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Annie Benn

Annie Benn works on the development of Carbon War Room Operations, including research initiatives and stakeholder engagement. She is currently working with the Sustainable Aviation Fuels team, and with the Sustainable Finance Practice at Rocky Mountain Institute. Annie received her B.A. from Swarthmore College, where she studied Russian Literature and Political Science; and received her Master of Public Administration from NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Christopher Burgess
Operations Manager, Islands Program

Christopher Burgess is the Operations Manager for Smart Island Economies at the Carbon War Room. He has over 15 years of experience as an environmental professional and project manager with practice in a variety of multi-disciplinary energy and infrastructure projects. Chris brings a wealth of environmental, renewable energy and project management experience to his current role.

Before joining the Carbon War Room, Chris was the Chief Operating Officer at Alpha Energy, a renewable energy development company in Annapolis, Maryland. At Alpha Energy, Chris was responsible for the company’s feasibility studies and overall project management for commercial and utility scale wind and solar installations. He regularly managed multi-million dollar projects both domestically and internationally.

Chris also has previous experience as an environmental planner for new and reclaimed commercial site development, as well as a program analyst and team leader with the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. At the EPA, Chris provided operations support and technical assistance for environmental emergencies nationwide. He was instrumental to operations during EPA’s high profile responses, including Sept. 11th, Columbia Shuttle and the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

He earned his master’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland and a bachelor's degree in Coastal and Environmental Planning from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.

Chris has been active in Maryland’s renewable energy policy progression through advocacy organizations such as the American Wind Energy Association, the Solar Energy Industry’s Association and the Business Network for Maryland Offshore Wind. He has written and testified on several provisions for Maryland’s current renewable energy laws, including interconnection, aggregate net-metering and Maryland’s recently enacted Offshore Wind Energy policy.

Matthew Cullinen
Matthew Cullinen
Senior Associate

Matthew Cullinen plans and manages Carbon War Room’s research initiatives in partnership with some of the world’s top business, graduate schools, and NGOs. Prior to joining CWR, Matthew worked in electoral politics conducting policy and opposition research for several candidates, including Sen. Gillibrand, and served as deputy policy director for Reshma Saujani, a candidate for the U.S. Congress. In these roles he developed policy positions on local and national issues, composed policy literature for publication in a variety of mediums, provided briefings and advice to the candidates, and drafted legislation on a full range of issues including the creation of a federal innovation fund to increase investment in renewable energy.

Previously, Matthew worked for a political and market research firm in New York City, contributing to projects ranging from assessments of public opinion in Afghanistan for clients such as the Department of Defense, to studies on the effects of aquaculture in South Asia for clients such as the World Wildlife Fund.

Matthew is passionate about environmental conservation and back country hiking. After graduation he worked as an Urban Park Ranger Fellow for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, for whom he had worked previously as a member of the Park Conservation Corps, and during graduate school he led outdoor leadership programs for the New York University Office of Student Activities.

Matthew received a B.A. in political science and philosophy from Indiana University – Bloomington, and a master’s in international relations from New York University, where he focused on Islamic radicalism in Western Europe and the rise of the far-right in European politics, and was also the associate editor of the Journal of Political Inquiry.

Tessa Lee
Tessa Lee
Research and Editorial Associate

Tessa Lee manages research endeavors and develops new partnerships and strategies to ensure real-world implementation of research insights. She also ensures factual and consistent narratives across organization’s materials and in every area of work, and heads the development of content for the Creating Climate Wealth summit series.

Her professional career has included various roles as an educator and researcher in academia, as well as time in the nonprofit sector working for Amnesty International and the Rainforest Foundation. She comes to the Carbon War Room from Purpose Campaigns in New York City, where she supported a project on scaling renewable energy in the United States.

Tessa holds a bachelor's degree in international relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with minors in Spanish and social and economic justice. She also holds a master's degree in international development from the London School of Economics, where her work focused on the intersection of economic growth and conservation, and culminated in the design and execution of a community recycling program in the Sudan.

Phoebe Lewis
Operation Associate, Shipping Efficiency

Phoebe Lewis develops stakeholder engagement relationships, conducts research, and maintains the website.

Phoebe joined Carbon War Room from the Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change based in Venice, Italy. There she researched climate and energy economics and policy. She also worked on communications for the International Centre for Climate Governance where she expanded the team’s impact through social media and webinars.

Phoebe holds a master’s of science in the economics and policy of energy and the environment from University College London (UCL) in which she focused on the economic and emissions impact of adding a market stability reserve to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. She also completed her bachelor’s of science at UCL in environmental geography, focusing on the impacts of human pollution on Arctic ecosystems.

Justin Locke
Justin Locke
Director of Islands

Justin Locke brings over 10 years of international development and project management experience to his current role at CWR – most of which was dedicated to addressing the unique development challenges of small island developing states in the Caribbean and Pacific regions. He has a wealth of technical and operational experience in the fields of disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, distributed renewable energy systems, livelihoods, and social mobilization.

Before joining Carbon War Room, Justin held the position of Disaster Risk Management Specialist at the World Bank, where he managed one of the Bank’s largest per capita investment portfolios. He also led national planning processes for Eastern Caribbean countries which were designed to develop and deploy tailored national adaptation and mitigation strategies for achieving climate resilience at the country level.

Justin has also worked for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Regional Center in the Pacific Region, providing technical assistance to over 14 Pacific island countries, and also worked at the UNDP Multi-Country Office in Samoa where he designed and implemented the UNDP’s regional flagship program in the Polynesian sub-region.

Justin serves on the Board of Directors for a number of nonprofit organizations, including Sustainable Bolivia. He holds a master's degree in public administration in international management from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California and a dual-bachelor's degree from the University of California, Davis. From 2002 to 2004, he was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Kiribati.

James Mitchell
James Mitchell
Operation Associate, Shipping Efficiency

James is an Operation Associate for Shipping Efficiency at the Carbon War Room. He manages relationships with industry stakeholders, undertakes research in support of the Shipping Operation, and maintains

He joins the team from the Stranded Assets Programme at the University of Oxford, where he researched and published on the nexus of climate policy, compensation, and investment risk in coal-fired power generation. Prior to that, James worked with the Oxford Microfinance Initiative. He led the development and implementation of a strategy to improve the social performance of microfinance banks in east Africa using geographic information systems. James has also worked with the City of Columbia, Missouri, where he managed the city's greenhouse gas emission inventory and developed emission reduction recommendations.

James received a master's in nature, society and environmental policy from Linacre College, University of Oxford in 2014. He specialized in compensation in a climate policy context and published on the use of compensation as a cost-effective tool to help ensure the success of climate policies. James also holds bachelor's degrees in environmental studies and cello performance from the University of Missouri – Kansas City and the Conservatory of Music and Dance in Kansas City, respectively. He performs regularly in classical and folk settings.

Alisdair Pettigrew
Alisdair Pettigrew
Operation Lead, Shipping Efficiency

Alisdair is a Senior Advisor to Carbon War Room and an expert contributor to media and analysts on maritime developments. He has over twelve years’ experience working in the marine and allied fuel and commodities markets, including six as a journalist.

Alisdair is a former Associate Publisher with Informa Group (owners of Lloyd's List) and a former director of Petromedia, where he founded the highly regarded environmental news and information site He is also co-founder of Blue Communications, an agency whose mission is to bring new strategic intelligence to reputation management and public affairs in industries that must alter perceptions of their economic and social value.
Alisdair has extensive contacts and networks within these industries, spanning international media to government and regulatory bodies, and has lobbied at the highest level, where he has been responsible for driving positive change within the marine industry. He has pioneered the development of powerful and farsighted public relations platforms in the marine, energy and environmental sectors, achieving major breakthroughs in reputation for clients and influencing policy on key industry issues.

Mike Roeth
Operation Lead, Trucking Efficiency

Mike Roeth has worked in the commercial vehicle industry for nearly 30 years, most recently as the Executive Director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency and Operation Lead of Trucking Efficiency at the Carbon War Room. Mike’s specialty is brokering green-truck technologies at scale, in the real world. He has a bachelor’s of science from Ohio State University and a master’s in organizational leadership from Indiana Institute of Technology. Mike served as Chairman of the Board for the Truck Manufacturers Association, board member of the Automotive Industry Action Group and currently serves on the second National Academy of Sciences Committee on Technologies and Approaches for Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles. He has held various positions in engineering, quality, sales, and plant management with Navistar and Behr/Cummins.

Victoria Stulgis
Victoria Stulgis
Senior Operation Associate, Shipping Efficiency

Victoria Stulgis is responsible for leading Shipping Efficiency's work in identifying opportunities to increase information about the efficiency of the existing shipping fleet, and engaging demand-side stakeholders to embed efficiency in their commercial operations. She supports the Senior Advisor in establishing third-party innovative finance models to retrofit the existing fleet, and authored a report on the topic, Hidden Treasure: Financial Models for Shipping Retrofits.

Victoria graduated from the University of Oxford with a master's in environmental change and management, the university’s flagship interdisciplinary course on climate change and environmental studies. Her research and coursework spanned topics that include sustainable agricultural systems, behavioral economics, renewable energy, and international climate change policy. She earned her bachelor's degree at Georgetown University in history with a focus on science, technology, and international affairs, and wrote her honors thesis on the growth of the renewable energy industry in the US following the 1973 OAPEC oil embargo.

Victoria is passionate about environmental conservation and social justice and is a member of the board of Athletes United for Social Justice.

Bianca Wachtel
Bianca Wachtel
Global Projects Associate

Bianca Wachtel supports the Carbon War Room’s full portfolio of active Operations, as well as the development of new Operations. She joined the CWR as Executive Assistant to the President and COO, a role she held for two years.

Bianca’s professional background is in communications, and she has spent time working as an account executive at start-up creative agencies in both New York and Melbourne. Having gained invaluable skills in the commercial sector, she transitioned to the non-profit world in order to apply her skillset to subject matters which she feels passionate about. This led Bianca to Virgin Unite, the charitable arm of Virgin Group, where she spent several months supporting the internal communications team before coming to the Carbon War Room.

Bianca has both a bachelor’s and a master’s degrees, majoring in communications and minoring in political science and international affairs.

Katya Whyte
Katya Whyte
Smart Island Economies Project Coordinator

2010, Katya joined Virgin Unite, the charitable foundation of the Virgin Group, and worked researching companies committed to sustainable initiatives for Richard Branson’s book Screw Business As Usual. This stimulated her interest in environmental causes and prompted her move to the Carbon War Room, where she currently supports and coordinates the Islands Operation, the third of her roles with the organization. Over the course of her tenure, Katya has acquired invaluable experience supporting CWR Operations, and she has a deep knowledge of all the key pieces that are integral to the implementation and success of a strategy.

Katya has travelled through most of the world, and her ambition is to make a difference for the better in society. She is still an active member of KIDS young people’s fundraising committee, and volunteers her time to Crisis as well as other nonprofit initiatives.

Katya was brought up in London, where she was educated at the French Lycee and is a native speaker of English, French, and Croatian, and also competent in Spanish. In 2004, Katya took her Baccalauréat in economics and social sciences and then attended UCL to complete a degree in East European studies including a year at the University of Zagreb in her native Croatia.

There is no Planet B™
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