Our Staff

David Meshoulam, PhD

Co-Founder & Executive Director

David (pronounced Dah-veed) has been a science educator for the past 15 years. He brings expertise in having youth see and understand connections between science, culture, and history. He has created innovative interdisciplinary courses in science: in Watertown he developed and led Trees for Watertown's Teens for Trees program, at Newton North he co-developed Science in Society. He also teach graduate level courses in science education at Boston College, Northeastern University, and Boston University. You can reach him at david@sfttbos.org

Amanda Rich

Co-Founder & Program Director

Amanda has worked in the life science industry for over 15 years and is now an independent sustainability consultant. She has an educational background in biology and forensic science. She recently completed her Master’s in Sustainability and Environmental Management from Harvard University and was profiled in the Harvard Gazette for developing a plan demonstrating how the energy burden of Boston residents could be greatly reduced through data-driven tree species selection and planting placement. Amanda is applying her expertise in data analysis to develop customized improvement plans for cities, businesses, and residents.

Executive Board

Andrew Droste

Treasurer & Board Member

Andrew is an Environmental, Social, and corporate Governance (ESG) expert at Russell Reynolds Associates (RRA) within their Board Advisory & Effectiveness Practice. Prior to RRA, Andrew led ESG engagement, research, and risk analyses for BNY Mellon’s Proxy Voting and Governance Committee. Andrew began his career as an ESG risk analyst at Nuveen on their Responsible Investing Team. He holds a J.D. from Northeastern Law and a B.S. from Suffolk University.

Melinda Vega

Board Member

Melinda is the Community Engagement Coordinator at the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) where she coordinates the NOAH Youth Organizers (N-YO) program, empowering them to be change-makers in their community. Formerly she was an elected School Committee Member for the City of Chelsea where she continues to be a community leader and activist. Melinda has worked in multiple organizations where she has followed her passion for Social and Environmental Justice, Youth Empowerment, and Undoing Racism. She works to empower East Boston community members by developing leadership skills and ensuring they are part of the decision-making process on issues affecting them, ultimately creating a better quality of life for themselves, their families, and the East Boston community. Melinda, the mother of two, a 29-year old Latina, a lifelong resident of Chelsea MA, is currently pursuing a degree in Psychology.

Advisory Board

Bob Chabot, Chief Operating Officer, Zoo New England

Sonja Duempelmann, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Harvard University, Graduate School of Design   

Stephanie Kruel, ENV SP, Senior Environmental Planner, VHB

Charlie Lord, Principal, Renew Energy Partners, founder and former Executive Director of Urban Ecology Institute

Dr. S. Atyia Martin, CEM, CEO & Founder, All Aces, Inc. and Distinguished Senior Fellow, Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University

Hannah Saltman, Manager, Governance Program, Ceres ​

Jeff Speck, Speck & Associates, AICP  CNU-A  LEED-AP Hon. ASLA

Renata von Tscharner, founder and former president of the Charles River Conservancy

Katherine Walsh, Sustainability and Environmental Resources Manager, Boston Public Schools

We are actively growing our executive and advisory board. Interested in learning more or joining? Feel free to reach out.

Michael Slagle

Fellow, College for Social Innovation

Michael  is a senior at the University of New Hampshire where he is pursuing a dual major in Sustainability and Community & Environmental Planning. On campus, he is involved in the UNH Planning Student Organization, a pre-professional organization that conducts research and undertakes community service and advocacy for the university and local and state communities. This semester he is enrolled in the College for Social Innovation’s Semester in the City program that blends an internship with weekly classes. At Speak for the Trees, Michael will be using his skills to assist in creating a community engagement program so that SFTT can learn about residents’ relationship to trees and residents can learn about the importance of Boston’s urban forest.