Meet Our Staff
Dr. Gloria C. Duffy, President & Chief Executive Officer
Peter Adubato, Executive Assistant to the President & CEO
Peter Adubato is the executive assistant to Dr. Gloria C. Duffy, president and CEO of The Commonwealth Club.
Administration & Finance
Nicholas Leon, Vice President of Finance and Administration
Nicholas Leon is The Commonwealth Club's vice president of finance and administration.
Kassin Dela Cruz, Technology Specialist
Kassin Dela Cruz is The Commonwealth Club's technology specialist.
Gregory Dalton, Vice President of Special Projects and Director of Climate One Project
Greg Dalton founded Climate One at The Commonwealth Club in 2007 after traveling to the Russian Arctic on a global warming symposium with climate scientists and journalists. Today Climate One produces a weekly radio show broadcast on public stations in California and around the country. Greg also hosts a monthly TV show on KRCB TV 22 on Comcast and DirecTV.
Climate One is the only regular talk show that engages high level leaders from business, policy, advocacy and academic circles in a conversation about building a sustainable economy and stabilizing the Earth’s climate. Past guests include scientific icon Jane Goodall, music legend Graham Nash, former Vice President Al Gore, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, tea party co-founder Debbie Dooley, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Chevron CEO Dave O’Reilly, GM Chairman Dan Akerson, Ford Motor Co. Chairman Bill Ford, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, and many other leaders.
Greg previously was a journalist for 12 years covering news in Beijing, Vancouver, New York and San Francisco for the Associated Press, South China Morning Post, McNeil-Lehrer News Hour, and Industry Standard magazine. He holds a Master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s in politics from Occidental College. Greg speaks rusty Mandarin and kitchen Cantonese.
Jenny Park, Managing Director
Jenny Park (she/her) is a communications strategist with a deep passion for using the power of storytelling to inspire climate activism. She is responsible for stewarding Climate One’s sustained growth and increased organizational capacity. Jenny brings almost two decades’ experience in messaging and narrative strategy, media relations, content marketing, business development, and organizational management. She was previously at Resource Media, where she led the nonprofit communications firm’s work in clean energy and climate justice. A graduate of UC Berkeley (Go Bears), Jenny calls the San Francisco Bay Area home, where she enjoys camping, baking bread, and doting on her niblings.
Megan Biscieglia, Production Manager
Wency Shaida, Development Manager
Ariana Brocious, Producer and Editor
Austin Colón, Audio Editor and Producer
Brad Marshland, Senior Producer
Michelle D'Alo, Vice President of Development
Rachel Luppens, Development Manager: Strategic Partnerships
Billy Bean, Donor & Member Specialist
Billy Bean grew up on the East Coast in Boston and Cape Cod and moved to San Francisco in the early 1990s. For 10 years he worked as the West Coast regional makeup artist for both Chanel and Neiman Marcus, as well as runway. He also worked freelance for Butterfield & Butterfield’s Auction house. After getting my bachelor’s degree, he worked full-time at Bonhams Auction House in client services. This position included catalog fulfillment for all of the Americas, including Australia and Hong Kong, as well as traveling for the classic car department for various auctions and traveling with specialists on the Antiques Road Show appraisals.
In 2017 The Commonwealth Club came calling and Bean become the donor and membership coordinator, which evolved into his position as the concierge of the Leadership Circle. What he likes most about the Club are the variety of speakers and topics, as well as learning a great deal with the Climate One group. Most important, he enjoys giving the utmost attention and care to our awesome members!
John Zipperer, Vice President of Media & Editorial
Since joining The Commonwealth Club staff in 2006, Vice President of Media & Editorial John Zipperer has directed the Club's print, digital, audio, video and public relations departments.
Zipperer also hosts or co-hosts 60–70 programs a year. In 2012, Zipperer launched an ongoing series of political roundtables called Week to Week. Now in its eighth year, Week to Week takes place about twice a month and features political experts (journalists, academics, consultants, analysts) discussing recent political developments. Since January 2018, Michelle Meow has taped her daily radio program at the Club one day each week, showcasing LGBTQ thought leaders; Zipperer co-hosts the program at the Club with Meow.
Before joining the Club, he was a writer and editor for technology magazines (Internet World, Windows Server System, University Business, and Smart Enterprise) and commercial real estate finance publications (Commercial Investment Real Estate, Affordable Housing Finance and Apartment Finance Today). He also was junior editor at the Hudson Institute think tank in Indianapolis. You can still find him in the pages of the monthly Marina Times newspaper in San Francisco. A Wisconsin native, Zipperer earned his BA in political science from the University of Wisconsin—Madison.
Marisa Morton, Designer and Design Production Coordinator
Marisa Morton has been with the Club since 2021, serving as a graphic designer. Born and raised in Southern California, in the small town of Valley Center, she moved north to attend the University of California Davis and now resides in Sacramento.
After starting at UC Davis as an animal biology major, Morton quickly uncovered her passion for the arts, and began to pursue a major in graphic design. When an opportunity arose to work as a photographer and designer on a documentary about ending child hunger in Haiti, she was relieved to find a fulfilling and meaningful outlet for her passions. Now, with 10 years of experience in media content creation in the non-profit world, she is excited to partner with The Commonwealth Club.
In her spare time, she enjoys training her two German Shepherds as well as mountain-biking, trail-running, climbing, skiing and photographing the natural wonders of the state of California.
Lauren Silver, Vice President for Education
Lauren joined The Commonwealth Club in 2019, launching a new education department and a new focus on K-12 learning and civic engagement.
Lauren’s background includes more than 20 years of teaching, research and leadership in museums, preK-12 schools and universities. Prior to joining the Club, she was the vice president of education at the Computer History Museum, where she founded and led the education department for more than 10 years. There, she created programs that served thousands of visitors each year, developed community partnerships that made STEM learning available for underserved and at-risk youth and families, and led the design and construction of a 3,000 square-foot interactive learning center. Lauren has also worked at Stanford University, as both an education curator at the Cantor Arts Center and a lecturer in the Graduate School of Education, and at the J. Paul Getty Museum.
Lauren grew up in New York. She holds a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from UC Berkeley and graduated from Smith College with a double major in psychology and studio art. As an artist, she did graduate work in printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute and in a small international studio outside of Lucca, Italy; she has a particular passion for book arts. In her free time, Lauren can be found hiding out in the children’s book section of the local library, relaxing with the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle, or cooking.
Griffith Swidler, School Partnerships Manager
Griffith Swidler, school partnerships manager, joined the Creating Citizens initiative in 2022. His background is in community development and education. Before joining The Commonwealth Club, Griffith worked for the Alameda County Community Food Bank, taught secondary school in France, and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo.
Guest, Event and Facility Services
Alex Hernandez, Director of Facilities & Events
Alex Hernandez is The Commonwealth Club's director of facilities and events.
Sean Burmeister, Director of Guest, Event and Facility Services
Lisa Moschetti, Event Sales and Marketing Manager
Lisa Moschetti has been with the Club since 2016, when she was brought on to help build the private events program in our new venue at 110 The Embarcadero. This very exciting role includes marketing, booking and planning all corporate and social events for The Commonwealth Club, including full-day conferences, product launches, meetings, elegant dinners and standing receptions.
Moschetti was born in Seoul, South Korea, and grew up in Las Vegas, where she studied political science at UNLV. Some of her favorite employment experiences hail from Las Vegas, where she was responsible for managing events at top Las Vegas hotel The Venetian/Palazzo, as well as booking/planning events and catering for Emeril Lagasse (bam!). Moving to San Francisco and working for The Commonwealth Club has been such a fulfilling experience, because she gets to help create visions and experiences while working for a distinguished organization that serves our community. She truly loves her role and is excited to see what the future holds for The Commonwealth Club’s new private events program.
Joanne Presas, Guest & Volunteer Services Manager
Mindy Goodman, Event Coordinator
Mindy Goodman was born in Queens, NY, where she grew up and went to Queens College before moving to California in 1978. She graduated in 1980 with a BA from UC San Diego with a communication major, minors in film and video and sociology. Mindy worked in travel from 1981–2017. She lived in Bali, Indonesia, for 6 years, She originally joined the Club's staff in 2013 in the travel department. She escorted several Commonwealth Club trips to places such as Iran, Cuba, Australia, and New Zealand. She has been to 47 countries. Some of her favorite trips were to Borneo where she stayed with local tribes, taking the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Moscow to Beijing, and celebrating her birthday traveling around Chile. She has worked for various catering companies and event venues around the Bay Area. In 2017, she began working with the Club's Facilities department, and she currently works full time in the Facilities and Events department.
Michelle Wood, Vice President of Membership and Marketing
Michelle Wood is vice president of membership and marketing at The Commonwealth Club of California. She has more than 15 years of experience at "For Good" organizations. Previous roles have included membership, marketing, program and development leadership roles at museums, environmental and human services organizations. She is author of ChangeMaker Pocket Guide. The ChangeMaker Series celebrates great change leaders who have forged that more mindful path and honors their legacies, which remind us that we each have the ability to create a better world, first for ourselves and then for those around us.
Wood holds a Master of Science in international business and a Masters Certificate in strategic change leadership. "My favorite programs at the Club are the ones with unknown speakers," she says, "speakers who have spent their life in some special niche and then spend an hour sharing their unique experiences with us."
Jason Fong, Membership & Marketing Project Manager
As the membership and marketing project manager at The Commonwealth Club, he collaborates across departments, handling strategic efforts to enhance outreach to current members, and driving new initiatives for gaining new members. With degrees in communication and sociology from the University of California, Davis, he has also served as the development scheduling coordinator for the Mill Valley Film Festival and as a writer and producer for two daily live talk shows on KGO-TV ABC7. "I enjoy meeting both new and long-term Club members—in particular, learning about their thoughts, ideas, experiences, and program favorites," he says.
Carla Thorson, Vice President of Programs
Adam Hirschfelder, Programs Manager
For nearly 25 years, Adam Hirschfelder has harnessed the power of public, private and nonprofit institutions to engage citizens around ideas, timely topics, cultural arts, and urban revitalization. Hirschfelder joined The Commonwealth Club in 2018 from the California Historical Society, where he led the organization's programming and marketing departments, and directed major cultural heritage projects around the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love and the Centennial of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Previously, he was senior program officer at the Koret Foundation, where he led grantmaking efforts to Bay Area arts and cultural organizations.
Earlier in his career, Hirschfelder promoted volunteerism and civic engagement at the Corporation for National and Community Service in Washington, DC. The Teaneck, NJ, native started his career in the education industry, including stints at Scholastic Inc. in New York City and Sylvan Learning Systems in Baltimore. Hirschfelder graduated with honors from Northwestern University (Go Cats Go!) and received his MA in education policy from Teachers College, Columbia University. He serves on the boards of directors of the Marin Cultural Association and Taking it to the Streets. The Force is Strong with Him, and not just because he lives with his family in Marin County.
Kara Iwahashi, Director of Program and Literary Arts
Kara Iwahashi is the director of program and literary arts. She oversees the Club’s author and literary events in San Francisco and Silicon Valley and also manages events held in our Silicon Valley location. Some of her most memorable events include Sec. Madeleine Albright, Julie Andrews, David Brooks, John Cleese, Christopher Hitchens, Arianna Huffington, Gwen Ifill, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Van Jones.
Kara graduated from Santa Clara University with degrees in political science and international business. She serves on the advisory board of Silicon Valley Reads and was previously on the board of Public Allies Silicon Valley.
Contact page for Member-Led Forum chairs
Mark Kirchner, Director of Audio Services
With more than two decades of experience in audio and video production, Mark brings vast knowledge and expertise in radio and audio post-production to The Commonwealth Club.
Mark's varied background in audio includes 14 years with Avid Technology, a global leader in the manufacture of computer audio and video workstations. Right place, right time. Mark was with Avid through the conception, growing stages and emergence of Pro Tools and Media Composer as industry-leading workstations for sound and picture editing. Mark worked with Avid from 1988 to 2002 and led teams in technical support and marketing communications. Between 2002 and 2006, Mark ventured into the world of corporate training and sound industry certifications, co-founding three training centers, each offering expert-level audio and video production training. Two facilities were based in the Bay Area and a third in San Diego.
Mark later served as chief academic officer at The Recording Arts Center in San Diego, where he and his business partner received approval from the state of California to offer an occupational associate degree in recording arts in 2012. Since the start of their program, they have graduated close to 200 students from the 15-month, intensive, hands-on associate program. Besides directing the development of curriculum and teaching, Mark kept his practical audio engineering experience up-to-date by producing and mixing audio for top film, TV and broadcast clients such as NBC Sports, The Discovery Channel and Marvel Studios.
Mark relocated back to the Bay Area in 2016 after getting married, and started with the Club in the fall of 2017. An avid cyclist, on weekends and evenings there's a good chance you’ll find him climbing the hills of Woodside and Portola Valley on his way to or from the coast.
As director of audio services at the Club, Mark and his team manage the technical facilities of the Club related to putting on live programs, recording events, and editing the recorded program content for radio and podcast. The Club hosts close to 500 programs and private events each year, and ensuring the audio elements for each of these events is executed to plan is his group’s responsibility. The Club has amazing new sound and video recording systems installed throughout, and we’re lucky to be working with cutting-edge technology every day!
Justin Norton, Audio Engineer
Justin Norton is the in-house audio engineer for The Commonwealth Club of California. He graduated from Pyramind in 2017 with a focus in music producing. Before audio engineering, he served 5 years in the United States Air Force as an inpatient pharmacy technician with a focus in chemotherapy compounding. He continued to work in hospitals as an IV technician before moving to California to pursue audio engineering. On the weekends you’ll find him jamming out with his rock band Suits of Steel, helping his wife produce content for Going Zero Waste—where they’ve been featured in National Geographic, Reader’s Digest, and KBS—and going on long walks with his dog, Nala.
Spencer Campbell, Video Producer
Dan Lawrence, Media Engineer
Kristina Nemeth, Travel Director
Kristina Nemeth has been the travel director since 2008, planning more than 20 educational programs annually for Club members. Previously, she worked for an educational cruise ship in Alaska and Central America; organized international trips for the alumni travel market; and tour-led hundreds of intrepid travelers around the world—from Tibet to Siberia to the South Pacific. Some of her solo adventures include trekking through Nepal; backpacking for four months across Peru, Bolivia and Brazil; and crossing the island of Cuba in every motorized conveyance possible. She loves experiencing the “sameness of humanity” that spans the dazzling array of cultures across the globe. She enjoys photography and still has her first travel journal, which she wrote when she was eight years old. She’s a graduate of Northwestern University.
“Working at the Club allows me to create experiences that enrich people’s understanding of the world and that provide lasting intellectual connections," she says. "The Club’s mission of listening to various points of view is at the very heart of educational travel.”
Josh Coley, Senior Web Technologist
Josh Coley is the Club's senior web technologist.