Beyond Pesticides Staff

Jay Feldman, Executive Director

202-543-5450 ext. 15
[email protected]

Jay is a cofounder of the organization and has served as its director since 1981. Jay dedicated himself to finding solutions to pesticide problems after working with farmworkers and small farmers through an EPA grant in 1978 to the national advocacy organization Rural America (1977-1981). Since that time, Jay has helped to build Beyond Pesticides' capacity to assist local groups and impact national pesticide policy. He has tracked specific chemical effects, regulatory actions, and pesticide law. He is very familiar with local groups working on pesticides and has helped develop successful strategies for reform in local communities. His work with media has helped to bring broader public understanding of the hazards of pesticides. Jay has a Masters in urban and regional planning with a focus on health policy from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (1977), and a B.A. from Grinnell College (1975) in political science. In September 2009, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack appointed Jay to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), where he completed a 5 year term in January 2015.

Drew Toher, Community Resource and Policy Director

202-543-5450 ext. 18
[email protected]

Drew became Beyond Pesticides' Community Resource and Policy Director in 2016 after first working as the organization’s Public Education Associate for four years. At Beyond Pesticides, he collaborates closely with community advocates and local and state officials to transform community pesticide policies in a way that ensures the lasting protection of public health and the environment. He is also oversees a range of organizational program work and is a regular contributor to Beyond Pesticides’ newsletter, Pesticides and You. Before he arrived at Beyond Pesticides, previous experience included an internship at a certified organic heirloom tomato farm, director of artisanal certified organic salsa production, and store manager for a Mid-Atlantic region farm club. Drew graduated with a Master’s of Science in Environmental Management in the spring of 2017 from George Mason University, where he also received in B.A. in Global Affairs in 2012. Drew is an avid hiker, gardener, and hobby beekeeper.

Carla Curle, Science Program Associate

202-543-5450 ex. 14
[email protected]

Carla Curle graduated from the Friedman School at Tufts University in the spring of 2016 with a Master's in Agriculture, Food and Environment. She has a bachelor's degree in Environmental Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara. After finishing her undergraduate studies she worked as an AmeriCorps member in Providence, Rhode Island for Save the Bay as an environmental educator. During the summer between her two years of graduate school, she worked for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition on issues related to GE crops, agricultural certainty programs, and farm conservation. Throughout her graduate studies, Carla worked on research projects including assessing the effects of climate change on tea production, reviewing the environmental effects of GE crops, and providing recommendations for how to best implement FSMA at the state level. When not thinking about or working on environmental and agricultural issues, Carla loves to hike, bike, cook, and explore coffee shops.

Annie D'Amato, Legal and Policy Associate

202-543-5450 ex. 19
[email protected]

Annie D'Amato graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2009 with majors in Political Science, Legal Studies, and Environmental Studies. She also has a joint J.D., M.P.P degree at the University of Denver, graduating from law school in the spring of 2014 and receiving her Master’s in Public Policy in the spring of 2015. While in law school Annie also received a Certificate of Environmental and Natural Resources Law. In between her undergraduate and graduate program, she spent time volunteering as a teacher in Ghana, working for the State Environmental Leadership Program in Madison, WI, and managing leadership conferences and events in the Washington, DC area. As an undergraduate she was a member of the Women's Varsity Crew Team, and in her free time Annie enjoys a multitude of activities including swimming, biking, running, playing soccer, practicing yoga and sailing on the Potomac.

Nichelle Harriott, Science and Regulatory Director

202-543-5450 ext. 20
[email protected]

Nichelle is the Science and Regulatory Director at Beyond Pesticides. She has earned her Bachelor of Science (BS) in chemistry and environmental science at Morgan State University and her Masters of Science (MS) in Environmental Science and Public Policy at George Mason University. She joined Beyond Pesticides in the summer of 2007, having previously worked on several conservation and public health issues. At Beyond Pesticides, Ms. Harriott reviews pesticide substances and their impacts on human and environmental health, as part of a broader effort to provide decision-makers and the general public with information in support of sustainable management of indoor and outdoor environments. She also leads and coordinates the pollinator protection campaign at Beyond Pesticides which has developed several educational materials, policy recommendations, and local legislation and grassroots action.She is responsible for submitting regulatory comments to EPA regarding pesticide registrations and uses, and is the author of several articles and brochures exploring the connection between chemical contaminants and human health. Ms. Harriott works actively on campaigns seeking to protect consumer health via public education, grassroots outreach, and regulatory advocacy in collaboration with other environmental and health organizations. She has also spent time speaking to local schools and communities about public health and environmental related issues.

Jen Ruocco, Executive Assistant

202-543-5450 ext. 11
[email protected]

Jen graduated from Lafayette College in 2014 with a double B.A. in Environmental Issues & Policy and Psychology. Prior to graduating, Jen spent four months studying sustainability in Copenhagen, Denmark. When she returned to the US, she camped and worked on a food forest in California for a month through the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) program. She then completed a year-long senior project where she designed, built, and planted food into low-budget vertical gardens to demonstrate the feasibility of growing food to low-income families. After graduation, Jen spent five months working at LaFarm, a community garden and working farm that provides organically grown food for Lafayette College’s dining halls. She was brought in as a full time staff member at Beyond Pesticides for the Executive Assistant position after first arriving as an intern in March 2015. In her free time, Jen enjoys perusing D.C. farmers markets, hiking, gardening, and is an avid craft beer enthusiast.

Amila Weerasingha, Office and Information Coordinator

202-543-5450 ext. 28
[email protected]

Amila Weerasingha is currently working at Beyond Pesticides as the Office and Information Coordinator. She is passionate about pesticide reform and is eager to help the public with their questions.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Arcadia University in 2012.   Amila is a Navy Yard resident and enjoys dog walking, biking and spending time with family and friends.