Jonah Sandford, Executive Director

Before becoming NEDC’s Executive Director, Jonah served as the organization’s Staff Attorney from 2019-2022. He was also an active student volunteer with NEDC during his time at Lewis & Clark Law School, where he graduated in 2015. Before re-joining NEDC, Jonah served as Executive Director of the Deschutes River Alliance, and has clerked for Earthjustice, the Center for Biological Diversity, and WaterWatch of Oregon. Jonah grew up in Missoula, Montana, and moved to Portland after graduating from the University of Montana in 2003. He spends his free time hiking, cycling, canoeing, and finding other ways to explore this incredible corner of the country.

Mary Stites, Staff Attorney

Mary is originally from Austin, Texas where she grew up playing lots of sports and listening to lots of live music. She spent most of her childhood summers backpacking, mountain biking and rafting in Northwestern Colorado, prompting her love for the environment. Mary graduated from the University of Kansas in 2019 with degrees in Environmental Studies and English before moving out to Portland. Her passion for intersectional environmentalism brought her to Lewis & Clark for law school, where she spent all three years volunteering for NEDC in both the Environmental Justice and Food & Agriculture working groups. In her free time, Mary enjoys riding her bike, swimming, cheering on the Kansas Jayhawks, listening to live music, and searching for Portland’s best fried chicken sandwich.

Grayson Murray, Law Clerk

Grayson is from Columbia, South Carolina and grew up exploring the Southeast’s rich coastline and the Appalachian mountains with her family. She graduated from Wofford College in 2023 with degrees in Environmental Studies and Philosophy. She has spent past summers at the SC Department of Natural Resources Climatology Division and the SC Department of Transportation Environmental Division. She came to Lewis & Clark to pursue a JD immediately after college. During her first year, Grayson volunteered with NEDC in the Environmental Justice and Food & Agriculture groups. She spends her spare time cycling, hiking, knitting, exploring the Pacific Northwest, and tending to her aquarium. 

Karen Russell, Bookkeeper

Karen grew up in Kirkland, Washington boating, hiking and skiing with her family. Her passion for protecting the environment led her to go to Lewis & Clark Law School where she received her JD in 1990. After fifteen years as an attorney with WaterWatch of Oregon, she began working as a non profit consultant with a focus on non profit administration and financial management. Her work with NEDC began as a student volunteer during law school, then as a member of NEDC’s board of directors and now as NEDC’s bookkeeper. She is also an adjunct professor at Lewis & Clark College and Law School teaching Environmental Law & Policy and Water Law.