Mayor Farrah N. Khan made history in November of 2020 becoming the 23rd Mayor of Irvine. She not only received the highest number of votes for the position of Mayor in the city’s history, but also shattered glass ceilings as the first woman of color to hold the position, and the first Muslim woman to lead a large city in the United States. Mayor Khan is focused on ensuring that the City of Irvine is a leader throughout Orange County and California when it comes to innovation and technology, maintaining a healthy environment, combating climate change, and protecting the health and wellness of Irvine’s diverse communities. In her short time as Mayor, she has initiated several new strategies leading to Irvine becoming the first City in Orange County to spearhead COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics in local neighborhoods and senior centers, passed HERO pay for frontline grocery workers, created a new committee focused on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and passed a resolution with the support of the City Council to become a carbon-neutral City by 2030.
Environmental Programs Administrator, City of Irvine
Cool City Campaign Director
Sona Coffee is a sustainability professional that works with local governments to help transform cities into environmentally sustainable communities. She started her environmental public service career as the environmental manager for the City of Manhattan Beach and is now the environmental administrator for the City of Irvine, leading the City’s climate action efforts in Orange County. Sona is a proud University of Southern California alum and earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Price School of Policy, with an emphasis in environmental policy. She is passionate about educating the public on climate emergency issues, implementing clean energy programs, and creating policies that prevent plastic pollutants from entering the marine environment. She enjoys volunteering on the Sustainable City Commission for her hometown of Long Beach.
Patty Oh is a trained Climate Reality Leader and gives presentations on climate change awareness with Former Vice President Al Gore’s organization, Climate Reality Project. She was Vice Chair of the Orange County Chapter of Climate Reality Group and was on the Orange County advisory council of the Climate Action Campaign, advocating for community choice energy and strong climate action plans in local government. She is also involved in a number of non-profit organizations and was a founding board member of Asian Americans in Action. When she is not working, advocating or volunteering, she enjoys spending time with her two active boys, her rescue pets and is an aspiring permaculture gardener
A lifelong environmentalist, Margo Allen Finlayson, MBA, attended the August 2018 multi-day Climate Reality training in LA led by former Vice President Al Gore. A retired public health and nonprofit manager and founding member of Climate Reality OC, Margo served as Co-Chair (2019-22). She is also an active member of Sierra Club Angeles Chapter, Orange County Group, OC Clean Power, and OC Interfaith Coalition for the Environment. She has moderated climate panels and presented to numerous community groups, faith groups, environmental groups and classrooms since 2018 and currently serves as Climate Reality OC Cool Cities Chair and sits on the Community Stakeholder Committee for Irvine Cool Cities Program. In this capacity she has served as a volunteer coach for the Cool Block Program.
Climate Moonshot Steering Committee
President & CEO, Sustain SoCal
Scott Kitcher is the President & CEO of Sustain SoCal - a non-profit trade association accelerating sustainability and cleantech economic growth in Southern California through innovation, collaboration and education. Scott is a strategic corporate growth advisor, financial services executive, investor and non-profit executive with over 30 years of experience.
OC Goes Solar
Vice Chair, Green Ribbon Environmental Committee
Senait Forthal is the Board Director and a founding member of OC Goes Solar. A lifelong environmental/climate justice advocate, she serves on her HOA's sustainability committee and is an appointed member of the City of Irvine's Green Ribbon Environmental Committee.
Director of Sustainability and Advocacy, AIA OC
Suyama serves on the Board of Directors at AIA Orange County (AIA OC) as the Director of Advocacy and Sustainability. Suyama is the Chair of the Committee on the Environment (COTE) at AIA OC, leading a multi-faceted approach to promoting sustainability and partnerships with OC communities, where he advocates for building decarbonization policies at a local and state level.
Associate Chancellor for Sustainability, UCI
Wendell Brase leads efforts by UC Irvine and assists other campuses throughout the UC system to implement UC’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative. Brase is chair of the Energy Services Pilar of the University of California’s Global Climate Leadership Council.
The Team Behind the Cool Irvine Website
The Next Step, a program of Irvine-based educational organization CodeSpeak Labs, is a team of ambitious and creative students working with professional mentors. Students in grades 9-14 developed the graphics and built the Cool Irvine website. Many of us are proud Irvine residents! - Sarah, Anika, Justin, Brittanie, Salma, Kyla, and Cheuk.