Board Members

Washington Foundation for the Environment (WFFE) has a working board of ten individuals. Our board is comprised of people with a broad base of experience and expertise in environmental issues. This ranges from experience leading nonprofit organizations and overseeing environmental education programs to involvement in the policies guiding use of our region’s natural resources.

WFFE is currently recruiting new Board members, particularly those with social media skills and with deepened expertise in personal fundraising strategies. If you are interested please contact  Heidi Siegelbaum at

hydrangea1-500px (3)The Board of Directors is responsible for the functioning of the Foundation. We have intentionally chosen to work with a very low overhead, without staff or a permanent office. The board members serve on committees that work between board meetings on key program components.

Alisha Taylor was a middle school science teacher in Seattle Public Schools for 7 years, and currently works as a science curriculum specialist with the district. Before that, she worked as a school programs coordinator, environmental educator, and naturalist for non-profit environmental education organizations in Seattle, Portland, and Eugene, OR. She is an avid gardener and traveler, and enjoys spending time outdoors and having adventures with her husband and five year old son.

Ann Butler is a Health Services Consultant with the Washington State Department of Health. Rounding out her expertise in water quality, watershed management and communication, Ann was previously with People for Puget Sound and the Washington State Department of Ecology. She is an avid hiker and backpacker.

Don Theiler has an extensive range of environmental planning and management experience. Most recently he served as manager of the King County Wastewater Management Program which serves the Seattle Metropolitan Area. In this position he was responsible for overall policy development and direction of the largest wastewater system in the Pacific Northwest. Previous to this he served as director of the Air Management Program for the State of Wisconsin. During this period he was instrumental in the development and passage of one of the Nation’s first Acid Rain control programs as well as precedent setting toxic and ozone reduction programs. In addition he has had extensive international experience working on environmental protection programs for the World Bank in Eastern Europe. He has worked on programs in Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, the Ukraine, and most recently in China. He also served in Africa in the Peace Corps for four years. He also served as President of the State and Territorial Air Pollution Program Administrators and was chairman of that group’s air toxic’s committee for ten years. In addition to the Washington Foundation for the Environment, he serves or has served on the boards of the following agencies: the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, and the Center for Clean Air Policy.

Heidi Siegelbaum, Board President, works at the Washington Stormwater Center at WSU, specializes in providing context for natural resource issues. She focuses on stormwater issues and low impact development strategies and how to remove barriers.  In her new role as Stormwater Program Analyst, she is the WSU staff lead for the Puget Sound  Strategic Stormwater Initiative. She practiced managed health care and industrial chemical law, has a background in transboundary ecosystem indicators and is a fan of visual and targeted communication tools.  She also managed an entrepreneurial consulting firm specializing in sustainable tourism. She focuses on using economic development and children’s health as a driver for sustainable change and believes in the power of transforming adults through their children’s wisdom in environmental matters. She received her Juris Doctorate from Vermont Law School, is a member of the Pacific Northwest Social Marketing Association and thinks about food too much. She loves hiking, traveling and good humor.

Ingrid Tohver
Until recently, Ingrid, Board Secretary, was a research scientist for the Climate Impacts Group (CIG) at the University of Washington. Ingrid’s research focused on the responses of regional watersheds to the projections of a warmer climate for the future. During her 8-year tenure at the CIG, Ingrid participated in studies assessing the projected shifts in the frequency of extreme hydrologic events. She was also responsible for writing reports detailing the implications for natural resource sectors in the region, including water supply, hydropower operations, agriculture, and fish habitat. Ingrid collaborated directly with resource managers, other researchers, aquatic habitat specialists and dam operators who use the data and reports culminating from CIG’s hydrologic research. Ingrid also contributed to CIG’s outreach efforts by giving presentations on hydrologic studies and CIG’s broader research objectives to stakeholders and the general public. Ingrid graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in botany, and from the University of Florida with a M.S. in forest science.

Konrad Liegel was previously an attorney with Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis advising on tax-exempt, environmental, land use, real estate and conservation matters. Konrad Liegel advises families, individuals and non-profit entities on conservation, land use, environmental, real estate and charitable organization matters, including acquisition and management of large family estates, land use permitting, environmental compliance, charitable giving requirements, family foundation requirements, open space and property taxation, and cultural and natural resource preservation and restoration. He has worked with private landowners and land conservation organizations to preserve and steward a wide range of property, from small family parcels and culturally significant landscapes to large forests, ranches and waterfront estates. His experience regularly involves the drafting and negotiation of conservation easements.

Nancy Richardson Ahern. Nancy’s career spans several decades in public utility and environmental management, including leadership roles in Seattle Public Utilities, the King County Department of Natural Resources, and the City of Bellevue.  These positions encompassed a wide range of programs including drinking water, wastewater, solid waste, stormwater management, flood control, salmon restoration, and open space protection.  After obtaining a doctoral degree in natural resources management early in her career, her interest evolved into the nature of organizations and “people management.” Her master’s degree in organizational systems coupled with her science background brings a unique perspective to problem solving.  Nancy now works as a management consultant drawing from her 25 years “in the hot seat” as a local government manager.

Randy Shuman
Randy Shuman, Board Vice President,  is a retired oceanographer.   He previously managed the Science and Technical Support Section of the Water and Land Resources Division at King County. He is an Affiliate Faculty member of the University of Washington School of Oceanography. He previously operated a shellfish farm in Willapa Bay on the coast of Washington.

 Current Positions:
Affiliate Associate Professor of Oceanography, University of Washington School of Oceanography. Biological and Chemical Oceanography.

Member: Research Advisory Committee: The Seattle Aquarium Research Center for Conservation and Husbandry (SEARCCH) , 2003-present

President: Applied Marien Research, Inc.

Susie Vanderburg, Board Finance Director,  is a retired Environmental Educator with an M.A. in curriculum writing from Western Washington University. In the past she worked as an elementary teacher, a Public Involvement & Education Coordinator for Thurston County, and the Education Director for the LOTT WET Science Center in Olympia.  She has fond memories of coordinating Thurston County’s Stream Team program and currently volunteers as a docent for Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.

Tim Owens has a B.A. in Politics and Government from  The University of Puget Sound and an M.A. in Teaching from Seattle University.  Tim joined Explorer West after teaching eight years at Madison Middle School in West Seattle. He was first hit with the teaching bug while teaching at a high school in rural, northern Japan where he was an assistant language teacher for two years.  Tim has a vast appreciation and understanding of the world through study and travel.  In addition to living in Japan, Tim lived and studied in Mexico, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.  Tim and his wife, Shelby, live in West Seattle and enjoy hiking, backpacking and international travel in their spare time.