Our Team


Reverend Vernon K. Walker, Program Director; [email protected]

Rev. Vernon K. Walker is originally born and raised in Philadelphia. Rev. Walker attended Penn State University for college where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Organizational Leadership and a minor in Psychology. After graduating from Penn State University, Rev. Walker attended Boston University and earned a Master Degree in Theological Studies with a focus on community engagement.

Rev. Walker is also academically trained in MSW macro social work practices as he took a plethora of courses at Boston University's School of Social Work. Rev. Walker is a Senior Fellow at the Environmental Leadership Program and Senior Fellow at Tufts University Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life through the Institute for Nonprofit Practice. Rev. Walker completed a fellowship at Hebrew College's Miller Center for Interreligious Learning and Leadership. Rev. Walker completed a Climate Health Organizing Fellowship through the Cambridge Health AllianceRev. Walker completed the Emerging Leaders Program through the University of Massachusetts Boston's Center for Collaborative Leadership.

Rev. Walker is currently a graduate student taking graduate classes working towards earning a Master Degree in Public Policy at Tufts University Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning where he is a 2022 Neighborhood Fellow. Rev. Walker is also a recipient of the Robert Schalkenbach Scholarship for his studies.

Throughout his time in Boston, Rev. Walker social justice work has appeared in several different print and online newspapers such as the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Bay State Banner, Commonwealth Magazine, etc. Rev. Walker has also made TV appearances on Fox 25, New England Cable News, Boston Neighborhood Network, CBS Boston, NBC 10 Boston, etc. Rev. Walker has also lectured about his social justice work at various universities and colleges across the United States.

Leigh Meunier, Project Coordinator; [email protected]

Leigh is fairly new to the staff at Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (CREW), but she’s been volunteering with them since 2018, both as an organizer for their annual Climate Interfaith Summit and member of a local CREW chapter in Somerville, MA. She’s had the honor of serving her community in many capacities – public education, songwriting and performance, community organizing, grants management, and even ecological landscaping. She feels most joyful and in flow when she gets to be creative, curious, and connected to nature, and when she can support others in accessing these as well. With her stellar teams at CREW, Leigh will be coordinating community engagement work for a Charles River Flood Model project, as well as a community participatory research study in downtown Boston, always with her eye and heart on ways to engage people authentically, equitably, and through mutual learning.


Samantha Paladini, Climate Resilience Hubs Coordinator; 
[email protected]

Paladini was born in sunny California and moved to Virginia at the age of eight. She grew up attending Virginia Beach Friends School where she received a Quaker education focused on implementing the SPICES (simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship) in all aspects of her life. Her sense of giving back to the community was enriched during the eleven years she helped feed the homeless at the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center. Samantha returned to the West Coast where she graduated summa cum laude from Whittier College with a BA in English and Theatre. Graduating in her living room during the pandemic was not an easy feat, but Samantha found her light while aiding students with developmental disabilities. This led her to a job as an Artist's Assistant where she conducted research on collaboration in the workforce. Recently, she stage managed a production for The 24 Hour Plays Company and explored the health benefits of hot yoga, and is now a fellow under the Quaker Voluntary Service program. Samantha is looking forward to building climate justice and resilience against extreme weather conditions with CREW. 

Rohan Ganesan, Tisch Scholar; 
[email protected]

Rohan is an Indian-American rising sophomore from Upstate New York planning to major in International Relations within the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University. Rohan’s passion for community development crystallized in high school. He founded his own organization–born out of his passion for tennis–called Kids Courts, providing free lessons to kids in his local community. Due to his experiences, Rohan appreciates the importance of service and community organizing in creating sustainable and equitable futures for others. At Tufts, Rohan is involved in the South Asian Political Action Committee, 180 Degrees Consulting, and ALLIES. Rohan loves to play tennis, lift weights, and read fantasy in his free time. Rohan is excited to work with CREW to help further its goals in climate justice and environmental education. In the future, Rohan hopes to advocate for and help construct green, reliable, and egalitarian policy initiatives.

Chiara Palagi, CREW Engagement Intern; 
[email protected]

Originally from Riverside, California, Chiara is currently a sophomore studying Urban Studies & Planning with a minor in Environmental Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Beginning with volunteering at a local environmental nonprofit in high school, she has since gained a passion for environmental planning, policy, and community outreach. At MIT, she is involved in the Undergrad Association’s Public Affairs Committee, Science Olympiad, Water Club, Terrascope, her dorm government, and various climate and sustainability initiatives on campus. When she has the free time, she can often be found at shotokan karate, playing hockey, exploring Boston, or curling up with a nice comic book at home. She is excited about outreach promoting sustainability and climate awareness in already vulnerable communities and is looking forward to contributing towards CREW’s mission. 

Ian Concannon, Community Engagement Intern
 [email protected]
Ian is thrilled to join the CREW team as an intern for spring 2023! As a graduate student in Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University, Ian is interested in the complex ways that human beings come together to navigate and make sense of the natural world, with a particular focus on systems thinking for climate change adaptation. In the past, he has worked for Cambridge, MA-based education nonprofit i2 Learning and coordinated clinical mindfulness programs at the Center for Mindfulness & Compassion, also in Cambridge. Ian holds a B.A. in History, Highest Honors from Williams College.

Kate Whitney, Spring Communications Intern; [email protected]

Kate is a senior at Tufts University originally from Kansas City. She studies the History of Art and Architecture with a second major in Environmental Studies with a focus on Food Systems, Nutrition, and the Environment. She also has a minor in Russian language. At Tufts, she is an executive coordinator for Tufts University Social Collective, which is the largest student-run programming organization at Tufts. She is also on the Student Programming Committee at the Tufts University Art Galleries. She is thrilled to join CREW’s team where she can combine her experience creating approachable and inclusive community engagement with her interests in environmental education and building sustainable systems for the future.
Outside of school, you can find her at Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar where she works as a server, taking long walks through her neighborhood, playing board games with her friends, or doing crosswords and jigsaw puzzles.

Board of Directors

Brad Johnson


Brad Johnson is the Executive Director of Climate Hawks Vote Civic Action. In recent years, he was the campaign manager of Forecast the Facts, where he launched the Don’t Fund Evil and Climate Silence campaigns, which convinced dozens of companies to stop funding the Heartland Institute and compelled the 2012 presidential candidates to engage on climate, respectively. Mr. Johnson previously served as the editor of ThinkProgress Green. He has a master’s degree in geosciences from MIT and majored in physics and mathematics at Amherst College

Chester Osborne


Chester Osborne works in the field of Transportation Operations & Emergency Management, where he works to reduce environmental impacts through improved planning and operations. He is also a U.S. Army Veteran; he first became involved in the field of emergency management while on deployment to Central America, where he found that lack of recovery and resiliency capacity from natural disasters in many cases posed greater threats to nations than terrorism. Mr. Osborne holds a Masters of Public Administration, a certificate of Enterprise Management from the Joint Special Operations University and has studied at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center. He is also an Eagle Scout and recipient of the Bronze Star Medal.

Joyce Gallagher Sullivan

Joyce_Sullivan.jpgJoyce Gallagher Sullivan is Assistant Vice President for Development Communications at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Her team handles marketing communications for the Division of Development and the Jimmy Fund, supporting all of the fundraising initiatives of the Institute. She has more than three decades of experience in communications and public affairs, including a ten-year stint at the American Cancer Society, where she served as Vice President for Communications for the New England region. Additional experience includes work at the American Red Cross - Disaster Services, where she served as Director of Institutional Giving, and Colette Phillips Communications, where she was Executive VP. She also operated her own consultancy, Gallagher Sullivan Communications, for five years. She started her career at WBZ-TV in Boston, where she won two New England EMMY Awards for public service advertising. She is a graduate of Boston College, and resides in Milton, MA.

Johnny V. Boykins

Johnny_Boykins.jpgJohnny V. Boykins is a Project Development Manager and Protocol Officer with a private security consulting and staffing corporation based in Tampa Bay, Florida. Mr. Boykins received his master's degree in Diplomacy and Security Studies & Graduate Certificate in Teaching & Learning from Norwich University and his bachelor's degree in Political Science and Communications from Eckerd College. He is also a United States Coast Guard veteran, husband, bow tie aficionado, contributing writer, and amateur chef.


Rachel Jacobson

Rachel_Jacobson.jpgRachel Jacobson is a cross-sector collaborator with ten years of experience in the climate adaptation, resilience, and environmental fields. As Senior Program Manager at the American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP), she leads the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of the organization’s projects and partnerships including the Resilience Dialogues, the ASAP Mentorship Program, ASAP’s education initiatives, and ASAP’s activities with regional adaptation fora across the country. Previously, Rachel was a contractor and a Fellow at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), where she implemented two strategic initiatives: Resilience AmeriCorps and The Department of Commerce Natural Capital Business Roundtables. Rachel received her B.A., M.P.P, and M.S. degrees from the University of Michigan, and holds a Certificate in Environmental Law and Regulation from the University of Washington. Rachel lives in Cambridge, MA but is a Michigander by birth and believes the Fresh Coast is the best coast.

Dr. Lacee Satcher 

Dr. Lacee Satcher is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies at Boston College.  Her primary research interests include race/ethnicity, health & place, and environmental justice. Other interests include place & inequality, social psychology of health, and urban sociology. Her most recent work focuses on the race-environment-health connection, specifically how various individual social identities/social locations structure our relations with and within space and place to shape health outcomes, health experiences, and place attachment.

 Dr. James Recht 

Climate change harms not just our physical but our mental health; and the most vulnerable
 among us are harmed first and worst. As a physician/psychiatrist, I work in poor and underserved Boston-area communities, specializing in the treatment of co-occurring severe mental illness and substance use disorders, and in the evaluation and treatment of trauma-related illness in refugees and other members of our immigrant communities. My understanding of our health justice and social justice struggle grows out of this work. As a Harvard Medical School faculty member, I advocate for political engagement and physician leadership in addressing the growing climate crisis. As an activist, I have served as a climate action coordinator for Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility, as a core organizer for Harvard Faculty for Fossil Fuel Divestment, and as a member of the physician-led Climate Code Blue (climatecodeblue.org), in addition to being an avid supporter of Climate CREW!

CREW is currently being incubated by the
Better Future Project, a federally recognized 501(c)(3).