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The Just Transition Fund is excited to announce that we are growing our team! As the director of special projects, Natalie Roper will oversee our work related to broadband and remote work and the development of a new community of practice. As the director of development, Brian Sewell will serve as fundraising co-strategist, primary donor relationship manager, and leader of day-to-day fundraising activities.

Both Natalie and Brian join us from grantee organizations, and so have been members of the JTF family for years. Their bios are below. They both bring incredible talent to our team, and we’re thrilled to have them onboard!

Natalie Roper, Director of Special Projects

Natalie previously worked as Executive Director of Generation West Virginia for seven years, developing and leading a diverse set of programs and policy initiatives to expand economic opportunity in the state. Specifically, she designed workforce development and broadband expansion initiatives that now serve as national models for other rural communities. She also brings policy experience, having developed and led bipartisan policy coalitions that led to successful passage of state legislation expanding internet access, accelerating entrepreneurship, and driving local community development.

Through all of this work, Natalie saw firsthand what is possible when people most impacted by transition are at the center of developing solutions, and she brings this on-the-ground experience and understanding to her work at the JTF. Natalie has a B.A. and M.P.P from the University of Virginia and currently lives in Charleston, West Virginia.

Brian Sewell, Director of Development

Brian previously worked for 10 years with the regional advocacy group Appalachian Voices, where since 2016 he was director of strategic advancement. In that role, Brian led the organization’s grants program and foundation stewardship efforts, managed fundraising projects including annual and year-end reports, helped oversee program evaluation, and served on the strategic planning core team.

As a fundraiser and advocate, Brian is steeped in the just transition movement; he has been part of the JTF community since 2015, the year we were founded and that Appalachian Voices launched its New Economy program. He is committed to seeing the power of philanthropy support inclusive economic and climate solutions that yield local benefits while accelerating our nation’s energy transition. Brian has a B.A. in Communications from the College of Charleston and lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his wife and their two sons.

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