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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.

Toni Cupal

Toni is a yoga teacher and practitioner of the Japanese healing modality Ninniku Okyū. She co-founded the non-profit Healing Cultures in 2016 with the aim of keeping this rare form of healing alive, and creating a community where people feel seen and held. Healing Cultures also works to help people learn to how to meet across cultures in ways that hold integrity. Toni serves as the Chair of the Board of Healing Cultures.

Toni was a member of the Advisory Taskforce for the establishment of the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability. Toni has held non-profit board positions at many organizations, including the Community Foundation of London and the University of Wyoming Foundation. And long ago, before yoga and healing and before life as a non-profit board member, Toni had a career in high tech.

Toni holds a B.S. in physics from the University of Wyoming and an MBA and master’s degree in manufacturing systems engineering from Stanford University. She lives in Woodside, California with her husband, Mike Volpi, and their two dogs, Leo and Atticus.

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.   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.  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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

Grace Yang Yuan

Grace Yang Yuan is COO and VP of philanthropy at Tidemark, a growth equity firm investing in the technology sector. She leads Tidemark10, a foundation working with nonprofits aligned in purpose with Tidemark’s portfolio. Prior to Tidemark, Grace was a director of strategy and corporate development at Intuit, and before that spent a decade as a management consultant at Bain & Company. Grace earned both her BS and MBA from Stanford. As an alumna, Grace served as the planned giving chair for her 20th reunion campaign and cochair for her 25th reunion campaign. Grace is an active member of the GSB’s Alumni Consulting Team, where she has screened clients, led projects, and served on the ACT management board, including a rotation as board chair. She is also a regular volunteer judge at the GSB’s annual Executive Challenge.