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.

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.

Stephanie Davio, Program Director

202-543-5450 ex. 21
[email protected]

Prior to joining Beyond Pesticides in July 2009, Stephanie applied her passion for public education and environmental sustainability in all aspects of her life, including her work as the assistant to the Executive at The Center for Food Safety and International Center for Technology Assessment in Washington, DC. She loves fresh, local food and currently spends her weekends administering food stamps to customers at a DC farmers market. She graduated with a B.A. in anthropology and environmental studies at Michigan State University in 2006, where she was very active in environmental justice and sustainable agricultural issues on campus and in the community.

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.

Nikita Naik, Program Associate

202-543-5450 ext. 14
[email protected]

Before joining Beyond Pesticides, Nikita worked on issues ranging from flame retardant chemicals to particulate matter to pesticide residues on produce. Nikita's interest in environmental, health, and social issues stems from her pre-med coursework at Emory University and her frequent trips and volunteer experiences in India. After graduating with a B.A. in English, she decided to pursue an M.P.H. in Environmental Health Sciences from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Soon after completing her graduate degree in May of 2013 and moving to Washington, D.C. to intern at the International Council on Clean Transportation, an environmental non-profit, Nikita was a consultant for the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environomics, where she worked on environmental health issues related to pesticides and crystalline silica. Nikita likes to read, cook, and explore D.C. in her free time.

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.

Drew Toher, Public Education Associate

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

Drew was brought in as a full time staff member for the public education associate position after first arriving as an intern. Previous work at a certified organic heirloom tomato farm and Mid-Atlantic region farm club cultivated Drew’s determination to spread the word about the benefits of organic production, and the hazards of pesticide use. Drew graduated with a B.A. in Global Affairs, concentration in the Environment, from George Mason University, where he is currently pursuing a M.S. in Environmental Management.

Matt Wallach, IPM in Health Care Facilities Project Director

[email protected]

Matt joined Beyond Pesticides in 2011 as the Project Director for the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in Health Care Facilities Project, a partnership of the Maryland Pesticide Network and Beyond Pesticides. Matt has a long standing commitment to public education and activism and has a background in environmental health and safety issues. Before joining Beyond Pesticides, Matt previously worked as Program Coordinator for Citizens Campaign for the Environment in New York State where he worked on local, state, and regional campaigns to reduce pesticide use, conserve open space, and ensure a clean water supply. Additionally, Matt served on several coalitions dedicated to the protection of water resources. Matt earned an M.A. in Urban Planning from Hunter College in New York City and a B.A. in Geography from George Washington University in Washington D.C.

Amila Weerasingha, Administrative and Public Education Assistant

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

Amila Weerasingha is currently working at Beyond Pesticides as the Public Education Assistant. 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. Before joining Beyond Pesticides, she completed an administrative internship at the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, a non-profit that provides services to people with cancer.  Amila is a Capitol Hill resident and enjoys dog walking, biking and spending time with family and friends.