Meet the Staff

Michael Bender

Executive Director

Mercury Policy Project

Michael Bender is co-founder of the Mercury Policy Project, which he has directed since 1998. Over the past 12 years, Michael has worked extensively on reducing mercury uses, release, trade and exposure at the state, national and international levels.

In 1998, he successfully led the push for the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers to adopt one of the most aggressive mercury reduction plans in the US. Soon thereafter, he helped form the New England Zero Mercury Campaign where he has spearheaded many groundbreaking and successful reports and activities over the years.  Michael also serves as co-chair of the State of Vermont Advisory Committee on Mercury Pollution, where he has represented the Abenaki, a local indigenous tribe since 1998. In addition, over the past few years, he has been involved in developing a national mercury products campaign, where he serves on the coordinating committee.

Internationally, Michael often represents the Ban Mercury Work Group, a coalition of 28 NGOs from around the world on global mercury issues. In September 2002, he led an NGO contingent in promoting the development of a strong Global Mercury Assessment Report at the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) meeting in Geneva and advocated for global agreements on mercury at the UNEP Governing Council meetings in 2003 and 2005. Michael was the lead NGO contact in assisting UNEP in hosting a series of eight 4-day workshops on mercury in developing countries around the world in 2004-2005. In addition, he has served on the steering committee for the International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant, which is held every few years in a different region of the world.

Over the past two years, he has also helped lead an NGO contingent that has successfully advocated for the adoption of a strong European Union Mercury Strategy which includes an export ban on mercury and closing down the world’s largest mine by 2011, storing surplus mercury, developing legislation to phase out mercury, and promoting a global mercury reduction strategy.

Finally, Michael has recently co-authored a chapter on mercury for the 2006 State of the World.

Felice Stadler

Policy Coordinator

National Wildlife Federation

Felice Stadler is the national policy coordinator for National Wildlife Federation’s Clean the Rain Campaign. The goal of this national campaign is to advance policies to eliminate mercury releases into the environment.

Before coming to NWF, Felice spent three and a half years as policy diretor for Clean Air Network. She has been working on air toxics and other clean air issues for eight years. Before joining the Network in January 1997, she managed the Kansas small business technical assistance program, helping businesses comply with the Clean Air Act. Prior to that, she worked on a number of air quality issues in Missoula, Montana and served as chair and member of the Citizen Air Quality Advisory Board for three years.

Currently, she’s a member of the Washington, DC, Council of Government’s Air Quality Public Advisory Committee and a board member of the Mercury Policy Project; and sits on the Sierra Club’s national air committee and the Administrative Committee for the Working Group on Community Right to Know. As a board member of the Mercury Policy Project, Felice has been building a broad-based grassroots coalition calling for national strategies to curb mercury pollution.

Felice holds a Master of Science in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana, and a Bachelor of Arts from the New School for Social Research in New York.

Jane Williams

Executive Director

California Communities Against Toxics

Ms. Jane Williams is the executive director of California Communities Against Toxics. She has a degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and has seven years experience working on environmental issues with a focus on persistent, bioaccumulative toxins and nuclear issues. She has worked extensively with community-based environmental/public health advocacy groups and Native American tribes on numerous pollution-related issues. Ms. Williams has also worked extensively in Mexico on environmental issues with the Secretaria de Relaciones Exterior, the Instituto Nacional de Ecologia, Commision Nacional del Agua, and with non-governmental organizations in Mexico. She has presented papers at three different conferences in Mexico dealing with pollution and water policy issues.

Ms. Williams serves on the board of the California Environmental Research Group, the Clean Air Network, the Mercury Policy Project, and the Nonstockpile Chemical Weapons Forum. She is a past member of the Federal Advisory Committee on the Industrial Combustion Coordinated Rulemaking and a former member of the California Regulatory Structure Update Technical Advisory Committee.