Jim Puckett, Executive Director and Founder
I’m the co-founder and Executive Director of Basel Action Network, where I provide strategic oversight and implement and expand our programs. As an activist for over 25 years, my work on toxic waste and toxic waste trade has helped control pollution, safeguard fragile ecosystems from bio-accumulating toxins, protect the world’s poor from health hazards, and reuse the Earth’s limited resources. I’ve been a chief proponent of just international policies within the United Nations Basel Convention since its inception in 1989. As the only person to have attended every Conference of the Parties meeting, I support delegates in drafting, approving, and implementing policies that protect people from the global trade of toxic waste. My assistance was crucial for creating regional waste trade agreements, such as the Bamako Convention, Central American Agreement, Waigani Treaty, and the Cartagena Convention Waste Trade Protocol. I’ve traveled the world researching, speaking, writing, and producing films. I was the first to investigate and expose the export of electronic waste (e-waste). BAN’s 2002 film, Exporting Harm: The High-Tech Trashing of Asia, was the first to shine a spotlight on e-waste trade and transformed an unknown dumping practice into a well-recognized, global issue. I’ve since overseen creation of the e-Stewards Certification Program, which certifies electronics recyclers to the industry’s gold standard for environmental and occupational health and safety protection. Prior to establishing BAN, as Toxics Director for Greenpeace International, my regional campaigns were instrumental in generating public and government support for equitable trade policies throughout Europe. I hold a Bachelor’s of Science in Speech and Filmmaking from the University of Oregon.
Hayley Palmer, Program and Operations Director
I am the Program and Operations Director for Basel Action Network. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in legal studies and international relations and began my Master’s degree in Public Policy. I was drawn to working at Basel Action Network with the desire to use my knowledge and skills to influence positive change for the environment. Additionally, I have a strong desire to educate others in consumption patterns that are environmentally sustainable and socially just. Nobody is perfect, but our daily choices matter. My main motto is “think for yourself, live for the world”. Originally from Edmonton, AB Canada, I moved to Seattle in 2014 from Los Angeles, CA. When I am not working at BAN, I hold a job as a veterinary technician at a local veterinary hospital and in my free time I love backpacking, kayaking, camping, hiking, paddle boarding and pretty much anything outdoors.
Aren Murcar, Office Manager
I grew up in Spokane, Washington where I attended Eastern Washington University, graduating in 2013 with my Bachelor’s in Economics. Shortly after graduating, I started interning at an environmental nonprofit in Spokane, where I developed a passion for environmental issues. Having studied Economics, I am most interested in the connection between a healthy environment and a healthy economy, and how we can create a system for both to thrive, rather than sacrificing one for the other.
After living in Spokane for almost my entire life, I decided to move to Seattle in 2016 to pursue life in a different city. Seattle has been a great adventure so far, and I’m excited to become more involved with my new community. I joined the team at Basel Action Network with the desire to continue developing my knowledge and ability to contribute positively to the toughest issues our environment faces. I’m also excited to find new places to run, hike, camp, and drink coffee around my new home.
“We take far too much from this world; yet, we never give back.” These words spoken by my Civil & Environmental Engineering professor at the University of Washington imbued a philosophy that led me to work at BAN. I help the organization achieve its mission through custom creating technologies such as developing mobile apps on iOS and Android to spread awareness on the positive environmental impacts on decisions we make; creating and developing custom in-house hardware and software to track, visualize and understand toxic waste flows; materializing our big list of amazing projects we have brewing at BAN through integrating tools like Asana; or, help understand our causes and campaigns effectiveness with SalesForce. Understanding, creating and utilizing technology plays a crucial role in growing our organization, and supporting the realization of the BAN mission.
Sarah Westervelt, e-Stewardship Policy Director
I am the e-Stewardship Policy Director for BAN’s work on the electronic waste stream, including the e-Stewards certification program, and national and international work on e-waste issues. My work includes a key role in the development and administration of the e-Stewards accredited certification program, as well as active participation in the international Basel Convention meetings and multi-stakeholder processes, such as EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) and the Basel partnership PACE program (Partnership for Action and Computing Equipment). Through global advocacy, policy, market solutions, and education, I provide guidance to governments, institutions, corporations, and the public to go beyond regulations and current practices, and to better understand existing international laws that pertain to trade in toxic wastes and best management practices for reusing and recycling electronics. I hold a Master’s Degree in Organizational Systems Renewal from Antioch University, and I worked for years as a consultant in organizational development prior to joining Basel Action Network in 2001.
Mandy Knudtson, Business Director
In my role, I’m the first point of contact for electronics recyclers and refurbishers pursuing e-Stewards certification. I provide guidance and ongoing support to certified companies, initiate program development, and ensure the maintenance and integrity of the policies and procedures of the e-Stewards program. I manage internal and external program activities with the objective of increasing awareness of the e-Stewards brand to a global audience. I have a Master’s Degree in Policy Studies with a focus on environmental issues from the University of Washington. Prior to BAN, my background is corporate and entrepreneurial, through which I have built a strong foundation for networking and relationship building.
Bob Akers, Enterprise Director
In the role of e-Stewards Enterprise Director, I work with corporations, organizations, government and Certified e-Steward recyclers to develop opportunity. Previously, I worked in the electronics recycling industry for 13 years, most recently as executive director of the not-for-profit Surplus Exchange in Kansas City, Mo., where I guided my team to become an early pledged e-Stewards company, and we successfully completed a total of seven e-Stewards certification audits. I've also served on the e-Stewards Leadership Council since its inception. I'm proud to have signed Kansas City, Mo., as an e-Stewards Enterprise in 2015 and have worked with the city to develop their "ConnectHome" program, which provides refurbished computers and internet access to residents in public housing. I'm married for 27 years with two grown kids, and hold a degree from the University of Kansas.