Coral is an experienced grantmaker and policy innovator with demonstrated success in building programs that employ climate change solutions while centering racial and economic equity. Coral joins Invest in Our Future following seven years with the State of California’s Strategic Growth Council (SGC). In her time at SGC, Coral led the development of programs that focused on supporting frontline communities to build the capacity and partnerships needed to access climate-related funding and implement community-led climate change mitigation and resilience projects.
She has extensive experience building relationships across sectors and engaging communities in the design of programs and policies to ensure equitable, integrated outcomes in program investments. Before her time at SGC, Coral worked as a Research Assistant at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project, where she conducted archival research on Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement.
Coral has a Bachelor of Science in Earth Systems with a minor in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity from Stanford University. She lives in her hometown of Sacramento, CA, where she can be found trying to identify plants on a hike in her free time.
Luke is an experienced fundraiser, political strategist, and operations professional with experience supporting high level officials from national campaigns to the federal government. He has supported the creation of Invest in Our Future as a climate consultant since February and became its first employee when it launched in August.
Most recently, he served as an appointee in the Biden administration in various roles at the U.S. Department of Energy, including in the Office of Nuclear Energy, the Office of the Secretary, and the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs. He specializes in government and industry relations, fundraising, and political strategy. He is an expert in donor relations and brings years of fundraising experience for campaigns at the local, congressional, and presidential level to the Invest in Our Future team.
Luke holds a B.A. in Business Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles. Based in Seattle, WA with his wife, dog, and two cats, Luke enjoys hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter, building things in his garage, and reading.
Peter is a dynamic leader, advocate, and strategist who brings to Invest in Our Future 30 years of experience building coalitions, guiding complex organizations, and overseeing successful programs.
Most recently, Peter provided strategic planning, campaign development and executive coaching support to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Open Society Foundations and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), among others. He played key roles in several major cross-organization collaborations, including the Social & Economic Justice Leaders Project (SEJ)—a scenario-planning operation that catalyzed the Democracy Defense Coalition to protect the integrity of the 2020 elections—and Real Recovery Now—which united labor, climate, care and immigration groups to advocate for federal legislation addressing shared goals.
Peter was previously the Senior Advisor to the President and Secretary-Treasurer for the SEIU, managing long-term planning projects and partnerships across the wider progressive movement. Additionally, Peter served as SEIU’s Chief of Staff and, before that, as Government Relations Director from 2011 to 2016, leading the union’s legislative, policy and issue campaign work. From 2004 through 2010, Peter was at 32BJ SEIU—a local representing 120,000 workers on the east coast—first as Political Director and later as Chief of Staff.
Peter was raised in the Bronx and attended Yale University and the University of California’s Goldman School of Public Policy. He lives in Maryland with his wife and three children.
Melissa brings over 20 years of high-level administration experience supporting executives, with expertise in strategic planning, project management, time management and interpersonal communication. She joins IOF from Amazon where she supported the Global Executive Development Team which focused on developing leaders and maintaining Day 1 culture. There Melissa specialized in implementing administrative technology and was responsible for educating other employees on using systems and applications, including accounting, communication procedures, and organizational apps.
Prior to Amazon, Melissa was an Executive Assistant with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
Melissa resides in Virginia with her partner and dogs. She enjoys learning and development and holds a deep passion for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, believing that if you give a person the right tools, success is inevitable. Relationships matter and helping make others’ lives easier along the way is a bonus.
Jess is a solutions-focused leader with a demonstrated record of building and executing successful environmental and energy public policy campaigns at the federal and state level. Jess joins Invest in Our Future from the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), where she served as the Director of Public Engagement. In this role, she designed and executed engagement strategies to ensure diverse perspectives informed policy. She’s a coalition and partnership builder focused on tackling climate change and advancing environmental justice.
From 2008 to 2022, Jess held multiple roles at Earthjustice, including its legislative director for climate and energy. She led and managed a team developing and advancing equitable climate solutions at the federal and state levels.
Jess holds a B.A. in journalism, a B.A. in government & politics and an MBA from the University of Maryland. She lives in Washington, D.C. and enjoys traveling, reading and gardening.
Leah is an experienced policy implementor, advisor, and leader, with a commitment to equitable change through investment and partnerships. Leah joins Invest in Our Future from the public sector, where she advanced a variety of national and state climate change policy efforts including within community-driven grant making, transportation and energy, research and development, and climate adaptation and resilience. Leah is an expert at coordination and meaningful engagement, and leveraging both in strategy development and program implementation.
Most recently Leah led statewide climate change planning for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), developing guidance and tools to align planning with the State’s climate and equity goals. Prior to joining Caltrans, Leah was the Senior Advisor for Research & Innovation at the California Strategic Growth Council and Governor’s Office of Planning & Research, where she guided integration of climate science into a variety of interagency policy efforts and established two grant programs that center racial justice and equity in advancing community-driven planning and research. Leah joined the State of California after five years supporting federal agencies in Washington, DC, including the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Leah is also an author for the Fifth U.S. National Climate Assessment’s Southwest Chapter. As an east coaster living in Sacramento, CA, she loves exploring the west coast, especially the mountains in all seasons.
With 20+ years of tactical and strategic experience seeped in grantmaking operations, Lucy brings demonstrated experience with designing grantmaking policies and procedures, systems implementation, and integrity-driven leadership. Lucy prioritizes collaboration, transparent decision-making, and a deep commitment to advancing equity and the trust-based philanthropy approach to grantmaking. As the Director of Program Operations at the California Wellness Foundation, Lucy was responsible for fostering coordination, efficiency, and effectiveness of grants policies and processes across all functions.
Prior to that, Lucy served as the Director of Operations and Grants Management at the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, a spend-down foundation based in San Francisco. She played a key role in growing, supporting, and preparing to wind down a staff of thirty-five, an annual operating budget of $9 million, and the distribution of $1 billion in grants over ten years.
Lucy completed graduate coursework in U.S. history at Boston College and earned her B. A. in history with a minor in sociology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is a former Communications Chair for the NorCal Chapter of Peak Grantmaking and an alumnus of the Rockwood Leadership Institute’s the Art of Leadership cohort.
She is an active member of PEAK Grantmaking and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP). Lucy lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and enjoys historical fiction, watching Korean dramas, cheering for the Golden State Warriors, and fueling her coffee addiction.
Jimmy is a demonstrated program and operations leadership specialist with fifteen years of experience in philanthropy and government. He has extensive experience in climate change mitigation and clean energy grantmaking, including board relations, strategic partnerships, project and grants management, and event planning.
Jimmy comes to Invest in Our Future after serving in several roles at Tempest Advisors, a philanthropic advisory firm that provides professional consulting services to Sea Change Foundation, Sea Change Foundation International, and other foundations and charitable funders. Most recently, as Operations Director, Jimmy oversaw a wide range of services including budget development, grant payments and banking, monthly cashflow and accounting, annual planning, and network facilitation for grantees and other partners. Prior to his work in philanthropy, Jimmy served as Office Manager for the legislative office of Congressman Chris Van Hollen.
Jimmy holds a B.A. in Politics and a B.A. in Sociology from Ithaca College and is actively pursuing an MLA in Sustainability through the Harvard Extension School. Based in Washington, D.C. with his wife and cat, Jimmy is an avid traveler and live music enthusiast.