Our Staff

Courtney Hight - Executive Director

Courtney began organizing around environmental issues as a student at the University of Oregon and has since spent most of her career working to build the collective voice of young people. Courtney helped develop a campaign to make her campus more energy efficient, educating students on ways to reduce energy consumption as well as working with the University to retrofit some of the campus buildings. Post-college, Courtney worked with the Oregon Student Association, organizing students at the UO, and statewide, around increasing access to higher education for all people. Courtney mobilized students to fight for reduced tuition increases and increased funding for grant-aid and also helped organize a student-led effort to establish a housing code for the city of Eugene.

Courtney then took her work to the national level, where she worked with the United States Student Association. Courtney organized nationwide trainings teaching thousands of students how to build grassroots power through electoral as well as direct action organizing. Courtney transitioned to be the Electoral Project Director, working to mobilize thousands of students nationwide to vote in the 2006 midterm elections. In early 2007, Courtney joined the Obama campaign as an organizer moving through multiple states, ending in Florida as the state Youth Vote Director. In Florida, Courtney worked to mobilize students on over 150 college campuses, 300 high schools and worked to target and mobilize non-student youth participation as well.

Prior to joining the Energy Action Coalition, Courtney worked with the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Working with the Council on Environmental Quality, Courtney was able to see first-hand how decisions are made within the White House and the broader administration on various issues from restoration of the Gulf Coast ecosystem to preparing for the impact of climate change on our land and water.

Courtney earned her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon.

Adam Hlava - Operations Director

A Political Science graduate from the University of Wisconsin, Adam has dedicated his career to working for progressive candidates as well as important issues that we face in our everyday lives. Prior to joining the Energy Action Coalition in June 2009, he has worked on three successful political campaigns, most notably in 2008 managing the compliance department on Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s successful race for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire. In addition he helped to raise over $1.3 million to re-elect the Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2009, and organized volunteers in Central Wisconsin for Governor Jim Doyle in his successful 2006 re-election effort.

In 2007 Adam raised money for Fair Wisconsin, a group dedicated to advancing the rights of the state’s LGBT community. He now joins the Energy Action Coalition’s Central Staff as the Operations Manager, facilitating the organization’s financial and physical operations as well as providing logistical support for the coalition’s central staff.

Anjali Helferty - Managing Director

Anjali Helferty joins the Energy Action Coalition central staff team after several years as the National Coordinator of Sustainable Campuses at the Sierra Youth Coalition (SYC), the youth branch of Sierra Club Canada. She first got involved with SYC in early 2003 while a student at Queen's University, and was hired as the National Sustainable Campuses Coordinator in the summer of 2006. She currently holds the record for the most Sustainable Campuses conferences attended by any one individual, although she is open to challengers.

Anjali was a founding member and the first chair of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, and has appeared on TVO's The Agenda with Steve Paikin and CTV's Mike Duffy Live and been profiled in Alternatives Journal for her work in the youth climate movement. One of the highlights of her involvement with Energy Action was the opportunity to appear with other movement leaders in Vanity Fair's 2007 Green Issue. After spending eight years reestablishing her Canadian roots, she is excited to be back in the US and to continue building relationships both within the country and across borders.

Ethan Nuss - Co-Field Director

For the last four years Ethan Nuss has played an active role in the US youth clean energy movement. He has supported numerous youth led grassroots campaigns that have achieved clean energy victories at the campus, state, and national levels. Prior to joining Energy Action Coaltion, Ethan worked as the Maryland Campaign Coordinator for Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) and the National Campus Coordinator for 2020 Vision. Ethan graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 2006 from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in Sociology with Honors. He believes strongly in the prospect of peace and thus opposes the violence that catastrophic climate change wrecks on our communities.

Lilian Molina - Environmental Justice Director

A native of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Lili moved to Chicago at the age of five with her mother. By the age of 16, she was working to organize around various social and environmental justice issues. She spent many years organizing to address immigration, education, and youth rights. She also worked on addressing the disproportionate representation of people of color affected by incarceration, the death penalty and police brutality. For the past 8 years, she has worked with young people in many different capacities but mainly facilitating leadership development through youth organizing. Most recently, she worked as the Youth Coordinator for the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO). At LVEJO, she implemented a three-year environmental justice, youth leadership project through the Funders Collaborative for Youth Organizing (FCYO). She worked closely with all the campaign organizers to ensure Environmental Justice for the 100,000 plus residents of the Little Village community and the broader Chicagoland area.

Through the guidance of facilitative leadership, Lilian has worked with young people across class and race to organize around the issues they face at the community level. She has a deep passion for EJ and believes that frontline communities need to be an integral component of movement building and drafting policy that meets their needs and demands. She is deeply committed to uniting African Americans, Asian-Americans, Indigenous People, Latinos and Pacific Islanders, and building alliances with White People. She believes that in order to build strong effective movements anti-oppression, de-colonization and diversity training are integral. The foundation of her work is deeply rooted in education as a tool for liberation, participatory democracy and popular education. Lilian has a Bachelors degree in Bilingual/Bi-cultural Education and is looking to pursue a graduate degree in Urban Education Policy with a focus on environmental risks and their affects on learning.

Whit Jones - Co-Field Director

Whit has been involved in youth clean energy organizing since his days at Carleton College, where he worked to bring wind turbines to campus, and helped create the Minnesota state network. Since graduating, Whit has helped coordinate a number of campaigns. He joined the Sierra Student Coalition's March to ReEnergize Iowa to press the 2008 presidential candidates to offer vision of how to reenergize our country, and has been active with the Energy Action Coalition ever since. Whit joined as a fellow for Power Shift 2007, and since then has helped coordinate Power Vote and Power Shift 2009. He helped lead youth delegations to the last four UN climate negotiations.