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. We collaborate with the staff, service partners, and board at our affiliated organization, Greenleaf Advisors. 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

Program Manager

Katie is a Program Manager focusing on research, outreach and communication efforts. Her agricultural research focuses, in part, on the Healthy Soils for Healthy Waters symposia series which addresses a whole systems approach to sustainable agriculture by inviting multidisciplinary groups including producers, researchers, government agency staff, and non-profit organizations. She co-led the workshop on sensor technologies and applications to soil health, carbon sequestration, and water resources. Her agricultural research focused 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. She coordinates outreach and communication with the Center for Urban Resilience and Environmental Sustainability (CURES) at the University of Illinois as they develop the center to be the “go-to” place for cities of all sizes to improve resilience and sustainability. Katie supports the team in its efforts on climate policy research and works to address water quantity concerns both in Northern Illinois and the Colorado River Basin.

Katie also provides support to our affiliated organization, Greenleaf Advisors, in the program areas of land, water, material, and energy. To advance sustainable water solutions, Katie works with Opti to bring innovation to stormwater management in Illinois. In addition, she works with Intelligent Generation to assist in their development and analyze potential renewable energy projects.

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

Francine van den Brandeler

Associate, Climate and Water Fellow

Francine leads Greenleaf’s water projects as well as applied research and policy analysis on climate, water and urban planning. She conducts outreach communications with partners, clients and stakeholders. Francine brings a decade of international experience in water research, governance and urban resilience with think tanks and policy centers in Europe, Latin America and Africa. She is completing doctoral studies at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, with a dissertation on multi-scalar water governance in Mexico City and São Paulo, Brazil. She currently conducts water research across Latin America with a team at the University of California, Davis and is lead author on the Water and Cities Chapter of the 2020 United Nations’ Global Environmental Outlook report providing guidance to world governments and organizations. 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.

Kate Boyce


Kate is a rising senior at University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry, with certificates in Sustainability and Photography. During her time at Wisconsin, she has worked in a hematopoietic stem cell research lab. She has also written and presented her research from this lab via a poster and paper. Kate has worked collaboratively to create a sustainability report for Pepin County, Wisconsin, to address the environmental, economic, and social aspects of manure composting methods. After graduating, she is going to pursue an MBA in Sustainability.

Service Partners

Ben Bezark

Cradle to Cradle
Certification and IT Manager

As Certification and IT Manager for the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, Ben develops and manages the core systems necessary to deliver Cradle to Cradle Certified™, the most comprehensive certification system and innovation framework for verifying design of products made of safe materials that can be perpetually cycled. The certification program is currently used by hundreds of companies around the world to demonstrate design of products for the circular economy.

Ben is currently pursuing an MSc in Product Design and Development Management at Northwestern University’s Segal Design Institute, and holds a B.S. in Community and International Development, with a Minor in Applied Design.

Warren Dick, PhD

The Ohio State University
Professor Emeritus

Warren Dick is a Professor Emeritus of soil and environmental science at The Ohio State University. He studied enzymatic and biological nutrient cycling in soil under various management systems. Recent research has focused on microbial ecology and on the use of gypsum for improving soil and water quality. Warren has mentored more than 35 graduate students, 12 undergraduate interns, 8 postdocs and 27 visiting scholars. He has published 31 papers that have been cited more than 100 times. He is active professionally and has served as Editor-in- Chief of both the Soil Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy. Warren currently serves as Editor of the journal, Agricultural & Environmental Letters. His recent activities have largely focused on establishing an environmental and agricultural university and training center in Ethiopia. Read more about BEAUTC.

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.

Nancy Holm

Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (Retired)

Nancy Holm was the Assistant Director at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) which is a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  In her role as assistant director, she has overseen ISTC’s Sponsored Research Program which funds research projects through the State of Illinois’ Hazardous Waste Research Fund. Additionally, Nancy is involved with several research projects at ISTC on pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the aquatic environment and, most recently, fate and transport of microplastics in aquatic systems.  She is also co-leader of ISTC’s Solar Module End-of-Life Initiative promoting proper recycling of decommissioned solar modules.

Nancy holds a B.A. in Biology and Chemistry from Luther College and an M.S. in Oceanography and Limnology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

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.

John Jimison

Energy Attorney and Consultant

John W. Jimison is an energy attorney and consultant. He was the Managing Director of the Energy Future Coalition, a broad-based, non-partisan public policy initiative of the UN Foundation. Prior to joining the Energy Future Coalition in 2011, Mr. Jimison served as Senior Counsel to the Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, advising Chairman Henry Waxman and the committee’s other members on a range of legislative issues in energy policy. His responsibilities included energy efficiency, regulatory matters, energy markets, and electric grid modernization. He is a graduate of the College of Wooster and Georgetown University Law Center, a member of the Washington, D.C., and Virginia Bars, a member of the Energy Bar Association, and a former Peace Corps volunteer in Somalia, East Africa.

Pete Mulvaney

Group Leader

Pete continues to work in partnership with Greenleaf on intelligent infrastructure projects. While at Greenleaf, he contributed to Greenleaf’s projects ranging from sustainable water resource solutions (including the Chicago Area Waterways System Project) to wind and solar energy.

As a consulting engineer, Pete led multidisciplinary teams to gather and analyze data. As a utility manager, he led strategic planning and innovation. As a management and urban design consultant, he led smart cities initiatives and developed resilience and climate changes plans for municipalities and private corporations. In each role, success was predicated on understanding and improving the current practice, executed with workshops, clear communications, analysis, and collaboration.

Pete initiated the global water initiative within SOM, the Climate Action Plan for the City of Chicago, and the Water Risk strategies at West Monroe Partners.

Dick Munson

Writer on Energy and Agricultural Innovation

Richard (Dick) Munson is the author of Tesla: Inventor of the Modern and he is writing a book on food and farm innovators. He has been a senior director, focused on advancing clean energy in the Midwest, at the Environmental Defense Fund. He was senior vice president for Recycled Energy Development, a company that captured wasted energy and turned it into clean electricity and heat. Dick also served as executive director of the Northeast-Midwest Institute, which focused on brownfields redevelopment, Great Lakes water quality, and pollution prevention.

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

Global Sustainable Sourcing Lead

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.

Robert Spoerri

Beneficial Reuse Management

Robert (Bob) Spoerri is President of Beneficial Reuse Management (BRM), a firm that creates partnerships between industrial companies that generate materials suitable for beneficial reuse. Land owners and others use these materials in projects and products. BRM is the parent company of GYPSOIL, a byproduct gypsum supplier. Prior to BRM, Bob was President of Jones Lang LaSalle.

Read more about Beneficial Reuse Management.

David Ware

Medill Renewable Energy, LLC
CEO and Managing Partner

David is CEO and Managing Partner of Medill Renewable Energy, LLC, providing clean energy services to corporate and institutional clients. David has held senior marketing and sales positions at IBM Harcourt, Brace & Jovonovitch and Bell & Howell.

He currently a member of the following community organizations:  African-American Leadership Roundtable, Co-Founder, REACH Food Bank, DuPage County Leadership Council, Diversity Board of College of DuPage, DuPage Federation Board of Directors.

Roy Wehrle, PhD

University of Illinois-Springfield
Professor Emeritus

Roy Wehrle is Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Illinois-Springfield. He is a Senior Economist and former member of the Council of Economic Advisors to President Kennedy. In the U.S. Department of State, he served as Economic Counsellor to U.S ambassadors in both Laos and South Vietnam, and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Vietnam. He was Senior Economist at Brookings Institution. He has taught and written extensively about the connection between economics and the environment and effective climate policy.

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.