EPIC-N Advisory Board

Lis Mullen Bernhardt

Programme Officer – United Nations Environmental Programme

Lis is an international development and environment professional who proudly joined the UN Environment Programme in August 2016, first in the Freshwater Ecosystems Unit and then from November 2019 as part of the Climate Change Adaptation Unit. Lis is now the Coordinator for the Global Adaptation Network, an initiative that shares key adaptation knowledge and information around the world. In 2019 Lis also served on secondment to the Policy and Programme Division for coordinating sustainable development goals(SDGs)across house.

A native of the Great Lakes region of the United States, Lis has been working at the nexus of development and environment since 2002. She holds degrees in International Relations from Northwestern University in her native Chicago area, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, and an MBA in organizational culture and resource management from the University of Reading’s Henley Business School in England. Read more about Lis.

Timothy Carter

President – Second Nature

Tim Carter is the president of Second Nature, a US-based non-profit with a mission to accelerate climate action in and through higher education. As president, Dr. Carter provides strategic leadership for the organization, including a focus on decarbonization activity and climate leadership of the 400+ schools in Second Nature’s Climate Leadership Network and University Climate Change Coalition. Prior to Second Nature, Dr. Carter was the founding director of Butler University’s Center for Urban Ecology (CUE), which he built from a fledgling unit with two interns and a program manager to a thriving academic center with over $3M in externally funded initiatives. He has authored more than 20 peer-reviewed publications in the fields of sustainability, ecology, and climate change. Dr. Carter received his PhD with distinction in Ecology from the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia (UGA) and earned his BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He lives in Cambridge, MA with his wife Katy and three children and is an avid coffee home-roaster.

Andrea Fox

Town Manager – Town of Garrett Park, Maryland

Andrea Fox is the Town Manager of Garrett Park, Maryland, a tight-knit community outside Washington, DC that is on the National Register of Historic Places and is also an arboretum. As Town Manager, Andrea manages the administration of the town. Since 2005 Andrea has worked in and with local and state governments, including the City of Omaha, Nebraska; the Nebraska State Legislature; the City of Napa, California; and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). As local government staff, she implemented numerous sustainability strategies and policies and developed a sustainability plan. As an aide in the Nebraska Legislature, she assisted with the passage of laws that assess and reduce energy consumption. At ICMA, Andrea used her first-hand knowledge of local government to increase the capacity of local governments to create more sustainable and resilient communities. She has a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Denver and is AICP certified.

Jessica Johnston

Preparedness Task Lead – FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Division at Teracore, Inc.

Jessica provides management and enterprise IT consulting services to FEMA via her work at Teracore, Inc. She recently served as the Program Director for Sustainability and Climate Change at the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Jessica joined ICMA in early 2013 to manage the USAID-funded CityLinks program. Based on the premise that cities learn best from each other, Jessica has been working with community leaders from across the globe to facilitate dialogue and record promising practices in the area of climate resilience. As a strong believer in the power of locally-led action, Jessica has worked with communities across the US, Australia, Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean to facilitate tailored solutions to pressing climate-related challenges. Since joining ICMA Jessica has also directed knowledge management and communications efforts for USAID related to sustainable urbanization. Prior to ICMA, Jessica worked with several nonprofits to support a wide range of international and domestic projects focused on supporting local service delivery. Jessica holds a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College, where she was named a fellow with the Council of Women World Leaders. Jessica also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jordan and holds a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from Chapman University.

Debra Rowe

President – U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development

Debra Rowe, PhD, is the national co-coordinator of the Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium, founder of the Disciplinary Associations’ Network for Sustainability and senior advisor to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Dr. Rowe has been Professor of Energy Management, Renewable Energy Technology and Psychology for more than 28 years at Oakland Community College.

Tony Socci

Senior Lead on International Climate Policy – US Environmental Protection Agency

Dr. Anthony Socci is the Senior Lead on International Resilience and Adaptation Policy at the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of International and Tribal Affairs (OITA) in Washington, DC.  For nearly a decade, Dr. Socci has helped coordinate and facilitate several international efforts aimed at building capacity to become more resilient and sustainable, and to adapt to compound changes principally in urban and local settings in developing countries.

More specifically, Dr. Socci worked with a host of international partners to make actionable the principles of the Durban Adaptation Charter (DAC), a pledge on the part of nearly 1000 elected local/urban government officials, largely from Africa and Asia, to take local action to build urban resilience and adapt. He also served as a long-standing member of the DAC steering committee.

Later, at the invitation of the UN Global Adaptation Network (GAN), Dr. Socci agreed to become a member of its Steering Committee. From this vantage point he, along with several international partners and other steering committee members, helped to formulate and implement an effort on the part of the GAN to deliver actionable, demand-driven information to regions and communities in developing countries deemed most vulnerable to the impacts of climate and other changes, through a process referred to as “adaptation learning exchanges”.

Most recently, Dr. Socci has worked with a host of international partners to introduce the EPIC (Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities) model to local governments and universities in developing country cities that are eager to enhance their capacity to become more sustainable and build resilience in the face of complex physical, natural and social forces. The EPIC model systematically matches city and local government needs with the innovation of students and academics to address a broad spectrum of sustainability-related issues, with lasting and sustainable impacts for all involved.

Jon Padgham

Executive Director- START

Jon Padgham joined START in 2008, and has been START’S Executive Director since 2020. At START, Jon has led or co-led several science capacity development projects in Africa and Asia that engaged early-career researchers. His work helped strengthen analytical skills for applying climate model projections to adaptation decision making, and helped advance understanding of climate change adaptation in drylands and of urban food systems. His experience in capacity development includes scientific writing, science communication across disciplines, persuasive communications of science to policymakers and other stakeholder communities, research and assessment methods, building links to global science assessments, and building mentorship bridges between junior and senior academics. Prior to joining START, Jon worked at the World Bank and the US Agency for International Development on climate change adaptation initiatives. He holds a PhD in Soil Science from Cornell University in the US.