Executive Director

Rhys Roth is Executive Director of the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure (CSI) in Olympia, WA which is helping to bring innovation, new tools, and sustainability excellence to infrastructure planning and investment in the Pacific Northwest.  Rhys authored CSI’s influential inaugural report, Infrastructure Crisis, Sustainable Solutions and the first and second 5 Big Goals for 2040 CSI reports, Rewiring the Northwest’s Energy Infrastructure and A Northwest Vision for 2040 Water Infrastructure. Prior to founding CSI, Rhys co-founded and helped lead for over 15 years the non-profit group Climate Solutions.



Director of Strategic Partnerships

Ted has many years of experience in public service, most recently as Chief of Staff for WA Public Lands Commissioner Hillary Franz at the state's Dept. of Natural Resources, and previously as Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, and Director of the Washington Department of Ecology. He brings a lifelong commitment to fostering wise decisions that enhance our quality of life in the Pacific Northwest, from public policy to organizational health to individual growth. Ted has deep experience in strategy development, leadership, organizational health, facilitation, and environmental and public policy. He enjoys bringing people together to find multi-interest solutions to complex challenges. He has often found these solutions to be more durable and achievable than single-interest pursuits that create winners and losers.



Director of Marketing & Strategic Partnerships

Lisa has more than 25 years of experience in campaign strategy, strategic marketing and communications and strategic partnership development and deployment for government, nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Lisa has a wide range of experience – including supporting Pew Charitable Trusts’ Initiatives efforts for one the world's largest international conservation campaigns as well as helping launch one of the most successful jobs and clean energy infrastructure initiatives in the country.  Lisa has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Political Science from the University of Washington, Seattle, and a Sustainable Energy Management Certificate from Presidio Graduate School, Seattle.



Operations Manager

Terry has worked with the Center since 2015 and has played a supporting role on several major projects and in producing both installments of the 5 Big Goals for 2040 series of research reports. His background includes a degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Washington and a Master of Environmental Studies degree from the Evergreen State College. He has interned with the WA Dept. of Ecology’s Water Quality section, has served in a managerial position at several small businesses, and worked as a lab technician at the University of Washington Dept. of Biology.






Nan lives in Seattle where she is the Senior Service Corps Advisor for 501 Commons– orienting and supporting volunteers who help build the capacity of nonprofits throughout Washington State.  She also has her own consulting practice and has worked with nonprofits, foundations and local governments. Nan managed the Environmental Sustainability Program for The Russell Family Foundation, including 350 grants to 157 nonprofit organizations.  From 1985 to 2002, she served three Washington Governors, first as deputy director and executive director of the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority and later as chair of the Puget Sound Action Team. Prior to that, Nan worked for Washington local government associations, providing training on energy conservation and helping to develop energy policy and codes.  She also worked for the League of Oregon Cities on issues including land use and growth management, community and economic development, election laws, juvenile justice, and energy policy. Nan has served on and chaired a variety of public and nonprofit boards.



Vice President

Noah founded MSH Strategy in 2018 with the goal of helping clients create political, financial, and community capital to realize complex projects and policies. He is currently working with clients on congestion pricing, the future of mobility, and regional governance, and is advising several political campaigns. Prior to founding MSH, Noah worked as a Policy Advisor and Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Metro Regional Government in Portland. While at Metro, Noah worked on infrastructure investment gaps, open space preservation, and development goals in the Portland metro region. Noah managed the successful renewal campaign for Metro’s 5-year levy for Parks and Natural Areas, and led the signature Willamette Falls Legacy Project. During his time as Policy Director at the Office of Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, Noah served as primary liaison to the Bureaus of Fire & Rescue, Water, Emergency Management, 911, Office of Neighborhood Involvement, and Regional Arts and Culture Council. As Director of International Affairs for the Office of Mayor Sam Adams, Noah was chief advisor to the mayor on international trade and investment. He worked to advance Portland’s global reputation as a sustainable city and leveraged that position for the benefit of the local economy. As part of this effort, he helped develop We Build Green Cities, a green growth branding and marketing campaign for local companies, and launched a regional export strategy with the Brookings Institution.



Secretary & Treasurer

Sandra Kilroy is Director of Maritime Sustainability at the Port of Seattle. She has 25 years of experience in natural resource management. She is a leader in creating organizational effectiveness, synthesizing complex public policies, and managing change. Prior to her work at the Port she managed King County’s watershed protection and restoration programs including river and floodplain management. Sandra was instrumental in establishing regional funding sources and structure for salmon recovery and flood protection.  Sandy also developed the County’s first municipal stormwater permit and water quality compliance program. Along the way, she served a key role in the merger of two governments, creating a new culture, a performance measurement system and other organizational development processes. In all her roles, Sandra supports high performance government, integrated planning and is dedicated to continuous improvement. Sandra has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Forest Biology and a Masters of Marine Affairs.




Director of Innovative Partnerships, WSDOT

Anthony is the Director of Innovative Partnerships for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). During Mr. Buckley's tenure as a public servant he has managed a host of State financing and funding programs. For the State of Oregon, he played a leading role in managing financial components of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects for both the transportation and energy sectors. As the Chief Financial Officer for the Oregon Department of Energy he was responsible for one of the Nation's largest energy tax credit programs ($2 billion) as well as the nation's oldest energy lending programs (35-years).

Prior to his assignment with the Department of Energy he served as the debt and investment manager for the Oregon Department of Transportation where he oversaw a $3.5 billion transportation finance portfolio. Prior to his career as a public servant, Mr. Buckley gained 20 years of private sector experience having worked for various corporations in both finance and marketing roles. Anthony earned his B.A. degree in Finance with a minor in Risk Management from Temple University.



Interim Exec. Director, Willamette Partnership

In her role as Interim Executive Director, Sara O’Brien, is Willamette Partnership’s chief strategist, lead conductor, and biggest fan. Under her leadership, Willamette Partnership is helping to build a future in which people build resilient ecosystems, healthy communities, and vibrant economies by investing in nature. Most recently, Sara O’Brien was Willamette Partnership’s Director of Strategy and Business to refine its business strategy and identify opportunities for growth. She previously worked at Defenders of Wildlife, the University of Arizona’s Institute of the Environment, and the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia.
Sara holds a B.A. in anthropology and linguistics from Grinnell College and an M.S. in natural resource management from the University of Arizona. In her spare time, she enjoys relaxing with projects such as managing a farm, building a straw house, and raising children.



Director of Public Works, City of Olympia

Rich is the Public Works Director for the City of Olympia, where he oversees the City’s transportation system and utilities, as well as the City’s fleet and facilities. Rich was appointed to the position in March, 2012. Rich joined the City of Olympia in 2005 as Director of Water Resources overseeing the City’s Drinking Water, Wastewater and Storm and Surface Water utilities. He was instrumental in developing a number of regional water supply agreements with the Nisqually Indian Tribe and neighboring cities that will long benefit the growing Thurston County region. In 2012, Rich was awarded the National Professional Manager of the Year Award for Water Resources by the American Public Works Association. Prior to joining the City of Olympia, Rich worked for the Washington State Department of Health, Office of Drinking Water for 13 years where he served as Deputy Director and Acting Director.  Hoey was a United States Peace Corps volunteer in the Slovak Republic for two years in the mid-1990s. He holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.



Americas West Regional Solutions Lead, Jacobs

Anthony Liz is a Senior Consultant with Jacobs Strategic Consulting Practice.  She advises utilities on a wide range of optimization topics including asset management, alternative contracting, technology innovations, project and program management, corporate culture change, and leadership development. Liz has more than 20 years of experience as a public sector leader in water, wastewater, drainage, and solid waste utilities work. She was instrumental in establishing the asset management culture at Seattle Public Utilities, wherein the utility was able to improve services to customers, save hundreds of millions in capital dollars, millions/year in operations and maintenance expenditures, and ensure that decisions would be made based on life cycle, triple bottom line principles. In addition she was the director of Project Management and Engineering, wherein she improved project and program delivery success while overseeing about 90 engineers and project managers tasked with delivery of a portfolio of projects valued at over $735 M, using various contracting approaches. Liz was also an Executive Sponsor of the Race & Social Justice Change Team at SPU. Liz has been active on the American Water Works Association Strategic Management Practices Committee, was recently the chair of the Utility Management Conference, and is honored to be a member of the Council of Advisors for the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure.




Washington State Senator & Evergreen State College Adjunct Faculty (MPA)

John represents the 38th Legislative District in the Washington State Senate, which includes the Everett, Marysville and Tulalip communities of Snohomish County. John served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years, retiring in 1981 after accumulating a great deal of training in computer operations and programming. John worked as a computer technician in the White House from 1982 to 1985. In 1994 he returned to Tulalip to help bring the community into the digital world and build what is now the Quil Ceda Village Business. He is a state and national leader on diverse, important issues involving broadband, alternative energy and K-12 education. John and his wife, Jeannie, make their home in Tulalip. They have three daughters, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.



Former Policy Director, WA Dept. of Natural Resources

Craig retired in 2013 after a 32-year career with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, serving for over half of that time as Director of Policy and Government Relations, and also as Division Manager for Aquatic Resources and Agency Deputy Supervisor for State Upland Management.  Earlier, Craig worked for the Environmental Protection Agency in Seattle and Washington DC.  During his career, Craig worked directly on issues relating to utility corridors, including power, fiber optic, wastewater, and transportation, as well as renewable energy production, forest contributions to stormwater and drinking water management, and climate change. Craig gained experience leading successful collaborative interest-based problem solving involving a wide range of competing stakeholders, as well as with state and federal legislative processes.  In retirement, Craig continues to be active in local natural resource issues as a board member and officer of the Capitol Land Trust, and other community activities.



Former Director of the Public Works Project for the State of Washington

Nancy Connery has a long professional history in public works.  Among other things, she served as director of the Public Works Project for the State of Washington, which led to the creation of the Public Works Trust Fund in 1984.  In 1985, she was named executive director of the National Council of Public Works Improvement, a joint Presidential/Congressional study commission on the nation’s infrastructure.   Afterwards, she has served on various boards and commissions at the National Academies, the Executive Committee of the Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems at New York University, the Advisory Board of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at Harvard Kennedy School, and as a member (appointed by the Senate Majority Leader) of the Amtrak Reform Council, a financial oversight panel created by the U.S. Congress.


INTERNSHIPS (past & present)



Innovation Lab Facilitator

Andrea works with the CSI Innovation Lab through Somersault Consulting LLC, a WA state-certified woman-owned business working with change-makers in civil infrastructure and environmental stewardship to imagine and realize their best futures. Andrea specializes in strategy and business planning, facilitating innovation process, advising on enterprise sustainability programs, and developing leaders’ skills in strategy and creative problem-solving. Prior to founding her company, Andrea worked for CH2M, a global engineering company. She launched the firm’s internal sustainability program and developed it into a full-fledged environmental management system within 5 years. She also led the company’s rise to industry leadership in sustainable solutions by developing a sustainability consulting practice, building the firm’s internal capacity across multiple business units, and raising the company’s visibility with clients. Andrea continues to gain inspiration from the Pacific Northwest’s immense natural beauty. She holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Princeton University and an M.S. in Geotechnical Engineering from Virginia Tech.




Innovation Lab Advisor

Steve is a Principal for CollinsWoerman in Seattle.  He specializes in creating tools and alternative strategies that lead to resilient infrastructure systems for cities and large developments.  An expert in water, energy, and urban land use, Steve led creation of the global program called Cities for the Future for the International Water Association.  He is currently designing a resilient governmental campus for an American Indian Tribe, collaborating with a Stockholm-based company to develop renewable district energy projects in North American cities, and has authored several studies on resilient strategies for disaster mitigation and recovery.

INTERNSHIPS (past & present)


Gretchen Helpenstell photo.png

Research Assistant

Gretchen Helpenstell is an Olympia native and current MES graduate student. She completed her undergrad at Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Entrepreneurship and began her career as a graphic designer in Los Angeles. After traveling for two years and being confronted by how the rest of the world manages resources, Gretchen returned home ready to pursue her passion: waste management. She is thrilled to be working with CSI to code for their upcoming report on sustainable materials management. During the Summer of 2019, Gretchen will be applying what she's learned at CSI to help define her thesis topic as she enters her second year of graduate school.



Research Assistant

Lindsay is originally from Idaho, and has both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in geology from the University of Idaho.  She has a passion for politics and policy work, and decided that the MES program at Evergreen would be a great way to combine her love of science and interest in policy to help with environmental issues.  Her work with CSI focused on collecting data from various local governments in the more rural sections of Washington and Oregon to identify places where CSI could help these smaller cities to make more sustainable choices.  



Independent Resesarcher

After graduating from Smith College with a B.A. in American Studies and Spanish, Meara worked for eight years as an ESL instructor in Turkey, Uruguay, and the U.S. In 2016, Meara joined the Master of Environmental Studies program at The Evergreen State College. One of her favorite classes was Rhys' course, Sustainable Infrastructure: Public Works for the 21st Century. As part of her coursework, Meara completed an Independent Learning Contract (ILC) with Rhys on sustainable materials management in the Northwest. Her ILC research focused on local waste infrastructure, China's National Sword policies, and their impacts on local recycling programs. Meara's thesis also addresses sustainable materials management, with a focus on the potential of municipal solid waste contracts to reduce contamination in recycling.



Sustainability Fellowship

Eden completed her B.A. in Environmental Studies at The Evergreen State College in 2016 and is currently working towards completing her Master of Environmental Studies. She is currently in the process of completing her thesis, which focuses on articulations of support for climate change mitigation efforts in public hearings at the Washington State Legislature. Her concern regarding the growing issues around climate change sparked an interest in operational sustainability. This interest led her to the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure, where she works on the Virtual Tour of 21st Century Infrastructure project.



Research Assistant

Stanley Tyson West completed his undergrad at the University of Puget Sound with a B.S. in Geology and a B.A. in Environmental Policy. He is currently working on his Masters of Environmental Studies, and wants to cater the program toward a natural science emphasis. Growing up in Los Angeles, he witnessed what the mass scale of wasteful consumption of energy and resources. His passion for science motivated him to focus his time and effort into learning about energy efficient technologies and practices. He is working at the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure as a research assistant to help create a report that explains the economic and social viability that vehicle electrification offers for individuals and Washington State.



Research Assistant

Melissa Rasmussen is a student at The Evergreen State College building an area of emphasis in international sustainable infrastructure development. Her past work experience includes a year in West Africa building an aquaponics farm, an internship in Indonesia at an agroforestry program with ecological and poverty-alleviation benefits, and studies in sustainable living and permaculture design in Hawai’i, San Francisco, and Central America. She is passionate about the potential of sustainable infrastructure to provide the means to live dignified, creative lives for people all over the world, while healing ecological damage and laying a foundation for a healthy, ongoing human civilization. Raised by a humanitarian Navy Commander disaster responder and a wise and welcoming MBA cultural gardener, she sees the power of bringing together humans, technology, nature, and ancestral wisdom to create new ways of being that provide shelter for all living things. She is working with the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure to map the field of tools designed to support decision-makers in directing infrastructure dollars to the projects of most efficacy, safety, affordability, and long-term benefit.



Case Studies Research

Ulysses earned his B.A. in Community Sustainability Studies from The Evergreen State College. He has resided in Tacoma Washington since 1975 near the Puyallup Tribe where he continues to steward Tacoma’s first public Permaculture Food Forest in Swan Creek Park. Ulysses spent 10 years in public service stewarding Washington’s State highway system as a transportation civil engineer before returning to graduate studies in Public Administration. He endeavors to address the regions approaches of sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in a state of climate uncertainty and urbanization. In 2014, he founded the Permaculture Lifestyle Institute, a Green Infrastructure development nonprofit, to assist front line communities with information, education, planning, design, and development. In 2015 he was a finalist in Tacoma Green Infrastructure Challenge were he showcased his engineered urban Chinampa storm water redistribution system as a determinate of community health and wellbeing. He endeavors to facilitate resilient networks of mutual, equitable, and respectful community relationships.



Infrastructure Outreach Position

Anna’s passion for sustainablility is life-long, including undergraduate and professional studies in Landscape Horticulture, Design, and Landscape Architecture at Colorado State University, Kansas State Univeristy, Harvard Graduate School of Design, and the University of Colorado - Denver. She has applied her knowledge to water utility outreach programs in Colorado, and Washington to address water shortage and stormwater issues. Anna’s graduate studies at Evergreen furthers her passion for sustainablity as she examines the value of “natural capital” and trade-offs associated with green infrastructure. Her involvement with the Infrastructure Assistance Coordinating Council considers the combined values of Washington state agency support of infrastructure renewal.



Research Assistant

Will studied Architectural Engineering for two years at the University of Texas at Austin before completing two years of service as an Americorps member building affordable homes with Habitat for Humanity in Tacoma, WA. Will is scheduled to complete his undergraduate education at The Evergreen State College with a focus on combining sustainable design, community studies, and environmental studies. Will has focused on sustainable infrastructure during his undergraduate work and will continue with this theme as a member of Evergreen's Master of Environmental Studies program in the fall of 2016.



Case Studies Research

After graduating from Western Washington University in 2011, Ben completed three years of Americorps while serving on habitat restoration crews. In 2015 he started the Master of Environmental Studies program at the Evergreen State College. He became interested in sustainable infrastructure through consideration of the tremendous environmental challenges facing our society today and authored the Center's first case study: Green solutions in concert with public interests. Upon completing his internship with the case studies initiative, Ben is continuing his environmental education and remains active with the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure.



Research Assistant

Allison is originally from Miami, Florida and graduated from New College of Florida with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. She came to The Evergreen State College in 2014 to continue her education in the Masters of Environmental Studies program. She became interested in working with the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure because she wanted to learn more about Pacific Northwest infrastructure and policy. Throughout her time as a research assistant with the Center, she reviewed numerous sources regarding critical sustainable infrastructure issues, interviews with thought leaders, resilient power systems, and new policies and regulatory processes. She looks forward to graduating in June 2016 and applying the knowledge she gained at the Center toward a career in sustainability.

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(360) 867-8819


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Olympia, WA 98501

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