Staff

Craig S. Altemose, Executive Director, (201) 841 7105, craig@betterfutureproject.org

craig2016USE.jpgCraig co-founded Better Future Project in 2011 and has served as its Executive Director since that time. Before starting BFP, he co-founded and led Students for a Just and Stable Future, a statewide student network that engaged students at over fifteen Massachusetts universities on climate policy. Craig holds a B.A. in International Relations from Eckerd College, an M.P.P. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. A native of Morris Plains, New Jersey, he now lives with his wife, Rouwenna, in Somerville, MA and enjoys playing Settlers of Catan and other strategy board games when not working for a livable future for all.

Alyssa Lee, Director of Divest Ed Campus Programs, alyssa@betterfutureproject.org

Alyssa2016.jpgAlyssa graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics. Though originally interested in global health, she quickly fell in love with organizing through co-founding the Student Food Collective, an initiative to form a student-run and owned cooperative grocery, and starting the Fossil Free UCLA divestment campaign. She has also served as the Northern California Regional Organizer of the Divestment Student Network and as the Statewide Divestment Organizer for the California Student Sustainability Coalition. She hails from Modesto, CA in the northern Central Valley, and she considers her hometown a critical frontline community when viewing the narrative of climate change on the West Coast.

Alan Palm, Director of 350 Mass Organizing, (508) 728 5992, alan@betterfutureproject.org

alanpalmstaffpic.jpgBorn and raised in Massachusetts with roots in Nova Scotia, Alan has been working for the past decade to educate and activate the public, especially young people, to fight for climate justice. In 2007, Alan co-founded a sustainability education organization that traveled to 46 states aboard vegetable oil and solar powered school buses, presenting at schools and supporting the youth climate movement. In 2009, Alan joined ACE: Alliance for Climate Education where he led a team that presented to nearly half a million high school students throughout New England, and trained dozens of youth to lead campaigns for issues like Fossil Fuel Divestment and 100% Renewable Energy. After completing Marshall Ganz’s semester long course, “Organizing: People, Power, Change,” Alan joined the BFP team in 2017 as the Director of Organizing for 350 Mass.

Erica Rotman, Director of Development, erica@betterfutureproject.org

ericastaffpic.jpgErica comes to Better Future Project with 10 years of fundraising experience, previously at Bikes Not Bombs (in JP), the Center Against Domestic Violence (in NYC) and Head and Hands (in Montreal). At BFP, Erica manages individual giving and grants programs. Originally from Montreal, Erica holds a B.SC in Neuroscience from McGill and an MPH from NYU. Outside of the office, you can find Erica mountain biking in nearby parks and running an Iraqi cooking pop up with her cousins.


Vignesh Ramachandran, 350 Mass Digital Organizer
, vignesh@betterfutureproject.org

Vignesh is a recent graduate of Middlebury College, where he studied International/Global Studies, and got involved in climate organizing in his first year when he was inspired by the movement at the 2014 People's Climate March. Vignesh previously organized on his campus with Divest Middlebury and nationally with the Fossil Fuel Divestment Student Network, where he also engaged with racial and economic justice through Reinvestment for a Just Transition programs. He has also worked at Generations For Peace, a grassroots peace-building NGO based in Jordan which seeks to resolve conflict through sport and arts. He hopes to connect global issues with local organizing, and build a climate justice movement that prioritizes anti-imperialism and solidarity with oppressed peoples around the world.

Gracie Brett, Divest Ed Campus Organizer

Gracie recently graduated from American University in Washington, DC with a B.A. in Political Science. She became interested in climate justice when she joined her University’s divestment campaign, Fossil Free AU. There, Gracie learned the importance of community and camaraderie in organizing. She views the climate crisis as an opportunity to reshape the global political economy to serve people over profits—seeking prosperity for the people, not the polluters. Her work at Better Future Project seeks not only to fight environmental injustice, but to build a more democratic and equitable society along the way. Outside of organizing, Gracie enjoys contemporary art, free jazz, fitness, and reading. 

 Rachel Schlueter, Divest Ed Campus Organizer, rachel@betterfutureproject.org

Rachel graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in International Relations and Public Health this past May, where she organized with DivestBU. Her work contributed to campaign victories of coal and tar sand divestment in September 2016 and the adoption of a Climate Action Plan that brings BU to carbon neutrality by 2040. Outside of campus organizing, she spent time in Kenya researching institutional development since devolution, worked for a refugee health organization in Boston, and co-founded the student cooperative BU Community Greenhouse. Rachel is especially excited to support the development of reinvestment tactics, and centers building a movement that prioritizes the intersection of racial justice and climate justice in the United States.

Vernon K. Walker, CREW Program Manager, vernon@betterfutureproject.org

Vernon Walker

Rev. Vernon K. Walker is originally born and raised in Philadelphia, the west side. Rev. Walker attended Penn State University for college and there he earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree with a major in Organizational Leadership and a minor in Psychology in 2012. During his time in college, Rev. Walker also was elected to become the President of the Abington Christian Fellowship at Penn State Abington’s campus; which is the campus Christian Organization.

After graduating from Penn State University, Rev. Walker attended Boston University's School of Theology and earned a Master Degree in Theological Studies (M.T.S) in 2016. During this time, Rev. Walker also took crossed registered to take courses at Harvard University' Divinity School on non-profit leadership. Rev. Walker also took classes at the School of Social Work at Boston University where he took classes that focused on social justice work and macro social work practices.

During his graduate studies at Boston University, Rev. Walker had an opportunity to an internship at Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants, where he helped the organization preserve and improve at-risk HUD buildings as permanently affordable housing with a maximum of resident participation, ownership and control.

Rev. Walker also interned at the Massachusetts Communities Action Network, where he had an opportunity to engage more deeply in racial and economic justice work. Rev. Walker has for the last several years been affiliated with the Berachah Church located in Dorchester where he helped develop the social action and outreach department.

Throughout his time in Boston, Rev. Walker has appeared in several different newspapers such as: Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Bay State Banner, Commonwealth Magazine, and other newspapers for his work related to social justice. Rev. Walker has also made TV appearances on Fox 25, New England Cable News, Boston Neighborhood Network, CBS Boston, and NBC 10 Boston. Rev. Walker is excited to be joining the Better Future Project and helping to fight for climate justice!

Canyon Woodward, Divest Ed Harvard Alumni Organizer, canyon@betterfutureproject.org

Canyon WoodwardCanyon graduated from Harvard College in 2015. As an undergraduate he co-coordinated Divest Harvard, studied the craft of organizing under Professors Marshall Ganz and Timothy P. McCarthy, and wrote about the roots and growth of the U.S. climate movement in his honors thesis, “We Must, Therefore We Can: The Rise of Radical Grassroots Climate rganizing in the U.S.” Canyon hails from the Appalachian Mountain region of North Carolina. He has worked as Regional Field Director for Bernie Sanders 2016, Vice-Chair of the NC District 11 Democratic Party, Campaign Manager for Representative Chloe Maxmin, and Producer of Collapse The Distance. Canyon is also an outdoor educator, avid trail runner, potter, and writer.

Venson Shih, Operations Manager, venson@betterfutureproject.org

Venson ShihVenson spent two decades as the IT Director for non-profit organizations including the American Heart Association and the Appalachian Mountain Club. In recent years, he worked as an independent technology consultant and operations manager for non-profits, small businesses and individuals. He spends as much time as possible outdoors, hiking, kayaking or playing in his garden. He is a strong advocate of sustainability, for protecting nature and the environment. Venson is very excited to join BFP and the fight against the climate crisis.

Flick Monk, Summer 2019 Divest Ed Intern, flick@betterfutureproject.org

FlickMonkFlick Monk is a current grad student at Antioch University New England, working towards an MS in Environmental Studies, Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability on a US-UK Fulbright Scholarship. Flick has been passionate about the environment ever since her parents dragged her, age 12, to a conference outlining the science of climate change. During her undergraduate in International Relations at the University of Edinburgh, she helped kick-start an (eventually successful) fossil fuel divestment campaign. She has been involved in national campaigns against fracking in Scotland and climate justice at the UN. When she’s not thinking about climate change, Flick likes bouldering, roller derby and cycling adventures.

Alina Sipp-Alpers , 350 Mass Organizing Fellow, alina@betterfutureproject.org

Alina Sipp-AlpersAlina just finished her sophomore year at Brandeis University where she is majoring in Labor Studies and Social Movements. She's been on the activist scene since she was born, as both of her parents are labor organizers. She is excited every day to follow in their footsteps. At school, Alina is involved in the Brandeis Labor Coalition, a student labor group that supports workers on and off campus, and Brandeis Climate Justice, the student group that runs the #divestdeis campaign. She has previously worked as a Communications Intern at Massachusetts Jobs With Justice and a Community Organizer at Make the Road Pennsylvania.