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Our Team

ACR’s expertise is unmatched by our peers. Our team of professionals has over 250 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.

As a wholly-owned nonprofit subsidiary of Winrock International, ACR is governed by the Board of the Environmental Resources Trust (ERT).

American Carbon Registry (ACR) Team:

Mary Grady, President and CEO of ERT and ACR Executive Director has been active in environmental markets for almost 30 years including over 12 years at ACR. In her current role, she manages operations and ACR's respected team of technical and policy experts in the California regulated market, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) market and the voluntary carbon market. She leads the implementation of strategies to ensure ACR’s approval in new compliance carbon markets and actively represents Winrock as a UNFCCC observer organization. Upon joining ACR, Mary developed and implemented a business plan and a communications and outreach strategy that rebranded ACR and built its reputation as the premium U.S. GHG program. She has overseen the development and updates to the ACR Standard, the development of three generations of ACR’s registry platform and led ACR’s strategy for approval as a California Offset Project Registry in 2012 and to supply credits to ICAO's CORSIA in 2020. Prior to ACR, Mary worked for over 15 years in the renewable energy industry. As Development Operations Leader of Clipper Windpower, she managed the project development team and 10,000 MW project portfolio, valued at over $1 billion. Mary lived in Brazil for five years including as Director of Winrock's Brazil office and as Director of Kyocera Solar’s pioneering rural electrification program. She  began her renewable energy career at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Mary has an international MBA and speaks Portuguese and Spanish. She serves on the Council of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA).

Lauren Nichols, Vice President ERT and ACR Managing Director, joined ACR in 2008 and has since held progressively advanced technical and operational roles. In her current position, she is responsible for the development and oversight of operational processes and systems to ensure all regulatory and technical requirements are met for the listing, verification, registration of projects and issuance of related offset credits as an Offset Project Registry in the California carbon market, for the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) CORSIA, as well as all ACR program legal and operational requirements. She has implemented three generations of ACR registry platform development and manages all registry operations including registry customization and logic functionality from specification through testing and launch. Lauren oversees and substantively contributes to the development of ACR standards and operational processes including the development of innovative GHG emissions reduction quantification methodologies and verification strategies, metrics and registry tools. She advises ACR technical staff as needed during their review and approval of offset project listing applications, data reporting and verification documents across markets. She tracks policy developments in relevant emerging compliance markets and serves as a senior technical representative on key industry committees. She is accredited by the California Air Resources board in Offset Project Registry Operations, verification and in all regulatory offset protocols (ODS, Mine Methane Capture, Forestry, Urban Forestry, Livestock and Rice). Lauren 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.

Kurt Krapfl, Forestry Director, 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.

Maris Densmore, Director of Industrial Solutions, is responsible for overseeing the investigation, analysis, and implementation of new strategic opportunities to harness the power of markets for high impact emission reduction and removals actions in the energy and industrial sectors including geologic storage of carbon, methane emission abatement, and long-term storage of carbon via other industrial processes. Prior to joining ACR, Maris spent almost 20 years in the environmental and oil and gas sectors and was responsible for developing technical and policy solutions to key industry issues. She specializes in building strategies for challenging technical issues within complicated political and policy environments such as climate change and carbon mitigation, water use and protection, sustainability, and community engagement.  Most recently, she has lead development, implementation, and advocacy for geologic sequestration permitting and incentives as the Manager of Carbon Capture Solutions at California Resources Corporation (CRC).  Maris also served as the technical advisor for policy and political issues for CRC.  Prior to her work in California, Maris worked on environmental issues in Shell’s Appalachia assets including groundwater protection, water recycling, environmental reporting and data management, and auditing.  Maris spent her early career developing and executing groundwater and natural gas drilling programs across the country.  Throughout her career, Maris has been active in community outreach, education, and engagement. Maris is a licensed geologist and has extensive field experience in both environmental and oil and gas operations including drilling; groundwater protection; mapping; and health, safety, and the environment training and assessment. Maris has a bachelor’s degree in earth science from UC Santa Cruz and a master’s in geology from UC Davis.

Jessica Bede, Director of Registry Operations, is responsible for system operations and client services within the American Carbon Registry. She oversees Registry processes to ensure all regulatory and technical requirements are met for the listing, verification, and registration of projects and the issuance of associated offset credits. In this position, Jessica advises ACR technical staff and members, tracks policy and market developments, and engages in strategic business development. Her previous work has involved a variety of climate financing mechanisms and multiple project types giving Jessica a wide range of knowledge across the transportation, energy, building, natural resources, and waste sectors. Jessica joined ACR after seven years at the California Air Resources Board (CARB) where she first worked on compliance offset protocol development and credit issuance under the State’s Cap-and-Trade program and then the use of auction proceeds for California Climate Investments to further the State’s climate goals and benefit disadvantaged communities. Prior to CARB, she worked on the technical design of Carbon Tanzania’s first REDD project, which included establishing and strengthening the land rights of indigenous populations and delivering payments for ecosystem services to communities for development and livelihood needs. Jessica holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and a Master’s in International Development from Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management.

Mollie Ruth, Senior Officer, Registry Operations, contributes to all aspects of registry services management, including client services relations, infrastructure maintenance, and strategic development of registry platform improvements. Prior to joining ACR, Mollie worked as an environmental engineering consultant with a broad range of industrial and corporate clients.  She has experience in GHG accounting and reporting, database management, client support, training, project management, compliance with legal and voluntary environmental standards. Mollie has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from Michigan Technological University. 

Anna Hoy, Operations Manager, designs and maintains key internal processes to enhance quality and efficiency. She provides unit-wide support for procurement, finance, event planning, communications, and customer service. Anna brings over a decade of experience in non-profit and public service. She joined ACR after five years with the City of Greensboro (North Carolina) where she led evidence-based quality improvement for the City’s largest youth-serving program, advised youth-led leadership development programs, coordinated internship and volunteer opportunities, and facilitated the development and implementation of an annual marketing plan for 175 facilities and 2,300 programs. While with United Way of Greater Greensboro, she held progressively responsible roles including administrative support for two departments and four volunteer committees, digital communications specialist, and manager of advocacy and communications. Anna has played key leadership roles in community initiatives for school safety, civic leadership development, infant-maternal public health, and early childhood environmental education/local food access. She holds a Bachelor of Science with a dual major in Organizational Development and Child Studies from Vanderbilt University and a Master’s in Public Affairs from University of North Carolina Greensboro.

Andrew Taylor, Senior Technical Manager, Forestry, provides technical forestry expertise to facilitate carbon offset projects in the California compliance and voluntary markets. He oversees the review of forestry and other land based offset project listing, verification, and registration, and coordinates new offset methodology approval. Andrew comes to ACR with a background in forest mensuration, forest inventory management, forestry technology deployment, and silviculture. He served as a Resource Information Forester for Hancock Forest Management, where he managed a national forest inventory program and implemented a new plantation assessment program to monitor and analyze stocking and seedling survival of recent plantings. He collected field forestry data for the US Forest Service in Colorado and Washington state, including several years working for the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program. Andrew earned a Master of Forestry (MF) degree in Sustainable Forest Management at Oregon State University, which concentrated on Silviculture, Fire and Forest Health. His research focused on silviculture for old-growth structure, particularly vertical canopy continuity, in the Oregon coast range, as well as the physiological impacts of partial harvest regimes and their influence on forest carbon dynamics. He has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) with a dual major in Music and German from the University of Vermont.

Warren Reed, Technical Manager, Forestry, provides technical expertise to support forest carbon offset projects in the California compliance and voluntary markets. He is responsible for reviewing project listing applications, data reporting, verification and the development and approval of new quantification methodologies. Before joining the ACR team Warren worked at The Pennsylvania State University researching forest ecology and carbon dynamics in the central Appalachian Mountains from an interdisciplinary perspective investigating the influence that bedrock geology exerts on forest carbon storage and uptake. His work utilized data from forests at multiple scales, from annual resolution tree-ring data to larger scale forest inventories. He has worked extensively across California and Oregon researching wildland fuels treatments with the United States Geological Survey and U. S. Forest Service and has also worked in coastal forests of South Africa researching carbon storage. His research has been published in internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals. Warren earned his Master of Science degree in Forestry from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a Bachelor of Science in Physical/Environmental Geography from The Pennsylvania State University. He is currently a PhD candidate in Ecology at The Pennsylvania State University.

Gabriel Burns, Technical Manager, Forestryprovides technical expertise to support forest carbon offset projects in the California compliance and voluntary markets. He is responsible for reviewing project listing applications, data reporting, verification and the development and approval of new quantification methodologies. Prior to joining the ACR team, Gabriel worked for over a decade in both the public and private sectors as a forest climate and carbon specialist.  Most recently, Gabriel worked for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources – Division of Forestry, where he helped build a DoF climate change program, oversaw timber harvest sales operations, and managed a multi-stakeholder effort to model changes in forest carbon stocks based on a multitude of counterfactual scenarios inputted into the carbon budget model of the Canadian Forest Service (CBM-CFS3). Ahead of joining the DNR, Gabriel worked as a technical consultant for UNIQUE Forestry and Land-Use, based in Freiburg Germany, as part of an MRV task team within the climate division.  During his time with UNIQUE, Gabriel helped develop a forestry NAMA in India, implement and monitor an IFM project in China, and author and field-test a water impact and assessment methodology used to quantify the water benefits from sustainable agriculture and land management interventions in Kenya and surrounding African countries. Gabriel Holds a Bachelor of Forestry and Natural Resource Management from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s in Silviculture from the University of Freiburg, Germany. 

Meg Dudley, Technical Manager, Forestry, provides technical expertise to support forest carbon offset projects in the California compliance and voluntary markets. She is responsible for reviewing project listing applications, data reporting, verification and the development and approval of new quantification methodologies. Prior to joining ACR, Dr. Dudley was an assistant professor of biology at Adams State University, where she instructed a wide variety of subjects. As a graduate student and post-doctoral research assistant, she examined how climate and damage agents affect the health of western forests. She brings a wide-range of expertise also having worked for various federal land management agencies as a Geographic Information Specialist (GIS) and park ranger. Dr. Dudley holds a Bachelors of Science in Natural Resources from the University of Minnesota. She received her Masters of Science and PhD in Forest Pathology from Colorado State University.

Megesh Tiwari, Senior Technical Manager, Industrial Program, provides technical expertise on offset project review and verification oversight for ACR projects. He also contributes to the development and approval of innovative ACR GHG emissions reduction quantification methodologies and verification strategies for carbon markets. Megesh has 18 years of experience in climate change, clean energy, clean transportation and international development and has managed projects in 12 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. He worked for Winrock’s clean energy group for 12 years from 2003 to 2014. Under an Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded project, he worked as a technical expert to introduce Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in Nepal. This included conducting a national study to identify a pipeline of potential CDM projects, conducting a number of feasibility studies and preparing project idea notes (PIN) and project design documents (PDD) for clean energy, clean transportation, solid waste management, bioenergy, and industrial heating and cooling projects. He was also part of the team that conducted extensive capacity building on CDM for project proponents, government agencies, financial organizations, educational institutions, media and public. Megesh led development of Winrock’s innovative computer-based tool that allowed small and medium animal farms to estimate carbon offsets resulting from use of electricity generated from biogas produced from animal manure. The tool also estimated the financial viability improvements resulting from sale of carbon offsets. Megesh conducted over 10 workshops and trained and distributed the tool to over 100 farms in Brazil, India, Pakistan and Nepal. Megesh received a Master’s degree in Sustainability from Harvard University. This degree further enhanced his expertise in GHG accounting and reporting, environmental and social life-cycle assessment, and corporate sustainability business plan and strategy development. He also has Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) and Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics engineering.

Maria-Cristina Silva, Technical Manager, Industrial Program, supports ACR’s carbon market activities as well as the development and piloting of novel quantification tools and approaches for assessment of climate impacts of investments. Before joining ACR, Maria-Cristina managed non-profit organizations projects in diverse fields including early literacy, public health, environmental education, international exchange, and social entrepreneurship. In those experiences, she could observe how climate change undermines poverty alleviation efforts by working first hand with disadvantaged populations such as indigenous and Afro-Ecuadorian communities in the Andes, as well as entrepreneurs in Bangalore, India, and Central American immigrants in the San Francisco Bay Area. Maria-Cristina has a Master’s in Science on Greenhouse Gas Accounting from Colorado State University, a B.A. in Social Development from the Pontific Catholic University of Ecuador, and a M.A. in Sustainable Development and Peace & Conflict Studies from the United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica.

Brent Fitzgerald, Technical Manager, Industrial Program provides technical industrial expertise on offset project review and verification oversight in both the California regulatory and voluntary carbon markets. He also contributes to the development and approval of innovative ACR GHG emissions reduction quantification methodologies and verification strategies for carbon markets. Prior to joining ACR, Brent has 10 years of experience in GHG reporting, sustainability, and multi-media environmental permitting and compliance with an emphasis in state and federal air quality regulations. While with Pinnacle Renewable Energy, he served as Environmental Manager for two Title V SBP-certified wood-pellet manufacturing facilities in Alabama, where he completed monitoring and reporting requirements, built upon data management systems, and developed permitting and compliance strategies alongside optimal plant performance. At Trinity Consultants, he served as Senior Environmental Consultant for industrial clients in the oil & gas, chemical, and power sectors across the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, where he worked with plant personnel and corporate management to complete complex construction and modification permitting projects, regulatory agency enforcement resolution, and professional training.  He also researched and authored reports on systemic sustainability in higher education and on supplementing a landfill gas to energy (LFGTE) system with anaerobic digester (AD) biogas from organic waste. Mr. Fitzgerald received a bachelor’s degree in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Vanderbilt University and a master’s degree in Environmental Management from Duke University.

Leah McKinley, Technical OfficerIndustrial Program, provides technical expertise on offset project review and verification oversight for ACR projects, with a focus on projects related to Mine Methane Capture. Prior to joining ACR, Leah worked as an Air Quality Analyst for the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, where she wrote State Implementation Plans to allow Wyoming to keep primacy over certain environmental regulations. During her time with the State of Wyoming, Leah focused on reducing Regional Haze—which degrades the visibility of the air—in Wyoming’s National Parks and Wilderness Areas through emissions reduction technologies and methods. Leah has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a Master’s degree in Public Service and Administration from Texas A&M University.