Current Board Members

ron 2Ron Gester M.D., Treasurer, is a retired emergency physician and CEO / Founder of Pacific Redwood Medical Group, Inc. He obtained his MD from UC San Francisco in 1979 and BS in Geology from UC Davis in 1969. Following graduation from UCD, he worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on a variety of projects including geomagnetism and seismology in Boulder, Colorado and Byrd Station, Antarctica, and solar forecasting for the Skylab Program at the Mission Control Center in Houston.

He currently resides in northern California and is an active board member for two other nonprofit corporations that provide opportunities for him to promote the importance of scientific literacy.


bernardDr. J. Bernard Minster is a professor of Geophysics at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP) of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, and a senior fellow at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. He obtained his Ph.D. (1974) in geophysics from the California Institute of Technology and a doctorate in Physical Sciences from the Université de Paris VII (1974). He is the past Chair of the UCSD Division of the University of California Academic Senate.

Dr. Minster researchs the structure of the Earth's interior which led him to the use of seismic means for verification of nuclear test ban treaties. He has long been interested in global tectonic problems and in the application of space-geodetic techniques. More recently he has led major efforts toward estimating the effects of very large earthquakes in southern California, using supercomputer simulations, and analyzing paleoseismic data using hyperspectral imaging. He has been a consultant for numerous companies.

Dr. Minster is the newly appointed chair of the ICSU World Data System Scientific Committee. He currently serves on the Earth Science subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Committee.


Aishwarya photo 1Aishwarya Saxena is the Head of Legal and Partnerships at SpeedLegal: a San Francisco-based legal tech company that uses artificial intelligence to automate contract review and risk analysis in varied sectors, including clean energy. She is a Robbins Fellow and Doctoral Candidate at UC Berkeley School of Law researching the role of laws at domestic and international levels in safe, transparent, and fast implementation of Nuclear Power Projects in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Aishwarya is passionate about clean energy transitions and sustainable development. She became fascinated with nuclear energy as a child, living in the vicinity of the Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) in Mumbai. She committed to pursuing a career in clean energy after learning of the role nuclear energy can play in mitigating the impact of climate change as a baseload source of carbon-free energy.

She studied Business Administration as an undergraduate and attended law school at SNDT University in Mumbai, where she was awarded the Chancellor's Gold Medal for receiving the highest grades. Aishwarya is also a graduate (magna cum laude) of the International School of Nuclear Law at the University of Montpellier in France and holds a dual specialization in Energy and Clean Technology Law and Environmental Law from Berkeley Law.


mike williamsonMichael Williamson is a marine geophysicist and CEO of Williamson & Associates, Inc. He was among the small group of individuals that pioneered deepsea mining of ferromanganese nodules in the 1970s and has remained involved with advancing science and technology in deep ocean environs.

In addition to involvement with SCGI he is co-founder of a non-profit focused on providing safe drinking water to villages in central Africa.



nicoleNicole Blees, Secretary, is a French-Canadian who has been married to Tom Blees for forty years, having met while traveling in Central America. She is an alumna of the University of California at Berkeley who graduated with honors in Interdisciplinary Studies emphasizing the Humanities and Social Sciences. Nicole's final thesis focused on Intercultural Communication, the outgrowth of an experimental educational program where she represented Berkeley's student population in 2008 on an international ocean-going university's maiden voyage halfway around the world.

Currently residing in Florida, Nicole is the SCGI secretary (as well as Tom Blees' executive secretary) and is also responsible for the establishment and maintenance of its public non-profit and tax-exempt status.


susanSusan von Borstel is a professional artist with a serious interest in providing the world with pollution-free nuclear power. Deeply concerned about the long-range livability of the planet, Susan has studied the electric power generation options and reached the obvious conclusion: 4th generation nuclear power. She has been Tom Blees' administrative assistant since the inception of SCGI. She lives with her husband Keith, the SCGI webmaster, in northern California.



Emeritus Board Members

Doug CarrollDr. Douglas Carroll is a business and engineering consultant, licensed in California as an Electrical Engineer, with graduate degrees in Engineering from UC Berkeley and in business from Santa Clara University. He retired from GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy after 38 years of service developing commercial nuclear power for earth and space applications.

He believes the most exciting topic in energy today is recycling nuclear fuel through the IFR. As a business consultant, he has performed diligence for corporate acquisitions and market studies in support of hydrogen production.



President: Tom Blees

Secretary: Nicole Blees

Treasurer: Ron Gester

Administrative Staff

Administrative Assistant: Susan von Borstel

Webmaster: Keith vonBorstel, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

scgi logoThe Science Council for Global Initiatives is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. All contributions are tax-deductible.
© 2023 The Science Council for Global Initiatives | We do not use cookies.

Sorry, this website uses features that your browser doesn’t support. Upgrade to a newer version of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Edge and you’ll be all set.