Our Team

The Greenleaf team brings a variety of backgrounds and perspectives to our work– we believe this enables us to engage more effectively with our collaborators to integrate disciplines and apply their research towards tangible results. A shared passion for supporting a sustainable, healthy world by addressing environmental causes of preventable human ailments is what brings us together and keeps us moving forward.

Our ability to effectively further our mission comes from the depth and variety of knowledge and expertise brought to programmatic work by our board of directors and service partners. They include leading researchers in the fields of human health, resource management, environmental sciences, economics, and other disciplines. Greenleaf staff provides the operational support and research project management to guide our service partners working together across disciplines to address primary environmental threats to human health. In this way, Greenleaf produces sound scientific recommendations to inform policies and practices.


John A. Andersen, Jr.



John Andersen is founder and President of Greenleaf Advisors, LLC, where he advises businesses, institutions, and communities on strategies that advance their sustainable development. John’s thirty-plus years of experience, serving businesses, capital clients, nonprofits, governments and institutions, demonstrates that it takes effective engagement across these sectors to achieve sustainable growth and solve complex problems.

His current clients include regional governmental entities seeking to protect water resources, renewable-energy companies, private-equity investment firms, nonprofits, energy research institutions, and industrial-materials recycling and waste-energy recovery companies.

Previously, John was an International and Managing Director at Jones Lang LaSalle, where he managed the company’s national land business and its strategic expansion into China. He was also the Great Lakes Director of The Nature Conservancy, where he worked across the region’s scientific, business, and government sectors to advance biodiversity conservation. John is a faculty member at DePaul University, where he teaches Sustainable Value Creation in the Kellstadt Business School.

Additionally, John is President of Greenleaf Communities, a nonprofit research entity that recruits and organizes multi-disciplinary teams of scientists to investigate environmental influences on health and apply that knowledge to improve industrial practices and public policies. John holds an AB in Economics from Brown University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Katie DeMuro



Katie conducts research on client assignments as well as client outreach and communication efforts. She supports the company’s communication and administrative needs. To advance sustainable water solutions, Katie works with Opti to bring innovation to stormwater management in Illinois. In addition, Katie works with Intelligent Generation to assist in their development and analyze potential renewable energy projects. Her agricultural research focuses, in part, on the soil and water benefits derived from the use of gypsum as an agricultural amendment. Katie has conducted scientific literature reviews for clients, such as GYPSOIL and EPRI. Katie coordinates outreach and organization for the Healthy Soils for Healthy Waters symposia series including speaker engagement and sponsorship outreach.

Katie graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a BS in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences and a minor in Business. Katie recently graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology with an MS in Environmental Management and Sustainability.

Francine van den Brandeler

Associate, Water Lead


Francine assists with the development of Greenleaf’s strategy and project portfolio, with a focus on water-related projects at multiple scales, as well as with applied research and policy analysis on water, soil and energy. She supports outreach communications with
partners, clients and a variety of stakeholders.

Francine brings close to a decade of international experience in the areas of water governance and urban resilience within academia and think tanks. She is finishing her doctoral studies at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, with a dissertation on metropolitan water governance in Mexico City and São Paulo, Brazil. Francine graduated from New York University with a BA in politics and from the University of Amsterdam with a Research Master’s in international development.

Service Partners

Britt Burton-Freeman, PhD

Illinois Institute of Technology
Institute for Food Safety and Health
Director, Center for Nutrition Research

Dr. Britt Burton-Freeman is the Director at the Center for Nutrition Research at the Institute for Food Safety and Health, Illinois Institute of Technology. She helps work and inform Greenleaf Advisors on human health issues.

Dr. Freeman’s current research interests are in mitigating [the] disease process through dietary approaches focused on the health promoting properties of whole foods.

Read more about the Institute for Food Safety and Health at IIT.

Ron Chamberlain

Chief Agronomist, Retired

Ron Chamberlain is Chief Agronomist for GYPSOIL and Director of Gypsum Programs for GYPSOIL’s parent company, Beneficial Reuse Management. Ron is a leader in the application of gypsum as a soil amendment and is advancing sustainable agricultural land management practices across the country to improve soil health for enhance crop productivity as well as area water quality. He informs utilities, farmers, and community leaders on the use of gypsum.

Greenleaf Advisors works with Ron and GYPSOIL to protect and advance the beneficial reuse of coal combustion by-products. Ron has seen the benefit gypsum addition brings to his client’s farms through the improvement of soil structure, improved drainage and improved soil biology.

Read more about Ron at GYPSOIL

Janet Hock, PhD

Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis
Center for Urban Health Investigator

Janet Hock brings an interesting mix of career experiences and scientific executive expertise to Greenleaf Communities. From 2007-2013, while leading the Maine Institute for Human Genetics and Health, she created a translational research program investigating environmental risks for cancer, integrating biobanking, genomics and geospatial information sciences. She is currently a Professor at The Polis Center at Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN, and at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA.

Access Janet’s scientific publications here.

Ali Fatemi, PhD

Editor-in-Chief, Global Finance Journal
Emeritus Chairman and Professor of Finance
DePaul University

Dr. Ali Fatemi is Editor-in-Chief for Global Finance Journal and is the Emeritus Chairman and Professor of the Finance Department at DePaul University, Driehaus College of Business. Dr. Fatemi taught sustainable value creation and is a leader in DePaul’s advancement of sustainability. His research deals with issues related to socially responsible investing, mergers and acquisitions, executive compensation, dividend policy and corporate governance.

Pierre Jacinthe

IUPUI, Department of Earth Sciences
Associate Professor

Dr. Pierre-Andre Jacinthe is an Associate Professor of Soil Biogeochemistry in the Department of Earth Sciences at IUPUI. Dr. Jacinthe works with Greenleaf Communities on our IPL project.

His research focuses on nutrient cycling, water quality and the exchange of greenhouse gases (GHG) between land surface and the atmosphere.

Read more about Dr. Jacinthe’s work.

Darrell Norton, PhD

USDA National Soil Erosion Research Lab
Research Soil Scientist, Retired

Dr. Darrell Norton recently retired as a Research Soil Scientist for the USDA-ARS National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory (NSERL) located on the campus of Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana where he also is a Professor Emeritus in the Departments of Agronomy and Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Darrell consults with Greenleaf Advisors on the GYPSOIL project and other soil matters.

Dan Peerless

Dairy Management, Inc
Manager, Sustainability Communications

Dan was formerly the Communications and Development Manager for Greenleaf Advisors and Greenleaf Communities.

Much of his work with national environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council and The Nature Conservancy was centered around translating the important scientific and policy information they generated so that it was accessible to wide-ranging audiences.

Brian Richter

Sustainable Waters

Brian Richter has been a global leader in water science and conservation for more than 30 years. He is the president of Sustainable Waters, a global water education organization, where he promotes sustainable water use and management with governments, corporations, universities, and local communities. He previously served as Chief Scientist for the Global Water Program of The Nature Conservancy, an international conservation organization.

Read more about Sustainable Waters.

Read Brian’s blog.

Sabina Shaikh, PhD

University of Chicago, Faculty
Director, Program on Global Environment, Environmental & Urban Studies

Dr. Sabina Shaikh is a part of the faculty at the University of Chicago in the Program on Global Environment, where she directs the Environment, Agriculture and Food group. She was previously a Senior Consultant at CardnoENTRIX focusing on the economic valuation and development of mechanisms for the provision of ecosystem services in both the private and public sectors.

Read more about the Environment, Agriculture and Food group.

Melissa Soline

Melissa has served municipal leadership across the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River region since 2009 on issues that include climate change adaptation and mitigation, water conservation, sustainable municipal water management, and infrastructure resiliency.  She holds a Master of Public Policy from the Irving B. Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Swarthmore College.  Her background and education help her inform communities and regional policy frameworks as she brings together the teams necessary to achieve sustainable results.

Don Wuebbles, PhD

University of Illinois
Harry E. Preble Endowed Professor

Donald J. Wuebbles is the Harry E. Preble Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Illinois where he has been since 1994. He is also a Presidential Fellow at the University of Illinois, with the aim of helping the university system develop new initiatives in urban sustainability. From 2015 to early 2017, Dr. Wuebbles was Assistant Director with the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the Executive Office of the President in Washington DC.