Our Team

We are a group of organizations from around the world committed to help others break free from plastic!

Europe

Antoinette Vermillye

Co-Founder, Gallifrey Foundation
Switzerland, Europe

Antoinette has specialised on communications, marketing, graphic and interior design. She is passionate about marine conservation issues and has been an active participant in supporting the work of the IUCN, International Union for the Conversation of Nature. This includes a baseline study of marine plastics in the Azores, public awareness and action to reduce marine plastics in the Maldives and a study of micro-plastics in the oceans. She leads the Foundation’s Marine Plastics programme and the impact of plastics on human health.

Contact: antoinette@gallifrey.foundation

John Vermillye

Co-Founder, Gallifrey Foundation
Switzerland, Europe

A graduate of Harvard University and alumnus of the London Business School, John’s career has been built around the airline industry. He is the owner and Chairman of Travel Sentry which sets standards for the luggage and airline industry and provides solutions which benefit passengers, airlines, airports, security agencies and customs. John has been active in marine conservation issues since co-founding the Mare Nostrum Foundation in the 1980s and serves on the Board of Sylvia Earle’s Mission Blue.

Contact: john@gallifrey.foundation

Emily van de Geer

Education Manager, Surfers Against Sewage
United Kingdom, Europe

As Education Manager at Surfers Against Sewage, Emily oversees the strategic development and implementation of the organisation’s Education Programmes including the hugely successful nationwide Plastic Free Schools programme and Ocean School environmental education initiative.

Contact: emily@sas.org.uk

North America

Young Grguras

Campaign Director, Post-Landfill Action Network
USA, North America

Young graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2019 with a dual degree in environmental studies and ecology and evolution. While in undergrad, they organized on the Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign (check out Fossil Free Pitt on facebook), and worked as a Sustainability Program associate for the university. Young’s most recent involvement with the Beaver Cracker Plant in PA lead them to apply for the BFFP position, and they are excited to advocate for a brighter, plastic-free, future.

Contact: Young@postlandfill.org

Julia Cohen

Co-Founder & Managing Director, Plastic Pollution Coalition
USA, North America

Julia Cohen is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Plastic Pollution Coalition, based in Washington, D.C. Julia has nearly three decades of experience in leading executive, strategic, communications, fundraising, and outreach efforts for a wide range of government, entertainment, and non-profit groups. She has served in leadership positions with numerous organizations, including Environmental Working Group (EWG), Woman’s National Democratic Club (WNDC), MADE SAFE, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), Save The Children’s YouthNoise, Youth Vote Coalition, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), Rock The Vote, and as a Program Officer, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, US State Department. Julia has spoken at corporate headquarters, political conventions, and international conferences and symposia. She serves on the US convening team of the Break Free From Plastic movement. She is the recipient of the Leadership Award from Four Generation of Leaders in Clean Energy & Sustainable Solutions. She holds a BA in Modern Society and Social Thought from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Masters in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact: julia@plasticpollutioncoalition.org

Dan Xie

Political Director, Student PIRGS
USA, North America

Dan directs the national political strategy and grant fundraising for the Student PIRGs. Dan has managed successful campaigns from coast to coast to cap global warming pollution, fight the high cost of higher education, and make voting more accessible for students. She has recruited and trained hundreds of students and staff on public interest campaigns and got her start as an intern with CALPIRG Students. Dan lives in St. Petersburg, Fla., where she is an avid cyclist and climber.

Contact: dan@studentpirgs.org

Latin America

María José García Bellalta

Presidenta Directorio, Fundación El Árbol
Chile, Latin America

María Jose García, Arquitecta de profesión, Magister en sustentabilidad y energías renovables, Diplomada en Urbanismo sustentable. Fundadora y presidenta de Fundación El Árbol.

Contact: mariajose@fudacionelarbol.cl

Global

Tiara Samson

Plastic-free Campus Coordinator, Break Free From Plastic
Manila, Philippines

Tiara is the Plastic-free Campus Coordinator of the Break Free From Plastic Movement, where she works with organizations, individuals, and schools from around the world to help them move away from single-use plastics and assist them in implementing alternative systems. Prior to Break Free From Plastic, Tiara worked as a producer for documentary films in the Philippines. She is now working full-time to help campuses and future leaders to curb the use of SUPs and to help them create bigger impact on a global scale.

Contact: tiara@breakfreefromplastic.org

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