About GRACE Communications Foundation

GRACE Communications Foundation develops innovative strategies to increase public awareness of the critical environmental and public health issues created by our current food, water and energy systems, and to promote a more sustainable future. By building partnerships and mobilizing philanthropic resources, we promote consumer actions and public policies that:

  • Support sustainable food systems.
  • Result in smarter use of water resources.
  • Provide clean energy alternatives to conventional power production.
  • Embrace the complex interconnections of our food, water and energy systems.

Executive

Helaine Lerner

President, GRACE Communications Foundation (GCF)

Helaine Lerner, a longtime environmental advocate, founded GRACE in 1997 to communicate and address the environmental and health problems with our present industrial food system. In recent years, GRACE has been organizing philanthropic partners to help develop pilot projects at non-profits and universities to provide solutions. Helaine is also chair of the New Tamarind Foundation, which supports a wide range of programs in nursing, social services, integrative medicine, and public health. She also works closely with her husband Sid Lerner, founder and chairman of The Monday Campaigns, dedicated to global public health promotion.

Scott Cullen

Executive Director, GRACE Communications Foundation (GCF)

Scott Cullen is the Executive Director of the GRACE Communications Foundation. He is also an environmental attorney and had previously worked on Coastal and Marine conservation issues with the Nature Conservancy and on energy issues with various non-profits. Scott has also served on several county, state and federal advisory committees and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Environmental Grantmakers Association and the Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Funders Network as well as the Vermont Law School Environmental Advisory Board.

Kyle Rabin

Director of Programs

Kyle Rabin is director of programs. He is responsible for the coordination and operations of the foundation's ongoing programs and plays a key role in planning, organizing, staffing and leading a variety of program initiatives. His interest and expertise are in the areas of clean energy, water resource protection and the food-water-energy nexus. He is a regular contributor to GRACE's Ecocentric blog and has been published in the New York Times, Newsday, the Huffington Post, Civil Eats, AlterNet and Grist. He has been quoted in print media and has appeared as a guest on radio and television programs. He frequently speaks at state and national conferences. Prior to GRACE, Kyle was Executive Director at Friends of the Bay and was a Senior Policy Analyst at Riverkeeper. He began his work in the environmental arena as an Air and Energy Program Associate at Environmental Advocates of New York. Kyle received an MS in Environmental Science from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a BA in Environmental Studies from Binghamton University. Kyle and his family live in an energy efficient home, meeting half of their electricity needs with a rooftop solar electric system.

Jason Shaw

Director of Technology

Jason Shaw is the director of technology, responsible for leading a team of web design, graphic design and infrastructure support specialists. Jason devotes his time to both technical and strategic projects and has a background in website and mobile application development. He has delivered numerous digital media products for companies around the world, specializing in sports, news and entertainment content.

Food Program

Chris Hunt

Food Program Director

Chris Hunt serves as director of GRACE's food program, Sustainable Table, working to educate consumers about the benefits of sustainable agriculture and developing tools to empower them to improve our food system. Chris provides strategic direction for the food program and oversees its major projects, Eat Well Guide and The Meatrix. His areas of interest and expertise include industrial livestock production, food waste, urban agriculture and food systems advocacy.

Dawn Brighid

Project Director, Eat Well Guide

Dawn Brighid is a Project Director for the GRACE Food Program, with a particular focus on health and nutrition. She leads the program's social media activities, writes food-focused articles and blog posts, and coordinates partnerships with like-minded organizations.

Rich Sanders

Project Director

Rich Sanders is a Project Director at GRACE's Food Program. His work straddles the program's quantitative and qualitative aspects, from information architecture and statistical analysis to quality control and creative input.

Audrey Jenkins

Program Assistant

Audrey serves as program assistant for GRACE Food Program, providing support with public outreach, content development and special projects. Before joining GRACE, Audrey earned a BS in molecular biology and a BA in political science from Purdue University, where she focused on environmental policy. In addition to eating sustainably, Audrey loves tutoring reading and fencing.

Water & Energy Programs

Peter Hanlon

Program Director, Water and Energy Programs

Peter Hanlon is the Program Director for GRACE's Water and Energy Programs. Peter works on a broad range of issues including the food-water-energy nexus, power plant water use, renewable energy, coastal and estuarine health and fisheries. He regularly contributes to GRACE's Ecocentric blog.

Robin Madel

Senior Research and Policy Analyst

Robin Madel is a Senior Research and Policy Analyst for GRACE's Water and Energy Programs. She works on a variety of issues including water quality and conservation, the food-water-energy nexus, waste and recycling. She is a regular contributor to GRACE's Ecocentric blog.

Kai Olson-Sawyer

Senior Research and Policy Analyst

Kai Olson-Sawyer is a Senior Research and Policy Analyst in GRACE's Water and Energy Programs. Kai works on numerous issues including the food-water-energy nexus, water footprinting, surface and groundwater resource protection and management, among others. He regularly contributes to GRACE's Ecocentric blog.

James Rose

Senior Research and Policy Analyst

James Rose serves as a Senior Research and Policy Analyst with GRACE's Water and Energy Programs. He works on a broad range of issues including renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable water use. James regularly contributes to GRACE's Ecocentric blog.

Communications

Leslie Hatfield

Communications Director

Leslie Hatfield oversees the foundation's external messaging and works with journalists and bloggers to get more stories about sustainability into the news. Leslie has contributed to The Huffington Post, EcoWatch, Alternet, Edible Hudson Valley, Acres USA and others, and served as lead author of the publication Cultivating the Web: High Tech Tools for the Sustainable Food Movement. Leslie earned her BA from The Evergreen State College, and her MA in Public Communication from American University. Every few years, she teaches a masters level food policy elective at The Evergreen State College. Leslie loves to travel but hates her carbon footprint.

Kristen Demaline

Communications Manager

Kristen Demaline is communications manager at GRACE where she runs various social media handles and communications projects. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, she particularly enjoys writing about policy and climate issues and supporting the health of her beloved Great Lakes and oceans. For four years, Kristen has been a volunteer mentor with Girls Write Now in New York. She holds an MS in Urban Public Policy and Management from The New School, an MA in Women's Studies from the University of Cincinnati and a BA in English and Women's Studies from The College of Wooster. Kristen is a proud resident of Astoria, Queens.

Web

Weiling Fu

Lead Web Designer

Weiling Fu is the lead designer for the GRACE Communications Foundation website, and has designed many of our major projects and sites over the years, including the GRACE Water Calculator and Eat Well Guide, as well as reports, brochures, videos, animations, and other collateral materials. Weiling also works on GRACE web and print project collaborations with outside organizations.

Katie Sweetman

Graphic Designer

Katie Sweetman is a graphic and web designer for many GRACE projects, and an occasional writer for our Ecocentric blog. She is the designer behind such GRACE projects as OntheFutureofFood.org, the Cultivating the Web booklet, Freeing the Grid, Reeling in New York's Aging Power Plants, and Know The Nexus reports.

Christian Gibbs

Web Developer

Christian is a web developer with over 10 years of experience. He studied electrical engineering at Cleveland State University then went on to study finance at Old Westbury. He is a well-rounded full stack developer specializing in back-end development, front-end user experience design and web application development. Christian enjoys creating new online platforms and mobile applications using technologies such as PHP, MySQL, Ajax, jQuery. For fun, he enjoys traveling, video games, trying new foods, cooking, and being with friends and family.