Board Members

Jim McGrath, Vice-Chair

Mr. Jim McGrath Term Expires: September 30, 2021

Mr. McGrath, of Berkeley, has worked in the environmental field for over 30 years, starting at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1972. He spent five years with U.S. EPA, fourteen years with the California Coastal Commission, and sixteen years with the Port of Oakland, working on a variety of projects and addressing a range of environmental issues.

Mr. McGrath received his formal education at the University of California, Berkeley, initially in the Chemistry Department, and received a B.A. in History in 1973 and a M.S. in Civil Engineering in 1983. During his career he has had the opportunity to work on a number of habitat restoration projects including the Martin Luther King, Jr., shoreline in Oakland, the Sonoma Baylands, Middle Harbor, Hamilton and Montezuma wetland projects, and the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project. Since retiring from the Port of Oakland in 2005, he has volunteered at Le Conte Elementary School in Berkeley. He also serves on various non-profit boards including the San Francisco Estuary Institute, US Windsurfing, San Francisco Boardsailors Association, and Bay Access as well as the City of Berkeley's Waterfront Commission. He windsurfs and kayaks and spends over 150 days on San Francisco Bay each year.

William Kissinger

William Kissinger Term Expires: September 30, 2019

William Kissinger of Marin County is a partner at the law firm of Morgan Lewis and Bockius. Before that he was a partner at Bingham McCutchen from 2003 to 2014, and an associate and then a partner at the legacy McCutchen Doyle Brown and Enersen firm from 1989 to 1997. He was senior deputy legal affairs secretary at the Office of Governor Gray Davis from 2001 to 2003. Kissinger served as senior advisor for international economic policy for the National Economic Council at the White House from 2000 to 2001 and was special assistant to the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State from 1997 to 2000. He was staff attorney for the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals from 1987 to 1988. Kissinger earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and a B.A. in Politics/American Studies cum laude from Princeton University.

Newsha Ajami Ph.D

Dr. Newsha Ajami Term Expires: September 30, 2021

Dr. Ajami, of San Francisco, is the Director of Urban Water Policy with the Water in the West and NSF-ReNEUWIt initiatives at Stanford University. She is a hydrologist specializing in sustainable water resource management and has been working on the improvement of the science-policy-stakeholder interface through relevant and effective communication for many years. She worked as a Senior Research Associate at the Pacific Institute from 2011-2013. Prior to joining the Pacific Institute, Dr. Ajami served as a Science and Technology fellow at the California State Senate's Natural Resources and Water Committee and as a post doctorate researcher with the Berkeley Water Center, UC Berkeley, focusing on improving the management of California's water resources by developing an integrated operational platform encouraging collaboration between engineers, economists, and operational agencies.

Dr. Ajami received her Ph.D in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Irvine, an M.S. in Hydrology and Water Resources from the University of Arizona, and a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Tehran Polytechnic. She has published many highly cited peer-reviewed papers and was the recipient of the 2010 William R. Gianelli Water Leaders scholarship, 2005 NSF funding for the AMS Science and Policy Colloquium, and the ICSC-World Laboratory Hydrologic Science and Water Resources Fellowship from 2000-2003.

Steve Lefkovits

Steve Lefkovits Term Expires: September 30, 2022

Steve Lefkovits, of Emeryville, is President and CEO of Joshua Tree Consulting, which he founded in 2001, and Joshua Tree Conference Group. He is also a principal at RealtyCom Partners, LLC, a specialty consulting practice serving owners of multifamily housing. From 2000-2001, Steve served as Senior Vice President of BRE Properties, Inc., and, from 1997-2000, as Vice President of the National Multi Housing Council in Washington, DC. Steve started in multifamily housing as a vice president of the New York State Housing Finance Agency and was briefly an associate at Prudential Securities in New York.

Prior to real estate, Steve was a staff photographer at the national newspaper, USA Today, and a photo intern at the New York Times. He is a professional landscape and nature photographer with a gallery in Emeryville. He is a graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University (MPA 1994) and Yale University (BA Economics 1988).

Cecilia Ogbu

Cecilia Ogbu Term Expires: September 30, 2019

Cecilia Ogbu, of San Francisco, was an associate at Crowell and Moring LLP from 2009 to 2011 and at Folger Levin and Kahn LLP from 2004 to 2009, representing clients from a broad range of industries in complex commercial civil litigation matters. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law, and a B.A. in History from the University of California, Berkeley.

Jayne Battey

Jayne Battey Term Expires: September 30, 2020

Jayne Battey is the owner and founder of Miramar Farms in Half Moon Bay. Using the farm as a uniquely restorative backdrop, Ms. Battey provides executive coaching and leadership development support to mission-driven corporations and nonprofit organizations. She is also currently a facilitator for the Women in Management (WIM) program at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Prior to transitioning to leadership development work in 2013, Ms. Battey held executive positions in a number of environmental organizations, including Essex Environmental, Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council, and Pacific Gas & Electric Company. She has extensive experience in environmental planning and compliance management for large-scale infrastructure projects, as well as expertise in a wide-range of state and federal natural resource protection regulations. Ms. Battey holds a bachelor's degree from Boston College and a master's degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is a senior fellow of American Leadership Forum - Silicon Valley (Class XXIV).