Board of Directors

WELC is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of renowned attorneys, academics, and conservationists from across the country.

Board of Directors

WELC is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of renowned attorneys, academics, and conservationists from across the country.

Karin P. Sheldon, JD

Karin P. Sheldon, JD

Board President

Karin Sheldon is president of Four Echoes Strategies, a consulting firm providing policy analysis and strategic advice on Western land and water conservation issues. From 2007 to 2013, she served as president of Western Resource Advocates. Prior to 2007, Karin served as associate dean of the Environmental Law Program and director of the Environmental Law Center at Vermont Law School. Before joining the faculty at Vermont Law School in 1994, Karin served as president of The Wilderness Society. She was also a staff attorney with Earthjustice in Colorado, and was one of Ralph Nader’s original “Raiders.”

Peggy Nelson, JD

Peggy Nelson, JD

Board Vice President

Peggy Nelson served as New Mexico’s 8th Judicial District Judge until her retirement in 2008. She began her career in Taos working for Northern New Mexico Legal Services and for 10 years provided low-cost and free legal services with the the Community Law Center and as a Public Defender. Peggy has served on a lengthy list of non-profit boards and commissions, including Amigos Bravos.

Kevin Kirchner, JD

Kevin Kirchner, JD

Board Treasurer

Kevin Kirchner owns and runs CenterPoint Communications, a media strategy and advertising firm in Maryland that serves environmental and other progressive groups. Prior to founding CenterPoint Communications, he served as managing partner at MacWilliams, Kirchner, Sanders & Partners in Washington, D.C. and Vice President for policy, legislation, and communications at Earthjustice. He also worked for the Agriculture and Interior Committees in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Denise Fort, JD

Denise Fort, JD

Board Member

Denise Fort has over 40 years of experience in environmental and natural resources law – in legal practice, teaching, policy making and advocacy. Fort began her career as an attorney with two NM environmental groups and with the state’s Taxation and Revenue Department. She was appointed Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration at the age of 31 and then served as head of the Environmental Improvement Division. After a short stint in California as executive director of Citizens for a Better Environment and a board member of Earth Island Institute, Fort turned her focus to teaching as director of the Water Resources Administration Program at the University of New Mexico and a member of the law faculty. In 1995, she chaired the Western Water Policy Review Advisory Commission, a presidential panel appointed to review the role of the federal government in western water issues. She has also been active in the National Research Council, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences. Her advocacy work continues with a small group that is building support for environmental protection among new constituencies in New Mexico.

Phil Katzen, JD

Phil Katzen, JD

Board Member

Phil Katzen is of-counsel to Kanji & Katzen, PLLC, where he was a founding member and managing attorney until May of 2016. Kanji & Katzen is a law firm dedicated to advocacy on behalf of Indian tribes and peoples. Phil earned his A.B. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1970 and his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall) in 1977. Phil represents and consults with tribes across the country on a wide variety of issues, including sovereignty and governance, treaty fishing and hunting rights, Indian gaming, environmental protection, reservation boundaries, taxation and jurisdictional matters. Prior to starting his own firm, Phil served as a staff attorney and Native American Project Director for Evergreen Legal Services (later Columbia Legal Services) in Washington state.

Mike Lindsay, JD

Mike Lindsay, JD

Board Member

Mike Lindsay is a partner in the Denver office of Snell and Wilmer LLP, a Phoenix-based law firm. Mike’s practice is concentrated in complex commercial litigation, with an emphasis on contract disputes, real estate and construction matters, and employment claims. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado, School of Law (1985). He has substantial experience in traditional court and jury trial cases, as well as in the use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as arbitration and mediation. He is a member of the Denver, Colorado and Washington Bar Associations, and a chapter editor and author of The Practitioner’s Guide to Colorado Construction Law.

Dr. Lisa Manning

Dr. Lisa Manning

Board Member

Dr. Lisa Manning is an experienced consultant in global leadership development and executive coaching, and has served as a facilitator for the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative. She is a licensed mediator in conflict resolution, an adjunct faculty and researcher for the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) and previously served as adjunct faculty at Gonzaga University. Dr. Manning’s legal and consulting background and range of professional positions and appointments includes: legal assistant to the Governor of Wisconsin; Chair of the Governor’s Pardon Advisory Board; Chair of the Governor’s Interagency Task Force on Emergency Response; researcher for the U.S. Congress Energy and Environment Committee; consultant to the EPA; and executive director and co-founder of CASA’s Project Opportunity, (an experiential education program for at-risk youth). Lisa received her M.A. in Organizational Leadership in 2000 and a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies in 2013 from Gonzaga University. She also received a B.A. and B.S. from American University in 1981.

Dyan Oldenburg

Dyan Oldenburg

Board Member

Dyan Oldenburg has worked with nonprofits for over 40 years and is dedicated to helping groups meet their mission, realize critical impact, and manage change. Dyan founded Training Resources for the Environmental Community (TREC) in 1996. As executive director, she developed and directed TREC’s programs, providing services to TREC clients for almost 20 years. Before founding TREC, Dyan worked with hundreds of environmental and social justice nonprofits on legislative, electoral, and issue campaigns and on deepening the abilities to sustain work to stunning outcomes. She is a graduate of Antioch College.