IEC STAFF

Our Team

executive director
Jen started as executive director of IEC in January of 2011. In addition to managing the organization, Jen lobbies on behalf of IEC’s member organizations on a wide range of issues.
Programs
Legislative DIRECTOR

Colleen Smith

Colleen started with IEC in 2017. She is in the Capitol each day the General Assembly is in session.

AGRICULTURE & WATER PROGRAMS DIRECTOR

Eliot Clay

Eliot leads ideation, drafting and evaluation IEC’s legislative and administrative policy proposals.

CONSERVATION DIRECTOR

Lindsay Keeney

Lindsay is focused on protecting open space and clean water resources in Illinois. 

CLEAN WATER ADVOCATE

Iyana Simba

Iyana researches the issues and policies affecting water resources in Illinois.

Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition Administrator

Tonyisha Harris

Tonyisha coordinates the Illinois Climate Action Table.

Development & Communications
Deputy director

Matt Steffen

Matt has been with IEC since 2014. He oversees IEC’s operations and develops organizational strategy.

DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

Jeff Shelden

Jeff leads IEC’s fundraising efforts, ranging from grant management to individual appeals to event planning.

Communications director

Tucker Barry

Tucker oversees the IEC’s traditional and digital communications strategy to protect Illinois’s environment.

Communications intern

Emily Spangler

Operations
Finance Director

Crystal Kern

Crystal began as IEC’s accountant in 2017 before transitioning to Finance Director in February 2019.

Office coordinator

Alli Kearney

Alli oversees building operations in IEC’s Springfield office and supports programmatic work.

Intern

Paloma Campillo

Jen Walling

Jennifer Walling

Jen started as executive director of IEC in January of 2011. In addition to managing the organization, Jen lobbies on behalf of IEC’s member organizations on a wide range of issues. 
 
Prior to her time as executive director, Jen worked as chief of staff to State Senator Heather Steans. She has also worked for the Environmental Law and Policy Center and SCARCE, an environmental education non-profit, and interned for then Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn. Jen obtained her law degree and master’s degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Law School in 2006, after gaining her undergraduate degree in NRES at the University of Illinois
Colleen Smith

Colleen Smith

Colleen has been the legislative director at IEC since 2017. She previously served as a Government Affairs Associate at Stricklin & Associates and as Chief of Staff for State Representative Ann Williams, working closely on environmental issues.
 
Prior to those experiences, she worked as Women’s Outreach Coordinator for Quinn for Illinois, and as Clean Water Advocate for the Sierra Club of Illinois. Colleen holds her Masters of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School, and has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from University of Colorado- Boulder, 2012.
Eliot Clay

Eliot Clay

Prior to IEC, Eliot worked for 4 year on the Illinois State Senate Republican Staff providing support for the Environment & Conservation Committee and the Agriculture Committee as a Legislative Analyst.

He obtained his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Illinois-Springfield and his Bachelor Degree in Political Science from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.
Lindsay Keeney

Lindsay Keeney

Lindsay studied biology in undergrad at MacMurray College in Jacksonville, IL and in graduate school at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Lindsay’s areas of interest include aquatic ecology, pollinators and invertebrate diversity, sustainable agriculture, and Illinois open space and water conservation. This diverse interest list was inspired by the various environmental positions she has held throughout her career including positions with; Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Jim Edgar State Fish and Wildlife Area, The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Illinois Natural History Survey’s Illinois River Biological Station and the Illinois Stewardship Alliance.

Iyana Simba

Iyana researches a range of water issues afflicting Illinois and the Great Lakes region. Her research informs policy on issues ranging from water affordability to urban and rural flooding mitigation to aquatic invasive species. Growing up in Michigan and Illinois, she is aware of the potential and already visible changes climate change has brought to both coasts. Prior to working at the Council, she attended the University of Illinois at Chicago and graduated with honors with a degree in Public Policy and a Sustainable Cities minor. Outside of her work, she enjoys traveling throughout the Midwest, exploring every beach, swimming hole and waterfront eatery she stumbles upon.
Tonyisha Harris

Tonyisha Harris

Tonyisha studied Environmental Science at Loyola University Chicago. She is a native of Chicago and hails from the South Shore neighborhood. Tonyisha is the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition Administrator and Youth Organizations Liaison.
 
Her areas of interest are water, water quality analysis, aquatic ecosystems, marine species, and environmental chemistry. Prior to working at IEC she worked with the Chicago Botanic Garden, Huron River Watershed Council and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She is affiliated with the Student Environmental Alliance (LUC), Alliance for Climate Education (ACE), the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program (DDCSP), and the Environmentalists of Color Network (EOC). She is also a former peer mentor and alumni for Achieving College Excellence (ACE), a student support service for low-income, first-generation, and students with disabilities. 
Matt Steffen

Matt Steffen

Matt joined IEC in 2014. As deputy director, Matt oversees organizational operations and strategy.
 
Prior to his time at IEC, Matt worked on a successful state representative campaign and interned for Senator Tom Harkin in the United States Senate after earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and History from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Jeff Shelden

Jeff Shelden

Prior to joining IEC, Jeff worked at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago as the Corporate and Foundation Gifts Officer. Jeff is an active volunteer with the Sierra Club where he is Chairperson of the Chicago Group and leads their volunteer Water Team. Jeff studied Political Science at Denison University and spent the first half of his career in the beverage alcohol industry in supply chain, customer management, and sales strategy roles.

Tucker Barry

Tucker Barry

Before moving to Illinois in 2019, Tucker served as Press Secretary to Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D-Louisiana) and ran communications and operations outfits at a handful of progressive advocacy nonprofits in Louisiana.

He graduated from Louisiana State University with a master’s in Mass Communication and a bachelor’s in English, Writing and Culture.
Emily Spangler

Emily Spangler

Emily is a rising senior at Roosevelt University, majoring in political science and minoring in international relations. She plans on pursuing her Master’s in public policy.
 
She has worked for the Whiteside County Democrats and helped co-found ProgressWomen.com. Outside of her work for IEC, Emily is a Volunteer Coordinator for a state representative candidate campaign and serves as a community advisory board member for Equality Illinois
Crystal Kern

Crystal Kern

Prior to her time at IEC, Crystal worked with many nonprofits in various roles from Fiscal Officer to Controller. Crystal obtained her Bachelor Degree in Business from McKendree College and her Masters
Degree in Accounting from University of Illinois.
Alli Kearney

Alli Kearney

Alli started with IEC in early 2018 as an intern while earning her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Illinois – Springfield. Allie started as IEC’s full time office coordinator in 2019, and has overseen projects ranging from lobby day to the installation of solar panels on the office roof.

Paloma Campillo

Paloma assists IEC with data entry and event planning. As an undergraduate, she studied Anthropology & Sociology with a concentration in Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Kalamazoo College. Before coming to IEC, she interned with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund as well as the Kampala based NGO, ACODE. With a background in qualitative research collection and analysis, Paloma worked with the City of Kalamazoo’s Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo program; ACODE researching rural women in business; contributed to the book Local Government in Uganda: Democracy, Accountability and Civic Engagement; and, most recently, at the Field Museum’s Keller Science Action Center under the Monarch’s view of the City project. 

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