Transition US is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves as the official national hub for the Transition Movement here in the United States. Founded with great help from Post Carbon Institute in 2009 and governed by a Memorandum of Understanding with the international Transition Network. Our Board of Directors oversees the organization’s financial health and strategic development, while four part-time staff members run operations.
We envision a just world where humanity lives in harmony with nature and cultivates regenerative systems for all aspects of living. We envision communities (everywhere) who are co creating healthy, healing, and connected ways of thriving on (the) Earth.
The mission of Transition US is to catalyze, coordinate, and support a national network of grassroots groups who are actively cultivating just, resilient, and regenerative communities.
Executive Director & Strategic Partnerships Lead
Jess Alvarez-Parfrey, (she/they), California
Media & Grassroots Engagement
Elvia Cruz-Garcia, (she/her), California
Alex Zubia, (he/him), California
Alex Zubia, who goes by “Xef” is a Chef by trade. Born and raised in Fresno, CA (yokuts Land). Alex attended The California Culinary Academy in San Francisco (Ramaytush Ohlone land) in 2007. His passion for cooking came with his passion for eating. From 2008-2015 he worked at Community Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Room as a Patient Liaison. During that time he witnessed people from his community dying from diet related issues. That realization led him to opening his food truck, which focused on healthier, farm to fork versions of familiar foods. In 2015, Alex moved to Santa Barbara (Chumash Land) to further his skills as a chef. There, he discovered that so much of the beautiful produce he was cooking with came from Fresno. He wondered why he never saw all this produce available in Fresno. Alex moved back to his hometown in 2021 to fight for food justice as a Food Sovereignty Director at Fresno Barrios Unidos. Alex’s goal is to bring his community back to eating and cooking their indigenous foods which are so plentiful in the Central Valley.
Community Projects & Bioregional Hub Development
Storytelling & Weaving
Gabriela Silva Hernandez, (they/she), California
Gabi (they/she) is deeply rooted in community, self-love, and practicing holistic sustainability. Growing up in alternative economy structures, they realized how pivotal community is in addressing and meeting the needs of one another through non-extractive exchanges. They have three years of experience in working with unions, founded a local community pantry in Isla Vista, and facilitated healing spaces for LGBTQ and misogyny-affected people. Through their work, they have brought attention to issues of gender-based violence that exists internationally, held space for mutual exchange of support, and fought the greediness of large corporations and institutions.
They believe that the first step in creating a more equitable and regenerative future is imagination, because “para soñar es vivir”(in order to live, one must dream first). Having collaborated with people from all walks of life in political, healing, and creative spaces, they realize how vital storytelling is in understanding one another as well as envisioning transformative change.
They aim to create intentional space that uplifts stories and ideas as to what a liberated future will be.
In doing this work, they ground themselves through meditative practices such as yoga, meditation, and nourishing their body with what Earth graciously offers.
With a B.A in Black Studies from UCSB, they have devoted themselves to a life-long commitment in dismantling oppressive systems and institutions whilst incorporating healing and joy going forward.
Education & Media
Anthony (Tony) Barbero (he/him), California
Anthony (Tony) Barbero is a UCSB alumni, horticulturist, restoration ecologist, and environmental activist from San Francisco, California. He has worked in regenerative agriculture, environmental education, and the solar energy field, both as an installer and energy efficiency analyst. He currently lives in Isla Vista, where he founded the Isla Vista Food Forest.
Board of Directors
Ana Rosa Rizo-Centino, California
Ana Rosa Rizo-Centino is the Network Coordinator for the Central Coast Climate Justice Network. Ana Rosa graduated from UC Santa Barbara and has worked locally, statewide and nationally on many social justice efforts such as language justice, educational access, governmental transparency, support for working families and environmental justice issues, like ensuring everyone has clean drinking water. Ana Rosa continues this work through her involvement in developing a Central Coast Grassroots Green New Deal, her position on The City of Santa Barbara Creeks Commission, her role as vice president of the Santa Barbara (SB) County Outreach and Equity Commission for the SB countywide climate action plan, her radio show called ¡Que Madre! on KZAA 96.5fm, her roles on several non-profit boards, such as SB CAN and La Casa de la Raza. She also serves as the president of the Central Coast Environmental Voters (formerly CCLCV). Last, but definitely not least, she is the proud mami of two daughters: Adela Susana & Gloria Jin-Ni.
Nathan Lou, California
Nathan was born and raised in San Diego and has completed an AS in Agriculture from Yuba College, and BS in Natural Resources, with special emphasis in Fish and Wildlife Conservation, from Oregon State University. With over 15 years of cultivation experience, Nathan has developed a passion for agro-ecology and agro-forestry. Nathan is the co-founder and executive director of Mongol Tribe, a community and capacity building 501c3 focused on bridging health and wellness with civic ecology. With pillars in co-operative development, regenerative practices, and education, Mongol Tribe is cultivating urban food forests and seed libraries for its Food & Medicine Sovereignty Program. Mongol Tribe is in the process of developing an edible urban forest that will host an apprenticeship program with an emphasis on traditional ecological knowledge and regenerative agriculture practices. Nathan is currently working on Palomar Mountain performing vegetative surveying for forest health, primarily studying the oak trees and relevant ethnobotanicals as part of Mongol Tribe’s Natural Land Management Program.
Meleiza Figueroa, California
Mel Figueroa brings nearly 15 years of expertise and experience in traditional ecological knowledge and community-based natural resource management to her work as the Conservation Director for California Open Lands. A PhD Candidate in Geography at UC Berkeley, she has conducted fieldwork with traditional communities in North and South America, including in the lower Amazon River basin studying traditional agroforestry and burning practices to create the carbon-rich, biochar-based anthropogenic soils known as terra preta. For the last three years in Butte County, she has worked closely with Ali Meders-Knight to create a Tribal TEK certification and workforce development program, as well as partner with local and federal agencies on planning, project development, and contracting for Tribally led restoration, fuels management, and climate adaptation projects throughout the northern Sierra Nevada region. Mel and Ali are strong policy advocates for the inclusion of TEK and Tribal co-stewardship in public lands management throughout California, serving on an advisory committee for the US Forest Service Tribal Relations Strategic Planning Team in Region 5, which collaborates with Tribal practitioners and agency staff to expand opportunities for Tribal co-stewardship on National Forest lands in California.
As an academic geographer studying agroecology, food sovereignty, and urban food justice, her research explores the socio-ecological aspects of food systems and responses to climate change within marginalized urban communities in the US and Latin America. Her work is fundamentally aimed at highlighting possibilities for innovative solutions to the multiple & compounded crises faced by excluded communities. She also specializes in economic history, political economy & globalization, urban studies, critical & postcolonial theory, the African Diaspora in the New World, and the dynamics of global crisis and popular revolt in the post-2008 period.