2019 CCAE State ConferenceKeynote Speakers

Shah N. Selbe
Friday, April 26, 2019


Shah Selbe is an engineer and conservation technologist who works with communities, NGOs, and developing countries to identify and deploy technologies that can help with their greatest conservation challenges. His projects have integrated crowdsourcing, smartphone apps, drones, satellite data, and sensors to address such conservation issues as illegal poaching and the monitoring of protected areas. He founded a conservation technology makerspace and prototyping lab, Conservify, which uses open source technology to empower local communities to change our planet’s future. He has built and deployed low-cost conservation drones for coastal monitoring, open source environmental monitoring sensor networks in the Okavango Delta, acoustic monitoring buoys in the Pacific, and more. Selbe is a National Geographic Society Fellow, New England Aquarium Ocean Conservation Fellow, and PopTech Social Innovation Fellow. He is developing an open source hardware and web open science platform called FieldKit (fieldkit.org) that will help researchers, students, and explorers share live environmental and field data on an interactive site. He is building an extensive library of open source sensor systems that can be used in science and conservation research. Before becoming a conservation technologist, Selbe spent 10 years as a rocket scientist building and launching satellites with Boeing.

Dawn Koepke
Saturday, April 27, 2019


Dawn Koepke was named a partner in 2012 after joining the McHugh team in December 2003. She has been a key asset to the firm, handling the legislative, budgetary, regulatory and
research needs of the firm’s clients and lobbies in the policy areas of public safety, health and human services, resources, environmental safety, chemical management, and adult education. Dawn serves as a co-chair of the Green Chemistry Alliance and a member of the Thursday Group, business-friendly coalitions whose efforts are focused on green chemistry and an array of environmental legislative and regulatory actions.

As an Associate at McHugh & Associates, Dawn successfully advocated on behalf of her
clients. On the public safety agenda, she has worked tirelessly to ensure crime victims’ voices
are heard in the criminal justice system by obtaining new and expanded rights for crime victims
in California through legislative and initiative efforts, helped to defeat past efforts to eliminate
the death penalty and alter three strikes, and more. Dawn has also helped to elevate the
importance of child abuse and neglect prevention and has worked to ensure no further cuts are
imposed on California’s child welfare and foster care systems in the most difficult of budget
years. Furthermore, she has successfully elevated and promoted industry’s position on green
chemistry, chemical management and regulation, and recycling initiatives before the
Legislature, Administration, and state Agencies. Most notably, she helped build a diverse
industry coalition – the Green Chemistry Alliance – to help frame, develop and implement
California’s groundbreaking Green Chemistry Initiative.

Prior to joining the McHugh team, Dawn served as a member of the Davis Administration. In
her capacity as Special Assistant to Governor Gray Davis, she helped manage the Governor’s
daily activities, assist the Legislative Affairs team, coordinate and prepare responses regarding
major policy and legislative action on behalf of the Administration in response to public inquiry.
She has maintained strong connections from the Davis Administration that have since become
key assets in the Governor Brown Administration and Legislature.

Dawn graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in
International Relations. As a component of her degree in International Relations, Dawn studied
abroad at the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain where she completed an intensive Spanish
language and literature program.

In 2006, Dawn completed her Master’s Degree in Public Policy & Administration (MPPA) from
California State University, Sacramento with special focus in regulatory affairs and collaborative
studies. Dawn’s thesis work focused on regulation as a policy tool to achieve policy goals with
specific focus on environmental regulatory efforts in California.