Our Team
  1. Benjamin M. Fertig, Ph.D.
    Ben is an internationally recognized marine, estuarine and environmental scientist. He earned a Bachelor’s in Biology from Brandeis University in 2003 and a Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of Maryland. Ben conducted postdoctoral research at Rutgers University and has taught at the college level. Diverse formative experiences in academic, state government, corporate, non-profit, and communication roles enable Ben to see nuances in many environmental issues. His research background specializes in identifying and mapping wastewater pollution sources. Among his current projects include monitoring the condition of oysters restored to Chesapeake Bay tributaries. Concurrently, as a Research Scholar at the Ronin Institute, the theme of my research is ecosystem dynamics of multiple simultaneous human-related stressors and their complex interactions in marine, coastal, estuarine, and wetland systems. Ben also serves actively in multiple leadership roles in international scientific societies such as the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation.
    Benjamin M. Fertig, Ph.D.
    Board Member
  2. Maliha Sarahzin
    Maliha is currently completing her M.Sc. in Environmental Management from the Independent University, Bangladesh after having completed her B.Sc. in Environmental Science from the same institution. She has worked as a research assistant for Adam Smith International and as an intern for the Department of Environment, Bangladesh. She was also the organizational secretary of the Monte Carlo Informatics Club and a part-timer at the registrar’s office at the Independent University, Bangladesh. She has been involved with e-commerce for 6 years. She desires to implement her multifarious experience in the fields of environmental concerns.
    Maliha Sarahzin
    Manager, Research and Training
  3. Shawn S. Novel
    Shawn is a Barrister at Law of England and Wales and licensed to practice in the USA as Attorney at Law admitted in the New York State Bar. He is also an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. He holds a law degree from Cardiff University, a postgraduate diploma in professional and legal skills from Inns of Court School of Law, City University London and a Masters in law from Cornell Law School. Shawn has been practicing law for over a decade, his area of specialization being international commercial law. Alongside, he takes keen interest in writing, policy making and initiating socio-economic changes. He was the founder of SAAV – Students Against Acid Violence in collaboration with Acid Survivors Foundation that brought about momentum in initiating social and political changes in combatting acid violence in Bangladesh. He is actively involved with numerous other charitable organizations and voluntary groups. Until recently Shawn had been heading his own law firm in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He has taken up a position with an international law firm in Bangkok, Thailand and is currently focusing on international legal practice in South East Asia.
    Shawn S. Novel
    Board Member
  4. Rizwana Shahnaz
    Rizwana holds a Masters degree in Economics from Central Michigan University- Mt. Pleasant. He currently is a Research Associate at the Innovations for Poverty Action in Bangladesh. He has done research consulting work for Fannie Mae, World Bank, International Center for Research on Women, and CARE in Bangladesh. In 2012, he was with the Research and Evaluation Unit, BRAC International in Uganda, Sierra Leone, and Liberia as a Research and Communications Coordinator. He has also done work for various other organizations as a researcher and analyst.
    Rizwana Shahnaz
    Board Member
  5. Nabeel Kirmani
    Nabeel holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a minor in Spanish from Towson University. He currently works at Segal Consulting as a Health Benefits Analyst. From 2011 to 2013, he was an intern for Hay Group, Banner Life Insurance Company, and Securities Exchange Commission, Office of Chief Operating Officer analyzing Medicaid and Medicare data.
    Nabeel Kirmani
    Secretary of the Board
  6. Vincent Taubner
    Vincent received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Bard College-Annandale-on-Hudson in 2005. He is currently attending the University of Southern Maine perusing a degree in School Psychology. He holds a teaching certificate in English as a Foreign Language. He currently is a Behavior Health Professional at Knowledge Universe in Sharonville, Ohio. Before his current position, he was a Behavior Health Professional for several schools in Maine from 2008 to 2015. In 2005 to 2007, he was a Native Speaking Kindergarten teacher at Hess Educational Organization in Taipei, Taiwan. Before he began his teaching career, he was the an assistant for the director of Theater at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, Astor Home for Children, and a Camp Coordinator for Beyond the Horizon Summer Camp.
    Vincent Taubner
    Vice President
  7. Zubair Hossain
    Mr. M. Zubair Hossain, trained and educated in University of Maryland and Bard College started Green Steps Partner with 9 years of experience in academia and consulting. He undertook various research projects during undergraduate and graduate studies. He also holds a postgraduate certificate in social business from HEC Paris. Having worked in banking and finance, he conducted research for BRAC and then moved into academia and consulting. He has published extensively and presented research papers in various international conferences. He led a team of researchers and authored an edited volume of research titled 'Green Banking in Bangladesh and Beyond'.
    Zubair Hossain
  8. Faiaz Rahman
    Faiaz has a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from North South University, Dhaka and a Masters' degree in Information Technology and Management from the University of Texas at Dallas. Faiaz manages the social media and Information Technology related processes and activities of GreenSteps
    Faiaz Rahman
    Heat of IT
  9. Maliha Tabassum
    Maliha is currently completing her M.Sc in Environmental Management from Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) and holds a B.Sc degree in Environmental Science from the same institution. She has worked as a Trainee and an Intern for Center for Climate Change and Environmental Research (C3ER), BRAC University. She worked voluntarily as a Teacher in Proyash (Dhaka Cantonment), a School for Differently Abled Children and also worked as a Teaching Assistant for two years at her University. She has successfully completed a Knowledge Development Training on “Climate Change and Adaptation” from Center for Climate Change and Environmental Research (C3ER), BRAC University and also a Leadership Training from Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC).
    Maliha Tabassum
    Country Coordinator, Bangladesh
  10. Ryan Sullivan
    Ryan Sullivan is a graduate of UMBC's philosophy department and a dedicated grassroots activist for environmental and social justice issues. As a student he was active and dedicated, winning the Evelyn Barker Book Prize for excellence in philosophy and organizing the Philosophy Council of Majors as its vice president. In his activist work he has supported such issues as worker rights, environmental awareness, and immigrant rights on behalf of the Green Party as elected officer. Prior work experience includes philosophy research assistant, Web Administrator for the Philosophy of Science Association and as a fundraiser for Pathfinder International. The Green ethos at the heart of Ryan's vison for the future of environmental justice at the intersection of social justice is what Green Steps Partner is all about, revolutionizing water purification and improving health conditions for some of the most marginalized people on Earth
    Ryan Sullivan
    Community Outreach Coordinator
  11. Melissa Fletcher
    Melissa earned her Bachelors degree in Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. During her time studying abroad she visited 7 Middle Eastern countries and witnessed the need for water purification and the means for a more energy efficient application to supply it. Since graduation she has done work with numerous non-profit organizations. Now newly engaged, she happily resides in Baltimore, Maryland with her fiancé and their puppy.
    Melissa Fletcher
    Events Coordinator
  12. Emmalee Amán
    Emmalee Amán is an enthusiastic environmental justice advocate who holds a Master’s degree of Environmental Policy from American University, with a focus in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Sovereignty. She is the founder and lead advocate for the environmental advocacy consulting firm, Winds of Change Advocacy. Emmalee does environmental advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels through a combination of community organizing, direct meetings with elected officials, and training workshops which empower community members with skills to advocate for themselves. During the warmer months, in addition to advocacy consulting, she also works at a sustainable farm and interfaith meditation center located in Germantown, MD. Emmalee has been a grassroots environmental justice organizer since age 15, having grown up in "Cancer Valley", an economically underprivileged ‘sacrifice zone’ which suffered 70% higher than average cancer rates due to the burden of: industrial agriculture that caused pesticide drift, a coal-fired power plant, a trash incinerator, and a Monsanto plastics plant that released toxic chemicals into the air, water, and soil of the community. The struggle for environmental justice is therefore personal for her, and her personal connection with EJ is part of what fuels her passion for environmental justice work.
    Emmalee Amán
    Board Member