Leading a local community in appreciating, understanding, and protecting birds and their natural habitats.





Rod Brown, President:  Rod practices environmental law at the Cascadia Law Group PLLC. In the late 1980s he helped lead the environmental community’s successful campaign for Initiative 97, which created our state’s Superfund cleanup law. In the 1990s he served as the environmental representative on the Growth Strategies Commission, which led to the creation of the Growth Management Act. He has also served as the environmental representative on the Regulatory Reform Task Force, the Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation, and the Climate Action Team. Most recently, he co-chaired Governor Inslee’s Carbon Emissions Reduction Task Force. He is an enthusiastic birder, traveling around the US and the world to look at birds and their habitats. (His current favorite bird is the African Pygmy Kingfisher, which he saw in Uganda this year.) He volunteers for the Puget Sound Seabird Survey, and tries to become a better birder by taking Seattle Audubon classes.

Diane de Ryss, Vice-President: Diane has extensive experience in management and strategic planning from a career spanning for-profit start-ups and non-profit management.  She has worked for the past 11 years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is currently the Director of Grants & Contracts Services. Diane discovered birding 20 years ago when two dear friends invited her husband and her to go for a bird walk. It took that one experience—and a sighting of a yellow-headed blackbird at the Union Bay Natural Area—to get them hooked. Diane is a member of the Nature Conservancy, the National Audubon Society and SAS, including recent work on our strategic planning committee. She has a JD from USC and two BAs from the UW, including a year of intensive study at Universit√© Lavel in Quebec. She is an avid gardener and pretty darn good photographer.

Susan Marks, Treasurer: Susan is a CPA and an Audit Principal with McDonald Jacobs, P.C., with over thirty years of experience as an auditor and practicing accountant, specializing in the nonprofit industry.  She splits her time between Portland, for work, and Kirkland, where her husband and cat reside (with a biweekly commute between Portland and Seattle by train). Susan also serves as Treasurer for Bicycle Transportation Alliance (Portland). Susan received a BS degree in business administration/accounting from Oregon State University. 

Jill Ericsson, Secretary: Jill credits her interest in birds to watching her mother keep local, seasonal bird lists for more than five decades. Jill is a trained architect and runs her own business, which provides computer services to the design community. While engaged in a broad range of projects, she particularly enjoys working on habitat restoration.  A Nature Shop volunteer for the past seven years, Jill finds the wide variety of interests, questions, and sightings that she encounters at the shop a rewarding and educational experience.

Seattle Audubon is nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. Copyright Seattle Audubon.