About Us

Kerry C. Duggan

Founder & CEO

Kerry C. Duggan (she/her) is a sustainability expert, national political advisor, climatech executive, and former climate advisor to President Joe Biden. Known as “climate MacGyver”, Duggan is the founder and CEO of SustainabiliD, leading a team of cross-sector connectors and change agents. SustainabiliD is a woman-owned strategic advisory firm working with game changers to equitably solve the climate crisis. They find and drive creative ways to implement equitable clean energy principles into actionable climate policy, processes, and projects.

Duggan is a Board Director of Perma-Fix (NASDAQ: PESI) and a senior advisor at RockCreek. She also sits on several corporate advisory boards, including Our Next Energy (ONE), Aclima, Inc., Walker-Miller Energy Services, Arctaris Impact Investors, and BlueConduit. She was named the founding director of the University of Michigan’s SEAS Sustainability Clinic in Detroit.

Duggan is an appointee to the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board (SEAB) under Secretary Jennifer Granholm, as well as an appointee to the State of Michigan’s Council on Climate Solutions under Governor Gretchen Whitmer. In 2020, Duggan served on the Biden-Harris Transition Team and on the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force as one of Biden’s five delegates alongside Gina McCarthy and Sec. John Kerry. From 2010 to 2017, Duggan worked in the White House as a senior policy advisor for then-Vice President Biden and as deputy director of the Detroit task force. Earlier in the Obama-Biden administration, she held several senior roles at the Department of Energy.

After her time in public service, Duggan returned to Detroit and co-founded the Smart Cities Lab and was a Partner with the Honorable Thomas J. Ridge’s firm. She was named to the prestigious “40 Under 40” list by Crain’s Detroit Business in 2018, as well as their inaugural class of “Notable Leaders in Sustainability” in 2022.

Duggan earned her BS from University of Vermont and her MS from University of Michigan. Kerry currently resides in Detroit, Michigan with her husband and two young children.

She has been written about in The New York Time, CNN, E&E News, Bloomberg, Crain’s Detroit Business, The Detroit NEws, The Detroit Free Press, Vox, Huffington Post, Scientific America, GreentechMedia, Inside Climate News, The Japan Times, Grist, WDET, and Politico.

Our Team

Meghan Hays (she/her)

Chief Communications Strategist

Meghan is a seasoned communications executive with a 20-year portfolio of success leading communications strategies, media relations, public engagements, brand messaging, and other initiatives across corporations and the highest levels of government, often in politically sensitive and consequential situations.

Hays has spent a collective 10 years as a key communications leader working for President Joe Biden throughout his time as Vice President, a presidential candidate, and now President.

Hays served in the Biden White House as a Special Assistant to the President and Director of Message Planning, orchestrating a strategic message schedule of the President’s public engagements, events, media interviews, and more to reach the American public and advance his agenda. Before that, Meghan served as the Executive Director of Enterprise Communications at MGM Resorts International, leading communications strategy for the CEO as well as other C-Suite executives. She previously worked in then-Vice President Biden’s office at the White House as the Assistant Director of Communications.

Meghan lives in the Cleveland Park neighborhood in Washington, DC and enjoys spending time with friends and family.

Sarah Berlenbach (she/her)

Chief Operating Officer

Sarah is a domestic policy advisor, political strategist, and executive leadership consultant based in New York City. Most recently, Sarah spent nearly three years as the Senior Advisor to the CEO of Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y., a safety-net academic health system in the hardest-hit borough of New York City.

Sarah joined Montefiore after co-founding an economic policy consulting firm in November 2017 with economist Ben Harris. At the firm, Cherrydale Strategies, she served as the Managing Director of the firm. During that time, Sarah was named among 40 Under 40 New York City Rising Stars by City & State Magazine.

Sarah was previously the Director of External Affairs for the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center. As the company’s first hire in that role, Sarah set the company’s government affairs agenda, hired and oversaw a team of lobbyists, and served as the policy adviser to the CEO and senior leadership of the company.

Prior, Sarah served as Vice President Biden’s Associate Director for Policy at the White House. She held a number of roles in the Office of Vice President Biden from September 2014 through the end of the Obama Administration in January 2017. Earlier, Sarah worked at Everytown for Gun Safety and served in the Office of New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

She earned her B.A. in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where her senior thesis studied the intrastate geographic disparities of capital punishment. 

In her off-hours, Sarah is most likely to be found on a tennis court, listening to the Rolling Stones or re-watching Curb Your Enthusiasm alongside her beloved cat, Junot, who was adopted from New Orleans in 2018, and exploring the newest local restaurants in her home borough of Brooklyn.

Marseille Allen (she/her)

Chief of Staff-Director of Belonging (DEIA Leader)

Marseille currently serves as the Senior Political Advisor for the Michigan Democratic Party. She previously served as the Special Advisor to the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service at the Department of Labor and was a Michigan civil servant for nearly 15 years, with two years as a labor lobbyist.

As an advocate for underserved communities and a trusted political advisor, Marseille assisted the Biden-Harris transition and served as a State of Michigan elector. Marseille is the co-founder the Sixth Circuit Combat Veterans Treatment Court and The Warriors Trust Fund, and presently serves on the boards of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, and Women’s Campaign International.

Marseille is a graduate of Wellesley College (BA) and Wayne State University (MA).

Mallak Beydoun

Senior Policy Director

Mallak Beydoun has worked in the governmental arena for more than a decade, building a reputation as a top-tier strategist with strong judgement and a record of success.

Her ability to build coalitions, develop relationships and manage public sector projects has made her a sought-after expert for public, private, and government entities.

Currently, she serves as Senior Policy Strategist with SustainabiliD.  Beydoun provides strategic counsel and implementation support on a variety of legislative and policy initiatives.

Throughout her career, Beydoun has supported and executed several campaigns in Wayne County, including the successful 2021 reelection campaign of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. She also worked with Biden for President as a member of both the Michigan Leadership team and the National Policy Team- 21st Century Government.

Beydoun studied policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy as well as economics at the University of Michigan

Elizabeth “Betsy” Palazzola (she/her)

Senior Policy & Strategy Provider

Betsy puts her passions around housing security and climate change resilience to work at SustainabiliD, where she is currently focused on developing innovative strategies to reduce cost of living and increase public health through energy efficiency and home repair.

This work is supported by her nearly ten year tenure with the City of Detroit’s Housing and Revitalization Department, where she manages public infrastructure projects and navigates the intricacies of Community Development Block Grants in order to maximize public benefit and foster community resiliency.

Aside from work, Betsy enjoys life outdoors in Michigan and can be found trail running, kayaking the Detroit River, and working to restore her 100 year old home in Detroit’s historic Jefferson Chalmers community.

Cara Dietz (she/they)

Chief Impact Officer & Policy Advisor

Cara has experience in carbon accounting, visual data analysis, landscape design, and sustainable strategy. Previously, Cara spent her time working with the City of Detroit, aided in community outreach and communications first with the Detroit Land Bank, and next with the Office of Sustainability as they developed their Sustainability Action Agenda.

In 2020 Cara was an environmental policy advisor for Oakland County Commissioner Charlie Cavell’s campaign.

Dietz graduated Smith College with a B.A. in Environmental Science and Policy and a minor in Landscape Studies. She is Chief of Staff certified through the McChrystal Academy.

Meghan Monaghan

Policy Advisor

Meghan’s interests lie in cultivating sustainable and equitable food, water, and education systems across Michigan. She currently works as a Policy Advisor for SustainabiliD and as an AmeriCorps Food Education Service Member. In her AmeriCorps role, she teaches hands-on garden and nutrition lessons to elementary students to lay the foundation of healthy and sustainable eating. She also serves as a liaison between cafeteria staff and local farmers to increase access to nourishing, locally-sourced school meals throughout Northern Michigan. Prior work experiences include positions with Detroit-based nonprofits, local food hubs, and the Water Center of the Graham Sustainability Institute.

Meghan graduated from the University of Michigan in 2022 with a Dual B.S. in Biology, Health & Society and Spanish, as well as a minor through Michigan’s Program in the Environment.

Kylie Martin (she/her)

Chief Financial Officer

Kylie has spent the majority of her career in the manufacturing industry working for two of the largest companies in Michigan – Ford Motor Company and Whirlpool Corporation. She has worked in Product Development, Corporate Finance, Operations, and Parts Supply and Logistics.

She is skilled at analyzing investment objectives and managing critical business and financial initiatives. In the community, Kylie mentored students at the Henry Ford Academy, directed Ford Outfitters Finance Community Service Program, and was a member of the Whirlpool Inclusion Council and Engagement/Transformation Team.

Kylie holds a BA in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Erin Duggan (she/her)

Executive Assistant to the CEO

Erin is an experienced manager, having run and supported various roles throughout her career. As a previous homemaker, she recently returned to work after seeing her youngest of three off to full-time school.

Her local family heritage, upbringing in and around the city, and attending Schoolcraft College & Wayne State University are all driving forces behind her love and support for Detroit. 

Erin is a natural connector and adaptor, having worked in administration, special education, and managing a 15-child daycare program. Erin has been with SustainabiliD since January 2022.

Samantha Kennedy (she/her)

Communications Advisor

Samantha is a communications and political professional currently working at a public relations firm in addition to her role at SustainabiliD. Kennedy has done media and press work for Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the Iowa Democratic Party, and GPS Impact, a DC-based digital campaign services firm.

A native Michigander, Kennedy holds a BA in Public Policy from the University of Michigan Ford School. While she is not campaigning, Samantha enjoys biking, practicing yoga, and plant-based cooking.

Maura Sanders (she/her)

Operations Advisor

Maura draws on 20+ years of experience working in community planning and development, real estate, logistics and operations. Maura has over seven years of military/federal service with a significant amount of time working for and with the United States Marine Corps Logistics Command including logistics data management and heavy equipment asset management.

Maura earned her Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from the University of North Carolina – Wilmington and her Bachelor of Science in Oceanography from the United States Naval Academy. Maura is also a licensed real estate broker in Michigan with memberships in both the Michigan Association of REALTORS and the National Association of REALTORS with Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR) and Military Relocation Professional (MRP) designations.