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About the Marion Institute


Michael Baldwin, Co-Founder and President

After previously working at Morgan Guaranty, Michael Baldwin founded Baldwin Brothers in 1974. In addition to his duties as President of Baldwin Brothers, Michael is also a trustee of the Nathaniel Saltonstall Arts Fund and The Garfield Foundation.  Michael has a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University.

“I am passionate about the Marion Institute because of the leading edge initiatives it undertakes with extraordinary discernment that generate the positive and effective change so desperately needed throughout the world today. These initiatives are practical, get to the root causes of problems, and offer wise and oftentimes simple solutions.

Margherita Baldwin, Co-Founder , Clerk

Along with her husband, Michael Baldwin, Margie co-founded the Marion Institute. With a desire to support and restore local farming in their community, Margie started the store How on Earth in Mattapoisett. The goal of the store is to educate others in the community about the benefits of organic foods that are produced from nearby farms.

Margie has been leading this charge since 2009 and is an active member of several town organizations.

Megan Amsler

Megan Amsler

Since 2001, Megan has been the Executive Director of Self-Reliance, a non-profit organization, that simplifies complex energy concepts to educate, inspire and empower people to take action.  As a systems thinker, she has been involved with facilitating clean energy systems, building science best practices, energy efficiency and conservation for residents, businesses, NGOs and municipalities in southeastern Massachusetts.

Megan is very involved in workforce training in the clean energy sector. Over the last 8 years she has been working to establish hands-on world class technical, health & safety training for the offshore wind industry in North America.

She has served on various steering committees and boards ranging from affordable housing to technical certification of wind technology. Megan has a passion for teaching and has spent time since the mid-90’s teaching and writing curriculum relating to energy systems.

Megan was raised on an organic farm, and now owns a small farm in Hatchville where she is raising her two children, a bunch of quarter horses, her own vegetables and animal protein.


John Mannix

John is the CEO of Baldwin Brothers, responsible for overall leadership and strategic direction for the firm. John has been in the financial services industry for over twenty-five years in executive roles with leading wealth and asset management firms. John is also currently serving on the Board of Nativity Preparatory School. He is a graduate of Syracuse University.

Patricia Sullivan

Pattie served for many years as the Deputy Executive Director of NRDC and remains a consultant there. Her first environmental experience was co-producing “The Empty Nest,” a film about the impact of pesticides on the osprey. Pattie oversees NRDC’s institutional development and special projects. She also serves on the boards of the Open Space Institute, the Ploughshares Fund and the Metropolitan Opera Guild.“I think you must keep learning and keep engaging with the world around you .The Marion Institute is the best place I know to do that. It is exciting to be part of the tremendous energy generated there”.

 Joan Tiffany

Joan is the Senior Director of the International Honors Program (IHP), a comparative global study abroad program for undergraduates founded in 1958 to address timely issues with overarching themes relating to the environment and social justice. Students study with a faculty team, live in homestays, meet with experts in the field and local activists during one and two semester programs in three to five contrasting countries. IHP is a rigorous academic program. Thematic areas of study include globalization, urban issues and public health. IHP is a program of World Learning.

Joan has been a Board Member of the Marion Institute since 2006. Her interests are in the arts, international environmental and social justice issues and the impact of individuals and community leaders to make a difference in creating change. In addition to IHP and the Marion Institute, Joan has been involved with the Museum of Fine Arts, United South End Settlements and First Night, a community New Year’s Eve celebration of the arts started in Boston.

Bob Unger

Bob Unger

Bob Unger was the editor and associate publisher of SouthCoast Media Group, publisher of The Standard-Times, for a decade. He began his newspaper career in Jacksonville, FL. and spent more than 30 years as the editor of distinguished news organizations in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Missouri. He helped champion renewable energy, education reform, immigration reform, children’s health care and expanded mental health and drug treatment services. He was born in New York and graduated from Yale University, where he played football and baseball. He is the chairman of the board of Leadership SouthCoast and is a founder of the revived New Bedford Lyceum. He is a principal in Unger LeBlanc Strategic Communications and co-founded the Moby Dick Brewing Co. in New Bedford, where he serves on several community boards. He lives in Fairhaven.

Ryan Wagner, Treasurer

Ryan is the founder and president of Oak Hill Investments and currently resides in Providence, RI. Ryan’s background is in finance and real estate. He is a graduate of Colby College and Northwestern MBA.   Ryan is a member of the Urban Land Institute and the International Council of Shopping Centers.  He also serves on the Advisory Board of Nantucket Community Sailing, the Associates Board Nantucket Conservation Foundation and a member of the  International One Design Racing Fleet at the Nantucket Yacht Club. Ryan has a strong interest in environmental issues and agriculture.  He and his sister are very involved as directors of a new and growing family foundation.

Orson Watson, Ph.D.

Orson Watson is a Boston-based philanthropic advisor specializing in urban economic and workforce development. In addition to working with several foundation clients, he is the Advisor for Community Revitalization Programs at the Garfield Foundation and is on the Board of the Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities. From 1999 to 2002, Orson was Vice President for Research and Strategy at Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) where he led several projects related to the expansion of business and employment opportunities in low-income urban communities. Prior to joining ICIC, Orson was a Fellow at the Batten Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the Darden School of Business Administration, and worked for the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and Marsh and McLennan in Saudi Arabia. A native of New York City, Orson holds an AB from Vassar College, and a MA and Ph.D. in International Political Economy from the University of Virginia.


Christina Bascom
Joanie Brady
Nonie Brady
John Burt
Johnnie Chace
Vickie Cunningham
Mary Davidson
Mark Finser
Sally Hunsdorfer
Robert Inches
Krystyna Jurzykowski
Bokara Legendre
Carola Lott
Ellen McFarland
Elizabeth Oates
Elaine Seiler
Kelli Sterrett


Arn Chorn-Pond
Paul Hawken
Satish Kumar
Van Jones
Jeremy Narby
Claude Pepin
Nina Utne

In Memoriam: Wangari Maathai (1940 – 2011)

In 1999, the Marion Institute became Wangari’s representative and partner with the Green Belt Movement in the United States – and has advocated for and raised funds for the Green Belt Movement. Maathai served on the Marion Institute Advisory Board and was the founder of the Green Belt Movement, an environmentalist, a civil society and women’s rights activist, and a former parliamentarian. The Green Belt Movement is one of the most prominent women’s civil society organizations, based in Kenya, advocating for human rights and supporting good governance and peaceful democratic change through the protection of the environment. Its mission is to empower communities worldwide to protect the environment and to promote good governance and cultures of peace.

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