MalissaCU3-200x200pxBoard Chair Malissa McKeith is the founder and president of CURE. She has had a distinguished 30-year career as one of California's leading environmental and land use attorneys. Currently she is a partner at one of the country's largest law firms, Lewis Brisbois, where she leads a department of land use, real estate, and environmental lawyers.


In addition to her professional expertise in water, land development and energy law, she is an expert on the Colorado River, and on the environmental, public health and economic consequences of diverting and transferring its flow.


Both in her professional work as an environmental attorney, and in her role as founder and president of CURE, Malissa has litigated or participated in numerous cases relating to management of Colorado River water, development in flood prone areas, and the protection of wildlife habitats.


In 2002, a unique California alliance called Public Officials for Water and Environmental Reform (P.O.W.E.R.) paid tribute to Malissa McKeith, awarding her the prestigious Carla Bard Award, in honor of her outstanding environmental advocacy work around Deer Creek and Colorado River issues. 


For a printable pdf version of Malissa's full biography, click here.




Dr. Stephanie Pincetl is Director of UCLA’s California Center for Sustainable Communities (CCSC) and a Professor-in-Residence at the University’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. She conducts research on environmental policies and governance and analyzes how institutional rules construct how natural resources and energy are used to support human activities. Stephanie is an expert in bringing together interdisciplinary teams of experts in biophysics and engineering with social scientists to address challenges related to environmental management and complex urban systems.Pincetl-larger

The CCSC’s mission is to assist California communities in the transition to greater sustainability, and to serve as a resource for state policy makers, stakeholders and residents. Stephanie directs the Center’s work on a multitude of fronts, bringing together leading edge researchers and centers from across several UC campuses, and providing research, insights, data, methods, models, case studies, tools and strategies to address land use and transportation challenges facing California communities.

The CCSC is funded and supported by the Public Interest Energy Research Program of the state Energy Commission. Housed at UCLA, the Center is a collaboration between the UC Berkeley’s Center for Resource Efficient Communities, UC Davis Extension’s Land Use and Natural Resources Program, UC Davis’ Plug-in Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Center, UC Davis’ Center for Regional Change, and UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.


Stephanie has written extensively about land use in California, environmental justice, habitat conservation efforts, water and energy policy. She has received funding from the National Science Foundation to conduct collaborative research with biophysical scientists on urban ecology and water management in Los Angeles; in addition, a grant from the California Energy Commission PIER program enabled her to develop a methodology to understand energy use in California communities using an “urban metabolism” approach coupled with social policy analysis.

Stephanie’s book, Transforming California, the Political History of Land Use in the State, is the definitive work on land use politics in California. She is also the leading author of the urban section of the Southwest Technical Report to the National Climate Assessment and a contributing author of the urban section of the National Climate Assessment.

In addition to her work as Director of the CCSC, Stephanie is Faculty Director of the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability. Stephanie also spent a decade working in the nonprofit environmental justice sector. She is an avid gardener, a devotee of the Sunday Hollywood Farmer’s Market, and loves to cook and have friends over for dinner.




John Gamlin has had a career spanning almost 30 years in real estate development as a planner, development manager and principal. He is President of Sofia Investments, Inc., a California corporation that provides land use and development management expertise to a variety of clients in real estate development and financial sectors. He is also managing principal of Premier Land Advisors, LLC, which provides a development management platform for Sofia.


A 27-year resident of the Coachella Valley, John graduated from the School of Architecture and Environmental Design at Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo. His current projects include the subdivision of land holdings in Rancho Mirage, re-positioning of a golf master plan in Simi Valley, and a development partnership with the City of La Quinta for the build-out of SilverRock Resort, a large master plan. Past project experience includes managing the development of the Hideaway and Madison Clubs in La Quinta, the Canyon View Estates at Ironwood Country Club in Palm Desert for Discovery Land Company, and re-positioning and sale of Coral Mountain at La Quinta, a 1,320-acre planned community.


Throughout a career devoted to developing “lifestyle-oriented” master planned communities, John has worked to balance development objectives with environmental concerns, taking a pro-active approach to solving land use conflicts.


John grew up with a love of the outdoors inspired by family camping trips to National Parks across the country. His first awareness of worldwide environmental issues came in elementary school, precipitated by classroom discussions about the “greenhouse effect.” As a high schooler in the Tahoe basin, John became an avid hiker, and his affinity for nature grew, as did his interest in the world famous alpine lake’s ecosystem. Later, as a student at Cal Poly, teachings on the philosophy of sensitive environmental design underscored by architects like Ian McHarg, resonated with him.


Over the years, John has embraced an array of concerns expressed in the non-profit sector, including CURE, the Desert Cahuilla Wetlands (a pilot project for Salton Sea mitigation / stabilization), and as a board member of the La Quinta Arts Foundation. He has also been involved in outreach to an orphanage in Baja, California, raised funds for pediatric cancer research for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation with his daughter, and supported start-up community theatre programs for challenged youth. For John, the thread connecting most of these pursuits is his belief that a fundamental quality of life – beginning with breathable air and potable water – should never be for sale, and is inseparable from values of fairness, equality and justice. For lack of these elements, John firmly believes, all other things are naught, and no seed of hope can germinate.



Citizens United for Resources and the Environment, Inc.


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