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.

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Daniel Sheehan, Esq.

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.

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Lanny Sinkin, Esq.

Associate Counsel

A former Christic attorney, Lanny has worked on cases relating to environmental protection, indigenous sovereignty, and governmental accountability for over 40 years. He earned a Bachelor's degree at Harvard College in 1967 and a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 1985. He served as the Coordinator of Citizens Concerned About Nuclear Power, participated in the Iran-Contra racketeering suit via Christic Institute, and over the last two decades, he has represented Hawaiian communities, animals and sacred sites—most notably in the controversial Mauna Kea telescope case. 

Daniel Paul Nelson

Field Director

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

Greenpower Director

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.

Jennifer R. Wilkie, Esq.

Development Director

Jennifer develops and secures our various projects. An attorney who has recently rejoined us after a 12-year stint pursuing law and public policy work in Washington, DC, San Francisco, CA, and Charlottesville, VA. She has worked as a writer, a public interest lobbyist, and a litigator, and brings her passion for social justice issues, constitutional law, and public policy to every project. She holds a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. from the University of San Francisco.

Jon Conway, Ph. D.

Research Director

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


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 Director

Kelsey oversees Romero’s various social media platforms and 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

Web Content Developer

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 a professional artist active in Santa Cruz and the San Francisco Bay Area

Christine Dindia

Office Manager & Executive Assistant

Christine keeps things running efficiently and effectively in the Santa Cruz office. She has an extensive background in fundraising and non-profit management, including leading efforts for the Catholic Green Initiative in the Diocese of San Jose and raising millions of dollars for non-profits throughout Santa Clara County. She is a Santa Clara grad, with a Masters in Non-Profit Management from North Park Univ. In her free time, she loves the outdoors and spending time with her husband and four kids.

Patrick Sheehan

Distribution Director

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


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.

The Romero Interns

Eliza Racine

Joey Moddelmog

Stephanie Valenzuela

Shannon Nichols

Tatum Novitzky

Alexandra Wheatley

Isaac Serratos

Matt Marshall

Alyssa Hopper

Matt Aijala

Krista Lum

Board of Directors

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


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