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Plenary Biographies

Brian Cladoosby
Tribal Senate Chairman, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
Brian Cladoosby is Chairman of the Swinomish Tribe and President of the Association of Washington Tribes. He also serves as President of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI). While serving his people as Chair of the Swinomish Tribe Brian has shown particular dedication to environmental issues, giving voice to the need to take responsibility, clean up and care for the increasingly polluted Puget Sound.

Brian is also a member of the EPA Region 10 Tribal Operations Committee (RTOC), representing Western Washington and Oregon tribes.

Brian was recently featured in a PBS NewsHour special report in May 2009 entitled "Salmon Wars" about the Swinomish Tribe's efforts to restore the tribal salmon fishery and their ongoing conflict with Skagit Valley farmers and diking district managers.

The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community is a federally recognized Indian Tribe with approximately 800 members. The Swinomish Tribe is a signatory to the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott and is the legal successor in interest to the Samish, Kikialus, Lower Skagit and Swinomish aboriginal bands. Its 10,000 acre reservation is located 65 miles north of Seattle, Washington on Fidalgo Island and includes approximately 3000 acres of tidelands.

Michelle Pirzadeh
Acting Regional Administrator, U.S. EPA Region 10
Michelle Pirzadeh is currently the Acting Regional Administrator (RA) for EPA Region 10. As RA, Michelle is responsible for a staff of 650 employees and an annual budget of $500 million. Region 10 oversees the implementation of the federal environmental rules and regulations in the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska, including 271 tribal governments in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. In addition to Acting RA, Michelle has worked for EPA Region 10 in numerous capacities over the last 26 years, including the Deputy Regional Administrator (DRA) since April 2008.

Before serving the Region as DRA, Michelle was the Director of Region 10's Office of Ecosystems, Tribal & Public Affairs (ETPA). Michelle became ETPA's first Director in 2004, guiding its formation and implementation, and charting its strategic direction. ETPA's work takes place in all four Region 10 states and touches virtually every major program within the Agency, including Water, Air, Waste, Toxics, Superfund, and Tribal Environments.

As Director of ETPA, Michelle had direct responsibility for the following programs: Public Affairs (Press, Congressional and International Affairs); Tribal (affecting 271 Federally-recognized Tribes); Wetlands Protection; Sediments Management and Ocean Disposal; NEPA Review; Environmental Justice; Community Involvement; and Community-Based Environmental Programs (e.g., Regional Geographic Initiative, Children?s Health, Environmental Education, National Estuary Program).

Before moving to ETPA, Michelle served as Associate Director of Region 10's Office of Environmental Cleanup for five years, overseeing both administrative and programmatic operations of the Superfund, Brownfields and Emergency Response programs. She spent 10 years in the Region's Community Involvement Program, assisting all of the Region's programs in the communications and public meeting dimensions of their work.

Michelle has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington in communications. She is an avid cook, gardener, and boater. She resides in Edmonds, Washington along with her husband Dave and her yellow lab Fleetwood.

Mathy Stanislaus
Assistant Administrator, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, U.S. EPA
Mathy Stanislaus began work as Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response after being confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 8, 2009.

As Assistant Administrator for OSWER, Mr. Stanislaus is responsible for EPA's programs on hazardous and solid waste management, hazardous waste cleanup including RCRA corrective action, Superfund and federal facilities cleanup and redevelopment, Brownfields, oil spill prevention and response, chemical accident prevention and preparedness, underground storage tanks, and emergency response.

Prior to assuming the position of Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, Mr. Stanislaus co-founded, and co-directed the New Partners for Community Revitalization, a NY not-for-profit organization whose mission is to advance the renewal of New York's low and moderate income neighborhoods and communities of color through the redevelopment of Brownfields sites. In collaboration with community, commercial, government and nonprofit partners, Mr. Stanislaus led the development of policies, programs and projects aimed at achieving the remediation and sustainable reuse of Brownfields sites in New York. He is a former counsel for EPA's Region 2, senior environmental associate in the environmental department of the law firm Huber Lawrence & Abell and director of environmental compliance for an environmental consulting firm. He has served on the board of the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance.

Mr. Stanislaus has also been an advisor to other federal government agencies, Congress and the United Nations on a variety of environmental issues. He chaired a workgroup of the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 1997 that investigated the clustering of waste transfer stations in low income and communities of color throughout the United States. In June 1994, as a member of United Nations Environment Programme - Environmental Advisory Council, he served as counsel to the United Nations' summit that examined environmental issues affecting New York's indigenous communities of the Haudaunosaunee Confederacy, as part of United Nations' International Year of the Indigenous Communities.

Michele (Shelly) Vendiola, M.Ed.
Co-Founder/Consultant, Community Alliance & Peacemaking Project
Ms. Vendiola is of mixed heritage both Native American and Filipina. A certified mediator, peacemaker, educator and community activist, Shelly is the co-founder of the regional Community Alliance and Peacemaking Project. Formerly serving as the Campaign and Training Director for the Indigenous Environmental Network, she continues to work in partnership with IEN advocating environmental justice initiatives for tribes in the Northwest region. Shelly also serves on the board of the Progressive Technologies Project, a national organization whose mission is to raise the level of technical resources available to grassroots community organizations. Shelly serves as a consultant to the Lummi CEDAR Project providing technical assistance and training for their Native Youth Leadership Program.

After receiving formal mediation training through the Indian Dispute Resolution Services, Inc., and the San Francisco Community Boards Program, Shelly continues to lead training and workshops in community organizing, organizational development, leadership, peacemaking and dispute resolution throughout the country. Shelly holds a Masters Degree in Adult & Higher Education and practices popular education methodology within all aspects of her work as an educator, activist, and community organizer.

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