Charlie grew up first-generation American born Chinese amidst the urban greenscapes of Hyde Park, Chicago. He found a passion for climate justice as an undergrad at Stanford: connecting the dots between Shell’s shameless pursuit of oil in the Arctic seas off Alaska, the deadly ravages of heat waves, floods, and wildfires from Indonesia to California, and the racial disparities in environmental protection in his own corner of Chicago’s South Side. Charlie quickly began organizing for oil and gas divestment with Fossil Free Stanford, and for sustainability and environmental justice with Students for a Sustainable Stanford.
After graduation, Charlie moved to Washington, D.C. to work with the Environmental Defense Fund on promoting equity in U.S. climate and energy policy. Meanwhile, as an organizer for local climate justice group 350 DC and the Sunrise Movement, Charlie is fighting to pressure the D.C. government to divest from Wells Fargo to help #DefundPipelines, stop a fracked-gas pipeline that threatens D.C.’s water supply, and achieve ambitious policies to secure climate justice and a just clean energy transition in the District and across the country. An avid writer and photographer with a love of law, policy, and systems analysis, Charlie aims to build a richer, stronger movement for climate action that strives for racial and economic justice for all. Charlie is honored and excited to bring powerful stories, ideas, and action to COP 23 with SustainUS.