Staff

Charting a Course is managed by California Environmental Associates, a consulting firm that works at the nexus of markets, science, and policy.

Andreas Merkl

MerklAndreas is a Principal at CEA and leads the firm’s philanthropic services and sustainable investment practice areas. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Conservation and Community Investment Forum and Chairman of the Sea Change Investment Fund. Both organizations spun out of CEA and work at the intersection of conservation and finance. Andreas has broad experience in environmental management consulting, venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, and business strategy.

Earlier in his career, Andreas was a founding member of McKinsey & Company’s Environmental Practice, specializing in the commercialization and marketing of environmental technologies. Andreas also served as Vice President and co-founder of the CH2M HILL Strategy Group, a leading provider of environmental management consulting services worldwide. Most of his work at CH2M Hill concerned capital planning and the management of environmental risks. In addition, Andreas has worked on affordable housing development in San Francisco and has founded and managed a cartographic consulting firm.

Andreas holds an MBA with distinction from Harvard University, a master’s degree in Regional Planning and Natural Resource Analysis from UC Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences from UC Santa Cruz.

Andreas spends nearly every weekend hiking on his favorite trails throughout the Bay Area. He also enjoys spending time on his sister’s farm in Bavaria and is a jazz aficionado.

Matt Elliott

ElliottMatt joined CEA in 2005 as a consultant and as the Conservation Director of the Sea Change Investment Fund. At CEA, Matt focuses on strategic planning for nonprofits and foundations, particularly in the marine conservation and climate arenas. Matt brings a broad environmental science background and a decade of experience working with leading environmental nonprofits.

Prior to joining CEA, Matt served as a Senior Research Associate at Redefining Progress, a progressive think tank focused on sustainability. At Redefining Progress, Matt primarily worked on energy issues, including the economic and health effects of climate change. Additionally, he has worked and consulted for several groups active in ocean conservation issues, including Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Seaweb, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the Pew Oceans Commission.

Matt has a bachelor’s degree (Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude) in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard University and a master’s degree (highest honors) in Environmental Change and Management from Oxford University.

In his free time, Matt mostly tries to tag along on his wife Bonnie’s many adventures.

Esther Jang

JangEsther is an Associate supporting CEA’s Philanthropic Services and Regulatory & Compliance Strategy pods. Esther’s focus has been on finding economic and market-based solutions to environmental issues and she recently collaborated with the University of California Santa Barbara and McKinsey & Co. to create a bio-economic model of a U.S. fishery.

Prior to joining CEA, Esther helped launch and provide project management assistance to the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), a collaborative effort between the ClimateWorks Foundation, Climate Policy Initiative, McKinsey & Co., and the Korean government that was created to support developing-country governments in designing and implementing strategies that promote economic growth as well as increased sustainability.

Esther received her bachelor’s degree in economics from Wellesley College. She enjoys all things related to economics and tries to keep her blog. She is also determined to be a winner of the New Yorker cartoon caption contest.

Mark Michelin

MichelinMark Michelin is an associate focused on strategic planning for foundations and nonprofits in the marine conservation sector.

Prior to joining CEA, Mark attended graduate school at the University of Michigan. While at school he worked on array of environmental projects including fisheries management research for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, climate change consulting for Holcim, Inc., and research on smart-grid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle deployment for Detroit Edison. Before graduate school, Mark spent six years as an engineer at Varian, Inc. designing and manufacturing nuclear magnetic resonance instruments.

Mark holds bachelor’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Economics from Stanford University, and Master’s degrees from the School of Natural Resources and Environment and Stephen M. Ross School of Business (With High Distinction) at the University of Michigan.

In his free time, Mark enjoys spending time in the mountains and cooking for his friends.

Jessica Schoenig

SchoenigJessica comes to CEA from the ClimateWorks Foundation, a global philanthropic network organized to fund projects addressing climate change. There, her role was dedicated to the Global Initiatives and Philanthropy teams. Her work at CEA is focused on strategic planning for foundations and nonprofits.

Jessica received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing, as well as a double minor in Psychology and Gender Studies, from the University of San Francisco. Her interests include travel, crossword puzzles, reading anything by Maya Angelou, gastronomy, and discovering all of San Francisco’s hidden gems.

Antonius Gagern

gagernAntonius Gagern is currently involved in a Ph.D. program at the Autonomous University in Barcelona, Spain. Taking the perspective of developing coastal states, his research focuses on modeling ecological and economic optimizations of fishing agreements with distant water fleets.

In 2007, Antonius was employed in an incubated project of CEA, CCIF in Bali, where he assisted in the formulation of a business-plan for marine protected areas in Northeast Indonesia. Antonius joined CEA in 2011 for the duration of the Charting a Course to Sustainable Fisheries project as an associate focusing on fisheries ecology and resource economics.

Antonius holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Tuebingen, Germany and a Master of Science degree in tropical marine Ecology from the University of Bremen. His Bachelor thesis focuses on the feeding behavior of marine gastropods, and his master thesis brought him to the Galapagos Islands, where he studied the population dynamics and fisheries potential of an endemic grouper species.