Shalini Gupta, Executive Director
Shalini Gupta has worked at numerous local, regional and national organizations on state/regional regulatory and legislative policy analysis and advocacy related to renewable energy and climate change issues. Her work has ranged from developing community-scale energy projects to international work in Kiel, Germany, and at Argonne National Laboratories where she analyzed sources of atmospheric organic pollutants from urban and industrial sites in China. Shalini was a 2006 National Environmental Leadership Fellow and a 2008 Archibald Bush Leadership Fellow. She also served on the technical working group of the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group, was a Governor appointee to Minnesota’s Next Generation Energy Board, and is a current appointee to the Minneapolis Environmental Advisory Commission. She conducts environmental and energy justice workshops with numerous grassroots groups, and served on the Board of Directors of the Headwaters Foundation for Justice. Ms. Gupta holds a B.S. in the geophysical sciences from the University of Chicago and a Masters degree in environmental management from Yale University.


Dr. Cecilia Martinez, Director of Research Programs
Dr. Cecilia Martinez previous positions include Associate Research Professor in the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment at the University of Delaware,  Associate Professor at Metropolitan State University and Research Director at the American Indian Policy Center. Dr. Martinez has led a variety of projects to address sustainable development at the local and international levels. Her research is focused on the development of energy and environmental strategies that promote equitable and sustainable policies. She currently serves on the Climate Action Planning Steering Committee for the City of Minneapolis. Dr. Martinez has also worked with a range of organizations from local grassroots groups to international organizations engaging in the promotion of sound environmental policy and environmental justice. Most recently she completed an analysis of coal-based energy and environmental justice communities, and a review of climate adaptation and public health for the National Environmental Justice Leadership Forum on Climate Change. She has been appointed to several national advisory boards including, the National Advisory Committee to the EPA for the Council on Environmental Cooperation, and the Research Working Group for the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council. She is also on the leadership team for the national EJ and Science Initiative, and is leading the effort on a Truth and Reconciliation Commission on environmental harms. She is working on a manuscript on environmental justice and climate change and among her other publications is the co-edited volume Environmental Justice: Discourses in International Political Economy which includes some of her work on North American Indigenous peoples and the challenge of forging a common agenda of indigenous rights, justice and sustainability. She received her B.A. from Stanford University and her Ph.D. from the University of Delaware’s College of Urban Affairs and Public Policy, where she received the Ryden Prize for Best Dissertation in the Social Sciences.

Sammie Ardito Rivera, Climate Justice Organizer

Sammie is a member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe with paternal ties to White Earth. She formerly worked for Dream of Wild Health as the Education and Outreach Coordinator and is also in the process of developing her family business, Sin Fronteras Farm and Food. Born and raised in Minneapolis, Sammie spent most of her young adult life learning from diverse communities across the United States working on issues of economic justice, indigenous rights, environmental justice, education, and climate. She received her movement education in the San Francisco Bay Area and earned a Bachelor of Science in Applied Indigenous Studies with an emphasis in Traditional Knowledge at Northern Arizona University. She is passionate about creating resilient, sustainable, just and inclusive communities for her daughter and for all our future generations.

Deb Feeny, Director of Finance

Deb Feeny has a wide range of accounting, finance, leadership, support services, and administrative expertise. She earned her C.P.A. license after graduating from St. Cloud State University and has worked in public accounting/audit and numerous corporate managerial positions. After being the owner of a bookstore and teaching as an adjunct professor, Deb returned to accounting/finance and for the past 15 years has concentrated on supporting nonprofits with critical missions; including the nonprofits AMICUS (inmates and ex-offender support), HearthConnection (homelessness), Living Justice Press (social justice book publisher), and the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys.


Sarah Goodspeed, Research Analyst

Sarah Goodspeed has a background in policy and community development related to environmental and social justice that contributes to her role as Research Analyst at CEED. Over the past decade she has worked with communities of color from California and Ecuador to back home in Minnesota, supporting social and environmental justice movements and community development. She has professional experience in mainstream environmental nonprofits including Audubon Minnesota and Voyageurs National Park Association, multiple roles in the government sector with Hennepin County Environmental Services, the Chicano Latino Affairs Council, MN Secretary of State, and Congressman Keith Ellison, and serves on the board of Centro Campesino. She received her academic training at Scripps College in Claremont, CA in Bioethics and at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy researching sustainable agriculture, energy, and community intersections.


Dr. Kristen Hughes, Policy Fellow
Dr. Kristen Hughes worked at the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Delaware where she held a fixed term faculty position. She also previously worked at the White House and held a government position in her home state of Texas. Dr. Hughes’ work at CEED is to continue to advance urban-based energy policy and practices through high quality research. Dr. Hughes’ research examines best practices in energy and climate policy particularly focusing on development of new local-scale utility structures, and linking energy and economic development.  She has published a number of articles in the field including “Energizing Cities” in the 2007 Worldwatch Institute’s State of the World: Our Urban Future, which she collaborated on with Janet Sawin.  Her research has also appeared in premier publications such as Energy Policy, the Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society, Renewable Energy World, Advances in Solar Energy: An Annual Review of Research and Development, and Urban Energy Transition. She recently was an invited contributor to the National Science Foundation’s Workshop on Clean Energy Education, to devise recommendations for federal action on energy literacy and workforce development.  She earned her Ph.D. in Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Delaware, and her B.S. and M.A. degrees in Communications and Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.