Who are we?

DAN BECKER, Director

Dan Becker is the director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Safe Climate Transport Campaign. The Campaign fights global warming by:

  • Pressing governments to adopt and implement strong laws cleaning up global warming emissions.
  • Pushing automakers to make clean cars and stop fighting sound environmental policies.
  • Urging consumers to switch to clean cars and other clean transportation choices.

From 1989 to 2007, Dan was director of the Sierra Club’s Global Warming Program. He developed and implemented advocacy and media strategies for Sierra Club grassroots volunteers, national and regional staff, and federal decision-makers. Dan led the charge for new automobile fuel economy (CAFE) standards and state clean car (Pavley) laws. He developed and led the Sierra Club’s efforts to reach out to labor unions and served as the “green” co-chair of the resulting Blue-Green Alliance with the United Steelworkers Union. He developed and led numerous campaigns including Ford “Valdez,” What Would Jesus Drive? and Cool Cities.

Dan began his career working for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch. As director of research, he designed and directed studies on campaign finance, automotive safety, and corporate responsibility, and lobbied Congress in support of numerous consumer and environmental issues.  Subsequently, he worked as campaign coordinator for consumer advocate Mark Green’s 1980 congressional campaign in New York City.

After earning his law degree from Northeastern University Law School in 1983, Dan became chief lobbyist for Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group (MASSPIRG), the largest public interest organization in Massachusetts. He developed and implemented strategies to pass environmental and consumer protection legislation.

In 1985, Dan became legislative counsel for Environmental Action, where he helped win passage of the federal Superfund law to clean up toxic waste and worked to pass a strengthened Clean Air Act.

In 1994, President Bill Clinton appointed Dan to the Presidential Advisory Committee on Personal Motor Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Reductions (“Car Talks”). On the panel, Dan was instrumental in assembling a working majority of the committee. He then played a key role in developing and drafting the Majority Report to the President.

Dan has been recognized by foe and friend alike. Automotive News, Detroit’s trade magazine, named Dan to its list of top 10 Washington players who most affect the auto industry. Rolling Stone magazine and Salon.com have named Dan one of the world’s 28 “Climate Heroes,” along with Tony Blair, Al Gore, and James Hansen. In 2010 he was awarded the 30th Anniversary Award by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. In 2012 he was awarded the Public Policy Leadership Award by IHS Energy Daily.


JAMES GERSTENZANG, Editorial Director (retired)

James Gerstenzang was the editorial director of the Safe Climate Transport Campaign through 2021. He is a veteran Washington writer. He was formerly the senior White House correspondent of The Associated Press and The Los Angeles Times. In addition, during 24 years in the Times’ Washington bureau, he covered the environment—writing from points as diverse as Capitol Hill and the Magdalene Islands, on pollution and conservation—as well as the Pentagon, and international economics and trade. He originated and was the editor of the newspaper’s Web operations in Washington, and covered six presidential election campaigns. His reporting has taken him to five continents, more than 75 countries, and all 50 states. He covered multiple summit meetings in Moscow and Beijing, Group of Eight summit conferences, and 10 national political conventions.



  • James P. Barrett, Ph.D., Chief Economist, Applied Solutions
  • Jos Dings, Director of T&E, the European Federation for Transport and Environment Brussels, Belgium
  • Adam Lee, President of Lee Auto Malls
  • John Passacantando, Former Executive Director, Greenpeace USA

*  *  *Paul R. Epstein, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School, deceased. (1943-2011)