ACR’s expertise is unmatched by our peers. Our team of professionals has over 100 years of collective experience in environmental and carbon markets working in offset project development, climate policy, offset methodology development, offset project verification and registry operations. We understand the complex technical, market and regulatory issues involved in developing offset projects and work with carbon asset owners to navigate the project registration and verification process through to issuance of carbon credits.
Winrock Senior Management
Rodney Ferguson, President and CEO
American Carbon Registry
John Kadyszewski, Director
Mary Grady, Deputy Director
Jessica Orrego, Director of Forestry
Arjun Patney, Policy Director
Lauren Nichols, Technical Manager
Eric Ripley, Program Manager
Margaret Williams, Program Officer
Rori Cowan, Senior Program Associate
Kurt Krapfl, Forestry Program Officer
Zhen Han, Senior Program Associate
Winrock Senior Management
Rodney Ferguson is responsible for the strategic, programmatic, financial, and management operations of Winrock International in its quest to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity, and sustain natural resources. Before coming to Winrock, Ferguson worked for 20 years as one of the country’s leading consultants on communications and strategy for the nonprofit sector – most recently with Lipman Hearne, Inc., the largest marketing and communications firm in the U.S. that exclusively serves nonprofits. There he worked closely with the MacArthur Foundation to increase awareness of the MacArthur Fellows — aka “genius” — awards. Ferguson has worked with other major foundations, service providers, and philanthropic organizations, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the National Children's Medical Center. He has worked with dozens of colleges and universities, including the State University of New York (SUNY), Seton Hall University, and the American Council on Education (ACE), as well as assisting with international aid and development projects, including projects in Iraq, Slovenia and Qatar. Born and raised in Alabama, Ferguson graduated summa cum laude from Birmingham Southern College. He also attended the University of St Andrews in Scotland as a Rotary Foundation International Scholar, and graduated from Harvard Kennedy School with a master’s in public policy. Ferguson has served on a number of boards, including the D.C. Advisory Board for Teach for America, as well as the Education Writers Association, the membership association for education journalists and broadcasters.
American Carbon Registry
John Kadyszewski is the Director of Winrock International’s American Carbon Registry (ACR). For more than 30 years he has worked to apply sound science and economics to energy and resource management issues with experience in the U.S. and more than 20 countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Europe. In the early 90s, Mr. Kadyszewski led Winrock’s efforts to develop and field-test peer-reviewed methods and procedures for measuring carbon storage in forestry and agroforestry projects. He directed collaboration efforts with the electric power industry and the environmental community resulting in the design, development and implementation of multiple forestry, land use change and renewable energy projects to sequester carbon or reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. In the late 90s, he managed development of advanced monitoring tools that combine aerial digital imagery with spatial information systems to improve measurement and analysis of land management practices and associated environmental impacts. He founded the Ecosystem Services Group at Winrock in 2001 and was the co-leader of terrestrial sequestration work for the Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership. Today he continues as the co-leader of terrestrial sequestration work for the West Coast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership covering potential terrestrial sequestration activities in California, Oregon, Washington and Arizona, including highlighting the significant impact fire has and will have on existing and future carbon stocks on forest lands in the west. He co-led work sponsored by the California Energy Commission’s PIER program to establish baselines and quantify terrestrial carbon sequestration opportunities for the State of California. He is a co-founder of the Environmental Enterprises Assistance Fund and the International Cane Energy Network and has authored studies and reports, testified before congressional committees, and made numerous national and international presentations. He has a BS in engineering from Princeton University.
Mary Grady, Deputy Director of the American Carbon Registry (ACR), is responsible for strategic development of ACR as a premium environmental standard for carbon offset projects in the U.S. and internationally. With over 20 years of experience in environmental markets, Mary manages ACR's California market operations as well as business partnerships and strategic initiatives. Before joining ACR in 2008, Mary worked for sixteen years in the renewable energy industry, most recently as Operations Leader at Clipper Windpower. While at Clipper she managed the wind project development operations team, Clipper’s project portfolio in Latin America as well as over 1,500 MW of US projects. Mary worked previously in Winrock’s Clean Energy Group and was Managing Director of Winrock’s Brazil office, prior to which she managed a solar rural electrification program in the northeast of Brazil. Mary began her renewable energy career at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and served as a consultant to the World Bank on the creation, financing and oversight of rural energy programs. Ms. Grady has an international MBA (MIBS) from the University of South Carolina and undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Spanish, minor in life sciences, from Clemson University. She speaks Portuguese and Spanish.
Arjun Patney, ACR Policy Director, is responsible for advancing policy goals, as well as developing for ACR new opportunities created by policy and legislation. With over 15 years in the environmental field, Arjun most recently served as Interim Director of Finance and Carbon Markets at the USAID’s Forest Carbon, Markets and Communities Program, where he managed projects to foster international forest carbon markets. Previously, he was Carbon Market Strategist at Cargill, where he established the company’s US carbon trading desk. Related activities included originating carbon credits, as well as sourcing and evaluating investment opportunities. Arjun’s career in the environmental field has also included international business development, launching a start-up, and providing consulting services. He received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an M.S. in Environmental Management and Policy from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Jessica Orrego, ACR Director of Forestry, is responsible for overseeing the listing, verification and registration of forest carbon projects developed under the California compliance and early action offset protocols as well as under ACR’s voluntary carbon offset methodologies. Jessica comes to Winrock/ACR with more than 10 years of carbon-related work experience in the areas of offset project development and climate change consulting services. Prior to joining ACR, Jessica served for five years as VP of Environmental Markets at Equator LLC, where she was responsible for the development and implementation of compliance and voluntary market forest carbon projects in their investment portfolio, as well as providing forest carbon project screening and management services to several independent clients. Jessica previously served as Head of US Project Implementation at EcoSecurities in New York, where she managed a team that successfully registered over 40 projects under the Clean Development Mechanism as well as in the voluntary carbon market. Jessica also worked as a Senior Consultant for Energy for Sustainable Development (part of Camco Group) in the UK, focusing on carbon projects in the forestry and renewable energy sectors as well as at the US Climate Change Science Program in Washington DC, where she coordinated carbon cycle research across nine government agencies. She helped to develop the Plan Vivo standard and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Plan Vivo Foundation. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Science in Forestry from the University of Vermont.
Lauren Nichols, ACR Technical Manager, assists in the development of ACR standards and methodologies for GHG offset projects, sets up systems and develops templates to streamline registry operations, provides technical support for project review and verification oversight, and assists with client management. Ms. Nichols is also responsible for conducting offset project eligibility screenings for certification on ACR, and coordinating scientific peer review processes for the approval of new methodologies. In coordination with other Winrock staff, Ms. Nichols helped develop the ACR’s offset screening and scoring tool, which provides a mechanism to evaluate the merits of GHG offset projects in a quantitative way. Ms. Nichols has worked in the environmental non-profit arena since 2004 and she holds a master’s degree in Environmental Management, with a concentration of Environmental Economics, from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Bates College.
Eric Ripley, ACR Program Manager, is responsible for the review California compliance and voluntary market project listings and for providing oversight to project verification, registration and offset issuance for a variety of project types. He will also serve as a team member for offset methodology approvals and as ACR’s representative to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Eric comes to ACR with broad carbon market and climate change experience in the areas of carbon offset project verification, project development, and greenhouse gas reporting mechanisms. He has assisted clients with offset project types including landfill gas, agricultural methane, transportation initiatives, industrial gas destruction, biomass, energy efficiency, and fuel switching. His organizational greenhouse gas management experience includes the development, reporting, and verification of climate action plans and greenhouse gas inventories for programs such as The Climate Registry, the Carbon Disclosure Project, and various state and provincial GHG programs. Prior to ACR, Eric was the Senior Environmental Scientist at Ruby Canyon Engineering where he provided carbon offset verification services under numerous voluntary programs and under the AB32 Compliance Offset Program for which he is accredited by the California Air Resources Board as a Lead Verifier for Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) Destruction and Livestock projects. Eric was previously a carbon management consultant at First Environment, Inc. and was the Greenhouse Gas Program Manager for TUV SUD America, Inc. At TUV SUD America, he was responsible for the company’s entry into the greenhouse gas business in North America. This work required the development of all program policies and procedures to achieve American National Standards Institute (ANSI) GHG accreditation as well as numerous sector approvals under the ANSI program. Additionally, he has worked on the development of sustainability reporting standards for AccountAbility and has interned with the U.S. EPA Environmental Finance Center where he conducted research on market-based environmental policy with a focus on GHG emissions trading schemes. Eric holds a Bachelor’s in Social and Environmental Studies from Indiana University, a Master’s in Environmental Science and Policy from the State University of New York-College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Syracuse University.
Margaret Williams, ACR Program Officer, is responsible for the review California compliance and voluntary market project listings and for providing oversight to project verification, registration and offset issuance for a variety of project types. She also serves as a team member for offset methodology development and approvals. Prior to joining ACR, Margaret was at the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute where she conducted science communications and helped manage a multi-institutional grant from NASA Ames Research Center. She has experience in GHG emissions verification, carbon offset project development, various GHG reporting protocols and GHG inventory and reduction plan development. At Impact Carbon, Margaret served as Program Manager for carbon asset development, various GHG reporting schemes and overseeing all survey design, fuel and emissions data collection, data analysis and document preparation for carbon asset validation and verification under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and the Gold Standard. She designed novel approaches for quantifying avoided greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from rural households in Asia, Africa and Latin America where multiple clean energy technologies were installed and also represented Impact Carbon on the US Technical Advisory Committee (ISO) for Clean Cook stoves and Clean Cooking Solutions. From 2009 to 2013 Margaret was a senior climate change and air quality project manager and technical specialist at ICF International where she developed GHG emissions inventories and reduction plans for cities and counties in California as well as analyzed environmental data for regulatory compliance. She was a certified lead verifier (2009-2015) under the California Air Resources Board Mandatory Reporting Rule with Refineries and Transactions specialties and has conducted GHG audits for landfills and oil and gas facilities under the British Columbia and Alberta reporting schemes. Margaret holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Virginia and a doctorate in Atmospheric Chemistry from the University of Miami. She completed postdoctoral work at the University of California Irvine in the department of Earth System Science and also at NASA Ames Research Center. While at UC Irvine, she held the Comer Fellowship for the Study of Abrupt Climate Change.
Rori Cowan, ACR Senior Program Associate, is responsible for overseeing offset project listing, registration and third-party verification of California compliance and voluntary market offset projects on ACR. Prior to joining the ACR team, Ms. Cowan was the Manager of the Greenhouse Gas Verification program at SCS Global Services (SCS). At SCS Ms. Cowan was responsible for overseeing the GHG program’s carbon audits, quality system and maintaining accreditation to ISO 14065. Ms. Cowan is an accredited ARB lead verifier for destruction of ozone depleting substances (ODS), livestock and mine methane capture projects. Ms. Cowan holds a Masters in Environmental Science and Management from the University of California Santa Barbara and a B.S. in Earth Systems Science & Policy from California State University, Monterey Bay where she specialized in Coastal and Marine Ecology.
Kurt Krapfl, ACR Forestry Program Officer, provides expertise and support to clients working in both the California compliance and voluntary forest carbon markets. He is responsible for overseeing forestry project listing, registration, verification and offset issuance, providing technical support to forest project stakeholders as well as managing the development and approval of new forest and land use methodologies. Prior to joining ACR, Kurt worked at Mississippi State and Southern Illinois Universities conducting research related to forest carbon dynamics, silviculture, alternative cropping systems, soil biogeochemistry and the effects of disturbance upon forested ecosystems. His work has been disseminated in numerous peer-reviewed journals. He has worked for government entities, including the U.S. Forest Service and the National Parks Service, as well as private entities in forested and agroecosystems ranging from intensively managed forests of the Southern Coastal Plain and the Central Hardwoods to old-growth forests of the Great Smoky Mountains and montane ecosystems of the Intermountain West. Kurt received Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Forestry from Southern Illinois University. He also holds a PhD in Forest Management from Mississippi State University.
Zhen Han, ACR Senior Program Associate, is responsible for coordinating the development and approval of new carbon offset methodologies, developing tools, guidance manuals and training workshops for GHG offset project development, and supporting offset project review and verification oversight. Prior to joining ACR, Zhen was a Research Fellow with Project Drawdown, where she modeled the climate and financial impacts of land-based climate change mitigation strategies including agroforestry and conservation agriculture. As an Environmental Policy Fellow at the UN Environment Programme, Zhen worked on ecosystem-based climate change adaptation and gender mainstreaming. Zhen holds a doctorate in Ecosystem Ecology and Biogeochemistry from Cornell University, and her dissertation work focused on nutrient cycling and GHG emissions from agricultural soils. Zhen holds a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Zhejiang University, China.