Charlton "Chuck" Bonham, Chair
Charlton “Chuck” Bonham was appointed as Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and became Chair of the Wildlife Conservation Board effective September 6, 2011. Prior to his appointment as Director of Fish and Wildlife, Mr. Bonham served in a number of roles for Trout Unlimited over ten years, including since 2004 as the organization’s California director.
Mr. Bonham was responsible for developing, managing, and implementing TU's programs in California. These programs include the California Water Project, Sportsmen’s Conservation Project, and restoration and watershed projects in both northern and Southern California. In addition, Mr. Bonham was a senior attorney for the organization.
Mr. Bonham also served on the Board of Directors of the Delta Conservancy, whose mission is to conserve, sustain and enhance the cultural, agricultural, recreational, wildlife and natural habitat resources of the River Delta region, as well as develop and promote sustainable protection, management and stewardship programs through research and education.
Mr. Bonham received his J.D. and Environmental and Natural Resources Law Certificate from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College, in Portland, Oregon. Before Trout Unlimited, he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, West Africa, and an instructor and guide at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, in Bryson City, N.C.
Mr. Bonham brings a diverse background and a longstanding appreciation for the outdoors to the position.
Samantha Murray was elected as President of the California Fish and Game Commission and Member of the Wildlife Conservation Board in February 2022. Samantha is the Executive Director of the Master of Advanced Studies Program in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, where she also teaches graduate courses, including Ocean Law and Policy. Samantha has nearly two decades of professional experience and has directed ocean and water programs at Ocean Conservancy, the Audubon Society and Oregon Environmental Council, in addition to founding a marine policy consulting business. She was appointed to and served on the Marine Protected Area Federal Advisory Committee (2014-2018), the West Coast Governors Alliance Ocean Data Portal Action Coordination Team (2012-2013) and various Marine Life Protection Act Initiative bodies (2007-2012). Samantha has served on the board at San Diego Coastkeeper, Upstream Public Health (Portland, OR) and Citizens for East Shore Parks (Albany, CA). Samantha holds a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School, where she was awarded a Certificate in Natural Resources and Environmental Law. She is committed to antiracism, inclusion and equitable impacts of public policy.
Samantha grew up in a small town in Minnesota on the Mississippi River. In her youth, she fished from a modest boathouse built by her father, who also hunted for ducks, pheasants and deer. She continues to enjoy fishing as an adult, as well as any time spent outdoors or on the water.
Joe Stephenshaw was appointed as Director of the California Department of Finance by Governor Newsom in July of 2022. In this role, he serves as the Governor’s Chief Fiscal Policy Advisor. Prior to his appointment, Stephenshaw served in Governor Newsom’s Office as a Senior Counselor on Infrastructure and Fiscal Affairs.
Stephenshaw was Staff Director for the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee from 2017 to 2022. He held multiple positions in the California Legislature from 2008 to 2017, including serving as a Policy Consultant in the Office of the Senate President pro Tempore, a Special Advisor to the Speaker of the Assembly, and as a Budget Consultant for both the Assembly Budget Committee and the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee. Stephenshaw was a Budget Analyst for the California Department of Finance from 2005 to 2008.
Stephenshaw is a graduate of Menlo College with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He also earned a Master of Business Administration degree from California State University, Sacramento.
Alina Bokde, Vice Chair
Alina Bokde was appointed to the Wildlife Conservation Board by the Governor in February 2018. Alina serves as the Deputy Director of the Planning and Development Agency for Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation. In this capacity, Alina oversees planning environmental permitting, land management & compliance, landscape architecture & design, water & environmental conservation initiatives for 179 park facilities and nearly 300 miles of trails spanning over 29,000 acres throughout Los Angeles County.
Prior to joining Los Angeles County, Alina served as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust. She was responsible for overseeing the development of community green spaces in underserved neighborhoods, as well as working to create park equity through public policy and replicable models to address systemic change. Key to the Land Trust’s work is community organizing to engage residents as urban conservation stewards in creating and managing parks and gardens.
Damon Nagami was appointed to the Wildlife Conservation Board by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon in August 2021. He is a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council and director of NRDC’s Southern California Ecosystems Project, which focuses on increasing equitable access to nature for low-income communities of color and protecting open space and wildlife habitat across Southern California. Damon also serves as the board chair of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, an equity-focused organization that has helped create 29 parks and gardens since 2002, serving more than 400,000 Angelenos annually, and as co-chair of the Los Angeles County Community Prevention and Population Health Task Force, which advises county officials on public health priorities and practices that will achieve health equity and healthy communities.
Damon holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. from the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law. He lives in Los Angeles and enjoys fishing in the Eastern Sierra, singing, and playing music in his family band.
Kathryn Phillips was appointed to the Wildlife Conservation Board by Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins in August 2021. Phillips is an environmental policy advocate who retired in 2021 as director of Sierra Club California, where she served as the lead lobbyist and policy advocate in Sacramento for Sierra Club in California. Before that, she worked for Environmental Defense Fund for seven years as a director of its program addressing air pollution and transportation in California, and for the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies for three years as a policy advisor.
Environmental advocacy has been a second career for Phillips. She previously worked for nearly 20 years as a journalist, wrote for newspapers and magazines and published two books about environmental topics—Tracking the Vanishing Frogs and Paradise by Design.
She has broad interests in environmental issues and has engaged in her career, either as a journalist or as an advocate, in dozens of environmental policy issues impacting California.
Phillips is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in history. She also earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and a master’s degree in public policy from UCLA.
Fran Pavley was appointed to the Wildlife Conservation Board by the Governor in February 2018. Prior to that she was elected to serve 14 years in the State Legislature. She served in the Assembly (2000-2006) as Chair of the Budget Subcommittee, 3 on Natural Resources and Transportation. In the State Senate, she was appointed to serve as the Chair of the Natural Resources and Water Committee from 2008-2016. She successfully led the legislature on water, air quality, natural resource protection, and climate change policies during her terms in office. Four of the 160 laws she authored include the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and AB 1493 (vehicle emission standards), as well as AB 32 and SB 32 greenhouse gas emission reduction targets laws that have created markets for new clean energy technologies.
Prior to serving in the State legislature, Fran served as the first Mayor of her hometown in Agoura Hills, an appointed member to the California Coastal Commission, and a member of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Advisory Committee. Currently, former Senator Pavley serves as an Environmental Consultant, and the Environmental Policy Director for the USC Schwarzenegger Institute where she continues to work on climate and water related policies. She also is a member of the board of the UCLA Law School Emmet Climate Center and CAL Clean Energy Fund.
Fran graduated from CSU Fresno and has a Master's Degree in Environmental Planning from CSU Northridge. She and her husband, Andy, were both middle school teachers and still live in Agoura Hills, where they raised two children and four guide dogs.