U. S. Climate Alliance Secretariat

Executive Director

Julie Cerqueira.jpg

Julie Cerqueira is the Executive Director of the U.S. Climate Alliance, where she helps to advance the climate and clean energy policy priorities of the Alliance’s Governors and their offices.  Ms. Cerqueira most recently served as a Senior Advisor to the Special Envoy for Climate Change, later joining the Office of Global Change, both with the U.S. Department of State.  In this role, she led U.S. engagement in strategic partnerships, such as the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, helped launch high profile climate deliverables for North America and the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, and led the Department’s engagement with sub-national governments on climate change, amongst other priorities.  Prior to her work in the federal government, Ms. Cerqueira worked with developing countries on designing and implementing sectoral climate policies at a climate think tank, and spent four years in Southeast Asia working with local communities, governments and the private sector on environmental projects and promoting policy reforms.



Taryn Finnessey is a Senior Policy Advisor with the U.S. Climate Alliance, where she supports Alliance states in the development and implementation of policies to substantially reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, such as HFCs, methane and black carbon. Prior to this role, Ms. Finnessey most recently served as the Senior Climate Change Specialist for the State of Colorado, in this role she was responsible for coordinating Colorado’s climate change efforts across state agencies to integrate scientific and policy innovations that increase Colorado’s ability to reduce emissions and address climate change impacts, including establishing Colorado as a national and international leader on drought resilience.

Senior associate


Kristin Igusky is a Senior Associate with the U.S. Climate Alliance, where she supports the Alliance’s policy research and analysis, communications, strategy development, and coordination functions.  Ms. Igusky most recently served as an Associate with the U.S. Climate Initiative at the World Resources Institute.  In this role, she led research and analysis of clean energy and climate policies at the state, federal, and local levels. This included identifying how states can meet their Clean Power Plan targets, tracking U.S. progress towards its 2020 and 2025 emissions reduction goals, and developing analytical approaches to aggregate the sectoral impact of state, city and corporate climate and energy actions. Prior to her work at WRI, Ms. Igusky worked on SAIC’s Climate Change Services team where she focused on a wide-range of GHG management projects for federal government agencies, local governments, and private sector entities.



Claire Jahns is a Senior Advisor to U.S. Climate Alliance, with a focus on advancing the Natural and Working Lands Initiative and supporting states in achieving the goals of the Natural and Working Lands Challenge. Ms. Jahns most recently served as Assistant Secretary for Climate Issues at the California Natural Resources Agency under Governor Edmund G. Brown. In this role, she led development of California’s Natural and Working Lands Strategy and adoption of California’s first statewide quantitative targets for GHG emissions reductions derived from natural climate solutions. Prior to her work with the State of California, Ms. Jahns she served as a project director at The Nature Conservancy, where she worked with landowners, public officials, and other partners to develop solutions at the intersection of agriculture and biodiversity conservation in California and the American West. Claire was an economist and business development associate at the Chicago Climate Exchange from the Exchange’s opening in 2003 to 2007.



Steve Tebbe is a Special Assistant with the U.S. Climate Alliance, where he supports the Alliance’s transportation efforts as well as its policy research and analysis, strategy development, and coordination functions. He most recently served as a State Climate Policy Fellow and Policy Intern with the Alliance concurrent with his graduate studies. Steve holds a MS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, where he concentrated on Global Politics & Security and climate change diplomacy in particular, and a BA in Geography and Anthropology from Dartmouth College.



Emily Liss is a Climate Policy Fellow for the U.S. Climate Alliance. She recently completed her Master of Science at the Friedman School for Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in the Agriculture, Food and Environment program. She concentrated in Natural Resource Management, and also holds a certificate in Water Systems. She is particularly interested in sustainable agriculture, natural climate solutions, and soil health. She is originally from Vermont, and has experience working for state agencies, non-profits, and farms. Emily also holds a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College.  


Natalie Covill is a Climate Policy Intern with the U.S. Climate Alliance. She is a Master of Arts Candidate in Global Environmental Policy at American University’s School of International Service, where she serves as her program student association’s President and focuses on urban environmental policy and research. She most recently worked as a research intern at Mobility Lab, a transportation research firm in Arlington, Virginia. Natalie is originally from San Diego, California, and holds a BA in Urban Design and Architecture Studies from New York University.

Diana Marcum is a Climate Policy intern with the U.S. Climate Alliance. She is acquiring her Master's in Environmental Resource Policy at George Washington University, with a certificate in Geographic Information Systems. Moving to D.C. from Nebraska, she graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Communications, with a focus on Public Policy and a minor in Environmental Education. Previously, she has worked with the Department of Agriculture and Nebraska Forest Service assisting with their communications and outreach efforts, as well as writing about environmental news, and volunteering with various conservation groups.

Additional Support By

The William + Flora Hewlett Foundation

Energy Foundation

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation


Secretariat housed at

The United Nations Foundation