Climate Change & Environmental Justice
Our health depends on the health of our planet.
Climate change is already having a massive impact on our world; it’s not just an environmental problem, it’s a public health crisis. Climate change is responsible for increased rates of respiratory ailments, infectious disease, and changes to mental health, as well as intensified heat waves, droughts, extreme storms and wildfires that threaten human health and lives. It’s also a matter of social justice: the effects of climate change disproportionately impact poor and marginalized communities.
Combatting the effects of climate change is the greatest challenge of the 21st century—and GMMB is up for the fight.
We’re working with clients like the ClimateWorks Foundation and the Energy Foundation to amplify the power of philanthropy to scale climate solutions. We have collaborated with groups like NextGen and Climate Action to shift the policy debate on climate change. We have worked with the League of Conservation Voters to support environment-friendly candidates. We created a campaign with the American Lung Association to energize voters to stand up for clean air. We helped a broad coalition of Alaskans stop a giant mine from destroying America’s largest salmon fishery. And we’ve worked with the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International and the Sierra Club to increase support for environmental protections.
Senior Vice President / Political Campaigns / Environment
AJ Lenar is a Senior Vice President on GMMB’s political team. He has developed strategies and award-winning advertising for leading environmental organizations, major foundations, and labor unions, as well as mayoral, House, Senate, gubernatorial, and presidential races in the U.S. and around the world. AJ’s ads have been profiled in Time Magazine, USA Today, The Washington Post and many other news outlets across the country. Most recently, AJ served as a senior strategist and chief ad maker for Joe Cunningham’s historic campaign in South Carolina’s first congressional district. On Election Night, SC-1 was the reddest district in the entire country to flip blue – for the first time in four decades. It led the Charleston Post and Courier to call AJ “one of the most valuable Democrats in South Carolina”. In 2012, AJ was on the core creative team that re-elected the President of the United States, and his ads were seen by millions of Americans in battleground states across country. One of the ads AJ wrote and produced for President Obama was awarded “Best Television Advertisement of The Year” by Campaigns and Elections Magazine. An honor he earned again in 2015 for an ad he created on immigration. AJ has served GMMB clients overseas as well. He’s worked on an anti-tobacco initiative in Nigeria and a clean energy campaign in the United Arab Emirates. He also ran a successful Mayoral contest in Tirana, Albania, where he led the advertising and media efforts for the Lulzim Basha for Mayor Campaign, which earned GMMB the American Association of Political Consultants’ Campaign Excellence Award for International Campaign of the Year. AJ lives with his wife and two children in Greenville, South Carolina.
Senior Vice President / Issue Communications / Environment / Public Health
For leading businesses, foundations, and government agencies, Ashley distills complex topics into compelling campaigns. She has scaled up the advocacy capacity of public libraries throughout the world, connects climate change to global health priorities, and directs traffic safety initiatives that save lives.
Through research and a solid understanding of her clients’ priorities, Ashley builds a strong foundation for strategy and message development, which she supports with ongoing and thoughtful analysis of project outcomes. She enjoys the challenges of bringing together diverse coalitions and working across platforms including websites, media releases, advertising, videos, and events.
Vice President / Brand Positioning / Issue Communications / Environment
Frances is a member of GMMB’s education and brand teams. She coordinates efforts to build grassroots communications capacity in support of education reform and executes soup-to-nuts brand development for clients in the nonprofit and foundation space. She has experience guiding clients through complete rebrands—from new logos, positioning and messaging to websites and core materials. Frances has also coordinated efforts to build grassroots communications capacity for Linked Learning partners and districts across California on behalf of the James Irvine Foundation.
Senior Vice President / Political Campaigns / Environment
John is the indispensable center of our efforts to help Democrats across the country win tough races. As a top-flight strategist, John has honed prodigious political, ad-making and management skills working for a broad cross-section of GMMB’s clients, from Senator Webb to Senator Boxer to President Obama, as well as environmental, labor, and health care organizations.
Account Supervisor / Issue Communications / all / Environment
Stefana manages complex, integrated campaigns across a range of issues. She identifies opportunities—and spots trouble—on the horizon for clients, and can translate disorder into action. From climate solutions that can save our planet to the technological innovations reshaping society, she’s committed to ensuring the world is a better place for the next generation.
Prior to joining GMMB, Stefana supported public affairs, media relations and corporate communications campaigns for non-profit organizations and technology companies at leading communications agencies in the Bay Area. Stefana grew up in Sacramento and has been involved in state and local politics her whole life. She is passionate about the vital role technology can play in solving some of the biggest problems in California, the U.S, and the world.
Senior Counselor / Corporate Social Impact / Issue Communications / Environment / Public Health
When GMMB opened a San Francisco Bay Area practice, we turned to Matt to join our team. Matt has long been a non-profit and philanthropic leader, and is recognized as an innovator in communications initiatives for social good, both in the Bay Area and nationally. Matt’s award-winning contributions extend to strategic communications and campaigns in health, climate change and early childhood development. He most recently was a visiting scholar at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, where he worked to increase funding on health and climate change. Matt was co-founder and president of Next Generation and spent many years at the Kaiser Family Foundation, where he was a principal architect of Kaiser Health News and oversaw the Foundation’s media and public education work. He began his career in politics, serving as a key aide to Congressman Mo Udall as well as Senators Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Dale Bumpers. Passionate about public health, Matt currently serves on the board of the CDC Foundation, as well as advisory committees for the National Wildlife Federation and the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health.
Senior Vice President & Managing Director / Issue Communications / Corporate Social Impact / Environment / Global Health
Traci leads GMMB’s San Francisco practice, which focuses on harnessing the power of philanthropy and corporate social responsibility to achieve impact. A seasoned strategist and issue advocate, Traci began her career on Capitol Hill and has since leveraged more than two decades of communications, political and issue advocacy expertise to help high-profile clients achieve impact domestically and in more than 20 countries.
Traci has served as senior strategic advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the ClimateWorks Foundation, the Energy Foundation, the Climate Leadership Initiative, PATH and the World Health Organization, as well as major brands advancing social responsibility initiatives. In her spare time Traci serves as a speaker coach for TEDx Seattle.