Board of Directors

Dr. R. Bruce Hull, Blacksburg, VA, President/Secretary

bigstock-Eco-Sustainable-Life-Tree-47709295Dr. Hull is a professor in the College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech. His scholarship and engagement focus on land and communities fractured by pressures of urbanization and globalization, in particular by building capacities to promote the triple bottom line of economy, community, and environment through programs such as Landcare. He was previously on the faculties of University of Melbourne, Australia and Texas A&M University. He has authored and edited over 100 publications, including two books: Infinite Nature (Chicago 2006) and Restoring Nature (Island 2000). (

Jean Gerth, Sandpoint, ID

Jean brings over 20 years of experience working on regional environmental issues in the Sandpoint, Idaho area to the Model Forest Policy Program Board of Directors. Ms. Gerth is a board member of the Rock Creek Alliance, which was formed to protect water quality, threatened species and public lands from the proposed Rock Creek Mine in the Cabinet Mountains of Montana. She is also a past board member and President of the Clark Fork Coalition. The Coalition unites science-based advocacy with community-building, “putting people in touch with the Clark Fork River” and its tributaries that sustain natural surroundings, livelihoods and the social fabric of the communities that it frames.

Susan Prez, Sandpoint, ID

Susan recently retired from full-time employment after 18 years serving as the administrator of the Sandpoint Waldorf School, a private non-profit elementary school. As administrator she was responsible for all areas of fiscal management and organizational development from the grassroots beginning to the strong and viable educational institution it is today. She oversaw all areas of personnel, annual budget process and management, outreach, public relations, organizational development, faculty and parent relations and communication. Previously she worked for The North American Farm Alliance, a national coalition of peace and justice organizations advocating for small family farms in America and Canada. She has extensive knowledge of the workings and requirements of a 501(c)3 organization and expertise in the areas of financial management and accounting.

William Paddock, Nashville, TN

William is the Founder and Managing Director of WAP Sustainability Consulting. Over the last decade, William has become a trusted leader as a sustainability expert for government, academic and corporate entities. William offers a unique blend of business and environmental experiences that compliments his environmental affairs experience. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a B.S. in Environmental Science and received his MBA from The Institute for Sustainable Practice at Lipscomb University. William is an adjunct professor of Advanced Sustainable Enterprise at the Institute for Sustainable Practice and the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Sustainable Business. William is also a graduate of the Environmental Leadership Institute and a Trained Climate Presenter for Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project. William is also one of the first candidates for the newly created EP (GHG) professional certification and has been trained by The Greenhouse Gas Management Institute (GHGMI) in carbon accounting and GHG management.

Rick Durbrow, Atlanta, GA, Treasurer

Rick received his Master of Science in Public Policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Using geospatial techniques to assist decision makers in making informed decisions has driven his career for the past 23 years. As a Program Analyst with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, he has been involved with numerous partnerships in support of sustainability and climate change. He drove the development of the Atlanta Cool Communities partnership to reduce Urban Heat Island impacts and currently serves on several partnership steering committees focused on landscape scale ecosystem protection. Rick’s focus is on the efficient and effective use of existing resources that provide measurable success in the protection of ecosystem services.

Rev. Richard Cizik, Fredericksburg, VA

Rev. Cizik was named as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2008 (“Scientist and Thinkers” category), Rich is one of the leading voices and best recognized evangelical leaders in the country, bringing instant credibility and access within religious circles, as well as business and community organizations. In 2010, Cizik launched the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, where he continues to advance what he calls ‘creation care’ – a biblical imperative to care for the planet. As a distinguished and influential proponent of climate change stewardship, Cizik has done perhaps more than anybody to build bridges between the Evangelical and scientific communities. He continues to spread the message of planetary stewardship across the country and the world. [ See:]. He has trained our communities in how to build partnerships with the conservative community.

Vanitha Sivarajan, Arlington, VA

Vanitha’s background includes over 15 years of conservation and environmental management with local communities, tribes, non-governmental organizations, governmental agencies, and the private sector. She has worked on natural resource management and climate change initiatives both domestically and internationally across Latin America, India and the Arctic. Currently, Vanitha is a Policy Analyst at the Department of the Interior, where she works on addressing tribal climate adaptation issues in Alaska, and also works on integrating climate adaptation considerations across the Department’s critical mission areas. Vanitha’s interest is using a participatory approach to ensure the ownership and engagement of all communities involved, with particular attention to rural and indigenous communities.

Emily Talley, Charlottesville, VA

Emily is an instructor and consultant with two decades of leadership experience in the Fortune 200 corporate, national nonprofit and higher education sectors. In her current role as a Senior Fellow for the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability at Virginia Tech, Emily serves as an instructor for both the Master of Natural Resources and the Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR) programs. Her primary areas of focus are communication and student career development. She also serves as a communication and strategy consultant to the Virginia Environmental Endowment. Emily is a graduate of the College of William and Mary with a B.A. in English, and holds a M.A. in Communication and Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University and an Executive Master of Natural Resources from Virginia Tech.



Steve Wieland, Boise, ID, Attorney Advisor

Steve practices commercial, e-commerce, intellectual property, and litigation law with Wieland Perdue PLLC. He advises Model Forest Policy Program on its copyright and business issues. Before beginning his own practice, he served with the Idaho Supreme Court and, more recently, worked for Hawley Troxell, Idaho’s largest law firm. He moved to Idaho from the Midwest several years ago to have access to the outdoors. He is enthusiastic about Model Forest Policy Program’s mission to preserve the natural environment and help communities avoid the oftentimes disastrous effects of climate change.