Meet Our Staff
Dr. Gloria C. Duffy, President & Chief Executive Officer
Peter Adubato is the executive assistant to Dr. Gloria C. Duffy, president and CEO of The Commonwealth Club.
Administration & Finance
Nicholas Leon is The Commonwealth Club's vice president of finance and administration.
David Emerson is The Commonwealth Club's staff accountant. He has a BS in accounting from San Diego State University and has more than 5 years of experience in accounting and consulting for nonprofits, startups and small businesses throughout the Bay Area. He has practical knowledge of accounts payable, accounts receivable, ledger management and financial reporting using a variety of software. He also enjoys hiking, travel, board games and attending tech and policy talks at The Commonwealth Club.
Alex Hernandez is The Commonwealth Club's director of facilities and events.
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.
Jennifer Haberman, Facilities and Events Manager
Kassin Dela Cruz, Technology Specialist
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.
Kelli Pennington launched her career hoping to change the cultural trends of waste and excess. She joined Climate One as director of audience engagement and is excited to be reaching out to the ever-growing climate community and elevating the conversation about climate change. She credits her climate conscience to her years working for Patagonia, Inc., where she worked as a social media editor and supported its “Vote the Environment” campaign touring the West Coast with Wilco. She then joined Conservacion Patagonica to support large-scale conservation projects in Chile and Argentina, as well as numerous book projects related to key environmental issues such as energy and overpopulation.
Kelli earned an MA in international relations and an MBA in finance from Seton Hall University, during which she ran the school’s academic journal and worked for the Council on Foreign Relations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Middle Eastern history from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Tyler Reed, Director of Events and Operations
Kimberly Maas began her tenure at The Commonwealth Club in 2013 and serves as the Club’s vice president for development. During her five years, she helped to manage the Club’s successful capital campaign, which raised funds to construct our permanent headquarters at 110 The Embarcadero. Under her leadership, annual support via Leadership Circle membership has reached record levels and the Club’s portfolio of corporate and foundation underwriters has grown to include local and national funders across many sectors.
Prior to coming to The Commonwealth Club, Kimberly worked for 6 years in the arts sector, first as a professional actor for regional repertory theaters across the country (New York, Texas and Minnesota) and then in development for TheatreWorks Silicon Valley as associate director of development, institutional gifts. She received a Master of Business Administration in May 2018 from the University of San Francisco. She earned a double Bachelor of Arts degree in literature and theatre arts from University of California, Santa Cruz.
She is passionate about philanthropy, civic engagement, the arts, and social equity—some of her favorite programs at the Club have been on these topics. She is both a cat and dog person, and within one year travelled to Mexico, Italy, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Israel—on a mix of personal, school, and work trips.
Michelle D'Alo, Director of Development & Growth, Silicon Valley
Ana Alanis, Development Manager: Strategic Partnerships
At the Club, Kate Steffy works as the development coordinator for the Distinguished Citizen Award Gala and other special events. In this role, Kate manages fundraising special events from start to finish. She actively works with vendors, donors and counterparts to produce events that raise up to a quarter of the Club’s annual budget. Steffy comes to the Club from Willamette University located in Salem, Oregon, where she graduated cum laude with a degree in civic communications and media studies and politics. In previous years, Steffy has worked for Oregon’s Department of Justice, the governor of Oregon and an ambassador for Willamette University. Her favorite Club programs so far were Ben Rhodes and Stacy Abrams.
Outside of the Club, Kate has been recognized for her dedication to community service at the town, county, state and federal level. In her free time, she likes to go hiking, biking or paddle boarding and travels whenever she gets the chance. Her favorite travel destination is London and she one day hopes to travel to Thailand, the Amalfi Coast or Cuba (the list it too long).
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!
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.
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.
Carolyn Wysinger has worked fiercely in the LGBTQ community in a plethora of capacities. As a blogger, she has written timely and insightful articles for blogs such as Autostraddle, Everyday Feminism, Black Girl Dangerous and Media Diversified. As an author, Carolyn published her first book, Knockturnal Emissions, which has been listed on LGBTQ essential reading lists at several universities. She has also had stories published in Sinister Wisdom Literary Journal as well as anthologies Near Kin and Louisiana in Words. As a Masculine of Center model, Carolyn has modeled for Saint Harridan, Dapper Boi and Kirrin Finch. She has walked the runway for Queer Fashion Week and is featured in Meg Allen’s photo book, BUTCH.
Carolyn has worked with various organizations to create queer spaces. She has served on the steering committee for Black Lesbians United and the board for the NIA Gathering for Same Gender Loving Women of African Descent. She currently sits on the board for the BUTCHVoices National Conference. In the area of politics, she is the former commissioner of Human Rights & Relations for the City of Richmond. She is a former executive board member of the Long Beach Lambda Democratic Club, where she worked on the campaign to elect Long Beach’s first out mayor, Robert Garcia. She currently sits on the executive board of the Lambda Democratic Club of Contra Costa County and El Cerrito Democratic Club. She is also a member of the Economic Recovery Task Force of the City and County of San Francisco.
As an educator and workshop leader, Carolyn has facilitated workshops at BUTCHVoices, Black Lesbians United, BLAQout Conference and Gender Spectrum. She is a former faculty member at Richmond High School, where she taught English Language Learning, 10th Grade English, African-American Literature and ASB Leadership, while also serving as advisor for their Black Student Union, Majorette Squad and LGBTQ Student Club. Many people know her as a very big and very vocal LGBTQ social media personality and the host of "The C-Dubb Show," which is a black queer podcast. She is serving her first term as the board president of San Francisco Pride.
Member & Guest Services
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."
Patty Nowak, Member & Guest Services Coordinator
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.
As vice president of programs, George Dobbins has overseen staff-driven programming at The Commonwealth Club since 1999. Prior to that, he worked as a television talk show producer for almost 20 years, including 5 years at KPIX TV in San Francisco producing the program "People Are Talking" in the 80s, and the year 1991 in Los Angeles, during which he was a producer on Ron Reagan Jr's talk show. That was followed by 3 years at KRON TV's cable channel, Bay TV. At The Commonwealth Club, George has scheduled programs with Presidents Jimmy Carter and George W Bush, Walter Cronkite, Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice, Francis Ford Coppola, Prince Albert of Monaco, and even mime Marcel Marceau, who did indeed speak. George holds a B.A. in English/Creative Writing from Stanford University and an M.F.A. in Television/Film production from UCLA.
As The Commonwealth Club’s marketing and programs manager, Nick crafts the promotional marketing and strategy for Club programs while also booking and producing dozens of live events per year. Now co-manager of The Commonwealth Club’s Travers Fellowship program, he started at the Club as a Travers Fellow himself while at UC Berkeley. This prestigious internship allows two Berkeley Political Science students per semester to be mentored as part of the team responsible for producing many of the Club’s marquee programs.
Nick is a Bay Area native who loves to travel, and he can often be found watching Chelsea FC and Cal Football games on the weekends. His favorite past Club speakers are Valerie Jarrett, Jonah Goldberg and Pete Souza.
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 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.
Krystal Contreras is the director of Inforum. Before she joined the team in 2018, she worked in film and entertainment in her past life and brings her love of the arts to The Commonwealth Club. Diversity, Oakland, feminism, pop culture and film festivals are other passions of hers and she is thrilled to lend a hand in creating interesting and meaningful programs for Inforum. She is originally from the Central Valley, but after attending UC Berkeley, decided to stay for good!
Nicole DeWees joined The Commonwealth Club in 2017 as an intern under the Travers Fellowship program. She graduated from UC Berkeley in May 2018 and subsequently joined the Club full time as program coordinator. She oversees digital and program content for events, co-manages the Travers Fellowship Program, and produces programs in San Francisco.
Her favorite part of the Club is working offsite events. Her favorite past programs include Alyssa Mastromonaco, Bill Nye (who offered her french fries), and Madeleine Albright. Originally from Sacramento, she loves her dog Wilbur and her husband Jack.
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 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.
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 is the Club's senior web technologist.