Leadership Team

Steve Christensen

Steve Christensen

Executive Director

Steve Christensen brings deep public and private sector experience ideal to ensure we achieve our mission through impactful multi-stakeholder partnerships and programs.

He has worked seamlessly across government, academia and business to both improve communication on complex issues and to fundamentally address them. As a senior official at the USDA, Steve was responsible for working closely with the White House, Congress, and stakeholders to develop science-based public policy to support U.S. agriculture.

Since his time at USDA Steve has advised numerous industry organizations and corporate clients, among them some of the world’s leading commodity groups, chemical manufacturers and energy providers.His work has included:

  • Preventing unwarranted EPA regulation on a naturally occurring substance.
  • Mobilizing a group of independent health and radiation experts to ensure scientific rigor guided the debate on the safety of nuclear energy following the incident in Fukushima, Daiichi.
  • Working with a group of industry experts and outside technical advisors to develop new traceability protocols for U.S. dairy products.

Steve is a graduate of Harvard University’s JFK School of Government and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Riverside.

John Kyte

Director of Communications and Programs

John Kyte specializes in issues and crisis management, corporate reputation, media relations and government relations. A former news reporter, lobbyist and lawyer, he has more than three decades of experience assisting corporations, associations and clients in managing difficult, often controversial, issues with public, state and federal government entities and the media.

John has an extensive background in energy and environmental issues and  has provided counsel and program execution services to companies and clients involved in facility siting, power plant operations and regulation, chemical contamination and cleanup, product recalls, waste management, litigation and bankruptcy proceedings.

Prior to serving 17 years as a Managing Director at a major global communications agency and its government relations subsidiary, John practiced energy and environmental law and regulation in Washington, D.C. He also served for two years as Director of Environmental Quality for the National Association of Manufacturers, and as Vice President, Legislative Affairs, for The New England Council, Inc.

John received his Juris Doctor degree from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and his Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Keene (NH) State College.

Timothy J. Lafond, P.E.

Timothy J. Lafond, P.E.

Technical Consultant

Tim has provided leadership in all areas of global environmental compliance and manufacturing facilities engineering management. He spent the past 30 plus years leading the Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI) Power Solutions and S.C. Johnson (SCJ) environmental and sustainability programs.

Both JCI and SCJ are among only a handful of U.S. corporations that have received the World Environmental Center’s Gold Medal for excellence in environmental management. Tim was instrumental in the development of these internationally recognized environmental programs.

Tim was awarded the W. Wesley Eckenfelder, Jr. Industrial Waste Treatment Medal in 2013 by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists for his design of the stormwater and wastewater treatment systems at the JCI lead acid battery recycling center in South Carolina.

Tim holds a Master of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, both from the University of Iowa. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Wisconsin.

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