Below is our committed staff. Feel free to contact us!

  • Matthew Baker

    Policy Director

    A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Matt began working locally with the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) in 2008. Focused initially on biodiversity preservation, Matt became ECOS’s Land Use and Conservation Policy Director, engaging on the broad spectrum of issues at the nexus of land use, transportation, housing, and climate policy. As PCL’s statewide Policy Director since 2017, he continues his focus on planning policy development that seeks to provide joint-solutions to California’s environmental and social equity challenges.

  • Jonas Minton

    Senior Water Policy Advisor

    Jonas Minton was hired in March 2004 to work on issues surrounding water use and water policy issues. Jonas is the former Deputy Director of the California Department of Water Resources where he was responsible for overseeing the Divisions of Planning, Local Assistance, Flood Management, Dam Safety, Water Conservation, and Water Transfers. Mr. Minton managed the update to the State Water Plan, the Floodplain Management Task Force, the Recycled Water Task Force, and the Desalination Task Force.

    He previously has served as Executive Director of the Sacramento Water Forum and General Manager of the El Dorado County Water Agency. In the 1980’s, Jonas served on the team that secured Federal Wild and Scenic River protection for more than 1,200 miles of California rivers.

  • Howard Penn

    Howard Penn
    Executive Director

    Howard is a Philanthropreneur combining his for-profit experiences of 30+ years in the financial, technology, and hospitality fields with his non-profit consulting and board experiences.  Between starting businesses and co-founding non-profits, he has helped develop pathways for private sector businesses to integrate with value-based strategies and partner with NGO’s of all types to promote sustainable economic, cultural and environmental solutions.

    After founding his first business in college, he went on to develop an international economic development company that used micro-enterprise, sustainable and cultural tourism, and in-country training workshops to promote local businesses and services in over 50 countries on six continents. These efforts strived to replace destructive resource extraction programs, unfair labor practices, and culturally harmful policies.  This dynamic work across the globe encouraged Howard to continue the work at home with California NGO’s focusing on water policy, land use, local community planning, and economic development.

    Howard is honored to have the opportunity to lead PCL, with its diverse and successful history, into another decade of accomplishments.

    See more information about Howard.

  • Sofia Rafikova

    Policy & Operations Coordinator

    Sofia Rafikova joined the PCL team as an intern in November 2017 and was later hired on full time. Sofia comes from a family of Russian immigrants who moved to the United States when she was two. She has been interested in ecology since a young age and began her college studies at the age of sixteen. Sofia graduated from both Bard College at Simon’s Rock with a B.A. in Environmental and Sustainability Studies and Vermont Law School with a Master in Environmental Law and Policy in the spring of 2017. Sofia oversees the administration, communications, and events planning at PCL. She also works on policy dealing with water, parks, and wildlife and is the point of contact for PCL’s work with the National Wildlife Federation as their affiliate organization in the state of California.