Jim's career in environmental education, awareness and sustainability has spanned more than 30 years. He brings an ecological perspective to the issue of walkability, tying together the impact of walkable communities on the environment, human health, social justice and the economy. Jim has engendered a culture of innovation in WalkSanDiego. Under his guidance the organization pioneered new approaches to engage stakeholders and gather input, such as the development of a smart phone app to crowd-source data about the walking environment and provide walkability ratings for every city in San Diego County. Other innovations pursued by the organization include a pilot program for walking prescriptions and a mini streetscape where children can learn pedestrian skills in the safety of a schoolyard environment.
Before joining the staff of WalkSanDiego he served as Vice President of Programs at the San Diego Natural History Museum where he was responsible for developing education programs and exhibitions that focused on the plants, animals and habitats of Southern California and the Baja peninsula. Jim earned a BS in biology from Southern Connecticut State University and an MA in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of San Diego.
As policy manager, Kathleen is responsible for leading the development and implementation of WalkSanDiego’s policy and advocacy strategy. Key to this strategy’s success is continued outreach to government officials and general public about the benefits of walkable communities and policies required to make safe, walkable neighborhoods the standard throughout San Diego. Kathleen has worked in San Diego as an urban planner during the last ten years and has a graduate degree in City Planning from SDSU and a bachelor’s degree from Millsaps College. She is also a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (El Salvador).
Karen’s research interests include physical activity promotion to reduce/prevent chronic diseases, particularly in underserved populations displaying high health disparities. As a UCSD Postdoctoral Fellow, she carried out multiple physical activity and health-related research projects that include interventions to promote greater physical activity levels in youth and adults, exploring links between physical activity and environmental, psychosocial and behavioral components, and different measures of physical activity and their cultural appropriateness.
Before joining WalkSanDiego, Leah was a Community Planner for RBF Consulting's Urban Design Studio, where she worked on projects ranging from community outreach to homeless and housing needs assessments to detailed urban design plans. Before moving to San Diego, Leah was an Independent Consultant for the City of East St. Louis, Illinois where she worked directly with the Mayor and City Manager in their City-Wide Clean-Up projects. In this role, Leah coordinated and organized volunteer efforts, and created a database containing illegal dumping locations, among other tasks. Leah holds a Bachelor's degree in Biology from Principia College and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.
Cynthia has had extensive experience working in organizations in administrative and bookkeeping support roles. She prefers living in urban areas, living in both in Boston and San Diego while raising a family. Most days she walks, cycles or use mass transit for both commuting and pleasure. She and her husband are active in sustainable living pursuits and enjoy the beach and sailing in their spare time. Mayor Jerry Sanders recently recognized them as "Urban Environmentalists" and featured their native plant garden in a press conference he held at their home. She is a graduate of Saint Louis University with a degree in Social Work and attended the Advanced Study for Business Program at Radcliffe College in Cambridge, MA.
Before joining WalkSanDiego, Juan Antonio worked in the non-profit and private sector where he obtained valuable experience in community outreach, especially in underserved communities. As a native Spanish speaker and coming from a Latino family, Juan Antonio understands the needs of Latino underserved communities and the many benefits of walkable communities. Juan Antonio received his Masters in City Planning Degree from San Diego State University and did his internship in the Municipal Planning Institute in the City of Tijuana, Mexico where he obtained his undergraduate degree.
As WalkSanDiego’s Project Assistant, Kaley is currently involved in several projects, including Safe Routes to School programs, pedestrian safety education, and walkability workshops focused on the older adult and disabled populations. Before joining WalkSanDiego full-time, she worked there as an intern and also at a local government agency focused on redevelopment. After studying abroad in West Africa as an undergraduate, she became interested in the impact the built environment has on an individual’s behavior and in making communities more accessible to all users. Kaley holds a Bachelor’s degree in Community and Regional Development from the University of California, Davis and a Master's in City Planning from San Diego State University.