WELC is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of renowned attorneys, academics, and conservationists from across the country.

Board President
Karin P. Sheldon

Karin Sheldon is President of Four Echoes Strategies, a consulting firm providing policy analysis and strategic advice on Western land and water conservation issues. From 2007 to 2013, she was President of Western Resource Advocates, a regional nonprofit organization working on energy and environmental concerns. Prior to 2007, Karin was Associate Dean for the Environmental Law Program and Director of the Environmental Law Center at Vermont Law School. Before joining the faculty at Vermont Law School in 1994, Karin served as President of The Wilderness Society in Washington, D.C.. She was also a staff attorney with Earthjustice in Colorado, and was one of Ralph Nader’s original “Raiders”. She earned an AB in Political Science from Vassar College and a J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law. Karin lives in Lafayette, Colorado.

Vice President
Peggy Nelson

Peggy Nelson served as New Mexico's 8th Judicial District Judge, until her retirement in 2008. She began her career in Taos working for Northern New Mexico Legal Services and for ten years provided low-cost and free legal services with the the Community Law Center and then as a Public Defender. Peggy has served on a lengthy list of non-profit boards and commissions, including Amigos Bravos. Peggy is a graduate of UCLA School of Law. Peggy lives in San Cristobal, New Mexico.

Board Treasurer
Kevin Kirchner

Kevin Kirchner owns and runs CenterPoint Communications, a media strategy and advertising firm in Maryland that provides message research, communications planning, media training, and advertising (radio, TV, print and online) services for environmental and other progressive groups and causes. He is a seasoned policy and media strategist with a reputation for creativity in developing and implementing successful public education, corporate accountability, and media campaigns. Prior to founding CenterPoint Communications, he was Managing Partner at MacWilliams, Kirchner, Sanders & Partners in Washington, D.C. (11 years) and Vice President for Policy, Legislation, and Communications at Earthjustice (8 years). He also worked for the Agriculture and Interior Committees in the U.S. House of Representatives. Kevin graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1981. Kevin lives in Kensington, Maryland.

Board Member
Phil Katzen

Phil Katzen is of-counsel to Kanji & Katzen, PLLC, where he was a founding member and managing attorney until May of 2016.  Kanji & Katzen is a law firm dedicated to advocacy on behalf of Indian tribes and peoples. Phil earned his A.B. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1970 and his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall) in 1977. Phil represents and consults with tribes across the country on a wide variety of issues, including sovereignty and governance, treaty fishing and hunting rights, Indian gaming, environmental protection, reservation boundaries, taxation and jurisdictional matters. Prior to starting his own firm, Phil served as a staff attorney and Native American Project Director for Evergreen Legal Services (later Columbia Legal Services) in Washington State. He is both a guest lecturer at law schools and universities and a speaker at continuing legal education seminars. Phil lives in Seattle, Washington.

Board Member
William Leaphart

Justice William R. "Bill" Leaphart served on the Montana Supreme Court from 1994 until his retirement in 2010. Before being elected to the Supreme Court, Justice Leaphart was in private practice in Helena, Montana. He worked as a public defender and represented individuals and small businesses. Justice Leaphart was born and raised in Montana and received his J.D. from the University of Montana School of Law. He has twice argued before the United States Supreme Court. Bill lives in Helena, Montana.

Board Member
Mike Lindsay

Mike Lindsay is a partner in the Denver office of Snell and Wilmer L.L.P., a Phoenix based law firm. Mike's practice is concentrated in complex commercial litigation, with an emphasis on contract disputes, real estate and construction matters, and employment claims. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado, School of Law (1985). He has substantial experience in traditional court and jury trial cases, as well as in the use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as arbitration and mediation. He is a member of the Denver, Colorado and Washington Bar Associations, and a Chapter Editor and Author for The Practitioner's Guide to Colorado Construction Law. Mike lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Board Member
Dr. Lisa Manning

Dr. Lisa Manning has experience as a consultant in global leadership development and executive coaching, and has served as a facilitator for the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative. She is currently an adjunct faculty and researcher with the Center for Creative Leadership. As a licensed mediator, she is experienced in facilitation, conflict resolution, and dispute resolution. She also conducts training workshops for youth organizations on young leadership development, and recently started an outdoor experiential environmental education program for 5th graders. She has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations. Lisa received her M.A. in Organizational Leadership in 2000 and a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies in 2013 from Gonzaga University. She also received a B.A. and B.S. from American University in 1981. She has been a board member since 2011. Lisa lives in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

Board Member
Dyan Oldenburg

Dyan Oldenburg has worked with nonprofits for over 40 years and is dedicated to helping groups meet their mission, realize critical impact, and manage change. Dyan founded Training Resources for the Environmental Community (TREC) in 1996. As executive director she developed and directed TREC’s programs, and provided services to TREC clients for almost 20 years. Prior to this, Dyan worked with hundreds of environmental and social justice nonprofits on legislative, electoral, and issue campaigns and on deepening the abilities to sustain work to stunning outcomes. She is a graduate of Antioch College. Dyan works with groups and individuals with similar interests to help them realize their joint goals. This could be to create a new organization, a new collaborative effort, or rejuvenate an existing coalition. Dyan lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.