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SkyTruth names Jenny Allen as nonprofit’s new director

By Staff | Jun 3, 2016

SkyTruth, one of the region’s most innovative nonprofits, has announced the appointment of Jenny Allen as the director of Strategic Advancement. Global Fishing Watch, a major new technology initiative that SkyTruth is developing in partnership with Google and Oceana, recently received a large grant from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to illuminate worldwide fishing activity using satellite remote sensing.

With the opportunity to expand the organization’s global impact President John Amos said, “It is time for SkyTruth to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead with the recruitment of key people to help us to broaden our reach to the largest audience possible. I am thrilled to welcome Jenny Allen to our team as we enter our next chapter of growth.

“Jenny will be focused on strategic initiatives, organizational development and fundraising. She comes to the position with extensive experience in the arts and education, as well as in public media and politics,” Amos said. Allen has served for the last several years as vice chair of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, the body that oversees and implements a public policy agenda for the state’s baccalaureate institutions.

Known as a civic leader throughout the region, Allen will be a strong addition to the SkyTruth team. “I’m delighted to be working for such a dynamic and visionary organization,” Allen said. “SkyTruth’s creative approach to using technology to shine a light on the challenges and threats facing our planet is inspiring. The focus on measurable outcomes and scientific inquiry makes the work a compelling draw for funders. I’m energized to spread the word about the innovative work happening in Shepherdstown that resonates worldwide and am eager to support the groundbreaking efforts of my new colleagues.”

The Global Fishing Watch initiative will be a supplement to the work for which SkyTruth has long been well known – including monitoring of offshore drilling and oil spills, fracking, urban sprawl and mining. Global Fishing Watch was launched in 2014 at the World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia, and will be available to the public this fall, allowing for greater scrutiny of overfishing around the world.

A signature element of the SkyTruth philosophy is providing the general public with free access to data so as to increase the number of voices advocating for better stewardship of our planet’s resources.

“There is hope in the SkyTruth story,” Allen said. “And not just in the fact that this innovative watchdog with a global impact is located in West Virginia’s oldest town. The democratization of information, made possible through SkyTruth’s merging of technology and advocacy, allows for citizen activists to be key players in the fight to make governments and corporations accountable to the public. As SkyTruth’s Chief Technology Officer Paul Woods says, ‘We are driven by the belief that better transparency leads to better management and better outcomes.’

“I am deeply grateful to be affiliated with that effort,” Allen said.