Our Team

  • Leonardo DiCaprio

    Founder and Chairman

    Academy Award® winning actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio is well known for his dedication to the environment on a global scale. As Chairman of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF), he works to protect biodiversity, implement ocean and forest conservation and educate the world about climate change. In addition, he has produced numerous environmentally themed creative projects and documentaries to increase awareness and ignite change. In September 2014, DiCaprio was designated as a United Nations Messenger of Peace with a specific focus on climate change. That same month, DiCaprio was honored with the Clinton Global Citizen Award, participated in history’s largest climate march in New York City and powerfully addressed the UN Summit. In January 2016, DiCaprio was awarded a Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum in Davos for his work to bring global attention to the urgent need to address climate change. Leonardo also serves on the boards of World Wildlife Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Geographic’s Pristine Seas, the funders’ collaborative Oceans 5, and International Fund for Animal Welfare.

  • Terry Tamminen

    Chief Executive Officer

    Terry has deep international expertise in business, agriculture, education, public policy and the environment. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed him Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency and later Cabinet Secretary, the Chief Policy Advisor to the Governor, where Terry was the architect of many groundbreaking sustainability policies, including California's landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, the Hydrogen Highway Network, and the Million Solar Roofs initiative. In 2010 Terry co-founded the R20 Regions of Climate Action, a public-private partnership bringing together subnational governments, businesses, financial markets, NGOs, and academia to implement measurable, large-scale, low-carbon and climate resilient economic development projects that can simultaneously solve the climate crisis and build a sustainable global economy. Since 2007 he has provided advice to Pegasus Capital Advisors and numerous global businesses on sustainability and “green” investing. In 2016, Terry joined the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation as CEO. An accomplished author, Terry's books include “Cracking the Carbon Code: The Keys to Sustainable Profits in the New Economy” (Palgrave Macmillan). In 2011, Terry was one of six finalists for the Zayed Future Energy Prize and The Guardian ranked Terry No. 1 in its “Top 50 People Who Can Save the Planet.”  

  • Justin Winters

    Executive Director

    Justin Winters is the Executive Director of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. Over the past decade Justin has helped Leonardo reshape his approach to philanthropy and activism, leveraging his position as a global figure to influence decision-makers and the public on the most pressing environmental issues. The Foundation is dedicated to ensuring the long-term health and wellbeing of all Earth’s inhabitants by building climate resiliency, protecting vulnerable wildlife and restoring balance to threatened ecosystems and communities. Using innovative funding, implementation and communications strategies, Justin has successfully built LDF’s global grantmaking program, awarding over $80 million to over 200 high-impact projects in 50 countries around the world since 2010.  As part of her vision to accelerate both grassroots environmental efforts and more impactful conservation approaches she has created new philanthropic models such as the Elephant Crisis Fund, Shark Conservation Fund, Lion Recovery Fund, and the Leuser Ecosystem Action Fund.  Justin currently serves on the board of Amazon Frontlines, The Solutions Project, Oceans 5, Shark Conservation Fund, and Global Fishing Watch. 

  • Karl Burkart

    Director of Innovation, Media & Technology

    Karl Burkart is the Director of Innovation, Media & Technology at the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, overseeing the foundation’s web and social media properties, the Before the Flood film website, and other initiatives supporting advocacy for key social and environmental issues. He also manages the portfolio of LDF grants that seek to scale innovation in both conservation and grassroots organizing. Karl received his Masters degree in Architecture with a special focus on passive HVAC, energy efficiency, and environmental systems design. He was an early advocate in the green building movement and created an award-winning web tool used by architects and clients such as Kaiser Permanente to inform their sustainable design initiatives. He went on to develop several software applications that help individuals and companies better understand their environmental impact, produced and wrote the Discovery Network’s first online news show for Planet Green, and later led digital advocacy for the TckTckTck campaign, a global network of 500 NGOs working to secure an international climate agreement.

  • Kristina Haddad

    Chief Operating Officer

    Kristina is the Chief Operating Officer for the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. In this capacity she manages the administrative and operational functions within the organization. Previously she was a Senior Program Associate for Seventh Generation Advisors where focused on promoting ways to transition to a sustainable, low carbon economy. Prior to this work, Kristina was the Forestry Project Manager for the Environment Now Foundation, where she managed grant making and worked closely with forest activists on the development of strategy and the implementation of initiatives. Before joining Environment Now, she was the Programs Director at Santa Monica BayKeeper, where she ran the successful BeachKeeper Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program, as well as many other projects and programs. Kristina is the author of Crude Awakenings: Could an Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Happen in Southern California?, the findings of a three-year research that garnered significant attention from the media and state policymakers. Kristina is also an accomplished performing artist and holds a B.S. in social science from the University of California, Berkeley.

  • Linda Sheehan

    Senior Counsel

    As Senior Counsel at the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Linda supports the development and implementation of philanthropic and program investment solutions to climate change and other environmental stressors. Prior to LDF, Linda was Executive Director of Earth Law Center, where she advocated for nature’s rights. She also led the California Coastkeeper Alliance and the Pacific Region office of Ocean Conservancy, where she successfully advanced environmental statutes, policies and litigation. For her work fighting pollution, Linda was recognized as a “California Coastal Hero” by Sunset Magazine and the California Coastal Commission. Linda holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.P.P. from U.C. Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, and a J.D. from Berkeley Law. Linda is a contributing author to numerous books, including Law and Policy for a New Economy (2017), is a member of the IUCN’s World Commission on Environmental Law, and has taught regularly at Vermont Law School.

  • Jill Gravender Matteson

    Director of Innovative Partnerships

    Jill cultivates external partnerships that amplify LDF’s environmental mission and manages initiatives that generate funding to support LDF’s programs. She has over 20 years of experience in environmental policy, nonprofit management, and developing partnerships and collaborations amongst diverse environmental stakeholders. Jill received a B.S. in Economics from Arizona State University and a Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

  • Daniel Cooper

    LDF Legal Program Director

    Daniel Cooper is the director of the legal program for LDF. He advises the Foundation on legal initiatives, including the Water for Fish Fund, the Revolving Litigation Fund, and the Climate Litigation Initiative. Daniel is a founding partner at Lawyers for Clean Water, Inc., was admitted to the California Bar in 1991, and has represented citizen plaintiffs in environmental advocacy for his entire career. Working with Law School clinics, Keepers, and environmental justice organizations, Daniel pioneered enforcement of the NPDES permits for industrial stormwater, municipal stormwater, and municipal sewage systems. Daniel has led litigation encompassing over twenty years and 250 cases, eliminating millions of gallons of raw sewage and toxic pollutants from neighborhoods, creeks, rivers and bays. Using existing laws, DiCaprio Foundation’s legal programs work to protect species and habitats, and to empower impacted tribes and other communities to protect their resources and cultures worldwide. As well as advising the DiCaprio Foundation, Daniel continues to provide counsel to environmental advocates on advocacy, administrative processes, and litigation in state and federal court.

  • Gregory Lopez

    Program Officer, Climate Program

    Gregory directs LDF’s Climate Program grantmaking and investment portfolio, focusing on domestic and international climate change solutions. He previously worked with Seven Generation Advisors, acting as project manager for low-carbon, economic development projects. During his time at SGA, Gregory also founded a Smart & Sustainable Cities Program that assisted cities in leveraging IOT solutions to increase operational efficiencies and lower their carbon footprint. In 2016, Gregory co-authored Climate Finance: A Status Report and Action Plan, which was selected by Big Path Capital as one of the “Top 10 Smartest Reports on the Intersection of Climate Change and Finance” for the year. He currently serves on the Innovation Advisory Council for Pecan Street’s PLATFORM Initiative, which aims to expedite the adoption of clean energy innovations through a new model of development and investment. Gregory is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science and researched large mammal movement in the Santa Monica Mountains

  • Douglas Bevington

    Forest Director, Environment Now California Program

    As Forest Director of the Environment Now California Program, Douglas Bevington oversees efforts to protect California's forests. Dr. Bevington is the author of The Rebirth of Environmentalism: Grassroots Activism from the Spotted Owl to the Polar Bear (Island Press, 2009), which chronicles the powerful impact of grassroots forest and biodiversity protection groups on environmental policies in the United States over the past two decades. He holds a PhD in sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he taught courses on social movement studies. Dr. Bevington previously worked as the regional organizer for the John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute and as the biodiversity program assistant for the Foundation for Deep Ecology. He has also been active with the Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters, Center for Biological Diversity, Endangered Species Coalition, and Sierra Club. He has served on the board of advisors of the Student Environmental Center and is currently on the board of directors of the Fund for Wild Nature.

  • Caryn Mandelbaum

    Water Director, Environment Now California Program

    As the Water Director of the Environment Now California Program, Caryn oversees efforts dedicated to watershed restoration and water resiliency. The program funds 21st Century water management policies that protect source waters, green infrastructure, and advance the human right to clean, affordable, drinking water. To that end, Caryn has worked with advocates to implement California’s first ever groundwater regulations. She contributed to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s aggressive Lead & Copper Rule to the Safe Drinking Water Act requiring water agencies to expedite the replacement of lead service lines. She helped launch an expansive water efficiency workforce training program in Los Angeles. Her leadership was recognized by Administrator McCarthy of the E.P.A. and L.A.’s Department of Water & Power for breakthroughs in innovative urban water use. Caryn is a graduate of UC Berkeley as well as UCLA’s School of Law and Urban Planning program.

  • Keith Shattenkirk

    Program Officer, Marine Life & Ocean Conservation and Grants Manager

    Keith manages LDF’s Oceans Program grantmaking portfolio, with domestic and international projects across all 5 oceans. Prior to joining LDF, he worked with the National Marine Fisheries Service, focusing on domestic swordfish management on the U.S. West Coast. Keith received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Princeton University and a master’s degree from the UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, completing his thesis on community rights-based management in small-scale fisheries in developing countries.

  • Kate Thomas

    Program Officer, International Wildlife & Landscape Conservation

    Kate manages the International Wildlife and Landscape Program at LDF. She has previously worked with the UCLA Institute of Environment and Sustainability, the RAND Corporation and Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences. Kate received a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, with a focus on primate studies, and a Master of Public Administration, Environmental Policy, both from Texas Tech University. 

  • Orquidea Hale

    Program Manager, Climate Program; Sustainable Agriculture

    Orquidea is the program manager for Sustainable Agriculture, in the Climate Program. She has a B.S. in Business Management from San Francisco State University where she studied sustainable business practices, especially within the food industry. She is currently continuing her studies in food at UCLA.

  • Diana Peters

    Finance Director

    Diana Peters is the Finance Director at the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. As Finance Director, Diana manages accounting and budgeting activities. Tasks include developing financial models, monitoring cash flow and working with departments to ensure strategic financial management. Prior to joining LDF, she worked with multiple non-profits with a focus on accounting, finance, and data management. She has an MBA in Sustainable Business where she focused on renewable energy and corporate social responsibility. She is passionate about environmental conservation and protecting vulnerable wildlife from extinction. 

  • Jenna Cittadino

    Operations Manager

    As Operations Manager, Jenna works closely with the CEO, Executive Director, and Office Manager to ensure the foundation is running smoothly and efficiently. Tasks include managing accounting, analyzing finances and creating reports, helping with the creation of organizational budgets, and supporting the CEO and Executive Director as needed with various tasks and research.

  • Olivia Esse

    Program Associate, Innovative Partnerships

    As the Program Assistant for the Innovative Partnerships team, Olivia assists with planning and executing fundraising activities and managing donor relations. She also helps to cultivate corporate partnerships and expand LDF’s fundraising reach. Olivia graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2016 with a degree in Psychology and interned at a fundraising startup before joining the LDF team.

  • Wanda Jenkins

    Human Resources Manager

    As Human Resources Manager, Wanda ensures HR support for all current and new employees. Tasks include managing payroll, healthcare, training, policies and procedures. A Los Angeles native, Wanda has worked in the non-profit world for over 15 years with a focus on office management, HR, grant administration, and event planning.

  • Edith Espejo

    Executive Assistant

    Edith supports the Executive Director, Justin Winters. She has a B.S. in Environmental Biology and minor in Regenerative Studies from California Polytechnic University, Pomona. There she helped develop a mobile food pantry, ethnobotany workshops, and spearheaded food justice and diversity ambassador initiatives on campus. She is passionate about grassroots organizing and the intersections of the environment and social equity.

  • Kristina Hambley

    Executive Assistant

    Kristina supports Terry Tamminen directly as his Executive Assistant. Before joining LDF, she conducted and published research on antipredator behaviors in island isolated populations of California quail. Kristina also interned with Conservation International’s Climate Change Adaptation team at the Moore Center for Science. She graduated from UCLA in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution.

Through collaborative partnerships, we support innovative projects that protect vulnerable wildlife from extinction, while restoring balance to threatened ecosystems and communities. Our work is divided into six main program areas – Wildlands Conservation, Oceans Conservation, Climate Change, Indigenous Rights, Transforming California, and Innovative Solutions.

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