Deb Self, Executive Director and Baykeeper
(415) 856-0444 x 102
Deb Self, Executive Director and Baykeeper, joined the organization in 2003. She provides strategic leadership and management for all aspects of the organization’s operations, including legal, advocacy, science activities, financial management, development, and communications. Deb also has served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Waterkeeper Alliance, an international network of 200 on-the-water sister organizations, where she worked with the Alliance's President, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., in providing a global voice for clean water and healthy communities. To protect the Bay from oil spills, Deb was appointed by California Senate Pro-Tem Daniel Steinberg as a member of the state's Oil Spill Technical Advisory Committee; she serves as Vice Chair. Deb is also a member of the San Francisco Harbor Safety Committee. She received a Public Service Commendation from the U.S. Coast Guard—the agency's highest civilian honor—for her role in evaluating the response to the Cosco Busan oil spill in 2007. Deb has thirty years of experience in nonprofit development, environmental policy, and citizen enforcement of environmental laws. Her Masters in sociology focused on environmental justice, and she holds a bachelors degree in geology. She is the recent recipient of the Wallace Alexander 2013 Gerbode Fellowship for outstanding leadership in the nonprofit sector.
Sejal Choksi-Chugh, Program Director
(415) 856-0444 x 107
Sejal provides senior strategic leadership for Baykeeper's high-impact policy and litigation programs to protect San Francisco Bay. Since joining Baykeeper's staff in 2002 as an Equal Justice Works legal fellow, Sejal has served in several capacities including Senior Staff Attorney for Baykeeper's legal enforcement program. She now continues her role as Program Director where she has led the charge to reduce agricultural pollution, industrial runoff, sewage overflows, mercury contamination, and oil spills in the Bay. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors of California Coastkeeper Alliance, our statewide network of Waterkeeper organizations protecting California's waters. Sejal holds a J.D. with a specialization in Environmental Law from the University of California at Berkeley, where she co-founded the Boalt Hall Environmental Law Society. She graduated summa cum laude and first in her class as a Robert W. Woodruff Scholar from Emory University with a B.S. in Anthropology and Human Biology.
George Torgun, Managing Attorney
(415) 856-0444 x 105
George oversees Baykeeper’s Clean Water Act citizen suit enforcement program and serves as lead in-house counsel, managing the organization’s litigation docket. George joined Baykeeper in 2013 after nine years representing local communities, national environmental organizations, commercial and sport fishermen, and tribes as an attorney with the California office of Earthjustice. This work included litigation to protect salmon and other native species in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta region from state and federal water project operations, as well as legal challenges, under the California Environmental Quality Act, to address the damaging impacts of oil and gas activities and massive development projects. Prior to that, George handled environmental enforcement cases as a staff attorney with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Administrative Law Judges in Washington D.C. George holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Political Science from Gettysburg College and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.
Erica Maharg, Staff Attorney
415-856-0444 x 106
Erica joined Baykeeper in 2014 as our principle enforcement attorney, responsible for prosecuting our active docket of high-impact water quality cases through research, litigation, and settlement negotiations. Prior to joining Baykeeper, she represented environmental and community groups and government agencies in environmental and land use matters at the San Francisco law firm Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger. Erica also gained experience at the Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, developing cases under several federal environmental statutes, including the Safe Drinking Water Act; Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. Before law school, she was a community organizer with the Sierra Club in Oregon and Ohio. Erica received her J.D. with a certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2009, graduating summa cum laude. She also holds a B.A. in cultural anthropology and English literature from Duke University, where she graduated magna cum laude in 2003.
Nicole Sasaki, Associate Attorney
(415) 856-0444 x 110
Nicole prosecutes Baykeeper’s citizen suits through legal research, analysis and field investigation of pollution sources, and she monitors facility compliance with Baykeeper’s active Clean Water Act enforcement program. She joined Baykeeper in 2014 after graduating magna cum laude from Pace University School of Law. While in law school, Nicole gained practical experience at the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic where she represented Hudson Riverkeeper, New York/New Jersey Baykeeper, and Waterkeeper Alliance. She also served as a law clerk for Hudson Riverkeeper and Earthjustice. Her work focused on protecting water quality in the New York City watershed and defending New York City public parkland under the Public Trust Doctrine. Nicole holds a B.A. in History and Political Science from UC Berkeley and a J.D. from Pace University School of Law with a Certificate in Environmental Law.
Ian Wren, Staff Scientist
(415) 856-0444 x 108
Ian manages advocacy and research efforts, provides technical hydrology services on Baykeeper's enforcement actions, and regularly represents Baykeeper before regulators, municipalities, and technical committees. Prior to joining Baykeeper, Ian spent six years in environmental consultancy as a Habitat Restoration Specialist in Southern California and a Hydrologist in London, UK. Ian has worked with a range of public, private and non-profit organizations in California, Europe and the Middle East and is experienced in issues surrounding urban water quality, coastal diffuse pollution, endangered species, wetland restoration and the use of low impact technologies to mitigate water quality impacts and flood risk. He studied biology and ecology at UC Berkeley, holds an M.S. in Hydrology and Sustainable Development from Imperial College, London and is a Certified Professional in Stormwater Quality (CPSWQ)/Qualified SWPPP Developer (QSD).
Eliet Henderson, Development Director
(415) 856-0444 x 101
Eliet Henderson directs Baykeeper's development and communication efforts, managing supporter outreach, funder relationships, online communications, publications, and events. She first joined Baykeeper in 2007. She previously worked in communications on a statewide initiative campaign and as an events coordinator and program assistant at Equal Justice Works in Washington, D.C. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in sociology.
Judy MacLean, Communications Manager
(415) 856-0444 x 104
Judy writes and manages Baykeeper’s communications, including newsletters, website content, annual report, social media, and funder communications. Judy joined Baykeeper in 2011. She has over 20 years experience writing for environmental, health, and social justice nonprofit organizations, as well as experience as a journalist, author, and editor. She holds a B.A. in philosophy from Rice University. Photo by Bart Quigley
Jenna McElroy, Development Associate
415-856-0444 x 112
Jenna plays a key role in implementing Baykeeper’s individual giving programs, and supports the organization's fundraising and communications goals. She joined Baykeeper in 2013. Jenna is the former Development & Operations Coordinator with School of the Americas Watch, Washington DC. She received her Master’s in Social Service and Master’s in Law & Social Policy from Bryn Mawr College in 2010, and her B.A. in Psychology from Ithaca College in 2008. Her background is in solidarity work with Latin America and has worked with nonprofits along the U.S.-Mexico border, in Southern California, and in Philadelphia.
Jeremy Nelson, Finance and Administration Manager
415-856-0444 x 109
Jeremy manages Baykeeper's finance, human resources, and administration functions, providing expertise on industry best-practice in these areas. He has an extensive background in the environmental and human rights fields. Prior to joining Baykeeper in 2013, Jeremy served as interim Director of Finance, HR, and Operations at Rainforest Action Network and Operations Director at International Accountability Project. He also has program experience at various advocacy organizations, including Amnesty International. Jeremy holds an M. Phil in Social and Economic History from the University of Oxford and a B.A. in International Political Economy from Whitworth University. He is a certified human resources professional (PHR) and a graphic designer.