2023 Bullitt Prize Winner Kristina Chu   2023 Bullitt Environmental Prize Winner Examines the Environmental and Health Risks of Urban Community Gardens and Farms   SEATTLE – The Bullitt Foundation is awarding the 17th annual Bullitt Environmental Prize to Kristina Chu (they/she), a master’s student at the School of Social Work at the University of Washington. Chu’s work examines the environmental...


Bullitt Trustee Erim Gomez Moves to University of Montana Bullitt Trustee and former Bullitt Prize winner Erim Gomez has accepted a position at the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana, one of the nation's top Wildlife Biology Programs.

Bullitt Foundation Staff

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Denis Hayes


As CEO of the Bullitt Foundation, Denis leads an effort to mold the major cities of Pacific Northwest and British Columbia into models of sustainability for a rapidly urbanizing planet. The Foundation applies ecological principles to the design of healthy, resilient human ecosystems. Under his leadership, the Foundation designed and constructed the Bullitt Center—the world’s greenest office building—which it operates as a successful commercial enterprise.

Denis was the principal national organizer of the first Earth Day in 1970, and he took the event international in 1990. It is now the most-widely-observed secular holiday in the world. He is now board chair emeritus of the international Earth Day Network. During the Carter Administration, Hayes was the director of the federal Solar Energy Research Institute—since renamed the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Over his career, Hayes has been special assistant to the Governor of Illinois for natural resources and the environment; senior fellow at the Worldwatch Institute; adjunct professor of energy engineering and human biology at Stanford University; Regents’ Professor of Natural Resources at the University of California at Santa Cruz; and a Silicon Valley lawyer at the Cooley firm. Denis has been a visiting scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC and at the Bellagio Center in Italy, as well as a Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow of the Bosch Foundation.

Hayes has received the national Jefferson Medal for Outstanding Public Service, the Ridenhour Courage Prize, an inaugural Green Swan Award, and the Rachel Carson Award as well as the highest awards bestowed by the Sierra Club, the Environmental Law Institute, the Humane Society of the United States, the National Wildlife Federation, the Natural Resources Council of America, the Global Environmental Facility of the United Nations, the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility, the American Solar Energy Society, and the Commonwealth Club. He has served on dozens of governing boards, including those of Stanford University, the World Resources Institute, the Federation of American Scientists, the Energy Foundation, Children Now, the National Programming Council for Public Television, the American Solar Energy Society, Greenpeace, CERES, and the Environmental Grantmakers Association. In 1999, Time magazine selected Hayes as one of its “Heroes of the Planet.” Life magazine selected him in 1990 as a member of “The Life 100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century.”  He has been profiled as “Newsmaker of the week” by ABC News and by the New York Times. Denis wrote Rays of Hope: The Transition to a Post-Petroleum World (WW Norton, 1977) and, together with his spouse, Gail Boyer Hayes, co-authored COWED: The Hidden Impact of 93 Million Cows on America’s Health, Economy, Politics, Culture, and Environment (WW Norton, 2015).

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Salley Anderson

Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Treasurer

Following an Accounting Degree from the University of Washington and an MBA from Seattle University, Salley cultivated her business acumen as a tax accountant, software product manager, CFO of an international foundation, and a consulting CFO focused on the non-profit sector. Creating and fostering connection is Salley’s path to serving the environment; She believes when people feel a part of something, they will naturally have a greater sensibility to that which is beneficial for all. Of particular interest is the intersection of social and racial equity and regenerative economies. Outside of work, Salley can often be found traversing local waterfronts and forests, or following her curiosity to understand multidimensional systems.

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Mary McNair

Director of Grants Management and Fellowships

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Mary McNair joined the Bullitt Foundation in 2013 as a Grants Assistant. Mary is delighted to work in the world’s first living commercial building and enjoys gazing at mountains every morning. Mary has always engaged in environmentally friendly practices, but it wasn’t until she served as an agriculture and forestry Peace Corps volunteer in Africa that she became passionate about sustainability and preservation. After her return, Mary briefly explored a career in city and state government but quickly decided to pursue a career in the non-profit sector. She earned her Master’s in Public Administration from the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington in 2010 with an emphasis on Non-Profit Management. Prior to working at Bullitt, she ran the Jumpstart program, supervising college students who taught Head Start preschool children. This work ignited her passion for promoting social justice, education and leadership; prompting her to complete the Community Leadership Program through the Asian and Pacific Islander Community Leadership Foundation (ACLF) and later serving on their board. In her free time, Mary plays soccer, enjoys tending to her garden, and tries to keep up with her daughter.

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Lucca Mingus-Shah

Chief Comfort Officer (CCO)

Lucca joined the Bullitt Foundation in 2010. As CCO her primary responsibilities include making her human friends smile on a regular basis; keeping the floors clear of food debris; performing tricks for the Foundation’s CEO; and playing fetch. She earned her MO (Master of Obedience) at the Phinney Ridge Behavior Center in Seattle, WA. Whenever possible Lucca accompanies her mom, Neelima to meetings. On her days off, she loves romping in the snow, kissing her baby sister, rough-housing with other four-legged friends, and begging for food.

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Neelima Shah

Senior Program Officer

Neelima Shah is passionate about protecting the natural environment and reducing human impact on it. Prior to joining the Bullitt Foundation in 2010, Neelima managed the environment and civic charitable investments for The Boeing Company in the Northwest Region. During that time, she developed the company’s local grantmaking strategies in these areas and worked to leverage dollars with the power of employee and volunteer efforts. Prior to Boeing, Neelima was the Program Officer at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation where she worked with U.S. organizations on International Affairs Education, Environment and Public Service as well as Russian human rights NGOs. Neelima is a 2005 American German Marshall Fund Fellow and a 2004 World Affairs Council Fellow. She earned her Master’s of Public Administration at the University of Washington’s Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs in 2002 and taught a grant proposal writing class there in 2006. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, San Diego in Political Science with minors in Theater and Women’s Studies. Neelima finds the most enjoyable aspects of this job include her ability to build relationships with grantees, local government, and other funders as well as the many learning opportunities. She finds peace and calm through hiking, her yoga practice and by spending time with friends, her husband Scott, her favorite four legged daughter Lucca, and her two legged daughter Aria.

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Steve Whitney

Senior Program Officer

When Steve Whitney was invited to join the Bullitt staff in 2000, he perceived an unprecedented opportunity to serve the environmental community and protect the ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest. His previous fourteen years with The Wilderness Society as director of its National Parks Program, Northwest Regional Director, and Deputy Vice President for Regional Conservation expanded on earlier experience he had gained as a land planning consultant and Congressional staffer. Steve has served as a natural resource specialist with the National Parks Conservation Association, as Legislative Aide to then-Representative Leon Panetta, and as a board member of several non-profit organizations including Washington Environmental Council, Cascade Youth Symphony, Earth Ministry, and the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity – a national association of environmental foundations. He currently serves on the Advisory Council for Portland State University’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions and on the Professionals Council for the University of Washington’s College of Built Environments. Steve holds a Bachelor of Science from Utah State University’s College of Natural Resources, and a Master’s degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles. While trained as an urban planner, he ultimately traces his career choices back to time spent with his parents in Yosemite National Park, which helped foster his appreciation of wilderness. A parent himself, he proudly acknowledges the achievements of two talented daughters. He is a cyclist, and when not traversing northwest trails under towering trees, Steve enjoys frequent visits to the high desert of New Mexico.

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Amy Solomon

Program Consultant

Amy is a consultant with a varied background in climate matters and philanthropy. As a former Program Officer at the Bullitt Foundation, she will step in and manage the Energy, Climate and Materials and Deep Green Buildings programs until the Foundation’s sunset.