Leslie Alden, Co-Founder, Chief Instigator, Executive Director
has worked at the nexus of public policy, community engagement, and communication for over 25 years. For the last fifteen years she's focused on climate solutions, believing that "we can't adapt our way out of the climate crisis". She served as a legislative aide and community representative for thirteen+ years at the County of Marin, and was part of breakthrough initiatives on climate action. The "David vs. Goliath" effort that's had the most impact was launching Marin Clean Energy (MCE), California's first Community Choice Energy program and the first in the nation focused on 100% renewable energy. From a modest launch in 2010, MCE led the way for local energy programs throughout California: there are now 22 operational CCE programs in the state that serve over 11 million customers. At the invitation of the Green Party, she toured Germany to see that country's commitment to a renewable energy transition first-hand. She's had the opportunity to speak in the US and Canada on community-based climate action. More recently, she was instrumental in conceiving and launching DRAWDOWN: Marin, a countywide campaign to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by engaging every aspect of the community: citizen groups, businesses, and government. The 2015 “Here-Now-Us" Project - a partnership between Climate Access, Autodesk, Dr. Susanne Moser, and funded by FEMA - tested a Virtual Reality tool to engage the community on sea level rise. A former art director and writer at agencies in Los Angeles and San Francisco, she brings a multi-disciplinary approach to climate solutions, combining communications, strategic planning, project management, public policy, and a commitment to outreach and education, all essential elements to move from “talk” to “action.” She sees both hope and peril in our global climate challenge and, borrowing from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, she recognizes the "fierce urgency of now", the need to implement climate solutions at speed and scale to protect future generations and all life on the planet. Born and raised in San Francisco, she attended Art Center College of Design, is a graduate of UC Berkeley with a degree in Education and Public Policy, and is currently enrolled at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
is currently a Senior Sustainability Specialist at the County of San Mateo, focused on electrifying homes. Prior to that, she was a Program Manager at Ecology Action, an environmental nonprofit. In that role, she launched “WaterLink,” a water and energy conservation program that serves disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Before that, she worked with the County of San Mateo’s Office of Sustainability, coordinating the San Mateo County Energy Watch program, helping “hard-to-reach” customers such as schools, nonprofits, small businesses, farms, and public agencies implement energy efficiency retrofits. She also hosted a monthly working group to help cities collaborate to develop, implement, and track climate action plans. Earlier in her career, Susan was Editorial Director of Sunset Magazine’s Custom Publishing division, where she led teams to create communication programs for corporate clients such as Safeway, Acura, and Procter & Gamble. The web content and custom magazines established a two-way dialog with consumers, taught them about product offerings, and influenced behavior. As a result of working in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors for nearly 30 years, she has insights as to how all three can work together to scale up impact. Susan completed her Masters in Public Administration at Presidio Graduate School in May 2019.