top of page

EARTH day 2021 Speaker bios


David has been speaking and consulting with groups and organizations for over 35 years. His love affair with personal growth and leadership began with his participation in INSIGHT SEMINARS over 30 years ago. Although, at the time, he was involved in a successful professional acting career, where he appeared in over 150 tv shows and films, David became an Insight facilitator. To date, David has facilitated hundreds of Insight Seminars for adults, teenagers and children throughout the world. Additionally, David began working in the public education arena by co-creating the ACE program for high school students (Achievement and Commitment to Excellence) and becoming an Educare instructor. David is a personal coach as well as corporate consultant and has also worked with at-risk youth in correctional facilities. David also co-created the ‘Break-Through Seminar for Artists’. In 2016 David joined
Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global Facilitator team and since then has worked with successful companies around the world teaching their leadership how to Thrive. David is passionate about helping people create a life they
absolutely love.



Forest Ecosystems and Society Oregon State University
Phone: (541)-760-9798;

Dr. Badege Bishaw is Senior Instructor and Program Director, Sustainable Natural Resources and Forests and Climate Change Graduate Programs in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, College of forestry, Oregon State University. He was the Director of the International Programs, College of Forestry at Oregon State University from July 2004 to June 2007. He was also the Director of the Masters of Natural Resources graduate program from 2010-2018.

Education: Dr. Bishaw was educated in Africa, Europe and the United States. He has over 35 years of experience in forestry, natural resources and agriculture education, research, outreach and administration. He received his Ph.D. in 1993 from Oregon State University in Forest Resources and an MS in 1985 from the University of Dresden, Germany in Tropical Forestry, and a B.Sc. in Plant Sciences 1979 from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.

● Experience in Administration: Dr. Bishaw has substantial experience in project management and program administration working nationally and internationally. He has been involved with program visioning and directing the education, research, and outreach activities of the International program in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University. He served as the director of International Programs for the College of Forestry from July 2004 to June 2007. He also worked as Project Co-director for two USAID-funded higher education partnerships between Oregon State University and universities and national research institutions in South Africa and Ethiopia. He has served as Chair of the Faculty of Forestry at the Alemaya University of Agriculture in Ethiopia from 1987 to1989. He also served as Program Director for the Master of Natural Resources (9/2010-1/2018). Currently, he is the Director for the Sustainable Natural Resources and the Forests and Climate Change Graduate Certificates at OSU.

● Teaching Experience: Dr. Bishaw has been involved in teaching courses in International Forestry, Agroforestry and Sustainable Natural Resources at Oregon State University and universities in South Africa and Ethiopia. He was involved in developing curricula for forestry, agroforestry and natural resource programs for universities in the U.S., South Africa and Ethiopia. He has been involved in graduate program development in the Sustainable Natural Resources Graduate Certificate, the Master of Natural Resources degree program at OSU taught entirely online. Recently the Forests and Climate Change Graduate Certificate taught online through OSU. He has taught over 2000+ undergraduate students, and advised and served as major and co-major advisor for 40 MS, MNR and Ph.D. graduate students.

● Research and Outreach activities: Dr. Bishaw has been involved in forestry and agroforestry research funded by state and federal agencies in Oregon and other parts of the U.S. Dr. Bishaw has participated in research, outreach, formal instruction and program development in South Africa, Ethiopia and southern Africa (Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia) with funding from the USAID. These projects have an outreach programs to address food security, watershed management, poverty alleviation and land degradation in South Africa, Ethiopia and southern Africa. Currently, he leads a collaborative project between the World Agroforestry Center and OSU. He served as President of the Association for Temperate Agroforestry (AFTA) in North America (2017-2019). Currently, President, Ethiopian Environment and Sustainable Development Council a U.S. based NGO.

● Publications, book chapters and Abstracts: I have published over 30 referred and peer reviewed articles, 4 book chapters, and 10 non-referred publications. I have attended many national and international conferences, organized national and international conferences and presented 3 invited papers and 9 volunteer papers in many of these conferences.

badege photo.png



Ashton, MD 20861


Dr. Negussie Nega possesses in-depth knowledge and experiences combining environmental science with economics. He was a Senior Policy and Science Advisor with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  He also served the EPA as a Regional Team Leader responsible for resource allocation assisting the Agency's ten active regions, and as an Environmental Economist with the Office of Radiation and Indoor Air. While he was with the Office of Air and Radiation, he led multidisciplinary environmental scientists and engineers. He conducted a study that helped the EPA's significant rulemaking that limited radionuclide levels in drinking water.  As a result of his dynamic team leadership, Negussie received EPA's highest medal of excellence award. His service with the EPA spanned over 20-years at a GS-15 level, the federal government's highest civil service rank. 

Negussie's previous occupations included Chief Strategic Planner with the District of Columbia, Research Associate with the Urban Institute, Statistician, and Economic Development Analyst with Association on Third World Affairs. Negussie has over 30-years of government and private sector experience.  For his dedication and public service, Negussie has received various awards, including the Theodore Higgins Public Service Award, the highest capital city service award, from the Mayor of the District of Columbia.

Currently, he works as a private consultant with various U.S. and international organizations advising on climate change protection and clean energy development techniques drawing from his EPA experience. He is also a member of the Ethiopian Environmental and Sustainable Development Council (EESDC), as a GERD team leader. 

As a scholarship student from Ethiopia, Negussie earned his education at Carroll College, Helena, Montana, and at the American University, Washington, D.C. His doctoral dissertation using regression and correlation analysis focused on the multidisciplinary team managing public water systems under the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). His work published by ProQuest, the leading international dissertation publishing company, is available online. Negussie has also received training, including environmental science and cost-benefit analysis at Harvard University School of Public Health, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Superfund environmental waste management at EPA training center, and team leadership and conflict management at the federal training facility in Shepherdstown, Virginia.

Negussie is a community activist and the founder of the "One Ethiopia" movement in North America, a movement dedicated to promoting unity, peace, and democracy in Ethiopia. As founder and president of One Ethiopia movement, in 1991, Negussie, along with his co-organizers, led the largest ever recorded demonstration of Ethiopians in the Diaspora yearning for democracy and the rule of law in their motherland.   In the past, Negussie facilitated meetings between U.S. Senators, House of Representatives, and the State Department with notable Ethiopian politicians and lobbied successfully to release political prisoners in Ethiopia. He has received accolades from the Ethiopian Diaspora group for his dedication and tireless contributions to civil rights. Negussie is a lifelong civil rights advocate and environmentalist.

Negussie resides in Ashton, Maryland, with his wife, Almaz Dama, and two sons Naod Negussie Nega 24, a Harvard University Law School student, and Yabtamer Negussie Nega, 15, a Spring Brook High School student.




Barry Simon was born and raised in Portland, Oregon.  Attended the University of Oregon and graduated from Portland State University, majoring in business and psychology.


Barry has always been committed to making the world a better place.  That commitment is enhanced through his community service work as a volunteer.  Barry currently serves as the President of the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA, a 501c3) Southern California Division, working with the 12 local chapters throughout Southern California.  The UNA-USA is committed to educating the community about the importance of a strong UN/US relationship, and advocating on behalf of the mission of the UN.  The UNA-USA is dedicated to educating, inspiring and mobilizing Americans to support the principles and vital work of the United Nations, promoting constructive U S leadership in that system, and the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals (the SDGs).


Professionally, Barry provides full service investment management to individuals and businesses as an independent investment consultant affiliated with Wedbush Securities, Inc.  Barry lives in Santa Monica, CA and enjoys golf, riding his bike, yoga, politics, and personal growth and development seminars.  He can be reached by email:




Seifu Ibssa was born in Acheber, Ethiopia, a small village about 100 miles south-west of Addis Ababa.  He started out as a shepherd boy and later began a formal education at age 12 with the help of his father, who saw the potential in the boy.  After completing 12th grade, he enrolled at a local business school where he received an associate degree in Accounting.  He migrated to the United States in 1982, and continued his education earning a degree in Business Administration from San Jose State University.  He has a consulting business, advising businesses on a Financial System called PeopleSoft and lives in the Sacramento area with his wife and four children.

Seeing first-hand how education opens doors to many opportunities, Ibssa established a non-profit organization, East African Village Outreach (EAVO) and independently built 6 preschools, 2 elementary schools and built a high school in partnership with the District government.  Ibssa also recognized the result of negative environmental impact if the population continues to grow and cut the remaining vegetation in his village.  Through a college program, he was able to send more than 200 students to college, 74 of whom graduated and are now productive citizens throughout Ethiopia, relieving the forested land from getting cut to settle those 74 graduates.

Seifu's photo.jpg
bottom of page