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About us

Katie Walsh

Katie Walsh leads the cities, states, regions and public authorities program at CDP North America to measure and manage climate and environmental action. She has fifteen years of experience working on urban planning and climate change. She served as an Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps fellow in the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability in the City of Philadelphia and served as a fellow at the US Department of Energy Policy and International Affairs Office. Katie is a Senior Fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program, and an alumni of the POCACITO program. She holds a Master’s in Urban Planning from Tufts University and a Master’s in International Business and Environmental Policy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. 

Katie serves on her local Community Board in Southern Brooklyn, New York and was elected to chair her district’s local Democratic County Committee. In 2020, she ran for the New York State Assembly. While Katie did not win this seat, she stays focused on supporting her district while also giving people with experience in environment, clean energy and climate change action  the tools to run and win local and state office.

Robert Thomas

Robert Thomas is a Senior Sustainability Planner in AECOM’s High-performance Buildings and Sustainability group that provides sustainability consulting services for planning, design, and construction projects across a range of sectors, including infrastructure, commercial, education, transportation, and hospitality. Prior to joining AECOM, he served as the Chief of Energy and Environment in the City of Newark (NJ).

Outside of work, Rob served as a member of the Student Conservation Association (SCA) Alumni Council and was recently recognized as a SCA100k Ambassador. In addition to serving with the SCA, Rob also is the Chairman of the Brick City Supper Club, a bi-weekly informal networking event at local restaurants (pre-pandemic) that explores Newark’s amazing restaurants, supports local businesses, and brings people together.

Rob is a Grist50 Fixer, a Senior Fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program, and an alumni of the POCACITO program. Rob holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology from New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Newark College of Engineering and is an alumni of NJIT’s Division I Men’s Volleyball Program. 

Max Gruenig

Max is the co-founder and principal at POCACITO, Post-Carbon Cities of Tomorrow, based in Charlottesville, Virginia. Working in the field of sustainability on both sides of the Atlantic for over a decade, Max has a strong network from politics, policy, science, advocacy, grassroots organizations, cultural groups and the private sector. He is a recognized climate expert, able to communicate climate change action to a diverse range of stakeholders – from kindergarteners about zero waste, university students about emissions trading systems, US Congress about clean energy and energy security and to the world energy expo about sustainable finance.

Max is a native speaker of German and fluent in English and French and has lived and worked in Germany, Iceland, Italy and Japan and the United States.

Tessa Lee

Tessa Lee is Senior Manager for Climate and Sustainability at Expedia Group. She previously served as the Senior Corporate Engagement Manager in the Climate Group’s New York offices. She incubated strategic program areas for the Business Action campaigns, including RE100 and EP100, and provides a suite of member engagement services to corporate members. Previously, she led monitoring, evaluation and learning at 100 Resilient Cities, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, and before that, business development and program implementation at the Rocky Mountain Institute and the Carbon War Room, for industries including freight trucking and maritime shipping, global energy access, mining and islanded economies, low-carbon cement, and agriculture and forestry. She has a MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics, and a BA in International Relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.