EXPANDING OUR REACH: Evergreen Action Adds Three New Staff to Ramp Up Work In States & the Power Sector

Today, Evergreen Action is announcing several new additions to its staff, including its first-ever hires that are focused full-time on state-level policy and advocacy.

“Evergreen is thrilled to welcome three new brilliant and experienced advocates to the team,” said Evergreen Action Co-Founder and Senior Advisor Sam Ricketts. “Governors have a leading role to play in America’s fight against the climate crisis, and we are excited to be bringing in top talent to lead our expanding work on state policy. With new federal dollars already flowing into states from the infrastructure law, and more soon in a potential reconciliation bill, there is a golden opportunity for governors to make smart investments that will create jobs, drive down pollution, and position their states to lead in the growing clean energy economy. And Evergreen’s newly expanded state and power sector teams are ready to make the most of this historic moment. We look forward to bringing forward our best work yet.”

Here’s a little bit more about Evergreen’s latest hires:

Justin Balik, States Policy Director

Justin has an extensive background in sustainable transportation policy and advocacy, as well as in state and local government. Justin joins Evergreen next week from World Resources Institute, where he oversees state and local policy for the Electric School Bus Initiative. Previously, Justin served as Deputy Chief of Staff at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and was also Director of State and Federal Affairs for the New York City Department of Transportation. Additionally, Justin served as a leading volunteer on the Biden Campaign’s Infrastructure Policy Committee. Justin holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Northeastern University, as well as a B.A. in American Studies from Brandeis University.

Meryem Karad, States Campaign Director

Meryem most recently served as the Assistant Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources in Virginia Governor Ralph S. Northam's administration. She spent five years working in the areas of environmental justice, climate, natural resources, historic justice, water, and air quality, as well as equitable clean energy transition. Meryem also served in Governor Terry McAuliffe's administration as a Special Assistant. She currently serves as a member of the Virginia Council on Environmental Justice and is a Trustee of the University of Virginia's IDEA Fund, where she leads DEI efforts in support of the University community. Meryem earned a B.A. in Political Philosophy, Policy, and Law from the University of Virginia.

Charles Harper, Power Sector Policy Lead

Charles has dedicated his career to achieving ambitious climate action at the federal and state levels. Previously, he advocated for wind and solar energy with the American Clean Power Association and advised states on the energy transition as a program officer at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). Charles holds a degree in Earth & Environmental Engineering from Columbia University and recently completed his Master of Environmental Management at the Yale School of the Environment. While at Yale, he helped advance President Biden's climate agenda as a graduate intern at the White House Council on Environmental Quality and worked with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the U.S. Climate Alliance on projects related to offshore wind and zero-emission vehicle policy.