Disciplined leadership in advancing sustainability


“Julia is one of the most remarkable people I’ve worked with. Over the course of five years as the founding coordinator of the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, Julia built a potent web of individuals and resources, quietly facilitating the network as it began to establish internal connections, develop an identity, and generate its own projects, innovations, and opportunities. As a member of the network’s steering committee, I gradually came to realize the degree to which Julia operated at multiple levels in every conversation, seamlessly weaving together vision, strategy, tactics, logistics, technical knowledge, and motivation. She communicates openly and honestly, builds strong personal relationships, and has a powerful sense of integrity.”

– Michael Armstrong, Policy, Research and Innovation Manager, City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability


“Julia brings a rare combination of skills to the most complex of projects: a high level of process discipline and order and a high level of insight and openness to innovation. She is a quick study, an experienced project manager, and a sensitive and determined facilitator. She builds trust well with groups, using honesty and humor. She can keep a lot of balls in the air at the same time. She does what it takes to achieve lofty goals.”

– Pete Plastrik, President, Innovation Network for Communities


For young people seeking a career in environmental sustainability, The Guide to Greening Cities is the ideal sourcebook.  It tells real-life stories about the successes and struggles of local sustainability coordinators, and along the way, educates the reader about how to solve problems within bureaucracies and local political systems which may appear to be designed to resist fundamental change.

— Michael K. Woo, Dean of The College of Environmental Design, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona


“Julia did an incredible job coordinating our plan development process for the Chicago Climate Action Plan. Creating the Chicago Climate Action Plan was a very complex undertaking, requiring high levels of coordination between City leadership; civic leaders; stakeholder groups; technical consultants, outside researchers and funders.  Julia was the “glue” that held the process together – making sure we kept on schedule and that the deliverables met our quality requirements. She was always thinking one step ahead. I would highly recommend that other cities consider this kind of role in their structure if they are going to undertake a process like ours.”

– Sadhu Johnson, Chief Environmental Officer, City of Chicago


“The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation was a strong supporter of the Chicago Climate Action Plan from the outset. Creation of the plan was a collaborative effort between funders, the City and key stakeholders. We were particularly interested in the development of options for emissions reductions for Chicago and strategies for building retrofits and job training.  We depended on Julia to be the coordinating linchpin between funders like us; City leadership; and the technical consultants working on the implementation strategy. I think the results speak for themselves –we have perhaps the most comprehensive plan in the country.”

– Unmi Song, Executive Director, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation


“Julia’s stamp is on every aspect of the Chicago Climate Action Plan, from the public engagement process to the performance tracking system   and from the communications plan to the jobs and economic development strategy.  She has supported the efforts of City staff in every possible way.  She has engaged every stakeholder group, pulling us together and keeping us focused on our big goals.   At the same time, she keeps coming up with new solutions for how to get us there.  Her innovation and foresight have kept both the planning and the implementation process on the cutting edge and ahead of anticipated challenges.”

– Joyce Coffee, Director of Project Development, Policy and Research, Chicago Department of Environment


“Credit Where It’s Due, [Julia and Michael’s book] makes an important contribution in a vitally needed area of financial services. At a time of depressed economic activity, financial failure, and insupportable debt, this work shows how to mobilize capital where it is needed most urgently. This comprehensive work points the way for effectively utilizing this important tool to meet the growth needs of our society.”

– Leland S. Prussia, Chairman Emeritus, Bank of America