About

The Climate Advocacy Lab equips the US climate movement with the evidence-based insights, skills, and connections needed to build durable power and win equitable solutions.

Since 2015, we have served as critical climate movement infrastructure, making training, research expertise, and an extensive resource library free and accessible to our community of more than 4,000 climate practitioners from 1,500+ organizations across all 50 states; Washington, DC; Puerto Rico; and a number of Tribal nations. 

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The Climate Advocacy Lab was created to ensure the collective impact of the climate movement is greater than the sum of its parts. We are helping create the conditions necessary for movement groups to engage and activate more people, more quickly through their organizing work — and in the sustained way that continues to meaningfully build our power. And it’s working!
 

Every day, thousands of advocates and organizers across the country work to reduce climate pollution and expand clean energy opportunities for healthier, thriving communities and a vibrant, climate-stable world. But, we are living in the most hostile political environment ever to climate action. We don’t have the time or money to waste on tactics that fail, or worse, that backfire. Policy- and decisionmakers won’t take meaningful action until they feel significant pressure from their constituents.

Enter the Climate Advocacy Lab. We use evidence, including social science research, data and analytics, field experiments, case studies, and campaign lessons learned to help climate advocates in every part of the U.S. run smarter public engagement campaigns. We raise the sophistication of the field and the appetite for evidence-informed decisions.

 
How we do it

The Lab helps climate and clean energy advocates, organizers, funders, social scientists, data experts, and others save time, money, and energy by centralizing and transferring knowledge created by the climate community. The Lab provides:


  • The ongoing, free state of the art tools and training our movement needs

  • Access to the rigor of testing and evaluation expertise to ensure our work is achieving intended impacts

  • A central platform that provides free access to the latest movement insights and learnings on what’s working – and what’s not

  • Movement connectivity across a network of 3,000+ climate “practitioners” in all 50 states working to build durable political power for lasting climate action.

For more information, download this summary.

 
History

Originally incubated at the Skoll Global Threats Fund, the Climate Advocacy Lab is now fiscally-sponsored at the Partnership Project and supported a growing collaborative of multi-year funders including the Skoll Foundation, McKnight Foundation, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, George Gund Foundation, Barr Foundation and others.

If you are an individual or funder interested in supporting the Lab's work, please reach us at info@climateadvocacylab.org.

Our Team
Apollo Gonzales
Title:
Co-Director
Affiliation:
Climate Advocacy Lab
I am climate campaign activist and organizer, with nearly two decades of leadership experience building digital campaigns and convening communities of practice in the climate advocacy space for the purpose of coordinating and sharing knowledge. I live in the Texas Gulf Coast, where I have a front row seat to the impacts of our rapidly changing climate on our environment, and on the imbalance of economic and racial justice in our most vulnerable and under resourced communities. I believe the work of the Lab is critical to building the capacity we need to be successful in our fight for the climate, and am proud to serve as Co-Director of the Lab. I also serve on the board of directors of Climate Access, and In Our Back Yards (ioby). I’m a graduate of American University in Washington DC, and am an elected representative serving as City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem of my small community on the outskirts of Houston.
Assata Harris
Title:
Training Manager
Affiliation:
Climate Advocacy Lab
I am a movement builder, community organizer, trainer, facilitator, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker Candidate living in San Francisco, Bay Area. A proud alum of the University of California, Davis, and Sciences Po, Paris. I am currently attaining my Master's Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Southern, California. Since 2009, I've been an organizer, facilitator, and trainer for over 8 years. Led and directed climate justice programs that advocate and mobilize frontline communities around equitable solutions to the climate crisis. Trained over 3,000 activists on justice and equity issues, organizational change, and strategic design. I specialize in the training curriculum, facilitation, organizing, justice, and equity training. In my spare time, you can catch me traveling the world, and cooking amazing meals.
Carina Barnett-Loro
Title:
Co-Director
Affiliation:
Climate Advocacy Lab
As Co-Director I oversee all of the Lab's programmatic offerings as well as lead our organizational learning and evaluation work. Prior to joining the Lab team in 2015, I spent 6 years organizing on local and state-level climate and energy campaigns with the North Carolina Sierra Club and Union of Concerned Scientists. I'm currently based on Durham, NC. Outside of climate advocacy, I spend a lot of time walking in the woods with my dog, tending to my houseplants/garden, reading novels with a strong cup of coffee, and dreaming about my next scuba diving trip.
Gabrielle Heidrich
Title:
Training Lead
Affiliation:
Climate Advocacy Lab
I am a climate justice organizer and movement builder dedicated to training, resourcing, and coaching youth climate organizers to scale up local movement networks. I attended Iowa State University to receive my double Bachelor's of Science in Animal Ecology and Environmental Studies and kept busy in my free time running a campaign pushing the university to close its on-campus coal plant and transition to 100% renewable electricity by 2030. Through my work as a youth climate organizer and the many important relationships of support I built through our work, I was inspired to continue working with young people to build up the youth climate movement and broader justice movement. I am dedicated to building organizer trainings, writing campaign-specific resources, and cultivating 1:1 coaching relationships with grassroots organizers and their local groups on the ground leading the fight against fossil fuels. In my free time, I love spending time at the park, hiking, and tending to my many houseplants. I currently live in so-called Denver, Colorado on occupied Ute, Arapahoe, and Cheyanne land.
Jack Zhou
Title:
Social Scientist
Affiliation:
Climate Advocacy Lab
I help to produce and manage the Climate Advocacy Lab's social science resources for its webinars, workshops, and website. I also oversee half of the Lab’s research programs, which involves designing, tracking, and analyzing a range of experimental and non-experimental projects with advocate collaborators. I work at the Lab to help the climate community build deeper, more inclusive, and more effective relationships centered around mutual learning. My research interests revolve around how people think about climate change, how they process information on the issue, and what gets in the way. Prior to joining the Lab, I worked as a postdoctoral associate in energy policy and survey methods at Duke University. I received a B.S. in Society & Environment from UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Environmental Politics from Duke University. I live in Durham, NC.
Justin Rolfe-Redding
Title:
Social Scientist
Affiliation:
Climate Advocacy Lab
My research interests include persuasion, behavior change, statistical methods, and message design. My doctoral work investigates the role of hope in encouraging engagement with global warming, analyzing survey and experiment data. My research has also addressed the influence of political identity and values in global warming beliefs, and the effects of news coverage, social identity framing, and past behavior on attitudes and further behavior. In addition to a background in the environmental advocacy community, I have worked as a research consultant with the National Wildlife Federation, National Park Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency. I received a master’s degree in Communication from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Chicago.
Kate McKenney
Title:
Digital & Data Director
Affiliation:
Climate Advocacy Lab
Kate is Lab's Digital & Data Director, having previously led the digital and data strategies at the Digital Climate Coalition. She loves using data science, research, and programmatic analysis to ensure that campaigns and strategies are grounded in the audiences they are trying to advocate for. Kate has more than a decade of experience leading digital, web, and CRM development at many nonprofit organizations including NRDC, Free Press and consulted at other large national advocacy organizations. Kate’s passion is for climate advocacy, but has been known to take breaks to make cheese and ski with her kids in western Massachusetts.
Lyrica Maldonado
Title:
Operations and Training Associate
Affiliation:
Climate Advocacy Lab
I am entering the Climate Advocacy Lab to learn, connect, and develop relationships in the face of climate disaster and environmental injustice. I also engage with Uplift, a regional environmental justice organization in the Southwest where I work with finance and fundraising coordination. I am excited about decentralized and autonomous organizing, transnational Indigenous solidarity, and caring for ourselves throughout the climate crisis and a global pandemic. I am of mixed white settler descent and of the Maya Mam peoples of western Guatemala currently reside in the Southwest Region.
Maliyah Womack
Title:
Training Associate
Affiliation:
Climate Advocacy Lab
I am the Training Associate here at the Climate Advocacy Lab! With over seven years of experience in community, program, and event management, I bring a deep commitment and passion to environmental justice and racial equity. In my previous roles I've had the privilege of working in diverse communities, engaging youth in combating the climate crisis. In the future, I hope to one day open my own non-profit to help engage and uplift frontline communities in environmental justice through events that adapt to the community they serve.

Outside of work, I have two cats and many houseplants that require my undivided attention. I also enjoy reading, spending quality time with my family and friends, and exploring trails and national parks.
Sam Zacher
Title:
Research Assistant (and PhD Candidate)
Affiliation:
Climate Advocacy Lab (and Yale University)
I am a PhD candidate in political science, and I have worked in a research capacity for the Lab since 2021. My academic research focuses on the politics of inequality, redistribution, and the climate crisis in the contemporary U.S. For the Lab, I have worked on literature reviews on topics such as building social movement coalitions and movement infrastructure, and I keep the Lab Resource Library updated withe latest research, polling, and strategic guidance for climate advocates. I also organize in the grassroots climate movement. I am currently based in Los Angeles, CA.
Our Advisory Board
Bruce Lowry
Title:
Vice President, Investments
Affiliation:
Skoll Foundation
I oversee the grants team for Skoll. I formerly worked on policy and communications at the Skoll Global Threats Fund, which included close involvement with the launch of the Climate Advocacy Lab, and I'm on the Lab's governing board. I'm particularly interested in how to get people engaged on big scary challenges - things they can't see, taste, smell, hear, that happen to someone else, that happen to the next generation. This is climate change, but it's also nuclear nonproliferation, pandemics, and other complex threats. I'm interested in the social science insights that can be brought to bear on climate change.
Dallas Conyers
Title:
International Liaison
Affiliation:
USCAN
I am an Ordained Minister, sustainable agriculturalist beekeeper, and yoga instructor. I focus on community health and equity. In my current capacity I serve communities through: 1. Ensuring that decision makers hear policy language that includes Equitable practices and addresses health concerns, 2. Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion work that systematizes the principles of JEDI
Dan Thiede
Title:
Senior Communications Officer
Affiliation:
McKnight Foundation
As the senior communications officer at the McKnight Foundation, I leverage the power of strategic communications to advance the mission of the Foundation and its program goals.
Dany Sigwalt
Title:
Managing Director
Affiliation:
Green Leadership Trust
Organizational development nerd and network weaver working at the intersection of racial justice and climate justice.
Jamila Raqib
Title:
Executive Director
Affiliation:
Albert Einstein Institution
Jamila Raqib is a specialist in the study and practice of strategic nonviolent action and the executive director of the Albert Einstein Institution, which works to advance the research and application of nonviolent action worldwide. Since 2002, she has worked with Dr. Gene Sharp, the world’s foremost scholar and founder of the field of strategic nonviolent action.

She oversees the development and distribution of resources on nonviolent action and conducts workshops on strategic planning for human rights organizations, universities, and governments, and for individuals and groups struggling for diverse objectives including to oppose dictatorship, combat corruption, attain political rights, economic justice, environmental protection, and women’s empowerment.

She is currently a Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab, where she is exploring how innovations in technology and education, among other fields, can contribute to greater effectiveness in the study and application of nonviolent struggle. Her work includes the development of a curriculum intended to help groups prepare wise strategic plans to conduct struggles for the defense and attainment of their civil and political rights.

Kathryn Wright
Title:
Senior Program Officer, Clean Energy
Affiliation:
Barr Foundation
Kathryn is part of the Barr Foundation’s Climate Team and is appointed to the Massachusetts Grid Modernization Advisory Council. In previous roles, Kathryn worked in the private-sector at a climate and energy consulting firm and in the nonprofit sector supporting and organizing cities at the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. In her spare time, Kathryn is an active violinist, yogi, dancer and snowboard enthusiast.
Lisa Hoyos
Title:
Senior Director: Climate and Clean Energy
Affiliation:
League of Conservation Voters
Lisa is the Senior Director for Climate Strategy at the National League of Conservation Voters (LCV). She drives campaigns to scale transformative climate solutions, including the implementation of the historic clean energy investments in the Inflation Reduction Act. Before this, she led a student and parent-centered campaign at Sierra Club that successfully moved major school districts around the country to transition to 100% clean energy. Lisa also co-founded Climate Parents, running a campaign that stopped legislatures and state school boards from banning climate science education in K-12 schools in more than ten fossil fuel states.

Lisa has led issue advocacy campaigns in the environmental and labor movements for over three decades with organizations including the BlueGreen Alliance, the national AFL-CIO, SEIU’s Justice for Janitors campaign, and Greenpeace. As Political Director of a large urban Labor Council, Lisa ran coordinated electoral campaigns to elect progressive local, state, and federal candidates.

She lives with her husband and two teenage boys in San Francisco.
Michael Silberman
Title:
Partner
Affiliation:
Agora Futures
Michael Silberman tackles challenges at the intersection of technology, democracy, and social change. He guides nonprofits, businesses, and foundations to achieve their social missions through activism strategies. Michael founded and led two organizations dedicated to building campaigns for a more just society and livable planet. He has guided dozens of nonprofits and NGOs worldwide, including UNICEF, Greenpeace, and Amnesty International, to design effective advocacy and systems change campaigns for the digital era. At Greenpeace, Michael established the Mobilisation Lab, a center of excellence that transformed the organization's digital advocacy, organizing, and influencing capabilities across 55 countries. In addition to the Climate Advocacy Lab, Michael serves on the boards of Oxfam America and the Story of Stuff Project. His work has been globally recognized by The New Yorker, Newsweek, and Wired.

Michael's research focuses on the impacts of repressive technologies, such as digital surveillance and disinformation, on human rights and democracy. His graduate work on rights in the digital age is published in the Georgetown Law Technology Review and Tech Policy Press. Michael's prior writing has been featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Mother Jones, Yes! Magazine, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Mashable, and OpenDemocracy. He also developed and taught a graduate course on digital-era advocacy at the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs. Michael started his career leading the first successful digital grassroots organizing program in U.S. politics for Howard Dean's 2004 presidential campaign.
Refugio Mata
Title:
Managing Director
Affiliation:
Resource Media
Refugio is a bilingual public relations and digital campaigner for progressive advocacy organizations online and in the field. At Resource Media, Refugio manages the organization’s work supporting advocacy groups that engage Latine and Indigenous audiences online on climate justice, and other critical social issues. Prior to Resource Media, he served as the Communications Director for Service Employees Union International, United Service Workers West, where he oversaw the organization’s broad sweep of internal and external communications. He also served as an online campaign manager for Presente.org, the nation’s largest national Latine online organization advancing social justice with technology, media, and culture; and as a press secretary for the Sierra Club’s Southwest Region, where he developed and managed bilingual communications strategy and implementation for the Beyond Coal campaign and other clean energy initiatives. He was also part of Heal the Bay, a local nonprofit dedicated to restoring the San Monica Bay and the L.A. River in Southern California.
Samantha Sekar
Title:
Dr.
Affiliation:
US Department of Energy
I am a political psychologist that researches political activism related to climate change and legislators' responsiveness to political activism and polls.
Sarah Shanley Hope
Title:
Managing Director, Narrative Strategies
Affiliation:
The Solutions Project
Sarah Shanley Hope is the Managing Director of Narrative Strategies at The Solutions Project following seven years as the organization’s first Executive Director. Under Sarah’s leadership as ED, the organization transformed its mission and culture to center racial and gender equity, launched the field’s first and only award-winning collaborative climate justice solutions fund, and grew a celebratory, collaborative and inclusive movement for 100% clean energy. She now leads the dynamic team of staff and program delivery partners amplifying the climate justice solutions and growing the capacity of frontline grantee partners to scale their influence and impact. This team has generated hundreds of media hits for grassroots climate justice solutions, including a TIME Magazine cover story for TSP and Today Show feature for grantee Soulardarity. The strategy she developed and led has influenced a 10-fold increase in equitable clean energy news coverage. Sarah has held executive or leadership roles at Action for the Climate Emergency (formerly the Alliance for Climate Education), Green For All, Cargill and Best Buy over her 20 years of experience in brand strategy, philanthropy and social change. She has raised and helped deploy more than $75 million in support of a racial equity and climate solutions agenda over her tenure in the field.

Shanley Hope graduated with an MBA in Marketing from the University of Minnesota and a BA in political science from Vassar College. She grew up in Buffalo, NY and lives with her husband, daughters and dogs in Oakland, CA. She sits on the boards of Native Renewables, the Kairos Fellowship and the Digital Climate Coalition. Sarah’s work has been featured in a range of outlets including the NY Times, People Magazine, TIME Magazine, and the Daily Show. She has spoken about the vision, strategies and stories of change at the intersection of climate solutions and racial justice as part of TEDxMidAtlantic, Climate One, the Social Venture Network, Climate Week NYC, Collective Impact Forum, and Bioneers.

Sophia Cheng
Title:
Climate Justice Campaign Director
Affiliation:
People's Action Institute
Sophia is the climate justice campaign director at People's Action. People’s Action builds the power of poor and working people in urban, rural, and suburban areas to win change through issue fights and elections. We are a national network of 44 state and local grassroots power-building organizations in 30 states–united in the work of building a bigger “we.” Before joining People's Action Institute, Sophia organized Latino and Asian immigrant workers and community members in California for over a decade, and taught Ethnic Studies at the University of California Los Angeles.

We welcome feedback on how to make the Lab more useful to climate engagement efforts, so please do not hesitate to get in touch with ideas on how the Lab can better serve this community by sending us a note at info@climateadvocacylab.org.

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