Ms. Jiaman Jin

Ms. Jin is the executive director of Global Environmental Institute. She is responsible for development, administration, design & management of GEI’s programs. She has 22 years working experience in environmental fields. Prior to joining the GEI, she worked at the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES) as the Director of the Technology Service Center, and then the Vice Director of the Dean’s Office. Before that she served as a manager of UNEPnet Beijing Earth Station, and from 1992 to 1996 the Secretary and then the Administrating Director of Leader Environment and Development (LEAD) China program. Ms. Jin is one of the co-founders of the Green Earth Volunteer, and also a member of the Executive Council of China Youth Development Foundation. She joined the LEAD training program by Rockefeller Foundation and the Chinese Women Leader training program of Institute of International Education (IIE) by Elisabeth Luce Moore (ELM) Foundation. Ms. Jin got her B.A. degree at the Staff College of Chinese Academy of Science majoring in Equipment Management.

Ms. Chongying Chen

Ms. Chen is a program officer of energy and climate change in Global Environmental Institute (GEI), who joined in the organization in Aug 2010. Her research interests include rural energy and climate change, poverty reduction and rural development. Prior to joining GEI, she worked in the Singapore office of International Development Research Center from Jan 2009 to Jun 2010 as a research intern and program assistant. She got a master degree majored in rural development and management from China Agricultural University in 2009.

Ms. Xihua Chen

Ms. Chen is the program officer for the capacity building program with Chinese Academy of Governance. She is also doing part of the communication work at GEl. Prior to joining GEI, she studied the current eco movements such as permaculture, Evovillage, and Transition Town in the UK on her own. Prior to that, she worked as an engineer on various environmental remediation projects around the world for over 3 years. She volunteered in development, fair trade and energy field for a long time as well. She holds a master’s degree in environmental engineering from University of Pittsburgh.

Drew Zwart

Drew Zwart is a member of the scientific staff at the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories, and is currently a PhD candidate in plant physiology at the University of Washington, Center for Urban Horticulture. Drew received his B.S. in Agronomy from Cornell University and an M.S. in plant pathology and physiology from Clemson University. His dissertation work at the University of Washington involves physiological studies on the potential use of biochar as a soil amendment in disease management of urban plants.

Jack Lance

Jack Lance, an entrepreneur and marketing executive, is an angel investor. He has been a member of the Keiretsu Forum since its launch in 2000. Jack is an actively involved investor and advisor to several early stage companies. He served as a board member of Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster/North Bay iHUB from its inception to 2011; he remains active in this group as a member of its Advisory and Mentoring Committees. Jack is a co-founder of FinancialSoft (, a company dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and investors understand financial statements and improve profitability. His passion for helping entrepreneurs and his depth of personal experience, contacts and resources are key assets for its clients. Jack is a Weiss-Caldwell fellow and Entrepreneur in Residence with the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University. He also co- teaches a Venture Creation Class at SSU.

Dan Smith

Dan Smith is an M.S. student at the University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources and Department of Forest, Fire and Range Sciences.  Under the direction of Dr. Mark Coleman, his thesis explores the effects of biochar on soil enzymatic and microbial activity in a temperate coniferous forest.

Lisa Tamayo-Kennedy

Lisa Tamayo-Kennedy is an entrepreneur and investor working with clean tech startup ventures. Her consulting firm, investorMetrix, focuses on researching, reporting and training about sustainability as it relates to profit and value in companies. She is a founder of Green Building Studio, acquired by Autodesk in 2008 and holds an MBA in Sustainable Enterprise.

Bert Bennett, Ph.D.

Dr. Bert Bennett is a Principal Scientist and Senior Engineer at ICM, Inc., a renewable energy company established in 1995 and headquartered in Colwich, Kansas. He is responsible for leading ICM’s research and development efforts in industrial-scale gasification and biochar production systems. ICM is active in promoting biochar research efforts and has supplied over 300 tons of biochar to research institutions located throughout the Midwest, Canada and Mexico.

Johannes Schneeberger

I have played with wood fire from early on, when I learned the trade of stove fitter in Austria. I also studied mechanical engineering with focus on combustion technologies. After two start-ups in Austria I came to the USA and continued as industrial product design and development consultant and also as patent engineer. I took the bar exam and served as a US Patent Agent a variety of clients including IBM Almaden Research Center and Stanford University. With my current company IDEPA Inc. I provide integrated services for product development strategy, design, engineering and intellectual property to small companies and start-ups.

Ryan Hottle

Ryan Hottle is a PhD student at Ohio State University researching the impacts of biochar application on soil ecosystems and fast action strategies to mitigate anthropogenic climate change.


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