For over thirty years, Betsy Taylor has built a solid reputation as a philanthropic advisor, social change leader, motivational speaker and problem solver. Betsy has led several non-profit groups and campaigns, served as Executive Director of the Ottinger Foundation, Stern Family Fund, and Merck Family Fund and currently advises a small number of donors and foundations. She has served as a federal lobbyist, deputy director of Freeze Voter - a political action committee focused on nuclear disarmament, and president of 1Sky.org, a network of over 500 organizations and 200,000 citizen activists that merged with 350.org in 2011. Author of three books and frequent public speaker, Betsy Taylor is known for challenging her clients to think big and to tackle the root causes of social and ecological problems. She specializes in bringing diverse stakeholders together to achieve a shared vision in support of bold action for a better world. She convened or took a lead role in the founding of the Iraq War Peace Fund, National Voice, State Voices, Center for a New American Dream, 1Sky, Responsible Purchasing Network, the Funders Group on Sustainable Consumption and Production, and a network of high worth donors dedicated to pushing for bold climate solutions through the political system. For the past four years, Betsy has worked to build the field of regenerative agriculture through grant-making, network development, global convenings, and general cheerleading about the potential of our lands to sequester carbon pollution while boosting food security and habitat protection.
Kathy has become the lead partner at Breakthrough Strategies overseeing survey research and ongoing work to advance effective climate communications. Kathy earned her BA at Harvard College and an MPH at the University of Michigan before working as a public health researcher in HIV prevention at the University of Washington. She paused her out-of-home work when her two daughters were born, and when returning, felt compelled to focus on climate change, realizing it could undermine progress in public health and many other areas. As a Senior Partner with Breakthrough Strategies, she serves as the lead on Climate Communications programming, developing effective research-tested and values-based narratives for private and public sector leaders, helps coordinate political donor organizing efforts to spur bolder climate action from federal leaders, and serves as a researcher and writer on soil carbon sequestration initiatives. She has been a member of the National Advisory Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists for 15 years, serves on the Boards of Directors of Seattle-based Climate Solutions and Washington Women for Climate Action Now, and served on Seattle’s Green Ribbon Commission. She personally gathered nearly 500 signatures to qualify Washington state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard initiative for the ballot. In all her roles, Kathy seeks to catalyze meaningful climate progress at the scale needed.
Austin is a program coordinator and administrative associate with Breakthrough Strategies and Solutions. She currently coordinates the Young Climate Leaders Network and helps coordinate with outreach and network building for our work on healthy soils and soil carbon sequestration. She has served as Event Lead for all of our Healthy Soils convenings and managed the launch of our recent guide Healthy Soils to Cool The Planet; A Philanthropic Action Guide. Austin has also served as Director of Operations at Evolutionary Leadership for the past 4 years. She managed the launch and growth of their annual leadership development workshop that empowers social innovators to build their own successful projects and subsequently stay in a network together. Her dedication to social change and activism started at a young age when she co-founded and ran a nonprofit to support the arts programs for a local magnet school. Austin earned a B.M in Vocal Performance/Opera from the Boston Conservatory. She remains passionate about the importance of the arts and the power they hold in building community, evoking empathy, and encouraging creative thinking.
Henry Anton Peller
Henry is a doctoral student in soil science at Ohio State University and a member of Dr. Rattan Lal’s Carbon Management and Sequestration Center. His dissertation research examines soils, ecology, and political economy in Maya farming communities of southern Belize. He has worked in Ohio and several Caribbean countries on agroecology, food sovereignty, farmworker rights, and climate justice projects. As a professional agronomist he organizes on-the-ground climate adaptation/mitigation strategies, while working to support and align with critical land-based social movements. Henry consults with Breakthrough Strategies and Solutions in our work on soil carbon sequestration. His family operates a small organic farm and craft center in Appalachian Ohio, and in his freetime he loves to create artwork, music, and gardens.
Strategic Partners & Collaborators
Toby co-founded and leads (with Nina Simons) the “Cultivating Women’s Leadership” retreats, is the founder of Biomimicry for Social Innovation, and a Senior Trainer with the Rockwood Leadership Institute. Her many clients in 20+ years of organizational consulting include the Sierra Club, Ford Foundation, and Navajo Nation. Toby serves as a collaborative partner for leaders interested in turning to nature and the feminine in their organizational strategies.
Toby partners with Breakthrough Strategies in our programs to build networks of leaders.
Matthew Kohut is the managing partner of KNP Communications. He has coached thousands of speakers for events ranging from live television appearances to TED talks. In addition to conducting communications trainings for clients in the government, private, and nonprofit sectors, he has served as a communications consultant to organizations including NASA, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and Harvard University. He previously worked as a speechwriter and researcher for the dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Matt helps lead our climate communications training and coaching programs, building on our survey research and guide for engaging and winning on climate change and clean energy.
Suzanne Lutfalla is a soil scientist and freelance consultant working with Breakthrough Strategies on soil carbon sequestration. She is dedicated to sound science and pays special attention to how research programs support action and changed practices for farmers. She studied high level chemistry and holds a PhD in environmental sciences during which she worked on elucidating long-term soil carbon persistence mechanisms under the supervision of Pr. Claire Chenu. Suzanne has been the Scientific Officer of the “4 per 1000. Soils for Food Security and Climate” international Initiative and has helped develop the corresponding soil carbon sequestration research program and network. Her scientific work has been awarded several prizes including the prestigious L’Oréal-UNESCO “For Women in Science” national fellowship.
Suzanne was part of the Planning Committee of the SCS conference organized by BSS in 2017 and is consulting with BSS on the same topic.
Calla Rose Ostrander
Calla Rose is a Climate Change Innovations Advisor to individuals and organizations dedicated to stabilizing Earth’s climate. From 2008-2016 she was the Climate Change Projects Manager for the City & County of San Francisco where she created and managed the City’s internal agency sustainability reporting, local offset program and lead community wide climate planning under mayors Gavin Newsome and Edwin Lee. Calla Rose grew up in Colorado and before moving to California in 2008 co-authored of the City of Aspen’s first Climate Action and Adaptation Plans and was a communications fellow for Rocky Mountain Institute. She studied ecological economics with David Batker of Earth Economics and holds a degree in International Political Economy from the University of Puget Sound. Calla Rose consults with us on healthy soils with a lead focus on the potential of compost applications to boost soil carbon.
Gibrán is a consultant working with a range of philanthropic and non-profit clients to advance creative and bold leadership in the world. He specializes in helping leaders mobilize networks and movements in support of positive transformation. Gibrán's graduate studies were in diplomacy, mediation, and negotiation. He brings special expertise in helping organizations and networks be inclusive, democratic and results oriented. Gibrán co-facilitates our program for young leaders working to advance climate solutions and climate justice.