Simone Friedman is the Head of Philanthropy and Impact Investment for EJF Philanthropies, managing grantmaking efforts across sectors, including those related to species conservation and sustainable food systems. As part of her philanthropic work, Simone also serves as the impact producer for documentary films. The film in which she is currently involved, Eating Animals, is the recipient of the 2019 Environmental Media Association Documentary Award.

Prior to her involvement with EJF Philanthropies, Simone founded and later sold an analytics company that used proprietary software to identify trends in patenting. Simone graduated summa cum laude from the George Washington University, and she holds a Master’s of Urban and Environmental Planning degree, with a concentration in Policy Analysis, from the University of Virginia.


Scott McDonald is an independent management consultant and financial advisor specializing in start-up organizations, small non-profits, and social capital investing.

Previously, Scott was the co-founder and executive manager of a national IT consulting firm specializing in mission critical systems for Fortune 100 companies. Currently, he is active in several philanthropic initiatives related to environmental protection and human rights, including Our Children’s Earth Foundation, a charity he co-founded in 2001 that is recognized for its effectiveness in using litigation and advocacy to protect clean air and clean water. Scott has a master’s degree in information systems from the University of Virginia.


John Mitchell is a Managing Partner at Episode Six (E6), a venture that he co-founded with payments industry pioneers. Aside from providing tailored and focused management services, E6 develops advanced payment platform solutions for a broad range of partners.

Prior to E6, John was the Chief Executive Officer of Rêv Worldwide which provides innovative, end-to-end payment solutions to global partners. John was responsible for building Rêv’s global business and operating platform and developing its core product, the world’s first multicurrency travel prepaid loyalty products.

Prior to Rêv, John spent seven years at NetSpend Corporation where he was responsible for shifting NetSpend’s strategy to serving underbanked Americans. He also built the largest sales and distribution network in prepaid payments.

John holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Texas.


Dan has served as the chief executive officer of Global Rescue since he founded the company in 2004. He also serves as the president of Crisis Services Company, a Vermont-based captive insurance company.

In these roles, he has implemented and led risk management and crisis response services for hundreds of organizations during thousands of events worldwide. Daniel has been a featured speaker on CNN, Fox News, NPR, and other major media outlets regarding crisis response, mitigation and travel risk management topics.

Prior to founding Global Rescue, Dan spent a decade in the private equity and financial services industries. He previously worked at the $1.3 billion private equity affiliate of Thomas Weisel Partners and in various positions at Thoma Cressey Equity Partners, Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette and Deutsche Banc Alex Brown. Over the last two decades, he has been involved in financings and private equity investments for more than 30 companies.

Dan is a graduate of Middlebury College where he played football, rugby, and was a competitive powerlifter. He received his MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College where he has served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence.


Wes Sechrest founded GWC and serves as chief scientist and CEO. He leads the organization’s efforts to explore, document, and protect the world’s most endangered species. Wes is a conservation biologist, with a focus on international wildlife conservation. His interests in conservation science vary widely, and include work on threatened species, zoology, protected areas, biodiversity patterns and processes, natural history, environmental science, and the link between academic and applied conservation science. His research focuses on global conservation issues, as well as field-based biodiversity conservation. Wes is an expert on species conservation, and is extensively involved in advancing conservation efforts, particularly for mammals. He has published numerous scientific papers in leading journals including Science, Nature, BioScience, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. His research has been used to set priorities for international conservation to advance protection of the planet’s biodiversity. Additionally, his work has examined the effectiveness of protected areas for species conservation, as well as how to conserve species in areas under high threat from humans and their activities. He has international work experience in more than 25 countries.

Wes also serves on the Global Council of the Amphibian Survival Alliance and is a Zoological Society of London Honorary Conservation Fellow.