web Content Manager and Assistant Office Administrator for several online businesses. Her passion for the environment and determination to work towards a sustainable future led her to Washington D.C. where she has been working to improve USCAN’s online resources, social media presence and other communications work.


Jared Robinson, Outreach and Membership Director

jrobinson[at] climatenetwork [dot] org | 707-293-4918

Jared joins us with a background in outreach and coalition work within and outside of the climate community. Before joining USCAN, he worked with the Sierra Club’s Mission Outdoors Program and Military Families and Veterans Initiative as well as the Union of Concerned Scientist’s Clean Vehicles Program. Passionate about conservation and the outdoors, Jared has worked as a wilderness guide in California, conducted research in Montana and Costa Rica, and enjoys many outdoor pursuits. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology from UC Davis.




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