AGC Staff

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Julie Jones and Karen O’Brien

Karen Peabody O’Brien –  Executive Director

Prior to founding Advancing Green Chemistry with Julie, Karen was Program Manager at the American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute (ACS GCI). At GCI Karen worked on projects making the business case for Green Chemistry, and linking the field with environmental health sciences. She co-founded The Ingenuity Project (TIP) at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia. TIP was an effort to focus business education on the competitive advantages inherent in environmental issues. For five years before this, Karen was Program Officer for New Ventures at the W. Alton Jones Foundation, a private philanthropy focused on environmental issues and nuclear non-proliferation.  At Jones, she managed grants on cross-disciplinary issues including environmental health, sustainable urban development, and renewable energy.  She also initiated and oversaw the foundation’s ‘Megacities and Sustainable Transportation’ initiative, an international project spanning cities in the US, Asia and Latin America.  Karen’s background is in interdisciplinary approaches to political and economic development; she holds a B.A. in Development Studies from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.A. in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University.

Karen is an urban beekeeper; follow her blog, My Own Beeswax

Julie Jones – Managing Director

Before joining forces with Karen to start Advancing Green Chemistry, Julie was the project organizer for the “Green Chemistry Centers of Excellence Project” at the American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute.  Prior to that she worked as a Program Officer for both the Virginia Health Care Foundation and the former W. Alton Jones Foundation where she oversaw grantmaking to grassroots groups working in the areas of children’s environmental health, climate change, and tax shifting.  She also has extensive experience working for non-profit organizations including serving as the Executive Director of the Virginia Health and Environment Project, Conservation Organizer for the Virginia Sierra Club, and Special Projects Coordinator for Madison House- the student volunteer center at the University of Virginia.

Julie was born and raised on a family farm on the Moormans River near Charlottesville, Virginia.  She is a graduate of the University of Virginia, and now lives in Charlottesville with her family.