Tag Archives: our team

Meet Our Team: Mike Cusher

This week we are excited to welcome Mike Cusher to Mass Audubon’s advocacy team as our new legislative director.

Mike comes to Mass Audubon after several years as a senior legislative assistant in Congressman Jim McGovern’s Washington, DC office, where he advised the Congressman on a wide portfolio of issues, including energy, environment, and agriculture. During this time, Mike served as the Congressman’s primary adviser on protecting the Land and Water Conservation Fund, increasing funding for the Clean and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, protecting conservation land from fossil fuel infrastructure, and the 2018 Farm Bill, among other crucial environmental issues.  

Mike’s passion for the environment and land conservation began when he was 13 on a camping trip in New Hampshire, where he was awestruck by the beauty of the snow-covered Hemenway State Forest. He loves to travel domestically and internationally to see other places of natural beauty. Now, he is thrilled to work for an organization founded by Harriet Hemenway, who, after the death of her husband Augustus, donated the land their summer home was located on to the State of New Hampshire, which then became the Hemenway State Forest.  

Mike earned a B.S. in Environmental Economics from UMass Amherst and a Masters in Environmental Resource Policy from The George Washington University. He grew up in Westborough and currently lives in Somerville with his wife Taylor and their cat Autumn.

Now that the 2019-2020 state legislative session has begun, Mike is looking forward to helping Mass Audubon further our mission of protecting the nature of Massachusetts. Informed by his experiences on Capitol Hill, he’ll be helping us advance legislative priorities like expanded clean energy legislation and implementation of state climate adaptation plans.

Meet Our Team: Karen Heymann

Karen Heymann is Mass Audubon’s Legislative Director. Her qualifications include a PhD in Soil Biogeochemistry from Cornell University, where she was awarded a National Science Foundation fellowship for her research, developing new methods to study the potential of soils to mitigate climate change, and publishing her work in several peer-reviewed scientific journals. Karen also earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Plant and Soil Science.

Prior to joining Mass Audubon Karen was awarded a Science and Technology fellowship through the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, overseeing a portfolio of science and environmental issues for Congresswoman Lois Capps (CA-24th), a Member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Her experiences on Capitol Hill inform her balanced, non-partisan approach to influencing state and federal environmental legislation and policies using the best available science.

Karen lives with her family in Greater Boston.

Meet Our Team: Jack Clarke

Jack Clarke is Mass Audubon’s Director of Public Policy & Government Relations. During his time at Mass Audubon, Jack has helped draft and pass the first-in-the-nation comprehensive ocean management law, the Massachusetts Rivers Protection Act, Community Preservation Act, and four environmental bonds (the latest of which was $2.2 billion!).

Director of Public Policy & Government Relations Jack Clarke

Mass Audubon Director of Public Policy & Government Relations Jack Clarke

Jack holds appointments by the Governor to the Special Commission on Coastal Erosion and the Massachusetts Ocean Advisory Commission, which he chairs. He is also a member of several Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Advisory Committees. For his work on behalf of the environment, Jack has received commendations from the US Department of the Interior, US Environmental Protection Agency, and the City of Boston, among others.

Prior to his position at Mass Audubon, Jack worked for the US Department of the Interior/National Park Service at Cape Cod National Seashore for almost a decade, and received their Outstanding Achievement Award. Jack has his ranger hat proudly displayed in his office, a reminder of the benefits of getting outside and into nature that he still values in his work at Mass Audubon.

Following that, he served thirteen years and three governors, both Republican and Democratic, in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, the last five of which he was the Bay State’s Assistant Director for Coastal Zone Management. In that capacity, he served as acting Assistant Secretary, helped draft and pass legislation to establish Cape Cod’s regional regulatory planning agency, and oversaw the state’s National Estuary Programs for Massachusetts and Buzzards Bays. He also negotiated and wrote the state and nation’s first comprehensive Guidelines for Barrier Beach Management.

Jack earned his Bachelor and Masters degrees with honors from Boston College in American History and American Studies, respectively.

Born in Boston, Jack currently resides in Gloucester, the nation’s oldest seaport, with his wife Fara. In his spare time he is a surfer, sailor, SCUBA diver, photographer, musician, and a loyal member of Red Sox Nation.

You can follow Jack on Twitter here.