Toxics Action Center
Toxics Action Center

Board members are chosen for their expertise in developing and implementing community organizing strategies. Our Board consists of both environmental professionals and community activists. The Board meets four times per year to approve our budget, three-year annual plans, and to make major policy and program decisions.

Bindu Panikkar

is an Assistant Professor at the Environmental Program, Rubenstein School for Environment and Natural Resources at University of Vermont. She lectures and advises students on environmental citizenship, citizen science and community-based research, and environmental justice, among other topics. She has worked with Toxics Action Center on a variety of campaigns including the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, PFAS drinking water contamination health studies, landfill closure mapping projects, and writing reports. Bindu lives in Burlington, Vermont.

Matt Wilson


is the Executive Director of MASSCreative, a Massachusetts non-profit that empowers creative organizations and the public with a powerful voice that brings the attention and resources necessary to build vibrant, creative communities. He is the former Deputy Director for Corporate Accountability International and the former Field Director for Grassroots Campaigns, Inc. Before that, Matt directed Toxics Action Center for 16 years, expanding the organization’s reach across New England and working on dozens of clean-water campaigns. Matt lives in Reading, Massachusetts.

Linda Segal

Vice President

is the former chair of NED/Dow Neighbors, which worked for seven years to clean up property contaminated by Dow Chemical in Wayland, Massachusetts. She also served a term as Selectwoman for the Town of Wayland. Other Wayland civic activities included community liaison to the Raytheon hazmat cleanup for 18 years, secretary of the appointed committee that published the town’s first Wellhead Protection Plan approved by DEP in Dec. 2011, and over 20 years as Zoning Board of Appeals associate member. Linda lives in Waban, Massachusetts.

Robert Sargent


is the Energy Program Director for Environment America. He provides assistance to state Environment organizations across the country to develop and implement progressive state policies on energy and global warming. He was founder and first Director of Toxics Action Center in 1987. Robert lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

Kirstie Pecci


is a Senior Fellow at the Conservation Law Foundation. She spent her legal career focused on environmental, municipal, and real estate law, and first connected with Toxics Action Center when she was representing more than 300 citizens opposing the expansion of the Southbridge landfill as a volunteer leader of the community group she co-founded called Residents for Alternative Trash Solutions. Kirstie lives in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.

Harris Parnell

landed in Maine following college to work with Toxics Action Center. After moving around Massachusetts, Manhattan, and Michigan organizing and fundraising on public interest issues, she made her way back to Maine to rejoin the staff of Toxics Action as the Maine State Director for two years. She went on to work with the Maine League of Young Voters, Maine Initiatives, and now works with a Maine philanthropist. Harris recently relocated to Washington, D.C.

Johanna Neumann

is the Donor Development Director for The Public Interest Network where she works with Environment America and U.S. PIRG to help those organizations build meaningful lifelong relationships with their top supporters. Prior to moving into her current role, she was the New England Regional Director for Environment America, the State Director for the consumer advocacy group Maryland PIRG, and a community organizer with Toxics Action Center. Johanna lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Jackie Elliott

first worked with Toxics Action Center as the leader of Citizens Leading for Environmental Action & Responsibility (CLEAR), formed to shut down the polluting Wheelabrator trash incinerator in Claremont, New Hampshire. She became a community activist after learning of the connection between endometriosis (an illness that she has suffered from for more than half a century), dioxin and incineration. Jackie is also active with the Endometriosis Association; she is a member and a charter member of their Environmental Advocates initiative. Jackie lives in Waterboro, Maine.

Paul Burns

is VPIRG’s Executive Director. He has been working as an organizer, advocate and attorney for PIRGs in New York, Massachusetts and Vermont since 1986. As Toxics Program Director for MassPIRG, Paul was instrumental in the passage of major environmental legislation aimed at rivers protection, brownfields cleanup, beach water testing and pesticide use reduction and disclosure. At VPIRG, Paul serves as the senior advocate for all programs and lead advocate for the democracy program, represents VPIRG with the media and state leaders, heads fundraising efforts and provides vision, direction and leadership for VPIRG. Paul lives in Montpelier, Vermont.