Brian Czech, Executive Director of CASSE

Brian Czech, Executive Director

Brian Czech is the founding president of CASSE (2003), and signed on as executive director in 2017. Czech served as the first conservation biologist in the history of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from 1999-2017, and concurrently as a visiting professor of natural resource economics in Virginia Tech’s National Capitol Region. He is the author of several books including Supply ShockShoveling Fuel for a Runaway Train, and The Endangered Species Act: History, Conservation Biology, and Public Policy, as well as over 50 academic journal articles. His primary contributions to ecological economics pertain to the trophic theory of money, the process of technological progress, and the political “steady state revolution.” Czech is a frequent speaker, moderator, commentator, and regular contributor to the Steady State Herald. He has a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin, an M.S. from the University of Washington, and a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. Brian has been designated an “eco-champion” by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, an “eco-hero” by Ecohearth, and one of the “top 100 inspirational leaders” by the Post-Growth Institute. Contact Brian.

Gary Gardner, Managing Editor

Gary Gardner is an editor, writer, and researcher on global sustainability issues. He joined CASSE as the Managing Editor in January 2023. For more than two decades, he authored short- and long-form pieces on sustainability challenges at the Worldwatch Institute and at GreenFaith, and served as an editor at the International Council on Clean Transportation. Gary has authored several books, including The Earth Cries Out. He has spoken at global conferences hosted by institutions ranging from the United Nations to the Vatican. An aficionado of language and cultures, Gary speaks Spanish, reads French, and loves exploring diverse cultures. Contact Gary.

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Daniel Wortel-London, Policy Specialist

Daniel Wortel-London is CASSE’s Policy Specialist. He has served as Knowledge Co-Lead for the Wellbeing Economy Alliance and Research Coordinator for the Civworld project at Demos. He earned his Ph.D. in History from New York University, where he wrote numerous articles along with his dissertation, retitled “The Menace of Prosperity” for publication by the University of Chicago Press. A native of Hoboken, New Jersey, Dan works out of West Orange, NJ, with periodic policy work in Washington, DC. Twitter handle: @dlondonwortel. Contact Daniel.
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Dave Rollo, Policy Specialist

Dave is a Policy Specialist focused on the Keep Our Counties Great program. With degrees in biology and plant sciences, Dave conducted lab research in molecular biology for 20 years and translated his vocational experience into wide-ranging civic involvement. He has served in the Bloomington, Indiana city government for nearly 30 years, first on the Environmental Commission (1995-2003), then as an elected representative on the City Council (2003-present). As a councilperson, Dave spearheaded several sustainability initiatives, including the creation of a City Sustainability Commission, a biking task force, and a task force to report on global energy depletion and its effect on the local community. Dave has long been an advocate for a steady state economy and has worked to include principles of an SSE in the city’s guiding documents. He left laboratory science in 2011 to work on a joint organic farming venture that he co-owned and operated as farm manager.  Contact Dave

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Kali Young, Development Manager

Kali Young is CASSE’s Development Manager. Kali has held several lead fundraising positions for economic justice organizations. Kali has also served as program director for the Wellbeing Economy Alliance, the Sharing Cities Network and Bay Area Community Exchange. Kali earned a BA in Environmental Studies and an MA in Sustainability and Social Change from New College, with a thesis on sweatshops and cooperative economics. Kali became increasingly passionate about transforming our economic system following a stint as an environmental policy analyst for the Texas Legislature.  Contact Kali

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Alix Underwood, Research Associate

Alix Underwood conducts research at the intersection of environmental, food, and economic policy, focusing at CASSE on the trophic theory of money (TTOM). Previously, Alix worked as a research analyst at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); conducted research on US air pollution governance at Notre Dame’s Environmental Change Initiative; and served as a volunteer in Peace Corps Panama’s sustainable agricultural systems sector. Alix holds a master’s degree in global affairs with a concentration in sustainable development from the University of Notre Dame. She is fluent in English and Spanish. Alix is passionate about the steady state economy as a necessary solution to environmental crises. Contact Alix

In Memoriam

Herman Daly, Economist Emeritus

Herman Daly, 1938-2022, was (and is posthumously) the unquestioned champion of steady-state economics.  Throughout his career, Daly swam courageously upstream in the river of political economy. Not content to bequeath his brilliance solely to the academic realm, he spent seven years as a senior economist at the World Bank for policy reform in the real world.  He also wrote books popular with concerned, serious citizens around the world, including For the Common Good (with John Cobb) and Beyond Growth. His textbook, Ecological Economics: Principles and Applications remains the gold standard for steady-state economics.

Daly served as the Economist Emeritus (an unpaid, advisory role) at CASSE from 2017 until his passing in 2022.