Press Release: Five New Board Members Join NAAEE to Advance Environmental Education and Civic Engagement for a More Just and Sustainable Future


Faces of Karyl Askew, Dawn Chavez, Diego Roman, Karie Ross, and Mandarin Sud with copy



Press Release

Contact: Stacie Pierpoint | | (202) 277-6582

Media Contact: 

Stacie Pierpoint 





Five New Board Members Join NAAEE to Advance Environmental Education and Civic Engagement for a More Just and Sustainable Future  

[Washington, D.C., February 16, 2021] What do a former ESPN sports anchor, an educational psychologist, a nonprofit executive, a bilingual and bicultural education professor, and a communications strategist have in common? They are all committed to strengthening and championing the field of environmental education (EE). The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) is excited to announce that five new members have joined our board of directors. 

This year, NAAEE is celebrating 50 years of ongoing work to champion the role of EE in society and strengthen the movement towards a more equitable and sustainable future for everyone. Our board members play a critical role in our work to use the power of education to help individuals and communities build healthier and more sustainable communities. Together, we are working to address key environmental issues, from climate change to loss of biodiversity, and push for social justice and center equity in all that we do. With backgrounds in journalism, communications, STEM education, equity and inclusion, and environmental and science education, these new members bring a wealth of talent and experience to help guide us.

Executive Director of NAAEE Judy Braus says, “We can’t address today's complex environmental and social challenges without the collective talent, expertise, and innovation resulting from diverse cultural backgrounds, perspectives, and disciplines. Each member of our board brings unique perspectives and skill sets to help advance our work to create a more equitable and sustainable future. We are thrilled to welcome new members and honor the commitment of all of our outstanding board members.”

The new board members include: 

Karyl Askew, Program Evaluation Consultant at Karyl Askew Consulting

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the NAAEE community alongside amazing colleagues, a dedicated staff, and an inspiring network of members who are committed to a healthier, more just, sustainable environment for all.  My passion is to create connection and understanding through evaluative conversations that invite and harness the generative potential of diverse voices. As a board member, I am excited to champion NAAEE's values of inclusion, transformation, collaboration, and respect for the many people and cultures that comprise NAAEE.”

Dawn Chávez, Executive Director of Asheville GreenWorks

“Joining the NAAEE board represents the culmination of my lifelong career pursuit of improving environmental education through the centering of equity and inclusion in EE programs. I'm honored and excited to play a role in the governance of an organization that is so committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially as it reaches its 50-year milestone. NAAEE has guided much of my professional development and I want to help ensure that the organization continues to expand and strengthen its services into the future.”

Diego Román, Assistant Professor in Bilingual/Bicultural Education at University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education

“I joined the Board to support the efforts NAAEE is making to reach audiences that historically have not been represented in environmental education. Given my expertise and experience, I am excited to contribute to discussions and initiatives that seek to learn from and support the environmental education experiences of linguistically minoritized communities in the United States, Latin America, and around the world.”

Karie Ross, Sports Journalist and Environmental Activist

“Who knew when I won a conservation poster contest in third grade, I would be asked years later to join a distinguished group like NAAEE! Change always begins with early education. That’s why I’m excited to work with programs devoted to teaching students of all ages about the importance of protecting our environment.”

Mandakini Sud, Director of Communications at Sodexo's Corporate Services segment in North America

“I am honored, and humbled, to join the board of North American Association for Environmental Education. I have long admired NAAEE's unwavering commitment to advance environmental literacy and civic engagement globally in order to create a more equitable and sustainable future; I look forward to serving, and giving back, so that generations—present and future—inhabit a planet they deserve.”

These five board members join our current Board: Judy Braus (NAAEE), David Chase (DRC Consulting), Charlotte Clark (Duke University), Mary Ford (National Geographic Society), Jaime González (The Nature Conservancy), Will Parish (Ten Strands), Beth Stevens (formerly Disney Worldwide Services), William Street (Indianapolis Zoo), Jeff Tarbert (The Tarbert Group, LLC), and Danni Washington (Big Blue and You). Learn more about all of our board members on our website:


For five decades, the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) has served as the professional association, champion, and backbone organization for the field of environmental education (EE), working with EE professionals across United States, Canada, and Mexico, as well as globally, to advance environmental literacy and civic engagement to create a more equitable and sustainable future. For more information on NAAEE, visit