Meet the Commission

Lance Conn, co-chair. Mr. Conn is a Bay Area businessman and conservationist. He currently serves as Parks Forward Commission co-chair. From 2004 to 2009, he was the president of Vulcan Capital, the investment arm of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's family office. While at Vulcan, he oversaw the turnaround of the firm's investment portfolio and served as chair of Vulcan Energy Corporation, as well as a director of the Seattle Seahawks, the Portland Trailblazers, Oxygen Media, Makena Capital Management, Plains All American Pipeline, and PAA/Vulcan Gas Storage. Prior to Vulcan, Mr. Conn served for seven years in various senior executive roles in the U.S. and Europe with America Online (AOL). He serves on the boards of directors for Charter Communications and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and serves as a member of the advisory council for Truckee Donner Land Trust.

Christine Kehoe, co-chair. Ms. Kehoe is the executive director of the California Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative. She currently serves as Parks Forward Commission co-chair. During 25 years of public service, including 19 years in elected office, Kehoe has focused on developing effective policies and programs over a range of issues at the city and state level. From 2000 to 2012, Ms. Kehoe served in the California state legislature as a member of the Assembly and the state Senate where she distinguished herself as a consensus-minded leader and an advocate for strong energy and environmental policy. She held leadership positions in both houses and chaired the Senate Committee on Appropriations for four years. She served as chair of the Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications for two years. Additionally, Christine served as a member of the transportation committees and the water and resources committees in both the Assembly and the Senate. As a member of the parks, water and resources committees she was a strong advocate for state parks. Her legislation established the San Diego River Conservancy, the first state conservancy in San Diego county. She worked diligently and successfully to protect Anza-Borrego Desert State Park during the planning for Sunrise Powerlink transmission line. Her legislation significantly advanced conservation and efficiency in water and energy use; expanded solar energy programs and the Self Generation Incentive Program; and improved plug-in electric vehicle deployment and advanced renewable energy policy. She chaired the Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Services for several years where she led initiatives to improve fire prevention planning and reduce land development in high fire hazard zones in California. She was first elected to the San Diego City Council in 1993, and was the first member of the gay community to win public office in the county. She served on the California Coastal Commission from 1997 to 2000.

Carolyn Finney, PhD. Dr. Finney is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources. As a geographer, she focuses on exploring how issues of difference influence African Americans’ participation in environmental debate and decision-making. Her research interests revolve around race and resources management, and the aim of her work is to develop greater cultural competency within environmental organizations and institutions, challenge media outlets on the (mis- or non-) representation of “different” folks, and increase awareness of how privilege shapes who gets to speak to environmental issues and determine policy and action. Dr. Finney served on the National Park Service Second Century Commission, is currently chair for the Relevancy Committee on the National Parks Advisory Board, and recently published her first book: Black Faces, White Spaces: African Americans and the Great Outdoors.

Caryl Hart, PhD. Dr. Hart is the director of Sonoma County Regional Parks, a system of more than 50 parks and regional trails. She was a member of the California State Parks Commission, appointed by three successive governors and served from 2000 to 2013. She led the commission as chair for seven years. Dr. Hart co-founded the Sonoma County Parks Alliance, which supports innovative management of state parks in Sonoma County, including management of Annadel State Park by Sonoma County Regional Parks during the budget crisis of 2012-13. Dr. Hart received her doctorate from UC Berkeley, where her focus was on the role of California State Parks in addressing the challenges of climate change, and she returned to UC Berkeley in 2010 as a visiting professor to teach a course on the history and challenges of the California State Park system. She currently serves on the UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources Advisory Board. Dr. Hart acted for 15 years as an advisor to the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, and was a founding member of LandPaths, an environmental land trust and land management non-profit dedicated to maximizing resource conservation while allowing managed public access.

Stephen Lockhart, MD, PhD. Dr. Lockhart is Chief Medical Officer for Sutter Health. He serves on the boards of directors of NatureBridge, REI, and the National Parks Conservation Association.  As a member of the National Park Service Second Century Commission, he advocated for environmental and science education within the national parks. He is an Eagle Scout, a Rhodes Scholar, and an avid mountain climber. In the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Dr. Lockhart participated in a 15-member volunteer surgical medical team that traveled to Haiti to care for earthquake victims, a trip conducted in partnership with Partners in Health.

Michael Lynton. Mr. Lynton is the chief executive officer of Sony Entertainment, Inc. He oversees Sony's global entertainment businesses, including Sony Music Entertainment, Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Sony Pictures Entertainment. He is also chair of the board and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Prior to joining Sony Pictures, Mr. Lynton worked for Time Warner and served as CEO of America Online (AOL) Europe, president of AOL International and president of Time Warner International. From 1996 to 2000, he served as chair of the board and CEO of Pearson plc's Penguin Group, where he oversaw the acquisition of Putnam, Inc. and extended the Penguin brand to music and the Internet. He joined The Walt Disney Company in 1987 and started Disney Publishing, serving as its president. From 1992 to 1996, he served as president of Disney's Hollywood Pictures. Mr. Lynton’s involvement in charitable and civic activities includes membership on the Council on Foreign Relations and service on the boards of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Rand Corporation.

Julie Packard. Ms. Packard is the executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and vice chair of the aquarium's board of trustees. She has directed the organization since it opened in 1984. Her commitment to advancing ocean conservation has been demonstrated through the aquarium and far beyond. She serves on numerous boards including the California Nature Conservancy, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. She was also a member of the Pew Oceans Commission, which in 2003 issued its recommendations for a comprehensive overhaul of national ocean policy. Ms. Packard was the 1998 recipient of the Audubon Medal for Conservation.

Manuel Pastor, PhD. Dr. Pastor is a professor of American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California (USC) where he also serves as director of USC's Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and co-director of USC's Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII). In recent years, his research has focused on the economic, environmental and social conditions facing low-income urban communities in the U.S. Dr. Pastor served as a member of the Commission on Regions, appointed by California’s Speaker of the State Assembly, and is a member of the Building Resilient Regions research network sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation.

John Reynolds. Mr. Reynolds served for 39 years in the National Park Service’s Pacific West and Mid-Atlantic regions. Throughout his career, Mr. Reynolds served as deputy director, regional director, director of the Denver Service Center, superintendent of North Cascades National Park, and assistant superintendent of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. He was executive vice president of the National Park Foundation from 2005 to 2007. Mr. Reynolds currently serves as a board member of the Presidio Trust and the Student Conservation Association; as a member of the Fort Hancock 21st Century Federal Advisory Commission; as a member of North Cascades Institute Advisory Council; as chair of the Flight 93 National Memorial Federal Advisory Commission and as chair of the Captain John Smith National Historic Trail Advisory Council. He is the Commonwealth of Virginia Citizen Representative on the Chesapeake Bay Commission.

Hawk Rosales. Mr. Rosales is the executive director of the InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council. He has worked with the Sinkyone Council since 1990. The council is a non-profit tribal conservation organization of ten federally recognized Northern California tribes revitalizing traditional tribal stewardship through cultural land conservation, habitat rehabilitation, education, and advocacy. In 1997, the council established the first-ever InterTribal Wilderness on 3,845 acres of ancestral Sinkyone land bordering Sinkyone Wilderness State Park. Mr. Rosales directed the council’s acquisition of this land, which is permanently protected by conservation easements—the first such agreements between a tribal entity and private land trusts. His collaborations with California State Parks led to his receipt of the 2008 DeWitt Award for Partnership in recognition of the council’s cultural-natural resource programs. Since 2009, he has coordinated the council’s involvement with the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative, which led to the state’s 2012 recognition and protection of the traditional gathering and fishing rights of north coast tribes. This process involved developing new policies and negotiating a regulatory solution to ensure binding protections for the tribes’ aboriginal rights and continued cultural usage.

Toby Rosenblatt. Mr. Rosenblatt is president and general partner of Founders Investments, Ltd. He is also a director of BlackRock Equity Liquidity Mutual Funds, Forward Management, and the Pherin Corporation. Mr. Rosenblatt has been active in the civic arena, and a trustee of a number of community organizations, for many years. He served as president of the San Francisco City Planning Commission from 1977 to 1988. He has served on the boards of the San Francisco Art Institute, the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Center for the Arts at Yerba Buena, the California Higher Education Policy Center, Sutter Health, the California Pacific Medical Center, and the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. Mr. Rosenblatt was the founding chair of the Presidio Trust and served as chair of the board of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. He currently serves as chair of the Fort Scott Council, a Federal Advisory Committee to the Presidio Trust and as chair of the College Access Foundation of California.

Michael Woo. Mr. Woo is dean of the College of Environmental Design at Cal Poly Pomona. Dean Woo, a Los Angeles native, was the first trained urban planner and the first Asian American elected to serve on the Los Angeles City Council. As the councilman representing the Hollywood area, Woo spearheaded the Hollywood Redevelopment Plan which laid the financial and policy framework for Hollywood’s current revitalization and played a key role choosing the route and station locations for the Metro Red Line subway. During his city council years, Woo initiated action to protect Fryman Canyon from real estate development and turn it into Fryman Canyon Park. He converted surplus Caltrans property in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles into the “Tommy Lasorda Field of Dreams” baseball playing field. He also settled a long-time neighborhood dispute by establishing the city’s first dog park in Laurel Canyon Park. Woo gave up his council seat in 1993 to become one of 24 candidates for Mayor of Los Angeles, eventually reaching second-place in a hotly-contested, nationally-observed run-off election and receiving 46 percent of the citywide vote. Continuing his commitment to public service, Woo served as a member of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission for over six years. In the nonprofit sector, he chairs the board of directors of Smart Growth America, the national coalition advocating compact development patterns and sustainable transportation choices, and the board of directors of Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles (SEE-LA), the organization which runs the Hollywood Farmers Market, the largest certified farmers market in Los Angeles, which he helped to establish 21 years ago when he was a councilman. Prior to assuming his Cal Poly Pomona position, Woo worked as a consultant to Farmlab, an Annenberg Foundation-funded project, developing proposals for alternative uses of the 32-acre “Cornfield” site near downtown Los Angeles now being developed as Los Angeles State Historic Park.