Jeff Benoit

President and services gele viagra CEO, jbenoit@estuaries.org 
National Office

Jeff2015Jeff Benoit is the President and CEO of Restore America’s Estuaries. He has over 28 years of experience and leadership in coastal management and marine conservation. A coastal geomorphologist by training, Jeff started his career with the Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management, first as a coastal geologist, and then as Director. From 1993 to 2001 Jeff served as Director of NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) where he had responsibility for the National Coastal Zone Management Program, National Estuarine Research Reserves, and National Marine Sanctuaries. Jeff has served on two National Research Council Committee’s: 1) Review of the Restoration of Coastal Louisiana; and 2) Mitigating Shore Erosion along Sheltered Coasts. He is Past President of The Coastal Society - an organization of coastal and marine professionals. Jeff earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Geology from Southampton College and a Master’s Degree in Geophysical Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology/Skidaway Institute of Oceanography.

In his spare time, Jeff enjoys reading Clive Cussler novels, working on an endless list of projects around the house, and creating culinary delights for friends to enjoy (so he hopes). 


Kimberly Burke

Business Manager, kburke@estuaries.org Kimberly Burke
National Office
 

Kimberly Burke joined the RAE team in March of 2009 as the Business Manager, overseeing the daily operations of the RAE national office. Prior to her arrival at RAE, Kimberly spent over six years working as the Operations and Personnel Manager for an international wholesale apparel company. A native of estuary-rich St. Louis, Kimberly moved to Northern Virginia in 1997 and graduated from George Mason University. Kimberly is an animal lover and volunteers with various welfare and conservation groups. In her spare time she also enjoys reading, spending time with family, beachcombing the south New Jersey shore, and cheering on her St. Louis Cardinals.


Steve Emmett-Mattox

Senior Director of Strategic Planning and Programs, sem@estuaries.org 
National Office

alt

Steve Emmett-Mattox has been with Restore America’s Estuaries since 2000 and is currently the Sr. Director for Strategic Planning and Programs. He leads the national coastal blue carbon initiative and other strategic efforts for RAE. Steve has more than twenty-five years of experience in environmental protection and conservation with the Environmental Law Institute, the Institute for Conservation Leadership, and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. Steve got his start in the conservation community as an intern with the National Wildlife Federation. He has a Masters degree in Environmental Ethics from the University of North Texas. He enjoys yoga, hiking and trail running, gardening, and spending time with his family in Niwot, Colorado. 


Leigh Habegger

External Affairs Manager, lhabegger@estuaries.org 
National Office

Leigh pic

Leigh is the External Affairs Manager for Restore America’s Estuaries. Leigh came to RAE from her previous position as a lobbyist working on fisheries and maritime policy. Prior to lobbying Congress, Leigh facilitated work on highly migratory species (HMS) for the Environmental Defense Fund and served as a Knauss Fellow for Congresswoman Chellie Pingree covering her oceans, coastal, and fisheries portfolio. 

Leigh has always had a deep love for the coast and ocean. From learning how to snorkel as a child in Florida, to spending a summer in Belize conducting coral research, working as a divemaster in the Turks and Caicos, and conducting her thesis research on the NC coast, the marine environment has always been a large part of her life. When she’s not in the salt water, Leigh enjoys practicing yoga, running, reading, painting, and cheering on the Tar Heels.

Leigh earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Environmental Science from UNC-Chapel Hill, and a Master’s Degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island.


Courtney N. Lewis

Senior Development Manager, clewis@estuaries.org 
National Office

11044631 10108302838472034 5488331707455570723 nCourtney is the Senior Development Manager for Restore America's Estuaries. Prior to her work at RAE, she was an intern at the White House, Program Manager at a consulting company, and the Director of Development at an environmental non-profit. She fell in love with fundraising during an internship with the Grant Manager at Cheshire County in New Hampshire. After this internship, she continued to learn grant writing, strategic planning, and board development throughout her career. 

Courtney received her Bachelors of Science in Sustainablity at Arizona State University and her Masters of Science in Environmental Studies from Antioch University New England.

During her free time, Courtney enjoys spending time with her two cats, playing golf, camping and cheering on her Arizona Cardinals.                                           


Suzanne Giles Simon

Strategic Programs Manager, ssimon@estuaries.org 
National Office

altSuzanne is the Strategic Projects Coordinator for Restore America’s Estuaries. She has spent more than 20 years working on coastal, marine, and estuarine issues in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. An estuarine scientist by training, she started her career at an oceanographic consulting firm in the Pacific Northwest. From 2000 to 2004 she worked in DC’s non-profit sector, including a two-year period as RAE’s National Policy and Science Director. A move to Florida prompted a switch back to the private sector, where she once again joined a consulting firm and developed an expertise about Florida’s ecosystems and drinking water issues. She re-joined RAE in 2009.

Keeping up with her family provides Suzanne with exercise and entertainment during her “down” time. In those rare moments when she can, she thoroughly enjoys a good book.

Suzanne earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Bates College and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science with a concentration in marine and estuarine science from Western Washington University.


Lance Speidell

Director of Foundation and Corporate Giving  lspeidell@estuaries.org
National Office

lanceLance Speidell is Director of Foundation and Corporate Giving for Restore America’s Estuaries, managing RAE’s relationships with current and potential institutional funders. Lance brings twelve years’ experience working in corporate and foundation relations for environmentally-focused nonprofit organizations, most recently with the National Parks Conservation Association.

Lance graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Anthropology, and before entering the nonprofit sector spent several years in IT sales and marketing. Having grown up in the Tidewater area of Virginia and spent many summer vacations in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Lance has a long history with coastal and estuarine areas and a deep appreciation for the value they bring to their communities.   
In his free time, he enjoys trying to keep up with his toddler son and having his heart routinely broken by various D.C. and University of Virginia sports teams.  
 

Stefanie Simpson

Blue Carbon Program Senior Manager, ssimpson@estuaries.org
National Office

stef mangrovesPR2016

Stefanie manages RAE's Blue Carbon Program, where she works with local and national partners to increase recognition of tidal ecosystems for the role they have in climate adapatation and mitigation.

Stefanie began her career working for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources - ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve, organizing professional development trainings for coastal decision-makers. She then spent over two years in the Philippines as a Peace Corps Volunteer managing coastal resources and educating youth to be environmental stewards. Upon returning to the States, she worked on outreach and communications projects for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water before joining the RAE team. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Clemson (go Tigers!) and a Master’s of Science degree in Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston. Originally from South Carolina, Stefanie grew up with a love for the coastal environment and enjoys kayaking, swimming, diving and hiking adventures. 


Elsa Carlisle Schwartz

Senior Director of Restoration and Administration, eschwartz@estuaries.org 
West Coast Office

alt

Elsa L. Schwartz began her career in the RAE family in 2000 as a Manatee Watch intern for Tampa Bay Watch, one of RAE's member organizations. In 2004, Elsa was reintroduced to RAE when she was hired to work at RAE's 3rd National Conference. Now as the Senior Director of Restoration, Elsa manages RAE's national restoration prgram and the restoration projects undertaken by RAE's member groups each year. Prior to working for RAE, Elsa worked in the San Juan Islands for the Samish Indian Nation, working on a variety of projects from salmon restoration to shorlines stabilization. She has a Master's of Marine Affairs from the University of Washington, and a BS in Biology from Pacific Lutheran University. Elsa lives on beautiful Camano Island where she enjoys crabbing and sailing with her husband, Nate and dog, Bailey.