Leadership & Staff


Founder, President and Board Chairman. He was listed by Ebony (magazine) in 2012 as one of America's top 100 most influential African Americans.  He enjoys boating, golf, tennis, fishing, skiing, swimming, chess, helicopters, guitar and website design. His autobiography, "Diary Of An Environmentalist" is available on Amazon.com.  He is a 1977 graduate of Wake Forest University.

My Story




Vice President and Board Secretary.  Masters in Business Administration, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. N.C.  Fellow, Consortium for Graduate Study in Management. Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C. Internship, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut .

Derry's Story




 Vice President and Board member.  Extensive experience in a wide range of environmental and energy issues.  Participated in numerous environmental and energy programs, including river and creek tours and clean ups and weatherization retrofits.  Enjoys boating, golf, tennis, fishing, chess, and art history.  South Carolina State University Class of 2014.

Sandy’s Story

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Board member.  Wrote the Indian Lands section of the federal coal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977.  Was active in Clean Air Act and various toxics-related legislative efforts.  Worked as an energy,  natural resources and environment director for the Environmental Policy Center, Friends of the Earth, Citizens Coal Council and Greenpeace.

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Eric Watford, M.D.  Board Treasurer.

Dr. Watford is a medical doctor.  He graduated from Meharry Medical College, 1984.  Bachelor of Science in Biology from Jarvis Christian College, 1979.  U.S. Navy Assistant Surgeon, 1986-1991.  Private practice.  Medical practice consultant.  Retired.



  Sulaiman Mahdi.  Board member.  

Advisory Board

Thelma Wiggins

Currently retired and living in South Carolina.


Director, Member Communications. Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), Washington, DC.  Served as principal liaison to energy industry communicators for more than 230 member companies in 15 countries, fostering relationships and building a network of domestic and international nuclear communicators, organizations and government agencies with jurisdiction over, and interest in, nuclear technologies.  

Manager, Media Relations.  Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), Washington, DC.  Served as spokesperson for the U.S. nuclear industry, domestically and abroad.  Developed plans and implemented NEI’s media relations strategies to enhance public perception and promote the benefits of nuclear technology and nuclear energy.

Media Relations Representative.  GPU Nuclear, Inc., Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station. Served as the company’s primary spokesperson for the nuclear power plant.  


Cheryl Bly-Chester

Dr. Bly-Chester began her career as a civil engineering assistant in 1976.  Dr. Chester was hired by International Energy Associates, Ltd in Washington, D.C. after obtaining her MBA International Management concentrating in Global Resources from Thunderbird School of Global Management. Her initial task with the firm was to explore the alternative energy and appropriate technology market in lower developed countries.

Her nuclear power experience led her in 1988 to work on an international research project studying the long-term disposal scenarios for high-level radioactive waste under consideration by the nuclear power nations at the time. This in turn led to studying the consequences of releases of radioactive, toxic, and mixed waste to soil and groundwater. Her studies and interests developed into an environmental career in the hazardous waste remediation field, which she began in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

She entered the environmental engineering field in 1987.  Bly-Chester was an early developer of the Phase I and Phase II Environmental Assessment practice.  Governor Schwarzenegger appointed Dr. Bly-Chester to the Reclamation Board (now the Central Valley Flood Protection Board) in 2005.  Cheryl Bly-Chester is the owner and Principal Engineer of Rosewood Environmental Engineering consulting firm, founded in 1997.

University of California, Davis: B.Sc. Civil Engineering, 1979.  Thunderbird Graduate School of Global Management, Glendale Campus, Arizona: MBA/International Management, Global Resources.  University of Phoenix: Doctorate 2011, Management and Organizational Leadership.


Helen Lee

Helen Lee is senior research associate at MDRC, a nonprofit education and social policy research organization. She is the author of “The role of local food availability in explaining obesity risk among young school-aged children,” published in Social Science and Medicine (Volume 74, Issue 8, April 2012), which found that children in residentially poor and minority neighborhoods are more likely than other children to have greater access to food outlets, including large grocery stores, and that differences in food access cannot explain differences in obesity rates.  Lee is also the author of "The Making of the Obesity Epidemic" in Breakthrough Journal No. 3.  She is currently involved in the national evaluation of the federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, where she is working on both the implementation and impact analyses of the study. Before joining MDRC in 2012, Lee was a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, a nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank based in San Francisco, CA. 

She holds a PhD in sociology, a master's degree in demography, and a BA in sociology, all from the University of Pennsylvania. 



Christopher Foreman

Chris Foreman is a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution where he was a full-time member of the Governance Studies staff for over a decade. He is also director of the social policy program at the University of Maryland's School of Public Policy where he writes and teaches about the politics of national domestic policy and inequality.

Chris Foreman is best known in environmental circles for his landmark Brookings book The Promise and Peril of Environmental Justice in which he discusses the achievements, prospects and pitfalls associated with addressing environmental inequalities. 


Scotty Rohlfsen.  Vice President and Director, California Office

Scotty is a graduate of the University of Iowa.  He has a degree in Environmental Science.  Small business owner and operator.