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 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
Ben Bezark is a Director at Greenleaf Advisors and Greenleaf Communities where he works with clients to meet their business and environmental objectives. He joins Greenleaf from the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute where he led the development of operational systems and technologies to facilitate the growth of the Cradle to Cradle Certified® Products Program to thousands of products from over 600 companies around the world. Ben brings experience in operational and technology management, product design and development, and circularity and waste reduction.
Ben holds his MS in Product Design and Development Management from Northwestern University and B.S. in Community Development and Applied Economics from the University of Vermont.
Warren Dick, PhD
The Ohio State University
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.
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
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.
Energy Attorney and Consultant
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.
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.
Nestle 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 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.
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.
Roy Wehrle, PhD
University of Illinois-Springfield
Don Wuebbles, PhD
University of Illinois
Harry E. Preble Endowed Professor