Board of Trustees
The Trustees board of directors consists of volunteers from in and out of Alaska who care about and support the work Trustees does to protect the lands, waters, animals and communities essential to Alaska’s health and future.
Chase Hensel is a cultural and linguistic anthropologist with more than thirty years experience working with Native people and Native languages in rural Alaska. His major research interests have included subsistence practices and traditional ecological knowledge. Retired from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), he currently consults on Alaska Native language and culture curriculum development, and on litigation, often involving rural plaintiffs and defendants and/or rural court sites. He attended Washington State University and Cornell as an undergraduate, UAF for an MA and UC Berkeley for his Ph.D.
Marlyn Twitchell was born and raised in Juneau, Alaska, and has dedicated her career to protecting wild lands, wildlife and advancing Native rights in Alaska and beyond. She is currently a contract attorney, policy analyst and campaign consultant for nonprofit organizations and foundations. A graduate of Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, she has served as director of a Northwest foundation, Environmental Litigation Director for the National Audubon Society, and Attorney at Alaska Legal Services and Earthjustice. She served on the Trustees board in the mid-1990s and currently serves on the board of Toxic Free Future in Seattle.
Jim Stratton’s 35-year career working to protect Alaska’s public lands and waters started in Juneau with the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council just a few weeks after the Alaska Lands Act was signed. He subsequently moved to Anchorage where he worked for the Alaska Conservation Foundation, spent most of the Knowles Administration as the Director of Alaska State Parks and most recently put in over 12 years with the National Parks Conservation Association. He is now retired and spends his time hiking, birding and visiting national parks around the world. In addition to Trustees, he volunteers his time as a board member with Boreal Songbird Initiative and the Oregon Natural Desert Association. Jim holds a degree in Recreation and Parks Management from the University of Oregon and an MBA from Alaska Pacific University. Jim received a lifetime achievement award from the Alaska Conservation Foundation in 2020
Jane Sauer has been a business attorney in Anchorage for more than 30 years. She represents small business clients throughout the State of Alaska in fields such as healthcare, architecture, engineering, construction, real estate, and tourism. Her clients also include Alaska Native corporations and non-profit organizations. Jane loves living in Alaska and the outdoor activities that are possible here. She is the mother of three grown sons, all of whom were born and raised and currently live in and love Alaska. Jane is a longtime supporter of Trustees for Alaska because she knows Trustees will protect Alaska’s wild places.
Michelle Meyer grew up in Yakutat, Alaska and has spent most of her life in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska. Michelle is a graduate of Western Washington University with a B.A. from the Huxley College of Environmental Studies in Bellingham, WA. She works in renewable energy and as a consultant to political candidates, groups and issue campaigns across Alaska. Of Tlingit descent, Michelle considers the healthy preservation of traditional and customary food gathering areas in Alaska of critical importance to future generations. She has served on the Anchorage Waterways Council Board, fundraised for the Oiled Regions of Alaska Foundation and lobbied for the protection of critical habitat and watershed areas.
Susan Hackley lives in Boston and for 19 years was the managing director of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, an inter-disciplinary program dedicated to the theory and practice of negotiation and conflict management. She is also the Producer and Director of “Veteran Children: When Parents Go To War”, a documentary film about the impact of war on America’s children and families. Earlier, she worked in politics as a policy analyst and speechwriter and served as Communications Director of the Massachusetts Democratic Party. She co-founded an Internet company, Givenation.com, that helped people connect on-line to causes they care about, and she served as chair of the Alliance for Peacebuilding, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit whose mission is to help build sustainable peace and security worldwide. For 15 wonderful years, she lived in Alaska, nine of them in a cabin along Turnagain Arm, and her children were born in Alaska. She has traveled throughout Alaska, working as a writer and photographer, and she was on the editorial staff of Alaska Northwest Publishing and Alaska Travel Publications.
Tom Meacham is an attorney specializing in Alaska land and natural resource issues, a singular focus that he has consistently followed throughout his 50 years of civil law practice in Anchorage, Alaska. Tom started practicing natural resources law in 1971. He has practiced in both the private sector and as an assistant attorney general for the state of Alaska. In the latter role, he served as legal counsel during the drafting of the landmark Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act in Washington, D.C., from 1976 through 1980. He has been listed every year since 1989 in The Best Lawyers in America in the related practice areas of Environmental, Natural Resources, Mining, Oil and Gas, and Water Law. Tom has served as an appointed member of the Alaska Water Resources Board and of the Alaska Board of Game (seated there as its first non-consumptive use member). He has been a three-term member and two-term chair the Chugach State Park Citizens’ Advisory Board, and a member since 1967 of the Mountaineering Club of Alaska, where he has held various offices over the years. Tom, originally from Colorado, graduated from Dartmouth College in 1965 and from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1971. In the years between his two degrees, the U. S. Army sent him to Alaska, and he and his wife Jane soon decided to make it their home. Tom currently has a solo private natural resources law practice in Anchorage.
Ann Rothe has been engaged in environmental management, policy and advocacy in Alaska for nearly forty years through her work with the U.S. Department of Interior, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation (whose Alaska office she established) and the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council, (which she helped create after the Exxon Valdez oil spill). She was the executive director of Trustees for Alaska for ten years, and she recently retired from the Alaska Conservation Foundation after nine years working as a program officer, deputy director and executive director. Ann is currently working as a consultant in nonprofit management, fundraising planning and foundation research. She is an avid waterfowl hunter, and she and her husband, Tom, raise and train retrievers for field trials and hunting.
M. James “Jim” Spitzer, Jr.
M. James “Jim” Spitzer, Jr. is a partner in the international law firm of Holland & Knight, LLP in the Real Estate Section and Co-Chairs the Institutional Investment Group. His clients include national real estate equity funds as well as local, national and multi-national developers and investors. During his extensive career, he has acted as lead counsel in a variety of complex transactions including preferred equity investments and mezzanine loans. Jim has served on nonprofit boards supporting the arts and conservation. Jim was elected to the board in September 2006.
Board Member and Co-Founder
Peg Tileston is one of Trustees for Alaska’s original founders from 1974. She served as board chairwoman for the first eight years of the organization’s history. She also played significant roles in the establishment of the Alaska Center for the Environment, Alaska Conservation Foundation, the Alaska Women’s Environmental Network and Alaska Common Ground. She has served on many boards and commissions over her long tenure in Alaska. Peg was voted into the Alaska Conservation Hall of Fame and inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame. She received an Honorary Doctor of Law from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2009. Since 1999, Peg has produced What’s Up, a weekly calendar of natural resource and conservation activities in Alaska. She return to serving on the Trustee for Alaska board in May 2015.