Lakota Peoples Law Project fundraiser, 2016.

The Romero Institute Team

Sara Nelson

Executive Director & Co-founder

Sara Nelson is the executive director and co-founder of the Romero Institute and former national executive director and co-founder of the Christic Institute.

View More

Daniel Sheehan, Esq.

Chief Counsel, President & Co-founder

Danny is our lead counsel and litigator. Deeply involved in many important social justice cases over the past 50 years, his accomplishments are described on a separate page.

View More

Daniel Paul Nelson

Program Director, Lakota People's Law Project

Daniel oversees all Romero Institute departments and helps decide strategic direction for the organization. He has over 15 years of experience as a deputy director, organizer, researcher, and writer. He holds a BA in Political Theory from Harvard College and an MA in Social Science from the University of Chicago.

Benjamin Eichert

Program Director, Greenpower

Benjamin leads our Greenpower initiative, which implements local climate change solutions to help communities produce renewable power. He is passionate about social justice organized, and co-founded Big Noise Films—with whom he directed the award-winning documentary Zapatista. He has worked as an organizer and contract negotiator with the New York State Nurses Association and was the field director for US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse's successful reelection campaign in 2012. He studied political science at Brown University.

Jon Conway, Ph. D.

Senior Research Analyst

Jon leads our research efforts, and verifies the scientific validity of the issues we expose and the solutions we support. He is an environmental scientist and educator with experience in climatology, Earth science, botany, pedology, marine biology, toxicology, and pollution studies. He earned a B.S. in Ecology & Evolution from UC Santa Barbara, and his Ph.D. in Environmental Science & Management from the Bren School at UC Santa Barbara.

Chris Sherertz

Videographer

Chris manages our websites, email database, petitions, Youtube channels, graphic design, and video and audio production. He also runs a small music studio. He holds a BS in astrophysics and a minor in electronic music from the University of California, Santa Cruz

Kelsey Hill

Social Media Specialist, Internship Program Director

Kelsey oversees Romero’s various social media platforms and directs the student internship program. She appears from time to time in video updates—including her reports from Standing Rock during the #NoDAPL movement. She holds a BA in History from the University of California, Santa Cruz and is the proud parent of a spoiled black cat.

Simone Cardona

Website Editor, Program Assistant

Simone curates information and advocacy content for the Romero Institute's various websites, and assists event and program development. Her passion for climate action and environmental justice drives her work and activism. She earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies and minor in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz in 2014. Simone is also an artist active in Santa Cruz and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Patrick Sheehan

Archives and Facilities

Paddy oversees the Christic Institute Archive and supports all the Romero projects with his experience in security, equipment, shipping, the online store, and maintenance. His work in social justice began in 1988 when he joined the Christic Institute as a computer technician and security officer.

Chuck Banner

Digital Media

Chuck leads the increasingly important production of our video content. A producer, director, cinematographer, editor, and livestreamer with over 30 years of production experience in the industry, Chuck has done extensive work in Indian Country, beginning with documenting AIM’s Yellow Thunder Camp in the Black Hills of South Dakota in 1981. Since then, he has created a number of films about Native American rights and the environment. His latest “deployment” was to Standing Rock in November of 2016.

Jesse Phelps

Press Relations

Jesse contributes written content and guides our content strategy. An award-winning journalist, PR pro, and business development specialist, he has decades of experience writing, editing, and developing relationships between people and organizations. He loves working with people of heart and intelligence on meaningful projects. Jesse holds a BA in film from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Leslie Austin

Clean Energy Organizer

Leslie advances our Greenpower initiative by making connections and partnering with local communities to foster coalescence and support for renewable power. Making a difference in an interconnected world matters most to Leslie. Through a variety publishing industry, marketing, and community roles, including serving as an elected school board trustee, Leslie works to connect with diverse groups to contribute toward the common good. Concurrently, Leslie works as an organizer for political candidates and initiatives and serves on the board of the Northern Monterey County Community Foundation. She studied liberal arts at California State University, Fullerton.

The Romero Interns

Nathaniel Payne

Gurkirat Singh

Kara Blum

Holden Jurisich

Rylee McCallin

Eliza Racine

Stephanie Valenzuela

Shannon Nichols

Tatum Novitzky

Cesar Olivares

Board of Directors

Daniel Paul Nelson
Chase Iron Eyes
Markell Brooks
Wendy Grace
Pearl Means
Dr. Paul Lee
Daniel Sheehan
Sara Nelson
Eric Thiermann

Alliances

We work hand-in-hand with the interfaith community, social justice organizations, and environmental activist groups.