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.
Liza (Guerra) O’Reilly, JD, Legal Analyst
Liza is a member of the United Confederation of Taino People, the Indigenous people of Boriken (Puerto Rico).  She is an attorney and a member of the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association.  Liza’s professional experience includes working for the Minnesota Department of Human Rights in the Investigations Unit and with Indigenous nation governments .  She also most recently served more than two years as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Kathleen A. Mottl at the State of Minnesota Judicial Branch.  Liza received her JD from William Mitchell Law School  St.Paul, Minnesota in 2003.  Liza served as a delegate to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues for the North American Preparatory region, and the Indigenous Peoples Global Summit on Climate Change in Alaska in 2009. In Alaska, she participated in drafting “The Anchorage Declaration” submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).   She continues this work with Indigenous peoples and other marginalized groups to advance fundamental human and environmental rights.

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.


Rachel Grewell, Research Assistant
Rachel Grewell has worked with a wide range of community and academic partnerships working on food and environmental justice issues. She has worked with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, the Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships on their Value Added Local Food Processing project, and has experience with passing bills in the state legislature to protect children from toxic chemical exposure in consumer products and food packaging. She is also a PhD student studying food and environmental justice movements in the Sociology department at the U of M.


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.