Who We Are

Climate Collaborative San Diego - design and logo.

About Us

San Diegans have a long history of protecting our clean air and water, spectacular natural resources and enviable quality of life. However, our region is vulnerable to diminishing water supplies, increased wildfire risks, coastal erosion and other impacts of climate change.

The San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative was founded on the belief that together we are prosperous and resilient. Our mission is to connect the region to advance climate change solutions. Together, we are prosperous and resilient.

What We Do

  • Support regional efforts and advance comprehensive solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for local climate change impacts.
  • Communicate about the leadership of the Climate Collaborative and the San Diego region to local, state, and national leaders, peers, and funding institutions.
  • Build capacity within San Diego regional public agencies through networking, training and partnerships with academic institutions, businesses, and non-profits.

Advisory Board

The Board sets the strategy for the Climate Collaborative and works closely with the staff to implement this vision.  Our Board leadership consists of members from regionally focused planning agencies, cities, jurisdictions, nonprofit and academia. We welcome new Board members annually to join at the Leader member level and consider Board service.
Chad Reese Chad Reese (Chair) Chad Reese is an Environmental Affairs Manager at the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, the agency that manages the day-to-day operations of San Diego International Airport (SAN). As the sustainability program area lead at the Airport, Chad contributes to energy efficiency and renewable energy capital projects, waste reduction initiatives, clean transportation policy and projects, and behavior change programs including the Airport’s new “SAN Green Concessions Program” (a green business program specifically designed for Airport concessions tenants). Chad also manages “The Good Traveler” carbon offset program developed by the Airport, and is responsible for annual greenhouse gas emissions inventories and certification via Airport Council International’s “Airport Carbon Accreditation” program.
Hilary Ego Hilary Ego (Vice Chair)

Hilary Ego is the Environmental Program Manager with the City of La Mesa and oversees administering the Climate Action Plan (CAP). Centrally located in the rolling hills of San Diego, La Mesa affirmed its commitment to environmental sustainability when the Climate Action Plan was adopted in 2018. Hilary brings over six years of experience working in the Bay Area prior to moving to the San Diego region with strengths in water conservation, facilities management and sustainability, zero waste, and community engagement. She currently leads the implementation of the CAP’s activities, such as launching San Diego Community Power as a founding member city, expanding the urban canopy, electric vehicle infrastructure expansion, municipal energy efficiency opportunities, and solid waste recycling programs. Hilary holds a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies and Master’s in Water Resources Management from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she was also a member of the NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming & Diving team.

Jason Anderson Jason Anderson

Jason is President and CEO of Cleantech San Diego, a nonprofit member organization that positions the greater San Diego region as a global leader in the cleantech and smart cities economy. Cleantech San Diego’s membership includes more than 100 local businesses, universities, governments, and nonprofits committed to advancing sustainable solutions for the benefit of the economy and the environment. Before joining Cleantech San Diego in 2010, Jason was Vice President of Business Development for the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC). Prior to joining EDC in 2006, Jason lived in Austin, Texas, where he worked in the State Capitol as Legislative Director for Texas State Senator Frank Madla. Jason holds a degree in Corporate Communications from the University of Texas in Austin and is a 2008 graduate of LEAD San Diego. He is a member of the City of San Diego’s Sustainable Energy Advisory Board, the County of San Diego’s Comprehensive Renewable Energy Plan Technical Advisory Committee, and the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Advisory Board. Jason is also a board member of Connect / SD Venture Group, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, and Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights organization.

Kelly Bray Kelly Bray Kelly Bray has broad experience in the environmental planning and sustainability sphere. She is the Program Manager for the County of San Diego's Climate Action Plan program. She and her team are responsible for developing, implementing, tracking, and monitoring each of the County's initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the County’s operations and community purview in an effort to stem the impact of human activities that contribute to climate change. Her passion for the environment and sustainability began at an early age, and may be related to her father's incessant pleas to "turn off the lights" and "shut the refrigerator door", but at any rate it stuck. Kelly has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science & Policy from the University of South Florida, and a Master of Science in Urban & Regional Planning from Florida State University. She began her planning career in Florida and refined her skills in California where she has acquired significant project management experience in climate action planning, sustainability, and policy development, the California Environmental Quality Act, and land development.
Christiana DeBenedict Christiana DeBenedict

Christiana DeBenedict serves as Director of Environmental Initiatives at The San Diego Foundation, leading programs and directing resources to build a more equitable and resilient San Diego. She has built her career locally, developing capacity, resources, programs and networks in support of our regional and binational environment and community. As the Director of Environment Leadership Initiatives at The Nonprofit Institute at the University of San Diego, Christiana managed The Equinox Project and the Outdoor Leaders Initiative. She also directed the San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative, a network of cities and public agencies working to advance local climate solutions. Previously, Christiana served as Assistant Director of Climate Education Partners, a $5 million National Science Foundation-funded project that engaged and informed government, business and community leaders on local climate impacts. As Director of Member Services and Operations at the US-Mexico Border Philanthropy Partnership, Christiana supported a network of 21 community foundations working to strengthen philanthropy, leadership and collaboration in the US-Mexico border region. Christiana graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in Hispanic Languages and Bilingual Issues and holds an International MBA from IE Business School in Madrid, Spain.

Katie Hentrich Katie Hentrich Katie Hentrich is the Climate Action Plan Administrator at the City of Carlsbad. As a San Diego native, she has almost 10 years of local and regional government experience with a focus on climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience planning. At the City, she is responsible for overseeing implementation of and updates to the Climate Action Plan, reporting on status of the Climate Action Plan to Council and members of the public, and managing other climate-related efforts, such as the Carlsbad Green Business Network. Most recently, she is working on the South Carlsbad Boulevard Climate Adaptation Project, funded through a Climate Ready Grant from the State Coastal Conservancy; along with the Conservancy, GHD and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation are analyzing roadway realignment through the lens of climate adaptation, incorporating nature-based solutions and identifying areas for enhanced coastal access and recreation. Prior to joining the City, Katie was a proud member of the Climate Resilience team at SANDAG and helped develop the award-winning Regional Climate Action Planning Framework (ReCAP). Katie received her Bachelor of Arts from Scripps College and her Master of Environmental Science and Management from University of California, Santa Barbara.
Crystal Najera Crystal Najera Crystal Najera is the Climate Action Plan Program Administrator for the City of Encinitas. She has more than 15 years of experience in local government and environmental management. She currently leads the implementation of the City’s award-winning Climate Action Plan, including facilitating the formation of San Diego Community Power, the region’s newest and largest Community Choice Energy program, developing new energy-related building codes, advancing municipal energy efficiency, solar installation, and electric vehicle adoption, supporting the City’s expansion of multi-modal transportation, promoting community participation in climate action, and monitoring and tracking the City’s overall greenhouse gas reduction progress. Ms. Najera spent a significant portion of her early career in the water resources field where she managed the regulation and maintenance of stormwater best management practices for local development projects. Crystal holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology and Management from the University of California-Davis and a master’s degree in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Meagan Openshaw Meagan Openshaw Meagan Openshaw is the Senior Planner at the City of Imperial Beach and works on a combination of current and long-range planning. The City of Imperial Beach is a low-lying coastal community that is bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the San Diego Bay and Otay River to the north, and the Tijuana River Estuary to the south. With its unique location, the City is vulnerable to hazards such as cross-border pollution, sea level rise, and currently experiences issues related to storms and severe flood inundation. As the Senior Planner for the City, she is leading projects and pursuing grant funding that further enhance regional collaboration and incorporate resilient, sustainable projects and policies within Imperial Beach. She is currently managing the General Plan/Local Coastal Program Update for the Resilient Imperial Beach Project, collaborates with staff in overseeing the implementation and reporting on the Climate Action Plan, applies for and manages grants to further resilient projects and planning in Imperial Beach, and reviews development projects to ensure that considerations for current and future hazards are incorporated in the planning process. She firmly believes that as a planner, it is her responsibility to promote social equity, diversity, and inclusion in her service to the public and to actively promote actions that will protect the community.
Coleen Wisniewski Coleen Wisniewski Coleen is the Environmental Sustainability Manager for the City of Chula Vista. Coleen joined the City in 2016 and has over 17 years of program management experience in the conservation field. She plans, develops, implements and manages a wide range of environmental sustainability policies and programs including those related to energy and water conservation, climate action planning and, in collaboration with other organizations, regional healthy community initiatives. Coleen manages a team involved in coordinating community-focused programs related to energy efficiency, renewable energy, green buildings, alternative fuels, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, water conservation, watershed protection and general sustainability. She also manages the City’s Local Government Partnership with SDG&E. Prior to joining the City, Coleen worked with various NGOs where she managed environmental programs that tracked California’s ocean health and associated water quality and climate change issues. She also coordinated with state agencies to provide baseline monitoring of new Marine Protected Areas, created and taught educational curricula for adults and children and worked with fishing cooperatives in Baja California, Mexico.
Renée Yarmy Renée Yarmy Renée Yarmy has over 16 years of experience in architecture, sustainable development, climate action planning, and project management. Renée serves as the Program Manager for Energy and Sustainability at the Port of San Diego. In this role, her responsibilities include developing strategic energy planning initiatives and implementing projects to meet the Port of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan goals. Renée ensures the effective implementation of programs and projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the use of renewable energy, accelerating energy efficiency projects, and coordinating with internal and external stakeholders on the implementation of complex projects. In addition to her role at the Port, Renée teaches at University of California, San Diego Extension for the Sustainable Business Practices certificate program. Prior to joining the District, Renée served as a sustainability consultant responsible for advising west coast ports, as well as local, federal and international government agencies. Renée holds a Bachelor of Architecture, a Master of Science in Sustainable Development, and has a LEED AP O+M credential.