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Pinchot focus areas:

Climate & Energy

Pinchot Institute for Conservation Staff

V. Alaric Sample, Ph.D.

Jennifer Yeager
Chief Financial Officer

William C. Price
Director of Conservation Programs

Darshini Prabhakher
Assistant Director, Finance and Administration

Alex Andrus
Director of External Affairs

Stephanie Pendergrass Dalke
Project Director

Brian Kittler
Director, Western Regional Office

Vandana Ranjan

Administrative Coordinator

Staff Biographies

V. Alaric Sample, President (top)

V. Alaric (Al) Sample has served as President of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation in Washington, DC since 1995. He is a Fellow of the Society of American Foresters, and a Research Affiliate on the faculty at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He is author of numerous research papers, articles and books on topics in national and international forest policy. His most recent book is Common Goals for Sustainable Forest Management: Divergence and Reconvergence of American and European Forestry, with Steven Anderson (Forest History Society 2008). Sample earned his doctorate in resource policy and economics from Yale University. He holds two masters degrees, an MBA and a Master of Forestry both from Yale, and a Bachelor of Science in forest resource management from the University of Montana. His professional experience is in both the public and private sector and includes assignments with the U.S. Forest Service, Champion International, The Wilderness Society, and the Prince of Thurn und Taxis in Bavaria, Germany. He specialized in resource economics and forest policy as a Senior Fellow at the Conservation Foundation in Washington, DC, and later as Vice President for Research at the American Forestry Association. Sample has served on numerous national task forces and commissions, including the President's Commission on Environmental Quality task force on biodiversity on private lands, and the National Commission on Science for Sustainable Forestry. [CV and Publications]

Jennifer Yeager, Chief Financial Officer (top)


Jennifer Yeager has served with the Pinchot Institute for Conservation in Washington, DC since 2001. As Chief Financial Officer, she has management oversight and responsibility for the Institute's finance, human resource, contractual and administrative functions and oversees a $1.8 million budget. During her tenure with the Pinchot Institute, Jennifer has ensured sound stewardship of the nonprofit's federal, state and charitable grants and contributions and has made fiscal accountability her top priority. Prior to joining the Institute Jennifer served as the Assistant to the Director of Admissions at the University of St. Mary in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and more than fourteen years as a teacher and administrator at a private school in the San Francisco Bay area. Jennifer holds her degree in Accounting with a minor in Business Management, and is currently pursuing her graduate degree in Nonprofit Management. Her special interest and area of expertise is Nonprofit Accounting.

Will Price, Director of Conservation Programs (top)


Will has been at the Pinchot Institute since 1999, working on public policy and market-based solutions that improve forest management and advance conservation. His studies on forest certification have included projects with state and federal agencies, companies, universities, and First Nations. In recent years he has also worked with agencies and landowners on ways to sequester carbon through forest conservation. Prior to the Pinchot Institute he consulted with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; and worked as a research technician with NASA, and with the Forest Service PNW Research Station in Corvallis, OR. Will graduated from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies with a Master of Forest Science degree, and holds a Bachelor's of Science from University of Notre Dame, where he studied ecology.

Darshini Prabhakher, Assistant Director, Finance and Administration


  Darshini moved to Washington, DC from Louisville, Kentucky in 2011 to take on the role of Finance and Administration Assistant. In addition to providing assistance to the Institute’s Chief Financial Officer in all financial functions, Darshini manages the day to day operations of the Institute’s headquarters in Washington, DC, administers the Institute’s employee benefits program, manages accounts payable and vendor support, and assists with the administration of grants and contracts. Darshini holds a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Chemistry and a concentration in accounting from the University of Louisville. Her hobbies include oil painting, cooking, and watching the University of Louisville Cardinals basketball team. She lives with her husband in Germantown, MD.

Brian Kittler, Director, Western Regional Office (top)

Brian Kittler

Brian focuses primarily on the Institute's work on bioenergy and community-based natural resource management and policy. His current work examines the extent to which various approaches to wood-biomass utilization can support renewable energy development, sustainable natural resource-based communities, and the improved management and conservation of forest resources. Brian has helped lead a broad-based multi-sector policy dialogue to identify appropriate mechanisms to help ensure that as markets for wood-based energy develop, they remain closely aligned with principles of sustainable forest management. In addition to this work on bioenergy, Brian manages a process to monitor and evaluate the role communities play in the conceptual development, design, and implementation of stewardship contracts and agreements on National Forest System and Bureau of Land Management lands. Before his work at the Institute, Brian managed programs for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and also worked on wilderness management issues in the Mt. Hood National Forest. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Policy from Colby College and a Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy from the Johns Hopkins University.

Stephanie Pendergrass Dalke, Project Director


Stephanie Pendergrass is working to implement a pilot drinking water source protection fund for the Delaware River watershed. Prior to joining the Institute, she managed the Coral Reef Conservation Fund and marine mammal programs at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, where she also administered a variety of grants across the western U.S. She earned her Masters degree from the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan, where her Masters project involved assessing the potential for restoring pine barrens habitat (and fire) in the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan. She also interned at the Sierra Institute for Community and Environment to assess the ecological and economic impacts of the Secure Rural Schools Act on counties with national forests. In addition, she has worked on federal science policy at the National Council for Science and the Environment and environmentally preferable purchasing at the Center for a New American Dream. Originally from Oklahoma, she earned a Bachelor of Music in oboe performance with a Minor in environmental studies from the University of Illinois. Her interests include ecosystem services valuation, payments for ecosystem services (PES), institutions and political economy, local food systems, and ecological agriculture. She also hopes to get back to playing her oboe and riding horses in the near future.


Alex Andrus, Director of External Affairs (top)
Alex AndrusAlex Andrus joins the Pinchot Institute having completed a Master of Public Policy degree at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.  He was a 2010 Secretary of the Interior Fellow with a placement at the National Park Service's Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program.  Before returning to school he worked at the International Conservation Caucus Foundation in Washington, DC, managing their communications.  As an Eagle Scout he worked for three summers in the Conservation Department at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.  He received an A.B. in English with a minor in economics from Georgetown University.

Vandana Ranjan, Administrative Coordinator (top)
Vandana RanjanVandana Ranjan has joined the Institute as the Administration Coordinator at the Washington, DC office. She will be coordinating daily office operations in support of the President and with staff in programs, administration, and financial management, as well as facilitating communications between the President and members of the Board of Directors. Vandana earned her B.A. in History in 2008 from Virginia Tech. In 2012 she received a Master of Liberal Arts from the University of Richmond, where she focused on Women’s History and Social Conflicts. Vandana, a Virginia native, was raised in the valleys of the Appalachian Mountains; her hobbies include baking, hiking, kayaking, impromptu traveling, and animal rescue. She hopes to someday hike the entirety of the Appalachian Trail, from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to Katahdin, Maine.

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