Our Leadership Team
The team consists of senior-leadership from federal and state and local government and agencies; tribal sovereign nations; natural resource industry; universities; as well as other partnership organizations that work on landscape-level natural and cultural resources issues. Together, they set the vision, goals, and priorities for the CCLC.
Leadership Team Business
View past leadership team meeting minutes, strategic plan, 2-year workplan, etc.
Meet the Leadership Team
Conservation Biologist, US Fish and Wildlife Service
Alan works out of the Regional Office in Portland, Oregon where he focuses on science support and collaboration in the Columbia-Pacific Northwest Region with an emphasis on science planning for species at risk and landscape conservation. He has a background in entomology, molecular systematics, GIS, and spatial analysis, and he has an interest in biogeography and the effects of climate change on species distributions.
Rachel Santa Olalla
Environmental Contractor, Washington
Rachel enjoys complex dynamics as reflected in her Jill-of-all-trades career. She wholeheartedly believes in going the extra step to create change with big impacts in a holistic manner. With a background in landscape architecture, graphic communications, restoration ecology, project management, GIS mapping, analysis and cartography, yoga and meditation, and passion for wellness in general, Rachel weaves these these skills together to create harmony with places and people. She is currently the project manager for the Conservation Program Explorer webtool. She is a great contact for any of your questions!
Science Communications Coordinator - Science Applications Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
With a background in ecology and a passion for communication, Kaitlyn works to increase the impact of science in conservation through storytelling, and effective coordination, and facilitation. In her writings, Kaitlyn aims to break down complex science to make it more useful and accessible for a wider audience. She believes that a good story has the power to inspire and unite people! Most of her work centers around climate change adaptation, pollinators, and landscape conservation. As a member of the CCLC, Kaitlyn helps foster and build collaborations and promote the work of the CCLC through strategic communication.
Wildlife Biologist, USFWS
Bill has a long-standing career as a Wildlife Biologist. He has worked on ungulate species research, forest and range, migratory birds, and waterfowl. Since 1993, he has worked with managing owl habitats and forests. Bill knows these challenges and constraints well, which have brought him an appreciation for tree farm owners. Problem solving in arenas like these make Bill a valuable member of the Leadership Team and also the academic world where he continues to educate biologists about forestry in addition to conservation and wildlife identification.
Wildlife Connectivity Coordinator, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife
Rachel serves as the Wildlife Connectivity Coordinator for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. As the agency lead on wildlife movement and habitat connectivity, she works to evaluate animal movement patterns and identify priority connectivity areas, and coordinates efforts to enhance and protect species movement and connectivity statewide. She has a background in movement and behavioral ecology, with experience in geospatial modeling and statistics.
Science, Planning, and Monitoring Assistant Division Manager - Forest Health and Resiliency Division,
Jen’s passionate career has focused on forest restoration and natural resource climate resiliency planning with an interest in large landscape collaboration. She has worked to protect animal corridors and wildlife road crossings, creating access to nature recreation, and collaborating across organizations in Washington.
Stewardship and Community Engagement Coordinator, GreenWood Resources, Inc. at Lewis and Clark Timberlands
Chad is working on Lewis and Clark Timberlands, managed by GreenWood Resources, on Oregon’s north coast. Chad has a background in economics, resource planning and policy analysis. In his spare time he enjoys fishing the coastal streams and participating in the abundant outdoor recreation opportunities
the area provides.
Government Relations Liaison, Yakama Nation
Davis Washines, known as Yellowash, recently served as the Executive Chairman of the Yakama Nation General Council, He began his public service in 1973 with the Yakama Tribal Police Department and advanced through the ranks to Chief of Police in 1986. He served as Yakama Nation Police Chief until 1996, after which he served one term on the Yakama Tribal Council and then as a middle school counselor. In 2005, he again was appointed YN Chief of Police until 2008. In 2010, he was appointed Chief of Police for the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, which consists of the following Columbia River Treaty Tribes; Yakama, Warm Springs, Umatilla and Nez Perce. Yellowash retired from law enforcement in August 2013, a career which spanned four decades. He was then elected Yakama Nation General Council Chairman in December, 2014. Yellowash is a recognized traditional and spiritual leader throughout Indian Country and has taught the Yakama language at local schools. One of his proudest achievements is when as, Police Chief, he led the effort to restore the original spelling of “Yakama” to the Yakama Nation as recorded in the US-Yakama Treaty of 1855. He is currently the Government Relations Liaison in the Yakama Nation Department of Natural Resources, under the Superfund Projects of Fisheries Resources Management.
Paula Swedeen PhD
Policy Director, Conservation Northwest
Paula Swedeen is Conservation Northwest's Policy Director. She represents CNW on wildlife and wildlands policy issues at the state capitol and beyond, including wolf conservation, forest policy, and more. Paula has worked on habitat conservation issues around the Pacific Northwest for 24 years and even served on Conservation Northwest’s board in the early ‘90s. She worked for 12 years as a wildlife biologist and endangered species policy analyst with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Washington Department of Natural Resources. Paula has a B.S. in Biology from Indiana University, a Masters of Environmental Studies and Political Science from Western Washington University, and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis on Ecological Economics from the Union Institute.
Bill Sharp (Alternate)
Research Scientist, Yakama Nation
Bill is excited to be a new member of the CCLC team and share this group’s efforts and enthusiasm with the tribe’s many local and regional partners. Bill currently works as a Project Manager for the Yakama Nation. For over three decades he has assisted the tribe’s efforts to honor, protect, and restore the natural and cultural resources that have sustained the Yakama People since time immemorial. Bill has completed many habitat restoration projects and several large capital infrastructure projects to reform hatchery practices. Prior to working with the Yakamas, Bill has worked with Corps of Engineers at each of the lower Columbia and Snake River dams, for Idaho Fish and Game in the Salmon River headwaters, and with the USFWS from the Klamath Basin to lower Columbia River. In his spare time Bill enjoys fishing, hunting, surfing, and kayaking.
Kat Olson (Alternate)
Lead Silviculturist, GreenWood Resources, Inc. at Lewis and Clark Timberlands
Kat (Kathryn) has worked as a professional Forester in both the private and public sector for 12 years. She is passionate about the value of working lands as a key component to sustainable communities and ecological conservation. A second-generation Forester, Kat loves the outdoors and spends much of her free time roaming the forests of the Pacific Northwest with her family.
Regional Conservation Partnership Program Coordinator, NRCS
Tom has 25 years of experience working on landscape and regional conservation projects, including leadership in planning, science and partnerships. Tom has been involved with CCLC since 2015. Currently Tom works with the NRCS, supporting NRCS efforts with working lands and conservation.
Landscape Conservation Section Manager, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Janet Gorrell is the Landscape Conservation Section Manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; she and her team work to facilitate and implement conservation action at large spatial scales through partnerships. Prior to stepping into this position in February 2019, Janet worked as a planner for the WDFW Lands Division for 10 years, focusing on reducing impacts of ongoing land management activities on listed and sensitive fish and wildlife.
Partnerships Ecologist, Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center (USGS)
Betsy (Elizabeth) is a population ecologist with expertise in the conservation and management of threatened and endangered species. The majority of her research has addressed responses of wildlife populations in forest ecosystems to changes in habitat and climate. Betsy received her Ph.D. in Wildlife Science from Oregon State University and also holds an M.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Vermont and a B.A. in Biology from Oberlin College. Her dissertation research examined associations between local weather, regional climate and population dynamics of northern spotted owls in the Pacific Northwest.
Conservation Coordinator, US Fish and Wildlife Service
Vicki Finn serves as Conservation Coordinator for Columbia-Pacific Northwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Previous positions with the Service in the Pacific Region during her 30-year career include Chief of Staff, Chief of Aquatic Habitat Conservation, Geographic Assistant Regional Director for Southern California, and Chief of Endangered Species. A native of Virginia, Vicki has a B.S. in biology from the College of William and Mary and an M.S. and M.P.A. in Environmental Science and Public Affairs from Indiana University.
Ann Edwards (Support Staff)
Principal, Resilient Earth
Ann has a deep background as a field research ecologist and conservation program leader in forest, grassland and marine systems in Africa, Asia and the US, including work with the Wildlife Conservation Society, the University of Washington, and NOAA. Currently, she is principal at Resilient Earth where she prioritizes projects that balance our need for food, timber, energy, water and quality of life with the conservation of earth’s biodiversity and natural capital. Ann is CCLC’s lead for the Landscape Knowledge Base, a tool that uses AI technologies to integrate spatial data and models with “who is doing what, where and why” across our diverse landscape. The tool is intended to support widespread engagement with the CCLC’s strategic conservation blueprint, and facilitate connections across constituencies by bridging information silos.
Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center
Nicole is the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Director of the Northwest and North Central Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs) and brings a strong research background, proven leadership skills and a deep commitment to advancing the state of climate adaptation science and practice. Nicole’s many years working in the CASC network have provided her with a thorough understanding of the stakeholder-engagement processes necessary to help resource managers incorporate adaptation science into their on-the-ground work. Nicole has also served as the Deputy Director of the Alaska CASC, Deputy Director of the NW CASC and Research Coordinator of the NW CASC.
Conservation Planner, US Fish and Wildlife Service
Becky is a Conservation Planner for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. In this position she works with the regions National Wildlife Refuges to develop and draft conservation, recreation, and management plans. Prior to working at USFWS, Becky has experience working with various conservation non-profits, local governments, and research organizations conducting field work in ecological restoration and ecological data collection as well as conservation and ecological planning on big and small projects. Becky has a Masters in Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UCSB and a Bachelors in Environmental Biology and minor in Geology from Beloit College.
Jeff Azerrad (alternate)
Environmental Planner, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Jeff currently works as an environmental planner for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. In that position, he focuses on developing strategies and tools to conserve wildlife and habitat across broad landscapes. He also oversees a major part of the agency’s priority Habitat and Species Program his work with the CCLC, Jeff has assisted the partners in organizing events to reach out to producers to find collaborative solutions to protect working farms and forests. He also helps with oversight of a CCLC effort to model and map important areas of habitat connectivity in western Washington.