Our Staff

Dedicated people are one of our best resources. In addition to our central Institute staff, we have a network of consultants who bring their own unique backgrounds and experiences to assist us in the completion of our shared mission.

Dianne Russell


Dianne Russell, President of the Institute for Conservation Leadership (ICL), leads the fundraising, financial management, and oversight of ICL’s program design and delivery. Dianne brings over 40 years of experience with groups across North America working on environmental and community-based issues. Dianne blends her knowledge of human systems with a deep understanding of the strategies needed to create healthy natural systems and communities. She specializes in the development of networks, leadership, and organizations using the primary tools of planning, coaching, facilitation, and training. She has played the role of process designer, meeting facilitator, backbone staff, evaluator, and foundation advisor with over 45 collaborative efforts across the U.S. and Canada.

Dianne’s work with ICL has been supported by her training with the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, VISIONS (multicultural skills), the Gestalt International Study Center (Eyes Wide Open Program), and her academic training (double degree in Religion and Sociology from Wittenberg University). Questions about baseball, gardening, social change theories, photography, LGBTQ issues, or her home state of Ohio will spark very enthusiastic discussions with her.

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Joy Jackson


Joy Jackson serves as a Senior Associate with ICL. She plans and facilitates meetings, as well as provides consulting and training services on behalf of the organization.

Joy is a dedicated public servant with a passion for coaching, instruction and capacity building. She has spent 15 years in senior level administrator and education related roles at non-profits and universities. She has extensive experience designing and facilitating workshops, most recently serving as a career development instructor with The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Programs. Her higher education career has included Director level roles a Virginia Tech and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and capacity building/coaching roles with non-profits such as Local Initiatives Support Corporation.

A native of Silver Spring, MD, Joy earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Syracuse University and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her free time, she enjoys being active in her community, traveling, playing tennis and spending time with friends, family and her dog Charlie.

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Michael Oberhauser


Dr. Michael Oberhauser may be new to nonprofit and conservation work, but he’s experienced with operations, administration, and collaboration. Michael was most recently the senior operations manager at Arts Laureate, a small recording company, where he handled much of the day-to-day business as the company grew from 5 employees to 55. Michael also founded the Silver Finch Arts Collective to produce new operas and co-founded the District New Music Coalition to promote the performance and appreciation of contemporary music by connecting performers, composers, institutions, and audiences located in the Washington, DC metropolitan area through concerts, conferences, and active community-building.

Michael earned his doctorate in music composition. He loves to tell stories with his music and works most frequently with vocalists and small chamber ensembles. He also occasionally sings with groups like Artifice Ensemble.

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Pri Ekanayake

Senior Associate

Pri Ekanayake serves ICL as a Senior Associate. She brings her experience as an environmental educator and teacher to her role as a facilitator and trainer for the organization.

Pri works alongside Sarah Clark to support the Delaware River Watershed Initiative through strengthening collaborations and capacity building within the project. Before joining ICL, Pri worked at the DC Department of Energy and Environment where she managed a portfolio of environmental education grants. She has over 10 years of experience as an educator and trainer in academia and nonprofits, where she honed her talent for learner-centered design that emphasizes adult learning principles. Pri has worked as a facilitator, trainer, and coach in a variety of institutions ranging from The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, Florida Gulf Coast University, Heifer International, Population Education, and various public schools. She holds a MS in Natural Resources with a focus in Education from the University of Michigan and a BA in Biology and Anthropology from Rollins College.

Growing up between Sri Lanka and Florida, she developed a deep love for travel! Pri enjoys volunteering in her community garden, cooking, baking, petting every dog (and amenable cat) she sees, and exploring Rock Creek Park.

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Sarah Clark

Senior Associate

Sarah is a skilled consultant with over 20 years’ experience supporting mission-driven organizations and collaborations to achieve results.  She specializes in designing and facilitating planning processes and meetings with coalitions, networks, organizations and teams.

As ICL’s lead in the Delaware River Watershed Initiative, Sarah supports the development of effective networks, organizations and leaders in this $100 million regional initiative to improve water quality.  She has also worked with a variety of other conservation groups and nonprofits, including regional trail initiatives, to develop leaders, support effective collaboration and facilitate a variety of planning processes and meetings.  Sarah has extensive experience heading national leadership development initiatives with ICL, the American Lung Association, Amnesty International, and Habitat for Humanity International.  She has an MS in Organization Development from American University and a BA in Sociology from Miami University.

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Sarah Dietz


Sarah serves as the Program and Communications Coordinator at ICL where she supports program logistics, internal infrastructure, marketing, and fundraising. She earned her BA in Psychology from the University of Southern Maine and served as a social worker early in her career. During a summer apprenticeship at an organic farm, Sarah realized her passion for local food systems and has since dedicated her work to sustainable food. In 2019, she earned an MA in Food Studies from New York University with a focus on sustainability.

Before her role at ICL, Sarah reviewed grants for a nutrition non-profit, owned a small startup beverage business, designed and coordinated environmental awareness events, and volunteered at numerous non-profits dedicated to food systems and sustainability.

Sarah grew up in Maine and feels most at home near the ocean. In her free time, she enjoys running, camping, gardening, photography, and traveling.

Email Sarah Dietz