Susan Vitka, Chair
Susan Vitka brings more than three decades of experience as a strategic and financial adviser to clients in the private and social benefit sectors. Her clients have included startups, Fortune 100 companies, and sovereign wealth funds, among others. She is an active early stage investor and adviser, with a particular interest in the life sciences, nutrition and agriculture, and the environment. Susan has served on numerous nonprofit and corporate boards in the U.S. and abroad.
David M. (“Max”) Williamson, Vice Chair
Max Williamson is the Principal of Williamson Law + Policy, an environmental law firm advocating for clients in the areas of environmental business strategies, low carbon and clean energy technologies, and social impact investment. Max holds degrees in environmental law and policy from Vermont Law School and a B.A. from Yale University. He lives with his beau Leslie Jones and dog Talisker in Alexandria, VA.
John Lewis, Ph.D., Treasurer
Dr. John Van D. Lewis has worked for over 40 years combining his discipline, ecological and economic anthropology (Ph.D. Yale 1979), with international development management experience. By 2000, he had completed a 22-year career with USAID, retiring after six years as the Agency Senior Agriculturalist and Director of its central Office of Agriculture and Food Security. He has been a Managing Director of Rural Development, Agriculture and Food Security at Terra Global since 2007.
Elizabeth Berry, Secretary
Elizabeth is a member of the Board of the DCJCC and the Jacob and Charlotte Lehrman Foundation. Elizabeth was a senior advisor to the Mayor on the environment and prior to that was the acting director of the District Department of the Environment. She has also worked as a journalist and an attorney. She has a strong interest in film, which includes support for FilmFestDC and the Jewish Film Festival and membership in the DC Film Society and Washington, DC Cinema Club at the Avalon.
Barbara L. Franklin
Barbara is a landscape designer and business owner, who works primarily with homeowners in D.C. and the Maryland, Virginia suburbs. She has been on the board of the MD/ DC Nature Conservancy Chapter for a number of years, and is also a member of the board of the National Fund for the U.S. Botanic Garden, a member of the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, and on the benefit committee for the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing. She has been a supporter of the Environmental Film Festival for several years.
Caroline Gabel is President and CEO of The Shared Earth Foundation, which has supported the Film Festival since the early ‘90s. She is immediate past Chair of the Festival. The Foundation supports both wildlife film makers and the Festival’s Documentary Award for Environmental Advocacy.
A native Washingtonian, moved to New York in 2011 to attend a graduate program in film at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Annie’s short films, both fiction and documentary have played at Festivals across the US including last March at DCEFF.
Dan M. Martin
Dan M. Martin was the Managing Director of Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund and a Senior Associate at Arabella Philanthropic Advisers.
Greg McGruder is Vice President of Public Programs at the National Geographic Society where he produces and directs public events at National Geographic headquarters in Washington D.C. that give audiences a variety of in-person experiences with some of the world’s leading scientists, explorers and researchers. Greg has chaired the DCEFF Advisory Council since 2015 and recently became a member of the board.,
Josie Merck has been active as a painter and environmentalist all her life. She has produced a number of short films with David Conover of Compasslight, for unusual venues such as the ferry boats of Block Island, RI. She has also helped produce A Sense of Wonder the story of Rachel Carson with Kaiulani Lee; King Corn, The City Dark, and others with Ian Cheney. Merck is also a board member of NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council).
Liz Norton, mother of Lucy (15) and Max (12), is a native Washingtonian who has worked both inside and outside the government as well as a television producer on a range of public policy issues. Currently she is the Executive Director of Stone Soup Films, which produces and donates short promotional documentaries for worthy local nonprofits.
Peter O’Brien is the former Executive Director of the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital. In his 6-year tenure, he oversaw a period of considerable growth and expansion at the Festival. Under his leadership, the number of Festival films increased by 67 percent and the number of filmmakers attending the Festival tripled. He attended Harvard and Johns Hopkins University.
Nora Pouillon is a pioneer and champion of organic, environmentally conscious cuisine. Born in Austria, Nora came to the United States in the 1960s. In 1979, Nora and her partners opened Restaurant Nora, which in 1995 became the Nation’s First Certified Organic Restaurant. In 1996 Cooking with Nora was published, a seasonal menu cookbook with pictures of each recipe , wine suggestions and nutritional information.
In 2015, Nora’s memoir, My Organic Life: How a Pioneering Chef Helped Shape the Way We Eat Today, was published. In spring 2016, the paperback version, including some of Nora’s recipes, was published. Nora continues to advocate for a healthy lifestyle and sits on many environmentally conscious boards in addition to DCEFF.
William Stetson III
Bill Stetson is a film producer, a political and environmental adviser (Dir of External Affairs, DCEFF, ’10-’15), and recently was named a Senior Fellow (nonresident) at the Atlantic Council. He has produced several independent features and documentaries, most recently “Profile Special: William H. Macy”, Dec. 2016, PBS). In 1996, he established the Vermont Film Commission (founding president). In April 2011, he was appointed by the White House as a member of the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts (PACA). Outstanding among the media, foundation, and environmental boards on which Bill has served is the Harvard University Center for the Environment.
Flo founded DCEFF in 1993 and has served as its director, artistic director and president. She initiated the Margaret Mead Film Festival in NYC now its 37th year and has served on many film juries nationally and internationally over the years.
Non-profit Board Member
Board Member, Folger Poetry Board, Gardiner Trust
Joan D. Murray
Film Producer and Board Member, Wallace Genetic Foundation
Board Member of several environmental organizations; Former Board Chair, The Natural Step