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Advisory Council

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The Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods Institute for the Environment is guided by an 18-member advisory council. 

The council is composed of members from a variety of sectors who share our research community’s commitment to seeking practical solutions for people and the planet. Council members provide valuable external perspectives, offer a critical review of the Institute's current academic, research, and outreach programs and plans, and provide insight and support for the institute's strategic direction and overall objectives.

Ward W. Woods, '64 - Chair

Ward served on Stanford’s Board of Trustees from 1996 to 2006, and is a former chair of the Stanford Management Company’s Board of Directors. He served on the Board of Visitors of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford from 1996 to 2002.

He is Chair Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of the Wildlife Conservation Society, a former trustee of the Lucile and David Packard Foundation and a director of a number of privately held companies. He was president and chief executive officer of Bessemer Securities, LLC, a privately held investment company and managing partner of Bessemer Holdings, a private equity partnership, from 1989 until his retirement in December 1999.

Former Boards include The Nature Conservancy, The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Asia Society.

Priscilla B. Woods

Priscilla, a clinical social worker, is actively involved in community affairs in Idaho. She serves on the USA Cycling Development Foundation and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. She has been a trustee of Radcliffe College and Outward Bound.

Matt Barger, MBA '83

Matt Barger is the Managing Member of MRB Capital LLC, a venture capital investment company, and a Senior Advisor at Hellman & Friedman, LLC, a private equity firm with over $25 billion assets under management. Matt serves on the Board of Directors of Hall Capital Partners LLC and Artisan Partners Asset Management, and the Advisory Board of Mustard Seed.
Matt graduated from Yale University and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He serves on the Advisory Council of the Natural Capital Project at Stanford University. He is a Director of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Foundation, the San Francisco Free Clinic, and is Chairman of the USA Cycling Development Foundation.

Kelly Davis

Kelly is an avid equestrian and the owner of Old Oak Farm, LLC, an international show jumping stable. Old Oak Farm's horse, Barron, competed in the 2016 Olympics in Rio and won a team silver medal. Kelly and her husband George (Stanford class of '84 and GSB of '88) have two children, Lucy (Stanford class of '15) and Clay. Kelly and George are past chairs of the Stanford Parent's Advisory Board. Kelly currently is a member of the California Committee South for Human Rights Watch, the Director's Circle at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and serves on the board of the Jackson Hole Land Trust.

James B. Fleming, Jr., '84

Jim is a partner at Columbia Capital, a venture capital firm based in Alexandria, Virginia, that focuses on communications, information technology and media and manages over $3 billion in capital. He is a former board member of the National Venture Capital Association and currently serves as a board member for numerous private companies as well as The Nature Conservancy of Virginia and The Potomac School in McLean, Virginia. He received his B.A. from Stanford University in 1984. 

Christine Gardner, ’88

Since 2006, Christine has been a devoted ambassador for environmental health education, advocacy and innovation. As the founder of moregreenmoms, she is a  trusted voice in her community and is a frequent speaker at schools, organizations and events, sharing her insights about how to understand and eliminate the impact of harmful toxins in our households, companies and campuses. 

For the past four years, Christine has been on the Board of the Environmental Working Group ( and has participated in lobbying for legislative efforts concerning GMOs, the Farm Bill and the Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act.  She is also deeply involved in supporting the launch of EWGVerified, the organization’s new safety certification seal for the personal care products industry.   

Christine is a member of the Advisory Board for the Stanford University Woods Institute for the Environment, where her focus is on encouraging research and innovation to support the de-toxification of American society, as well as vulnerable communities throughout the world.

From 2013-2015, Christine served as the first Brand Ambassador for the company, Beautycounter, during which she played a key role in launching what is now one of the largest companies formulating safer products in the beauty industry.

She served for 8 years on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Parks Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting, sustaining and enriching the city’s parks, recreation centers and protected open spaces. 

Christine is the author of a children’s book, “A Moment of Quiet is Nothing to Fear,” a story created to inspire children to embrace the power of their imaginations. She often reads it in classrooms to inspire lively discussion with the children. 

A graduate of Stanford University with a B.A. in both communication and French studies, Christine has worked in diverse fields including publishing, investment research and Internet development. 

Christine Gardner lives in San Francisco with her husband and three children. 

Pete Higgins, '80, MBA '83

Pete is founding partner of Second Avenue Partners, one of Seattle’s most experienced teams providing management, strategy and capital to early-stage companies. Prior to founding Second Avenue Partners, he spent 16 years at the Microsoft Corporation, where he was a member of the Office of the President, reporting to CEO Bill Gates.

Pete is a director of BeLeave Inc. and is the chairman for SEEQ Corporation and Modumetal Corporation. He is the former chairman of Market Leader and Insitu Corporation. 

Pete serves on the board of directors for The Brookings Institute and the advisory boards for the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University. He is a former Trustee of Stanford University. Mr. Higgins holds an MBA and undergraduate degrees in economics and history from Stanford University.

Gabrielle Hull

Gabrielle Hull is Co-Founder, Co-CEO at Planet Home. Gabrielle is passionate about making the world a better place by working on environmental and social justice initiatives. With an MBA, MA and BA from Stanford University and her background as an entrepreneur and strategist in the technology industry, she blends strategic and visionary thinking while creating connections between people and ideas to make meaningful change in policy, legal rights, media and business practices. 

Patsy Ishiyama, '74

Patsy is a vice president of the Ishiyama Corporation. She also serves as vice chair of the board of directors of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, trustee of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, trustee of the NPR Foundation, board member of Resources Legacy Fund, and director of the Ishiyama Foundation. She previously served as a trustee of Trout Unlimited. Ms.Ishiyama also worked with Senator Alan Cranston and California Attorney General John Van de Kamp.

Katherine Janeway, ’76

Kate is an executive coach focused on sustaining the vision, commitment, and resiliency of leaders. She is also a founding member of the Washington Women's Foundation. Kate has decades of experience leading Boards, and currently serves as the chair of the board of The Nature Conservancy and as a member of the The Frye Art Museum. Kate holds a JD from Georgetown Law Center, an MPA in Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management from University of Washington.

Paul Tudor Jones II

Paul Jones is founder, Co-Chairman, Chief Investment Officer and the controlling principal of Tudor Investment Corporation, which he formed in 1980.  Tudor is part of the Tudor Group, affiliated companies engaged in trading across global fixed income, equity, currency and commodity markets for an international client base. Paul is a portfolio manager focusing on discretionary macro trading and is the principal risk taker for Tudor’s flagship client strategy.

Paul is a member of New York Fed Investor Advisory Committee on Financial Markets.  He served as a member of the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association from May 2010 through December 2011, served as Chairman of the then New York Cotton Exchange from August 1992 through June 1995 and was instrumental in the creation of its Financial Instrument Exchange (FINEX) and the US dollar index futures contract.

His philanthropic service includes but is not limited to founder and current board member of the Robin Hood Foundation, Chairman of  JUST Capital Foundation,  co-founder and current board member of The Everglades Foundation Inc., former Chairman and former board member of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Chairman of Pure Edge, Inc. Foundation, founder and current board member of African Community & Conservation Foundation,  former trustee and current member of the Board of Overseers of NYU Langone Medical Center, board member of the Apollo Theater Foundation, and member of the Advisory Board of the University of Virginia’s Contemplative Sciences Center.

Paul and holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Virginia (1976) and was awarded an honorary doctorate for his achievements in business and philanthropy from the University of Glasgow (2014).

He and his wife, Sonia, have four beloved adult children.

Joan Lane

Joan is a special assistant to the Board of Trustees of Stanford University, having worked for the President's Office and board since 1992. Before that she was a special assistant to two deans in the Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences. She is a director of McClatchy Newspapers in Sacramento and previously was a director of the Brown Group Inc. in St. Louis.

She chaired the Board of Trustees of Smith College from 1982 to 1985, and was a member of that board from 1978 to 1985. She also was a director of the James Irvine Foundation, in San Francisco, and a trustee of the San Francisco Foundation.

Mel Lane (1922-2007), '45, CRT '78 (In Memoriam)

Mel was a publishing consultant and environmental political activist, with a variety of interests including land use, environmental and historic preservation subjects and organizations. He was former co-publisher of Sunset magazine and books; the first chairman of the California Coastal Commission, 1972-77; and before that, the initial chairman of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. He served on the board of directors of the World Wildlife Fund in Washington, D. C., from 1985 to 2005, when he was named a lifetime director; also on the boards of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and The Nature Conservancy-California. He was a founding director of the Peninsula Open Space Trust. He has served as a Stanford University trustee and as a director of Pacific Gas and Electric Company and Lucky Stores. He died at home in Atherton, Calif., on July 28, 2007. He was 85.

Robert Litterman

Robert is chairman of the Risk Committee and a founding partner of Kepos Capital, a systematic global macro firm. He retired in 2009 from a 23-year career at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he served in research, risk management, investments and thought leadership roles. While at Goldman Sachs, he spent six years as an external advisor to the Singapore GIC Board Investment and Risk Committees. He co-developed the Black-Litterman Global Asset Allocation Model with the late Fischer Black, and headed the firm-wide risk function and the Quantitative Investment Strategies Group in the Asset Management division. Before moving to Goldman Sachs in 1986, he taught at MIT and worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

Robert was one of the original inductees into Risk Magazine’s Risk Management Hall of Fame and named the 2013 Risk Manager of the Year by the Global Association of Risk Professionals. In 2012, he was the inaugural recipient of the S. Donald Sussman Fellowship at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. In 2008, he received the Nicholas Molodovsky Award from the CFA Institute as well as the International Association of Financial Engineers (IAFE) Financial Engineer of the Year award. Robert currently serves on the boards of World Wildlife Fund, the Commonfund, where he was elected chair in 2014, Options Clearing Corporation, Resources For the Future, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Sloan Foundation. He earned a PhD in economics from the University of Minnesota. He and his wife Mary live in New Jersey.

Daniel Oros, '03

Dan is a founding partner at G2 Venture Partners, a growth stage investment firm focused on the intersection between technology, sustainability and traditional industries. He has over fifteen years of investment experience in energy, manufacturing, financial services, and logistics. Dan has spent his investment career guiding industrial and energy technology companies on their journey from product and sales inflection points to sustainable long-term growth. Dan sits on the board of G2 portfolio companies Fictiv, Turvo and LightGuide, and led the investment in Carbon. Previously, Dan led investments for the $1B Kleiner Perkins Green Growth Fund. Before joining Kleiner Perkins, Dan was a vice president at Goldman Sachs in the Special Situations Group and a founding member of its alternative energy investing team, where he eventually led the team’s solar initiatives. As an investor in First Solar and SunEdison, Dan had a front-row seat at the beginning of the US solar energy boom that continues today. Before joining the Special Situations Group, Dan was an FX trader at Goldman Sachs, trading the euro and Swiss franc. Dan holds a B.S. with distinction in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University. An outdoorsman and conservationist, he serves on  the Advisory Board of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and is a former Board member of the Ocean Conservancy.

Franklin M. ("Lynn") Orr, Jr.

Franklin M. ("Lynn") Orr, Jr. served as Under Secretary for Science and Energy at the US Department of Energy from December 2014 to January 2017. He was director of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford from its establishment in 2009 to 2013. He served as director of the Global Climate and Energy Project from 2002 to 2008. Orr was the Chester Naramore Dean of the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University from 1994 to 2002. He has been a member of the Stanford faculty since 1985 and holds the Keleen and Carlton Beal Chair of Petroleum Engineering in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering, and was a Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and the Precourt Institute for Energy. His research activities focus on how complex fluid mixtures flow in the porous rocks in the Earth's crust, the design of gas injection processes for enhanced oil recovery, and CO2 storage in subsurface formations. Orr is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He served as vice chair of the board of directors of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute until 2014 and rejoined that board in 2017. He chaired the Advisory Panel of the Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation until 2014, rejoining that panel in 2017, and was a foundation board member from 1999-2008. He is a member of the ClimateWorks Foundation Board of Directors.

William J. Patterson (1966-2010), MBA '89 (In Memoriam)

Bill was a managing partner of SPO Partners & Co., a private investment partnership that he joined in 1989. He was also chairman and a director of Calpine Corporation and a director of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts. A graduate of Harvard College, Bill served as board chair of the California Academy of Sciences, chair of the investment committee of the Marin Community Foundation, vice chair of the Stanford Business School Trust and was a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute. In his time on the Stanford Woods Institute Advisory Council, Bill offered us the great benefit of his wisdom, his warmth and his commitment to making this a better world. We will miss his sound counsel and his passionate and patient encouragement to do something bold and make a difference. He died at home in Ross, Calif. on Sept. 24, 2010. He was 48.

George Phipps, MBA '91

George Phipps is vice chairman of Bessemer Trust Company and Bessemer Securities LLC. In 2022 he retired as a Managing Partner of Jasper Ridge Partners where he co-led the private equity team, and focused on the firm’s direct and co-investment activities, in addition to working on manager selection and portfolio construction. Prior to joining Jasper Ridge Partners in 2003, George was a General Partner at Apax Partners, a leading international private equity firm. Previously, George was an Investment Officer with the Czech and Slovak American Enterprise Fund and, before that, at Salomon Brothers Inc. George also serves on the board of trustees of NOLS. George earned an AB in Economics from Harvard College and an MBA and Certificate in Public Management from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Kristina Emanuels Phipps, '91, JD '98

Kristina Emanuels Phipps is a legal and policy consultant on environmental issues. After leaving the San Francisco land-use law firm Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger in 1999, she co-founded the Better California Campaign, a coalition of diverse organizations that aimed to improve land-use policy at the state level. Over the past two decades, her work has ranged from advising on federal regulatory policy at the US Office of Management and Budget, to managing the municipal approval process of a local school expansion. Currently, she works with The Nature Conservancy to advance policies and projects that encourage innovation in the management of state fisheries. Kristina is a member of the Stanford Habitat Conservation Board, and serves as a trustee of the Nueva School in Hillsborough, CA where she co-chairs the Buildings and Grounds committee. She holds a BA from Stanford University and a JD from Stanford Law School, where she was editor of the Environmental Law Journal and a member of the Order of the Coif. Kristina lives in Woodside with her husband, George, and their four teenagers, spending as much time as possible running and hiking the nearby trails.

At Stanford Law School, she was a member of the Order of the Coif and editor of the Environmental Law Journal.

Jay A. Precourt, '59, MS '60

Jay Precourt has spent his career in the energy industry. He has served as chair and CEO of Hermes Consolidated, Inc., a gatherer, transporter and processor of crude oil and refined products since 1999. He also has held executive and board positions at Hamilton Oil Co., Scissor Tail Energy, LLC, Tejas Gas Corp. and Shell Oil Co. (which acquired Tejas in 1997). He also served as a director of Dresser Industries, Halliburton, The Timken Company and Apache Corp. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in petroleum engineering from Stanford and an MBA from Harvard.

Alison Wrigley Rusack, '80

Alison Wrigley Rusack is Executive Chairman of the Santa Catalina Island Company, which owns and operates commercial real estate, hotels, restaurants, and tourist activities on Catalina.  Alison is also co-owner, with her husband, Geoff, of RUSACK Vineyards, a boutique winery with locations in the Santa Ynez Valley, near Santa Barbara, California and on Catalina Island. 

Prior to entering the wine business, Alison worked for 16 years in the entertainment industry in Southern California, most notably for Disney Consumer Products in Burbank, where she served in management for Film and Television Licensing, International Publishing and International Licensing for Latin America, later becoming a writer and editor for Disney Publishing, Consumer Products Latin America, and Corporate Communications.

Alison is Chairman and a life member of the Benefactor Member Board for the Santa Catalina Island Conservancy, which she joined in 1994, and co-founder and Chairman of the Catalina Chimes Tower Foundation.  She is also on the Advisory Board of the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Southern California, as well as an alumni member of the National Board of the Smithsonian Institution. 

Alison holds a BA in Film and Broadcasting from Stanford University.

Cristián Samper

 Dr. Cristián Samper, a tropical biologist and an international authority on conservation biology and environmental policy. He has served as President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society since 2012, overseeing the zoos and aquarium in New York, hosting four million visitors a year, as well as field conservation programs in 60 countries. He served as Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, and was founding director of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute in Colombia. He has served on the Board of Overseers of Harvard University, as well as the boards of The Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund and the Carnegie Institution for Science. He lives in New York with his wife and two children.

Akiko Yamazaki, '90

Akiko co-founded the Wildlife Conservation Network in 1991 with her friend Charlie Knowles and conservationist John Lukas. Today, the Wildlife Conservation Network supports 12 Partner Projects in 30 countries.

In addition, Akiko is the President of the Board of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and serves on the United States Equestrian Team Foundation Board and is an active supporter of US dressage. Akiko's sponsored horse, Ravel, participated in the 2008 Beijing US Olympics. In the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, he became the first horse in 78 years to obtain an individual medal for the U.S. in dressage at a World Championship.

Akiko has a BS in Industrial Engineering from Stanford and is married to Jerry Yang, also class of '90.