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News at Brighter Green

Brighter Green's film What's For Dinner? to be featured in the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital 3/21/14

Brighter Green's short film What's For Dinner? was recently selected to appear in the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital. It appeared on March 19th at 12PM in the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, along with a discussion partnering with the China Environment Forum.

Associate Sangamithra Iyer Publishes eBook 3/5/14

Brighter Green Associate Sangamithra Iyer publishes an eBook entitled The Lines We Draw distributed by Hen Press, the publishing arm of Our Hen House. The book explores the boundaries — physical, biological, and ethical — evolved out of a conversation with the late Dr. Alfred Prince, a hepatitis researcher, about the use of chimpanzees in medical research, and is expanded into a larger discussion about ethics.

Brighter Green Releases New Policy Paper on Industrialized Dairy in Asia 2/20/14

Brighter Green releases their newest policy paper Beyond the Pail: the Emergence of Industrialized Dairy Systems in Asia exploring the trend toward increased dairy consumption and production in Asia and argues that the growth of industrial systems results in severe consequences for the environment, public health, animal welfare, and rural economies. You may access the paper here.

Brighter Green Presents at the Ivy League Vegan Conference 2/7/14

Brighter Green Executive Director Mia MacDonald and Associate Sangamithra Iyer present a session entitled "The Global Diet & Sustainability: Multi-country Perspectives" at the Ivy League Vegan Conference at Princeton University. The conference is in its third year and is dedicated to exploring veganism and bioethics.

Brighter Green Documentary What's For Dinner? Launches Chinese Website 1/1/14

Brighter Green documentary What's For Dinner? launches Chinese website. This will increase awareness of the issues raised in What's For Dinner? and allow individuals in China to learn more about the film.

Brighter Green Documentary What's For Dinner? Signs Distribution Deal 12/20/13

Brighter Green documentary What's For Dinner? signs with Icarus Films, a well known
independent film distributor, to help ensure that What's For Dinner? is screened widely.

Brighter Green End-of-Year Newsletter 12/19/13

Take a look at our most recent Brighter Green newsletter where we announce some of our recent accomplishments as well as what we have planned for 2014. You can read the newsletter here.

Executive Director Mia MacDonald on Katerva Awards Panel 12/6/13

Brighter Green Executive Director Mia MacDonald participated on the Food Security Impact panel as a part of the Katerva Awards.

At COP 19, Global Landscapes Forum Calls for Change 11/27/13

COP 19's Global Landscapes Forum, where Brighter Green co-sponsored a side event, released a statement calling for a new approach to tackling climate change, food insecurity, and poverty saying that "fragmentation is our enemy". The statement calls for the need to "work together across landscapes".

Brighter Green Submits Policy Recommendations at Global Landscapes Forum 11/18/13

Brighter Green submits policy recommendations with Global Forest Coalition after the networking panel session "Land, landscapes, livestock, and farms". For more information please read about Brighter Green's involvement in COP 19 here.

Brighter Green in Outreach Magazine at COP 19 11/15/13

Brighter Green publishes an article entitled "Industrial animal agriculture: acknowledging industrial livestock production as a driver of forest loss" in Outreach, a multi-stakeholder magazine on climate change and sustainable development distributed at COP 19. The article is based on a project addressing livestock production as a driver of deforestation between Brighter Green and the Global Forest Coalition.

Brighter Green Cosponsors a Panel at the Global Landscapes Forum at COP 19 11/14/13

Brighter Green is cosponsoring a panel at the Global Landscapes Forum in Warsaw at COP 19. The forum, with exhibitions and panels, will focus on environmental change and development, linking farming, forestry, and other land uses. Geoffrey Evans from Humane Society International [HSI] will be speaking for Brighter Green, HSI, and the World Society for the Protection of Animals. The forum will take place from November 16-17, 2013 in Warsaw.

Brighter Green Produces Policy Document with Human Society International and the World Society for the Protection of Animals 11/11/13

Brighter Green, Humane Society International, and the World Society for the Protection of Animals, produced a policy document making a case for why the Conference of Parties (COP 19) should address animal agriculture and the global climate crisis. The document will be distributed at the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP 19) in Warsaw, Poland from November 11-22, 2013.

BG and the Global Forest Coalition Expand Biodiversity Laws in Joint Paper 10/28/13

Brighter Green and the Global Forest Coalition expand biodiversity laws on their joint paper: Industrial Agriculture, Livestock Farming, and Climate Change: Global Social, Cultural, Ecological, and Ethical Impacts of an Unsustainable Industry.

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About Brighter Green

Advisory Board

Anna Lappé
Anna is a public speaker, author, and advocate for better access to local, climate-friendly food. She co-founded the Small Planet Institute and the Small Planet Fund with her mother, Frances Moore Lappé.

Frances Moore Lappé
Frances is a noted author, activist, and environmentalist. She founded the Oakland-based non-profit Food First: the Institute for Food & Development Policy, as well as the Small Planet Institute and the Small Planet Fund.

Jim Mason
Jim is a writer and attorney. He is the author of "An Unnatural Order: the Roots of Our Destruction of Nature and co-authored "The Ethics of What We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter" with philosopher Peter Singer, among other works.

In Memoriam: Wangari Maathai (1940-2011)
Professor Maathai, the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, founder of The Green Belt Movement.

Executive Director

Mia MacDonald
Based in New York, Brighter Green is directed by Mia MacDonald, a public policy analyst and writer who has worked as a consultant to a range of international non-governmental organizations—including the Ford Foundation, the World Wildlife Fund, the Green Belt Movement, the Sierra Club, and Save the Children as well as several United Nations agencies, among others—on issues of environment, gender, sustainable development, women's rights and gender equality, reproductive health and population, and conservation and animal protection. She has published many articles in popular and environmental media, authored a number of policy papers and reports, and has contributed to four books, including Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai's best-selling autobiography, Unbowed. She is a Senior Fellow of the Worldwatch Institute and has taught in the human rights program at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and the environmental studies program at New York University. She serves as a director on the board of Farm Sanctuary and chairs the board of the Green Belt Movement International - North America. She received a Master's Degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a B.A. with honors from Columbia University.
Blogs by Mia MacDonald


Sangamithra Iyer
Sangamithra Iyer is a writer and a licensed professional civil engineer who holds a Bachelor's degree from The Cooper Union, a Master's degree from UC Berkeley, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Hunter College. She served as the Assistant Editor of Satya magazine and a co-producer of the Women's Collective monthly radio program on the Pacifica Station WBAI. She has volunteered at primate rescue and rehabilitation sanctuaries in the U.S. and in Africa. Her writing explores issues related to animals, agriculture, and social and environmental justice. Selections of her work can be seen at Satya magazine, n+1, Hippocampus Magazine, Local Knowledge and Our Hen House. Her essays have been anthologized in Sister Species: Women, Animals and Social Justice (University of Illinois Press) and Primate People: Saving Nonhuman Primates through Education, Advocacy and Sanctuary (University of Utah Press). She is the co-author of two Brighter Green policy papers, "Skillful Means: The Challenges of China's Encounter with Factory Farming," (PDF) and "Veg or Non-Veg? India at the Crossroads" (PDF). Sangu is interested in tracking the global rise of meat, egg, and dairy consumption and its environmental and social implications. She currently works in public service on watershed protection and water supply infrastructure.
Blogs by Sangamithra Iyer

Simone de Lima
Simone G. de Lima is a biologist and Professor of Developmental Psychology at the Universidade de Brasília, Brazil. With a background in activism for democracy, inclusive education, human and animal rights and the environment, she founded and is the director of ProAnima, (Associação Protetora dos Animais do DF- The Association for the Protection of Animals of the Federal District). At the Universidade de Brasília she teaches and develops projects related to the inclusion of children with atypical development and has collaborated with CDS (Center for Sustainable Development) on Human-Animal interaction themes. In addition to collaborating with Brighter Green, Simone worked with a number of non-profit and community initiatives in the U.S. while living for three years in the Washington, D.C. area, including the Tacoma Time Bank and the Washington Animal Rescue League.

Eve Feng
After graduating from Bournemouth University in the U.K. with a master’s degree in Film and Broadcast Management, Eve Feng became a professional camerawoman and producer for environmental and animal welfare-related television programs. Her enthusiasm for preserving the environment led her to become more involved in the issues and to explore how best to communicate them. She made a natural transition to media and communications consultant for a number of international organizations, businesses, and conferences. These include the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Shanghai Suerte International, PETA, the T. Colin Campbell Foundation, and the "Forks Over Knives" documentary production team, among others.  Eve worked on various media events at United Nations climate change summits in 2009 (COP 15) and 2011 (COP 17), including with Brighter Green, with a particular focus on the impacts the livestock industry has on global warming and sustainable development. Eve’s passion is creating awareness about the urgency of climate change as well as bringing together businesses, organizations, and grassroots groups and individuals from different backgrounds to work on issues of environmental protection, ethics, and equity. Eve splits her time between her home country, China, and the U.K.
Blogs by Eve Feng

Wanqing Zhou
Wanqing Zhou is a Research Intern at Worldwatch Institute, where her studies touch on climate change, energy, and food systems. She is also an International Assistant with the Alliance to Save Energy, where her work focuses on the Climate & Gender issue in Southeast Asia, and U.S.-China sustainable development exchange. Being vegan since 2009, she believes in the power of love that humans have for nature, and the brighter balance this love can lead to. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology and Ecology from the University of Hong Kong in 2011, and recently received her Master’s degree in Climate & Society from Columbia University. She also worked on freshwater conservation and public education at the World Wide Fund for Nature China Programme Office, as well as an internship at China’s National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, where she participated in the pre-study of the emission trading scheme pilot in Beijing. She can be contacted at vanezhou[at]gmail[dot]com.
Blogs by Wanqing Zhou

Program Associates

Lauren Berger
Lauren Berger is a Program Associate at Brighter Green where she helps implement programmatic and project goals. She was formerly a Program Intern for the East African Girls' Leadership Initiative during the fall of 2012. She graduated with distinction from Barnard College, Columbia University in 2011, with a BA in English. Prior to working at Brighter Green, she spent two summers teaching at Shanti Bhavan Children's Project in Tamil Nadu, India and taught at the International Rescue Committee's Refugee Youth Summer Academy. She is also the Communications and Operations Coordinator for the U.S. Office of the Green Belt Movement. She is interested in the intersection between women's rights, human rights, and climate change in the developing world.
Blogs by Lauren Berger

Caroline Wimberly
Caroline Wimberly is a Program Associate at Brighter Green. She began her work at Brighter Green as an intern in February 2011. She graduated from Duke University in 2007 with an AB in Art History and minors in Psychology and Religion. She moved to New York City in 2008 to attend the French Culinary Institute, not only to strengthen her culinary skills, but also to learn about the food industry. She also worked for a year as the event planner at Artisanal Bistro. She is devoted to animal welfare issues, as well as sustainable agricultural practices and fair food pricing, and recently became vegan. She hopes to encourage more people to adopt a whole foods, plant-based diet, as well as educate people about the animal agriculture industry.
Blogs by Caroline Wimberly

Former Associates

Ross Miranti
Justine Simon
Stella Zhou


Jessika Ava

Jessika Ava has been involved with animal rights advocacy for several years. With a background in biology, she has recently switched her career path in wildlife conservation to join forces with others working for the plight of farmed animals. Her main interest lies in the globalization of intensive animal agriculture and her experience spans the U.S., India, and Nepal, where she did work with Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations and Street Dog Care. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and is currently working on her Master in Public Administration specializing in Nonprofit Management at Portland State University. She shares her home with a much-loved, 3-legged dog.
Blogs by Jessika Ava

Judy Bankman

Judy Bankman is a Research Intern for the Brighter Green Public Health Project. The Brighter Green Public Health Project aims to investigate how the Western diet in the global South is contributing to an increase in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. She is a Master's student in Public Health Nutrition at New York University, with an interest in food sovereignty and sustainable food systems. She holds a Bachelor’s in History from the University of Michigan and has lived and worked in southern Mexico and Madrid, Spain.
Blogs by Judy Bankman

Elana Sulakshana

Elana Sulakshana is a Communications and Research Intern at Brighter Green. She is a freshman at Columbia University thinking about pursuing a double major in Sustainable Development and Economics. She is particularly concerned about climate change and the future of our planet and wants to explore the intersection between climate change and human rights issues, such as poverty, agriculture, and migration. She has been involved in the climate movement for the past three years, working with various organizations in India, Boston, and now New York City.
Blogs by Elana Sulakshana

Previous Interns

Suzanne Lipton
Julie Ojiambo
Vidushi Sharma
Roz Palmer
Alli Tamboline
Vikas Desai
Rachael Helschein
Hannah Foster
Claudel Leveille
Piyali Syam
Jesse Carollo
Whitney Hoot