Contact USDN

For more information about the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) or for questions about how you can join or work with the network, please contact Natalie Narotzky at

USDN Staff:

Nils Moe, USDN Managing Director

Nils Moe currently serves as the Managing Director of the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN). In this role, Nils oversees the day-to-day operations of this rapidly evolving North American network of over 185 member communities representing more than 84 million residents. Nils is an experienced, accomplished change agent with over 15 years of successful strategic business development, organizational leadership, and client building. Previously, he served as the Mayor’s Sustainability Advisor for the City of Berkeley, where he helped to implement Berkeley’s Climate Action Plan and worked with the city staff and the community to reduce their GHG emissions. He also has worked as a professor of Organizational Psychology at San Francisco State University, co–founded two values-driven non–profits, and worked in the private sector as a management consultant, specializing in program evaluation of non-profits and 360–degree feedback for Fortune 100 companies.

Abeer Nawaz, USDN Administrative Assistant

Abeer Nawaz is USDN's Administrative Assistant, joining the team in April 2018. Her previous work experience has been in the recruiting industry, specifically in the energy sector, and in customer-facing roles in the retail banking industry. She attended the University of Houston and currently resides in the Greater Houston area with her family. 

Christie Baumel, USDN Strategic Energy Projects Manager

Christie Baumel supports USDN members and partners on projects that help advance member progress on critical energy issues. Prior to joining USDN, she served as Climate & Energy Advisor for the City of Seattle, where she guided programs and policies to reduce energy and carbon pollution in buildings. She has also worked as a land use planner and with the public and the non-profit sectors on community development and environmental protection. She has a Master’s degree from the University of Washington in Urban Planning.

Erik Amundson, USDN Member Services Coordinator

Erik Amundson joined USDN in January 2017. Erik plays a crucial role in supporting information exchange among members by delivering member services and providing support to other staff. Prior work experience includes Management of the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Student Office of Sustainability, where he oversaw an array of sustainability infrastructure programs. Erik received his B.A. in Business Administration in May 2016 and is currently based out of the Milwaukee, WI area.

Garrett Fitzgerald, USDN Strategic Collaborations Director

Garrett Fitzgerald supports USDN in strategic planning, organizing collaborative activities, and engaging external partners to help USDN members advance their work. He is based in Washington DC. Garrett previously managed the Sustainable Oakland program from 2008 to 2013 for the City of Oakland, CA, and served as Programs Director for ICLEI USA. He is a board member of STAR Communities and co-chaired development of ICLEI’s Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Protocol. Garrett holds a Master’s degree in Energy and Resources from the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied community sustainability performance management. He also previously served as a consultant to the City of Berkeley's Office of Energy and Sustainability, a renewable energy staff researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and an energy efficiency programs analyst at ICF Consulting. He is a LEED accredited professional and a past Fellow and Leadership Grant Recipient of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation. 

Johanna Partin, Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance (CNCA) Director

Prior to joining USDN in January 2015, Johanna served as North America Regional Director for the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. Prior to that, Johanna served as Senior Policy Advisor on Environment to San Francisco Mayors Gavin Newsom and Ed Lee, where she developed and implemented policy on sustainable energy, climate, transportation, green building, and other programs. She also served on the Board of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and is a Faculty Member for the Climate Leadership Academy. She has a Master’s degree in Energy & Environmental Policy from the University of Delaware and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Anthropology from UC Santa Barbara.

Kristin Baja, USDN Climate Resilience Officer

Kristin Baja is USDN's first Climate Resilience Officer, responsible for helping cities identify strategic ways to advance climate resilience planning and implementation and building their capacity to take action. The majority of her time is spent supporting cities and facilitating deeper relationships between local governments and other stakeholders in the Mid-Atlantic region. Prior to USDN, she served as the Climate and Resilience Planner with the City of Baltimore's Office of Sustainability where she led the city's climate adaptation and equity work. She holds a Masters of Urban Planning and a Masters of Science from the University of Michigan. In 2016, she was recognized by the Obama Administration as a Champion of Change for her work on climate and equity.

Mia Luhtanen Arter, USDN Operations Director

Mia Arter is Operations Director for USDN, where she is responsible for implementing and tracking USDN activities to fulfill the network’s strategic plans, including providing program oversight, financial and organizational management, and other operational support, as well as staffing the USDN Peer Learning Exchange and 2016 USDN Building Diversity Fellowship. She has previously directed member information sharing and networking programs for USDN, including helping to build the network's exemplary peer-sharing website. She has also worked for The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, researching immigration, economics, and global agricultural development and supporting a fellowship program of emerging Chicago leaders. She volunteers as Board Secretary of the Luhtanen Howes Charitable Foundation and the Riveredge Outdoor Learning Elementary School and as Board President of the Friends of the W.J. Niederkorn Library. She received a B.A. from Loyola University Chicago in sociology and international studies and lives with her family in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

Michael Shank, CNCA/USDN Communications Director

Michael Shank is the communications director for the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. In this role, Michael supports alliance and network members’ efforts to communicate ambitious climate action to the public, the press and other policymakers. As a climate communicator, Michael’s past clients include the United Nations and its member states, the U.S. Congress and Administration, and the Vatican, as well as leaders in the subnational space, such as the B Team, We Mean Business, Under 2 MOU and The Climate Group. Michael’s Ph.D. is in climate conflict; he teaches sustainable development and climate security graduate classes at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs.

Natalie Narotzky, USDN Programs and Communications Manager

Natalie Narotzky has worked with USDN since April 2013 and was promoted to Program and Communications Manager in 2017. She has become an experienced project manager, overseeing and directing internal and external communications modes, member data analysis, and programming, including user groups and network-wide calls. She received an M.S. in Climate Science and Policy from the Bard Center for Environmental Policy and a B.A. in Environmental and Urban Studies from Bard College in 2012. She has worked with Hudsonia Ltd., the Worldwatch Institute, Inform, and KM Networks. Natalie lives Berkshire County MA and volunteers locally on climate action work

Rupal Prasad, USDN Programs Coordinator

Rupal Prasad Joined USDN in May 2018. As Programs Coordinator, she supports information exchange exchange among members by assisting with communications and programming to foster peer-to-peer sharing and collaboration. Prior to USDN, Rupal was the Building Performance Program Associate for City of Philadelphia Office of Sustainability and City Adviser for City Energy Project/ Institute for Market Transformation, where she helped manage Philadelphia’s Energy Benchmarking Program. She received an M.A. in Biology from Villanova University and a Master of Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Rupal currently lives in Philadelphia.

Sarah McKinstry-Wu, USDN Strategic Projects Manager

Sarah joined USDN in August 2018. She supports USDN members and partners on issues related to electric vehicles, climate action strategy, urban heat island reduction, and community engagement. Prior to USDN, Sarah served as the Deputy Director of Philadelphia's Office of Sustainability, where she managed Philadelphia’s climate adaptation planning and oversaw the 2016 update of the City’s sustainability plan. Sarah serves on the executive leadership team of the Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council, which connects Philadelphians and their local government to create a more just food system. Sarah also helped implement Opportunity NYC, an incentive program working to improve the health, employment, and education of New Yorkers in poverty, and researched national environmental policies at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, DC. Sarah earned an undergraduate degree from Williams College and a Masters in Urban Planning from New York University

Trude Rauken, CNCA Strategic Initiatives Director

Trude Rauken in the director of the strategic initiative for the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance where she leads the implementation of key Alliance strategies and programs. Prior to joining the CNCA, Trude worked as a senior policy advisor on climate to the City of Oslo, and prior to that she was a senior researcher at CICERO - Center for Climate Research. Trude brings expert knowledge on the role of local government in solving climate issues and the opportunities coming from network collaboration across local government. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Economy from BI Norwegian School of Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Communication 

USDN is a project of Global Philanthropy Partnership.