About Our Board

Golden Gate Audubon’s Board of Directors meets the fourth Tuesday of January, March, May, June, September and November. Meetings are held at Golden Gate Audubon’s main office or a location in San Francisco.


Alan Harper (President) is a biologist and photographer with a passion for plants and animals of “the Californias.” He is a founder of Terra Peninsular, AC, a Mexican land conservation organization based in Ensenada, which is working to protect the peninsula of Baja California. Currently working on a book about the natural history of Baja, Alan has published scientific papers on that region and featured it in a portfolio of large-format landscape images. He is a founding board member of the California Institute for Biodiversity. Alan received a Bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a PhD in zoology from the University of Washington, studying mathematical models of evolution.

Linda Carloni (Vice President, Secretary, and Chair of the Human Resources Committee) is retired from the practice of law, most recently as General Counsel of an Oakland educational software company. Previously, she was a founder of a health care startup, worked in technology transfer for the University of California and provided legal representation for technology and medical device companies on business and securities law matters.  She volunteers in GGAS’ Eco-Ed program, and is a graduate of GGAS’s first Master Birder class.  Linda is an Alameda County Master Gardener and serves on the board of Alameda Backyard Growers, a network of gardeners who provide education on urban agriculture and donate extra fruit and vegetables to the Alameda Food Bank.  She received a B.A. in political science from Case Western Reserve University and a J.D. from the UC Berkeley School of Law.

William Hudson (Treasurer) has worked in private finance, as a long term lender to established companies for an insurance company and as an investment banker for a small firm in San Francisco. He was an early volunteer and later board member for Save Open Space-Gateway Valley, which worked closely with Golden Gate Audubon to minimize the environmental impact of the Gateway Valley development in Orinda. He is currently treasurer of the Gateway Settlement Fund Alliance, a related organization with representatives from SOS-GV, Golden Gate Audubon, and the Sierra Club. Bill also serves on the board of Friends of the Wagner Ranch Nature Area and does pro bono nonprofit consulting through the Stanford Alumni Consulting Team. He received an M.B.A. from Stanford University, as well as Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in engineering.

Directors and Committee Chairs

Karim Al-Khafaji is a manager for the Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit advisor for mission-driven leaders and organizations. His clients have primarily been focused on the environment, including California Water Foundation, Resources Legacy Fund, Energy Foundation, Natural Capital Project, Yellowstone Park Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Previously, Karim worked as an environmental engineer and scientist with the Parsons Corporation, a global engineering and construction firm, and in a research lab of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Karim holds a B.S. in biology and a B.S.E. in civil engineering from the University of Nevada, and a PhD in ecology from Stanford University, where he focused on population dynamics and demography.

Clayton Anderson is an environmental educator and professional artist, currently working with the Stepping Out Stepping In environmental education program and the Artesteem art education program. He became a naturalist and birder as a child, although he didn’t get his first pair of binoculars until graduating from high school. Clay worked his way through San Jose City College, then transferred to San Jose State University, graduating with a B.A. in Drawing and Painting. He has worked with a number of environmental education organizations, including California State Parks and Recreation, East Bay Regional Park District and The Oakland Museum. As an artist, he has designed numerous logos, business cards, brochures, flyers and posters as well as illustrating two books and completing several murals. He is currently a participant in Golden Gate Audubon’s 2015 Master Birder class.

Sarah Peterman Bell is a partner at Farella Braun + Martel, where she specializes in environmental and natural resources litigation and counseling, including representation of manufacturers, distributors and property owners in environmental enforcement actions, cost recovery litigation, citizen suits, complex toxic tort litigation and administrative proceedings. Sarah was a judicial extern for the Honorable Maxine Chesney of the Northern District of California and a legal intern for Waterkeepers, where she assisted with Clean Water Act litigation. She received a B.A. from Princeton University and a J.D. from Hastings College of the Law.

Diane Bennett is a retired California educator who spent 30 years teaching science, math, and computers to middle school students and is credentialed to teach English Language Learners. Diane regularly participates in GGAS field trips and volunteers with the Eco-Education program. Her other volunteer commitments include San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory, Point Blue Conservation Science, and the Oakland Zoo, where she is treasurer of the Docent Board. Diane graduated with a B.S. degree in education from Eastern Michigan University, and earned a M.A. degree in educational technology from San Francisco State University.

John Philip “Jack” Dumbacher Jr. (Chair of San Francisco Conservation Committee) is Curator and Chair of the Ornithology and Mammalogy Department at the California Academy of Sciences, and a professor of biology at San Francisco State University.  A frequent presenter at the American Ornithologists’ Union and other conferences, Jack is an author of more than two dozen scholarly articles on birds. He has organized and co-led ornithological collecting trips to Papua New Guinea, the Gaoligonshan Mountains of China, Baviaanskloof region of South Africa, Namibia, and various locations in North America. Jack has also served as a leader and guide for family travel programs to destinations including the Galapagos, Western China and Tibet, and Greenland. He co-teaches the Master Birding class that is sponsored by GGAS and the Academy of Sciences.

Robert Lewis (Chair of Adult Education Committee) spent 33 years at Chevron Corp. as a scientist and manager,  overseeing a 60-person staff and $15 million budget. He is one of the Bay Area’s leading birding instructors, teaching classes on Bay Area Birds, Bird Migration, and Birds of the Sierra.  Bob serves on the board of the Farallon Islands Foundation and is co-coordinator of the Oakland Christmas Bird Count, in which he has been a participant for 30 years. A GGAS field trip leader, he has taken part in several county breeding bird surveys, is an expert bird and wildlife photographer, and co-teaches the Master Birding class sponsored by GGAS and California Academy of Sciences. Bob’s E-bird entries include over 40 countries and 4500 species of birds noted. He received a B.S. in chemistry from Carnegie Institute of Technology and a Master’s and PhD in organic chemistry from Princeton University.

Jill O’Brien is a deputy attorney general in the civil division of the California Department of Justice.  She holds a degree in environmental science and public policy from Harvard College, where she authored a senior thesis on the effects of roads on wildlife.  She holds a law degree from the University of Michigan.   She has traveled extensively in Latin America, experiencing the wonder of the region’s nature and bird life.  Jill  has experience mist-netting and banding California birds and has enjoyed birdwatching for years.

Jay Pierrepont (Chair of Development Committee) is a former senior member of the management team of Pantheon Ventures, where he was responsible for coordination of the firm’s global secondary activities including marketing, generating investment opportunities, determining bidding strategies, evaluating deals, and the Pantheon Global Secondary Fund 4. Jay was part of the buy-out team that purchased the business from GT Management in 1988. Prior to that, he was a commercial banker at the Northern Trust Company in Chicago. Jay received a B.S. in agricultural economics from Cornell University and a Master’s from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Pam Young (Chair of the East Bay Conservation Committee)  is an aviculturist, birding guide, and environmental law specialist who worked for many years as a bird curator at zoos including the Toledo Zoo and Dallas Zoo. Her skills with birds include rescue and rehabilitation, reproduction in captivity for repopulation programs, and falconry. As a member of several working groups, Pam participated in the recovery of the California Condor, proposals for breeding and reintroducing the Black-capped Vireo, field studies on Prairie Falcons, and behavioral studies of breeding Roseate Spoonbills. Among her consulting activities, Pam was a reviewer of the Wild Bird Conservation Act for the U.S. Dept. of Fish & Wildlife and a member of the International Advisory Committee for the National Avian Research Centre in Abu Dhabi. She studied avian ecology as an undergraduate and earned a J.D. in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School.


We mourn the loss in December 2015 of board member Allen Hirsch. Click here to view an online gallery of some of Allen’s wonderful bird photographs.