Staff and Board

Tim Whitehouse
Executive Director

Tim Whitehouse has more than 25 years of experience working on a wide range of environmental issues with governments, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and community groups. His interest is in the intersection of science, policy, and the civil service. He believes in protecting employees who raise concerns about their workplace and in exposing undue influence on government for private gain. Tim was a senior attorney at the United States Environmental Protection Agency and was head of the Law and Policy Program at the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation in Montreal, Canada. He has worked as a consultant for companies on environmental compliance issues, and with nonprofit organizations focusing on clean energy issues. Most recently, he was executive director of Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility, a health advocacy group working to address climate change, toxics pollution, and nuclear disarmament issues. He holds a JD and BA from Emory University and an MA from New York University.

Commentary and Publications by Tim»

Kyla Bennett
Director of Science Policy

Northeast and Mid-Atlantic PEER’s Director and PEER’s Director of Science Policy, Kyla previously worked at EPA Region 1 for 10 years as a wetland permit reviewer and as the Region’s Wetlands Enforcement Coordinator. Kyla first became involved with PEER in the mid-1990s, when she became a whistleblower herself. Kyla has a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Connecticut and a law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. Her familiarity with science, the law, and the inner workings of state and federal governmental agencies enable her to assist public environmental employees throughout New England.

Commentary and Publications by Kyla»

Paula Dinerstein
General Counsel

Paula has been with PEER since 2006. She represents PEER in whistleblower, environmental and FOIA cases. She received her law degree from the George Washington University National Law Center. Prior to joining PEER, she clerked for a federal district court judge in Washington DC and then practiced with small public interest-oriented law firms. Her work included representation of States and advocacy groups in energy and environmental matters, including pesticides and organic food standards.

Commentary and Publications by Paula »

Elizabeth Duan
Communications & Office Associate

Elizabeth Duan received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, where she studied political science and gender, sexuality, and women’s studies. Before joining PEER, Elizabeth coordinated events for nonprofit Women’s Learning Partnership and taught gender studies at Emerson Preparatory School. She has also taught writing at Sidwell Friends School Summer Camp, and organized with New Virginia Majority, Education Reform Now, and Democrats for Education Reform in the Washington, DC area.

Helen Pent Jenkins
Director of Development and

Helen brings more than ten years’ professional development experience focused on conservation and the environment and an academic background in environmental security and policy. She joins PEER after seven years serving in a series of progressive positions with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Montana, where she focused on individual giving and campaign management. Prior to TNC, Helen served as the Development Manager for Seattle Audubon Society, and led the Montana Veterans Foundation first as the Director of Development and Marketing and then as the Executive Director. Helen brings well-rounded expertise across individual, corporate, and foundation giving, and deep knowledge of environmental issues.

Peter Jenkins
Senior Counsel

Peter has been an environmental, land use and consumer attorney and advocate since 1983. Peter received his law degree from the University of Puget Sound (now Seattle University) School of Law and also has a Masters in Environmental Studies from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, with a focus on conservation biology. His career has centered on bringing the best science to bear in environmental protection efforts; he has specialized at working with scientists so their findings can inform good policy, as well as in federal litigation. Most of his work has been in aid of wildlife conservation, but also in the fields of pesticides, GMOs, invasive species, wildlife disease prevention, international trade, land-use conflicts and other areas. Peter’s prior positions in Washington, DC since 2000 have been: Of Counsel, Center for Food Safety; Vice President for U.S. Government Policy, Conservation International; Director of International Conservation, Defenders of Wildlife; and Staff Attorney, Center for Science in the Public Interest. From 1993 to 2000, he was in New Mexico working primarily as a contracted consultant on endangered species recovery efforts with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Turner Endangered Species Fund. Prior to then, he served as an Attorney and Policy Analyst for the U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, and also was in private law practice.

Commentary and Publications by Peter »

Monica Mercola

Monica I. Mercola
Staff Counsel

Monica received her law degree from Brooklyn Law School where she developed an interest in the connection between civil rights issues and environmental issues and was published in the Brooklyn Law School Journal of Law and Policy. Previously, she studied Philosophy at Northeastern University. Prior to joining PEER, Monica has worked at Earthjustice as a Summer Law Clerk and at a variety of state and federal agencies including the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Monica enjoys biking around New York City, going to the farmer’s market, and making paella.

Commentary and Publications by Monica »

Monica Mercola

Mer Mietzelfeld
Institutional Giving Manager

Mer joined the development team at PEER in 2023 as the Institutional Giving Manager. She brings a multi-disciplinary background in science, field research, and business development. Prior to this role, she worked as the Business Intelligence Manager in Corporate Relations at the American Gastroenterological Association. Before joining the nonprofit space, Mer held a series of ornithology field positions with the Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. Mer holds an MA degree in Environmental Studies from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and a BA degree in biology from Bard College. A lifelong conservationist, she is deeply committed to preserving biodiversity and protecting the environment and public health. In her spare time, Mer is an avid birdwatcher and leads bird walks for several nonprofits in the DC area.

Chandra Rosenthal
Rocky Mountain PEER Director

Chandra, a Colorado native, heads up the office as Rocky Mountain PEER Counsel. Chandra, formerly staff attorney with Defenders of Wildlife specializing in endangered species and public lands issues, has also worked for the U.S. Department of Justice and, under a legal fellowship, worked on a Superfund site with the Department of Energy. “I view my job as helping the region’s public service professionals do their jobs of protecting the diverse and abundant natural resources of the Rockies,” states Rosenthal. Chandra earned her law degree in 1993 at the Lewis and Clark Northwestern School of Law, where she focused her studies on environmental law.

Commentary and Publications by Chandra »

Jeff Ruch
Pacific PEER Director

Jeff Ruch was the Executive Director of PEER from 1997-2019 and now serves as Director of Pacific PEER, headquartered in California. Prior to that Jeff was the Policy Director and a staff attorney at the Government Accountability Project representing whistleblowers from both the public and private sector. Before coming to DC, Jeff worked in California state government for 17 years, mostly in the State Legislature as counsel to various committees where he drafted literally hundreds of laws on topics ranging from energy conservation to the rights of employed inventors. Jeff served stints as a deputy district attorney, an appellate court clerk and is a graduate of the California Correctional Officers Academy.

Commentary and Publications by Jeff »

Susan Sargent
Communications Consultant

Prior to joining PEER, Susan ran a national physics teacher education program and has worked on several environmental campaigns. She has extensive experience in outreach and communications through her work with local and national organizations such as AARP, the National Ocean Service, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the International Foundation for Election Systems. Susan enjoys spending time with her family biking, hiking, and exploring national and state parks.

Barry Sulkin
Technical Consultant

Barry is a Volunteer State native and former Chief of Enforcement and Compliance for the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC). Barry contacted PEER more than a year prior to the opening of the office, urging PEER’s immediate involvement in helping state employees stand up for resource protection in the face of intense political pressure. “In my experience as a state employee, at times factors other than science dictated what was supposed to be purely an environmental decision,” says Sulkin. “PEER’s ‘anonymous activism’ offers a way for good employees to stay within the system by giving them a completely safe channel to communicate with their real employer – the public.” Barry worked for TDEC from 1976 – 1990, leaving shortly after testifying that the agency had issued an illegal permit. Since then, he has created an extensive private practice as an investigator and scientist serving citizen groups and others on a wide range of water quality issues. His more than 25 years of experience in Tennessee resource management, both in state service and private practice, are being put to good use by PEER.

Colleen Teubner
Litigation and Policy Attorney

Colleen received her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, where she was the Vice President of the Environmental Law Society and Senior Notes Editor for the Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law. She received her bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in International Affairs from The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. Prior to joining PEER, Colleen was an Assistant District Attorney for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in New York. She has also worked, clerked, and interned for multiple government agencies and non-profits, including the United States Department of Justice, the Office of the New York State Attorney General, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Defenders of Wildlife. Colleen also volunteered as a Park Interpreter with the National Park Service at Theodore Roosevelt Island in Washington, D.C. Colleen enjoys backpacking and camping trips, playing board games, and reading mystery novels.

Commentary and Publications by Colleen »

Claire Turner
Development Manager

Claire is a development operations professional with 5 years of experience. She received her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Smith College. Claire comes to PEER from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in California where she served as a Development Coordinator. She worked diligently in the San Francisco office to improve processes and streamline development operations. Prior to TNC, Claire worked at the Jewish Community High School of the Bay as a Development Associate. Before that, she worked as a Program Associate for the Tenderloin Technology Lab of the St. Anthony’s Foundation. Claire enjoys working with databases and improving systems. She is passionate about promoting disability representation in art, education, and environmental nonprofit spaces.

Board of Directors

Richard G. Steiner, Chair
Rick advises NGOs, governments, and industry as an international conservation and sustainability consultant in Anchorage, Alaska. For 15 years Rick worked as a professor and statewide conservation specialist at the University of Alaska and had primary responsibility for the university’s Environmental Conservation Extension Mission. Previously, Rick was an Associate Professor and Marine Advisory Program Agent for Prince William Sound in Cordova, Alaska. Rick fulfilled leadership roles in coordinating the response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill by helping organize and direct the emergency response on behalf of the local fishing industry; initiating the effort to settle natural resource damage claims among the State, the U.S., and Exxon resulting in landmark $1 billion settlement and environmental restoration program; co-founding the Prince William Sound Science Center in Cordova; and helping initiate the PWS Oil Spill Recovery Institute. Rick’s outspoken and effective criticism of the oil industry caused him to lose his federal grant funding at the University of Alaska, after which he joined the PEER board. Rick has brought his expertise in coordinating oil spill response efforts to the recent BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Joined the Board May 2010.

Louis Clark, Vice Chair
Louis is the founder and Executive Director, since 1978, of the Government Accountability Project. G.A.P. is a public interest law firm that specializes in whistleblower protection and environmental advocacy. A lawyer and Methodist minister, Mr. Clark was active in the civil rights movement and worked for prison reform before founding G.A.P. Founding Board member December 1993.

Darrell Carrington, Development Chair
Darrell has over 30 years of experience working with every level of government, non-profits and the private sector. Darrell currently lobbies in Annapolis, Maryland. In the past 14 years, he has represented a wide array of clients, including environmental and health groups, the medical cannabis industry, professional sports teams, civil rights groups, energy companies and utilities. Darrell formerly worked in the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Office and was also the former Director for the Office of Energy and Food Programs for Prince George’s County. Darrell came to the State of Maryland from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, where he spent over 10 years developing and funding programs for at-risk youth and low-income populations. Joined the Board in 2020.

Christine D. Berg, M.D.
Chris is a research oncologist who spent much of her career prior to her federal retirement at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Currently, she works as a consultant to companies involved in developing new effective cancer screening tests. In her capacity as Chief of the Early Detection Research Group, Division of Cancer Prevention, NCI, NIH, she oversaw the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening (PLCO) Trial and the PLCO biospecimen repository. The NLST documented a 20% decrease in lung cancer specific mortality from three rounds of low-dose computerized tomographic screening. This led to insurance coverage of screening and Medicare coverage as well. Dr. Berg earned a Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University and a Doctor of Medicine from Northwestern University’s Medical School. She is certified in Therapeutic Radiology by the American Board of Radiology, and Medical Oncology and Internal Medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Berg is widely published and has received numerous awards for her work. In addition to her passion for oncology research, Dr. Berg is a staunch supporter of climate crisis amelioration and adaptation. Dr. Berg is adamant about the scientific process and scientific evidence and strives to find the truth through research which should be an approach applied to the climate crisis. Joined the Board in 2020.

Alexandra Bueno
Alexandra spent her formative years both in La Paz, Bolivia and in Saint Petersburg, Florida which forged her love for the great outdoors. She received her law degree from Pace Law School with an advanced certificate in Environmental Law, she is now Barred in the State of New York and Washington D.C. as an Attorney. Prior to joining the PEER Board, Alexandra was an Assistant District Attorney for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, Domestic Violence Unit in New York. She has also worked, clerked and interned for multiple government agencies and nonprofits, including the Environmental Protection Agency in the New Jersey SuperFund Branch, The Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic, The Pace Land Use Center for Sustainable Development and the Blue Frontier Campaign. Alexandra recently relocated back to Florida. In her spare time Alexandra enjoys hiking, traveling and seeing live music. Joined the Board in 2022.

Frank Buono
Frank retired following a more than 33 year career with the National Park Service, culminating in service as Assistant Superintendent at Mojave National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park. In 1994 the National Parks and Conservation Association conferred upon him the prestigious Mather Award for public service. Joined the Board May 2000.

Ewell Hopkins
Since 1982, Ewell has been working in the enterprise application and professional services sales, marketing, and business development fields for software and financial services companies. He currently serves on the Planning Board of the Town of Oak Bluffs, served previously for many years as the Board President of Martha’s Vineyard’s Habitat for Humanity and on the Board of his local YMCA. Ewell understands that no societal issue is more important than our relationship with the natural world. The interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part is a life principle by which he was raised. He supports the Environmental Justice movement and believes protecting public employees who protect our environment, natural resources and public health will ensure all voices are heard. Ewell is from Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts.

Ben Lomeli
Ben retired in 2017 from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management after a 44-year career as a Hydrologist and Natural Resources Scientist with experience in all levels of government and private sector consulting. His specialties include sustainability, engineering, water rights, riparian ecosystems, flood control, riverine morphology, grazing systems, erosion control, site and water development, groundwater, interdisciplinary planning, and International Issues. Ben belongs to several professional associations in his field and is active in a wide range of volunteer activities. He is also versed in English/Spanish translation of natural resources, engineering, and technical literature. As a federal employee, he compiled a decades-long track record of upholding scientific integrity, in some cases at significant career risk. As a PEER Board Member he hope to continue assisting scientists facing retaliation for defending scientific integrity and telling the truth. Joined the Board September 2017.

Edward Patrovsky
Edward grew up in Southern California with a love for the outdoors. After graduating with a BA in History from California Polytechnic State University, he worked 3 years for the Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo County. His career for the next 28 years was as a law enforcement ranger, mainly for the National Park Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management. During this time, Ed observed many instances when agencies misused disciplinary procedures to punish employees for telling the truth. He is also concerned that the Federal land management agencies and the Department of Justice often don’t do enough to protect field employees from threats and intimidation. Ed has been an active member of PEER for well over a decade and was a charter member of PEER’s Rangers for Responsible Recreation advocating for protecting public lands from needless off-road vehicle abuse. In 2013, he was appointed to the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission. In his spare time he enjoys working on many volunteer and environmental projects and lives in Apple Valley, California. Joined the Board June 2015.

Tim Whitehouse, Executive Director of PEER

Adrian Treves
Adrian Treves is an interdisciplinary ecologist who studies conservation of carnivores, scientific integrity, and public trust principles. He blew the whistle on a state agency and its retired and former employees who omitted essential steps in their methods for counting and managing wolves. After facing retaliation, he persevered and continues the battle for honest, transparent, and reproducible research on wildlife. He loves soccer, RP Games, and birding by ear. Adrian holds a PhD from Harvard University and BAs from Rice University. He currently serves as professor of environmental studies and founder of the Carnivore Coexistence Lab. Joined the Board in 2022.

Tim Whitehouse, Executive Director of PEER

Tim Whitehouse
Tim Whitehouse has more than 25 years of experience working on a wide range of environmental issues with governments, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and community groups. His interest is in the intersection of science, policy, and the civil service. He believes in protecting employees who raise concerns about their workplace and in exposing undue influence on government for private gain. Tim was a senior attorney at the United States Environmental Protection Agency and was head of the Law and Policy Program at the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation in Montreal, Canada. He has worked as a consultant for companies on environmental compliance issues, and with nonprofit organizations focusing on clean energy issues. Most recently, he was executive director of Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility, a health advocacy group working to address climate change, toxics pollution, and nuclear disarmament issues. He holds a JD and BA from Emory University and an MA from New York University.

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