Mike Hunninghake, Director, Sustainable Maryland

Prior to joining the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland, Mike was the Director of Communications & Education at Pinelands Preservation Alliance, a state-wide non-profit environmental organization whose mission is protecting and preserving over 1 million acres of the New Jersey Pinelands. In that capacity he also served as a member of the New Jersey Pinelands Commission’s Educational Advisory Council and the Barnegat Bay Partnership’s Communication and Education Committee. Mike was also the founding Chair of a municipal Environmental Commission and a Planning & Zoning Board member in New Jersey, and as a Green Team co-Chair led his town to a Sustainable Jersey certification. Mike currently serves on the board of the Maryland Forestry Foundation. He can be reached by email at or 301-405-7956.

Brandy Espinola, Program Director, Climate Resilence and Sustainability

Brandy Espinola first joined the EFC in 2012 and currently is focused on the Sustainable Maryland program and the Maryland Smart Energy Communities program.  Prior to joining EFC full time, she worked for the Community Foundation of Prince George’s County where she helped to enhance the organization’s fundraising strategy, assisted in the grant-making process to local nonprofits, and supported the foundation’s workforce development initiative. In addition to her background in local philanthropy, Brandy has a strong passion for travel and international development. She has traveled through Peru, Chile, and Argentina and has studied abroad in Indonesia, where she focused on the interconnections between environmental problems and development issues. Through the University of Maryland’s Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, Brandy has worked in Israel, Jordan, and India, where she was able to integrate her passion for philanthropy with her background in environmental sustainability.

Brandy has a Master of Public Policy and a Master of Science in Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology from the University of Maryland. She specializes in Environmental Policy with a focus in Nonprofit Management and Leadership. She can be reached at or 786-458-0534.

Liv Pierce, Program Assistant, Sustainable Maryland

Liv (they/she) has worked in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast addressing community housing insecurity, environmental planning and climate resilience, and food sovereignty. They spent the last year farming on both urban and rural farms, leading education and engagement events on food justice and regenerative agriculture models. She has worked for city, county, state, and federal government entities on community planning initiatives in addition to multiple environmental non-profits and community organizations. Liv graduated from Temple University with a B.S. in Community Development and Planning and a certificate in Graphic Information Systems. They are continuing their education learning more about climate resilience and community care models created by Black and Indigenous communities that integrate ancient and modern practices of stewardship into how communities navigate the climate crisis. In her free time, she is usually found making art or with their hands in the dirt. Liv can be reached by email at or 301-405-9424.

Zoya Raja, Project Assistant


Jackie Medrano-Jimenez, Project Assistant