Meet our staff who are passionate about inspiring and mobilizing people of faith and conscience to take climate action.
Janny is the Development Director at Interfaith Power & Light. She was born in Taiwan, came to the US when she was 5 years old, and grew up in Los Angeles. She has a PhD in anthropology and cares deeply about climate change, especially how it impacts the Global South and intersects with racial justice. She’s worked in the nonprofit and NGO space for over 12 years wearing multiple hats – always with a focus on social justice – in the education and STEM sectors, but a recent role made her realize that she enjoys the fundraising side the most, especially connecting with people on their passions and interests. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with her two young kids, Finley and Sloane, and her husband David. They like to hike and explore all the diverse neighborhoods that Dallas has to offer. She’s also certified as a life coach and enjoys coaching women on burnout, career change, and living a life of purpose and meaning.
She managed the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign work in Michigan, working to ensure that the state’s future electric needs were met in the cleanest, smartest, and most affordable ways. She has deep roots in organizing and bringing together community stakeholders. She’s based in Western North Carolina on Cherokee land.
Gianna joins the IPL team this summer as an Advocacy Intern supporting IPL’s overall advocacy efforts in Washington DC and across the country. She is a rising sophomore and Posse Miami Scholar at Pomona College where she studies Public Policy Analysis concentrating in Environmental Analysis. On campus, she currently works for the Sustainability Office and leads Pomona’s divestment campaign. In her hometown of Miami, Gianna previously served as GenCLEO strategist for the CLEO Institute, a non-partisan nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing climate literacy and empowering youth to find their voices within the climate movement, and co-president of the 2022 Miami Youth Climate Summit, which aims to increase climate literacy and inspire action in youth. The struggles Miami, her hometown, faces inspire her to advance climate justice across a multitude of perspectives.
Rev. Susan Hendershot
Rev. Susan Hendershot has served as president of Interfaith Power & Light since 2018. She was raised in a blue-collar family outside of Cleveland, Ohio, before attending Bethany College in West Virginia where she graduated with honors with a B.A. in Religious Studies. Rev. Hendershot went on to graduate school at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia where she received her Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology. After graduate school, she moved to Iowa, where she was ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and served as a pastor in local congregations, focusing on social justice. Rev. Hendershot also led faith-based nonprofit organizations and served as the first Heartland Field Organizer for the ONE Campaign on global poverty. Just prior to her current role, she served as the Executive Director at Iowa Interfaith Power & Light, one of the state affiliates in the Interfaith Power & Light network.
Currently, Rev. Hendershot serves as co-chair of the Executive Committee for the RE-AMP Steering Committee, a network of over 140 climate, energy, and environmental organizations throughout the Midwest. Rev. Hendershot believes that climate change is a moral issue, disproportionately impacting those who are most vulnerable in our world. She gets her motivation and inspiration from her two sons.
In the News
News: Interfaith Power & Light Welcomes Rev. Susan Hendershot as new President
News: Rev. Susan Hendershot of Interfaith Power & Light Joins the FORUM2021 Sacred Food ~ Blessed Earth
Interview with Rev. Susan Hendershot at Columbia University
Partner Spotlight at ClimateMusic: Interfaith Power & Light
Blessed Are the Blue-Collar Workers, For They Can Save Creation
How to Hope When the World is Burning by Susan Hendershot, Grace Ji-Sun Kim, and Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley
World Scientific Encyclopedia of Climate Change: Chapter 28 – The Regeneration Project, Interfaith Power & Light
Essay: There’s no ignoring the US Supreme Court’s motivations in ruling against the EPA
Building a Movement for a Hopeful World
Book Rev. Susan Hendershot for a speaking opportunity
Watch: Rev. Susan Hendershot’s Speak on Climate Change for EarthDayOrg
Rev. Rebekah Kokalis
Grants and Online Communications Manager
Rebekah supports Interfaith Power & Light’s development and communication teams. She has been an Interfaith Minister and meditation teacher for over 15 years and has worked with non-profit organizations for 10+ years. After graduating from UC Berkeley with degrees in Social-Cultural Anthropology and Art History, Rebekah went to Niger as a Peace Corps volunteer. There she found a love of Africa and later became the Assistant Director of a national park in the Republic of Congo. She still volunteers time to help indigenous groups create conservation programs in the Congo Basin and hopes to one day see sustainable changes for indigenous rights. Currently, Rebekah is our resident digital nomad who might be anywhere on the globe at any given time, but she particularly enjoys places she can scuba dive.
Federal Policy Advocate
Community Engagement and Programs Director
Ashaki previously served as the Office Manager. In her role as Programs Associate, she assists Sarah Paulos with program needs, such as outreach and event planning. She has a BS in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning from U.C. Davis. Ashaki previously worked as a Program Manager for Climate Careers at Rising Sun Center for Opportunity, and her first job was the Science Instructor at the East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC), where she served for four years. Additionally, she served as a small group leader within her college fellowship during undergraduate, and has a special passion to empower collegiate ministries to take bold action in the fight for environmental justice. In her spare time, she enjoys eco-traveling, outreach, and loves discovering new memes.
Susan oversees The Regeneration Project and its Interfaith Power & Light campaign. Susan has 20 years of experience developing and implementing issue-advocacy and electoral campaigns for environmental and other public interest organizations. Prior to joining The Regeneration Project, she served as vice president of the Oakland-based campaign consulting firm The Next Generation. Beginning in 1999, she organized and coordinated the California Global Warming Campaign, which implemented a proactive strategy resulting in several landmark legislative victories. She has been involved with California Interfaith Power & Light since its inception in 2000. Susan received a B.A. in English Literature from the University of North Carolina. When not at work she can be spotted hiking in the East Bay hills or attending a local music festival.