Heather Zichal

Executive Director


Heather Zichal was the Vice President  of corporate engagement for the Nature Conservancy (TNC), coordinating engagement with multi-lateral corporations to advance innovative industry approaches to some of the world’s most complex sustainability challenges. Prior to joining TNC, Heather served as the President of her DC-based consulting firm, focused on building out corporate sustainability programs for Fortune 500 companies and providing strategic advice to environmental NGO’s.  

Heather also served as the lead Obama White House aide on energy and climate issues. In her role as the Deputy Assistant to the President for energy and climate change, she was instrumental in the design and execution of the Climate Action Plan and a champion of smart, pragmatic climate policy. From negotiating the country’s first ever mercury standard to the historic fuel economy standards, Heather was able to break the mold by bringing industry to the table and advancing policies with broad stakeholder buy in from states, businesses, environmental groups and more. She got to know Obama when she was the environmental policy lead on his 2008 campaign. She also has extensive experience on Capitol Hill, including working as former Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry's legislative director and for two Members in the House of Representatives, including Rep. Frank Pallone Jr.

Heather is an Iowa native and graduate of Rutgers University.

Shayna Brody

Media & Communication's Manager


Shayna manages communications across Waitt Institute project sites, the Waitt Foundation, and the Blue Prosperity Coalition. She develops communications strategies, creates content, manages websites & social media channels, and captures media as a staff photographer, videographer, and drone pilot. She brings expertise in marketing, branding, photography, videography, and graphic design. 

Shayna holds a Masters in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Colorado with a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary biology and a minor in Media & Communications. She has a background in scientific research of marine mammal populations and behavior in South Africa, New Zealand, and California, as well as fish behavior and fire ecology in Rocky Mountain forest ecosystems. She has also worked at tech startup and in outreach and educational setting for many animal rescues, aquariums, and NGOs including The Wild Animal Sanctuary, Inland Ocean Coalition, Heal the Bay, Star Eco Station, and the Denver Aquarium.

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