Who We Are

WHO WE ARE

Our Story

Climate Access is a nonprofit organization focused on building political and public support for climate and clean energy solutions by developing and promoting effective communication and engagement approaches. Since 2011, Climate Access has demonstrated the value of going beyond environmental frames and using new narrative concepts that have since become widely used, such as illustrating the interconnectedness between energy use and climate change and emphasizing the need for carbon-free or low-carbon energy. We introduced the idea of shifting from a “should we act?” to a “we are acting” posture with the preparation frame that places a greater emphasis on the need for communities to ready themselves for current and future climate impacts.

Today we are applying and refining climate engagement best practices to reach thousands of people in communities across the United States including those most at risk from the impacts of climate change and often left out of local decision-making, increase their awareness of climate risks and motivate them to take steps to prepare for impacts and cut emissions. To do this, Climate Access runs a resource and training center for more than 3,600 members from nonprofits, government agencies and academic institutions; breaks down polarization and motivates action through strategic framing and narrative development; and creates activation and engagement models that involve a diverse range of community members in creating and implementing climate action plans and programs. 

 

View our 2019 Impact Report to learn more about how we are building political and public will, and the social capital needed to spur equitable climate action.

 

 

 

Our Team

CARA PIKE
Executive Director
Cara Pike is the founder and director of Climate Access, a nonprofit focused on building political and public support for climate solutions through its learning network for nonprofit and government leaders, pilot projects that test new engagement approaches, and communication research and strategy consulting services. Her work includes creation of the Preparation Frame: A Guide for Understanding and Engaging Around Climate Impacts; the Ecological Roadmap, a values-based approach to building support for environmental protection; Climate Communications Behavior Change – A Guide for Practitioners, and other widely used publications and toolkits. Cara regularly advises government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Clients have included the City of Boston, Ocean Science Trust, Union of Concerned Scientists, Province of Alberta, and others.

 

MEREDITH HERR
Deputy Director
Meredith plays a lead role in the production and curation of strategic communications and outreach tools for climate leaders. Her enthusiasm for the field began during her time at Earthjustice where she investigated the social values that influence environmental engagement. Previously, Meredith explored the dynamics of personal and societal transformation with grassroots social change leaders as an assistant research scientist at the Research Center for Leadership in Action. Meredith has a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Vassar College and a Masters of Public Administration in Public Policy Analysis from New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

 

BRENNA TWO BEARS
Fossil Fuel Phase Out Communication Associate
Brenna works with Climate Access on digital content strategy and community engagement. She is Diné, Hočak, and Standing Rock Lakota from Flagstaff, AZ and Black River Falls, WI and began her career as a grassroots activist fighting environmental racism in her tribal homelands. Brenna focuses her work on uplifting and reaching out to voices that often go unheard. This includes work in grassroots organizing with Indigenous environmental justice movements, museum consultation on behalf of Native communities, and a passion for working with Native youth. She holds a BA in Art History & Visual Culture Studies from Whitman College.

 

LAUREN ZINGARELLI
Communication Strategist

Lauren supports Climate Access on communications, engagement and media strategy. Having spent five years with the City of Boston, Lauren has experience building and implementing programs that drive community-centered climate action. She helped to inform and establish policies on climate adaptation, energy, waste and transportation that demonstrated the critical role that cities play in addressing climate change. Prior to her work at the local level, Lauren was a digital and communications strategist in the nonprofit sector, that included roles with the Natural Resources Defense Council and The Wilderness Society. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from American University and lives in Central Massachusetts with her family and dog Hooper.

 

LAUREN GRAHAM
Communication Strategist
Lauren collaborates with Climate Access on innovative community engagement projects to spark local action around climate change. With a background as a communications strategist and consultant to social entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and mission-driven startups, she has experience using film, games, design, and public events for environmental education and organizational capacity-building. Lauren holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and a Master of Arts in Sociology from Stanford University, a Master of Environmental Management from Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and a certificate in social impact strategy from the University of Pennsylvania.
 

 

 

Our Advisors and Funders

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

  • Nancy Hirshberg - Hirshberg Strategic
  • Jack Chin - Independent Consultant
  • Buck Parker - Strategic Advisor, Earthjustice
  • Cara Pike - Climate Access

ADVISORY BOARD

  • Tom Bowman - Bowman Global Change
  • Anna Fahey - Sightline Institute
  • Nancy Hirshberg - Hirshberg Strategic
  • Alnoor Ladha - Purpose
  • Cat Lazaroff - Resource Media
  • Rochelle Lefkowitz - Pro-Media Communications
  • Robin Leichenko - Rutgers Initiative on Climate and Society
  • Anthony Leiserowitz - Yale Project on Climate Change
  • Edward Maibach - Center for Climate Change Communication
  • Margery Moore - EHS Strategic Alliances, Bloomberg BNA
  • Jeff Nesbit - Climate Nexus
  • Suzanne Shaw - Union of Concerned Scientists

FUNDERS

Thank you to our supporters who make Climate Access possible:

  • The Kresge Foundation
  • Skoll Global Threats Fund
  • Del Mar Global Trust
  • FEMA