Our Impact Human team comes from varied backgrounds, and together offers us a unique global perspective. That perspective is essential for our outreach education work that lends a voice to those affected by climate change and environmental devastation. Together, we have over 30 years of experience in digital media, events, the arts, and research, along with language proficiency in Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Flemish, Arabic, Mandarin, Creole, Portuguese, and Italian.
Martha Molfetas | Executive Director & Founder, Board President
Martha founded Impact Human with a desire to focus on the human dynamic and affects of climate change, resources, and pollution. By visually documenting the outcomes of environmental injustice and providing impactful research that strives to explain these case-specific issues, we as a society can begin to grasp our own effect on our shared environment. A lifelong student of conflict studies and international and environmental politics, Martha has worked as a Researcher, Project Manager, Peer Reviewer, Consultant, and Director for various NGOs, consultancies, and academic institutions, including Transparency International, Dalberg Research, the London School of Economics, Oil Change International, and E3G. Martha has had her policy op-eds and briefs published in: LSE IDEAS, The Global Policy Journal, On Frontiers, the World Politics Review and others. In addition to this policy-focused work, Martha is an avid photographer, and has had her work published in UK-based B+W Photography Magazine. A Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Sigma Alpha member; Martha has her BA in International Relations from the University of Central Florida, a French Language Certificate from Université Paris Sorbonne-Paris IV, and an MSc in Comparative Politics (Conflict Studies) from the London School of Economics (LSE). When she isn't working, Martha photographs urban landscapes, enjoys offbeat traveling, and is an avid reader of travel memoirs from the 1800s.
Michelle Chasteen | Director of Communications, Board COO & Treasurer
Michelle believes in the power of storytelling to communicate value, connect with audiences, and inspire action. Her creative background in theatre, digital media, and her international experiences brought her to Impact Human, where her work aims to amplify the human stories of environmental injustice. With over half a decade of experience in communications and the arts, Michelle brings Impact Human a unique background in digital story telling and design. Working in stage lighting gave Michelle the opportunity to work on a variety of shows with organizations ranging from the Royal Opera House in London to Arc3Design in New York City. Those experiences shaped her ability to inspire action and connect visually with broad audiences. A passion for narrative and a strong commitment to social justice encouraged Michelle to embark on a career in digital communications and media outreach, enabling her to use her storytelling skills for organizations ranging from White Light Ltd, Women in Stage Entertainment, to, most recently, the Hetrick-Martin Institute. After living abroad for five years, Michelle recently relocated to back stateside to New York City. She has a BFA in Lighting from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. In her spare time, Michelle enjoys exploring urban areas and traveling whenever possible.
Heather O’Brien | Director of Events, Board Secretary
Heather has over a decade of experience working in New York City’s not-for-profit world. Her lifelong passion for the arts, education, and international affairs brought her to Impact Human. Heather’s professional background has focused on senior level administration, development and fundraising, events and project management, and communications. Heather has worked for organizations ranging from the Queen Sofía Spanish Institute and The Morgan Library & Museum to The New School. A member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, Heather holds a BA in Hispanic Studies from Vassar College, a French Language Certificate from New York University, and an MA in the History of International Relations from the London School of Economics (LSE). As an undergrad, Heather spent her semester abroad studying at the Universidad Carlos III in Madrid, and later secured funding to conduct field research in Spain for her thesis. She later conducted field research in the Balkans for her graduate dissertation on Kosovo’s independence, for which she earned a distinction. In her spare time, she enjoys learning new languages and traveling off the beaten path whenever possible.
Josh Jarrett | Communications & Media Associate
Josh is a passionate activist focused on creating a just and equitable future for all. He is a lifelong student of intersectional organizing, and brings us a strong background in the arts. Prior to finding political activism as his calling, Josh spent five years studying theatre scenic design and mastering the art of visual storytelling. Josh is an alumnus of the Young People For Fellowship and recently graduated from the University of Central Florida with a BA in Political Science. Josh has worked on many electoral and issue campaigns ranging from the Repeal of DADT, Keystone XL, and has spent the better part of four years working to elect progressive candidates at the local, state, and national level. Josh’s arts background and firm belief that everything and everyone is connected brought him to Impact Human. Josh enjoys working on creative projects in his spare time.
Jessica Toale | Field Researcher, 'Cape Town’s Drought & Water Scarcity' Project
Jessica is a political and international development specialist. She’s spent over a decade working as an advisor to politicians in the UK parliament, and with UN Agencies and governments around the world. She’s had her work on foreign and international development policy published in The Guardian, The New Internationalist and with the Fabian Society. She’s also spoken at key international development policy events at: Chatham House, RUSI, the Fabian Society, and PS21 to name a few. Jessica has a BA (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics & Economics from the University of York, an MSc in Urbanisation and Development from the London School of Economics (LSE). In 2017, Jessica was awarded the Jenny Jeger Prize for her pamphlet on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition to English, Jessica speaks: Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and French. When she isn’t working, she can be found traveling, spending nearly the entirety of 2018 living in ten different global cities.
Femke Gubbels | Field Researcher, 'Displacement in Dar es Salaam' Project
Growing up in a low-lying coastal region of the Netherlands, Femke has always had a heightened sense of environmental awareness. Witnessing the human impact on our planet both at home and in faraway places made her a passionate advocate for environmental justice. During her BA in Cultural Anthropology with a minor in Sustainable Development at the Institute of Environmental Sciences of Leiden University, Femke spent time in the Philippines conducting collaborative research on local water management issues. She also received two research grants to travel to Canada for fieldwork on the consultation processes between First Nations and the oil and gas industry, which further developed her interest in environmental racism and inequalities. Currently, she is pursuing an MSc in Urbanisation and Development at the London School of Economics, while focusing on urban environmental challenges. For her latest field project on urban climate change adaptation in Dar es Salaam, Femke and her fellow team members secured financial support from the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers. When she’s not studying or conducting field work, Femke enjoys playing sports and traveling.
Fedorah Philippeaux | Research Assistant
After living and teaching in China for a year, Fedorah experienced firsthand the devastating impacts of climate change and pollution. Her experience witnessing environmental degradation and her background in conflict studies brought her to Impact Human, where she hopes to use research to shed light on important global issues that affect us all and exacerbate existing insecurities. Fedorah is currently a graduate student in the last stages of her Double-MA in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Kent (UK) and the University of Marburg (Germany), and has a BA from the University of Central Florida in International Relations. She has spent the better part of five years advocating for elected officials, such as Barack Obama in 2008 and again in 2012, and working as a Program Assistant at the US-Asia Institute. Fedorah also had the opportunity to be a Fellow with the Global Perspectives Office at the University of Central Florida, where she worked on issues affecting small island countries. Recently, she competed in the 11th Annual ICC International Mediation Competition in Paris where her team won an award. She specializes in commercial and diplomatic negotiation and mediation, US-China relations, terrorism, and national security. In addition to Impact Human, Fedorah is a Research Assistant at the Conflict Analysis Research Center at the University of Kent, where she is working on a joint literature review to be published this year. She enjoys traveling and living abroad, and hopes to continuously document instances of environmental and social injustice through her work.