Our Team

We are an all-volunteer non-profit organization. Meet the passionate board members and volunteers that are behind all that we do.

Board of Directors




Merilee Karr is a science journalist, family physician, and emergency preparedness advocate. She attended medical school at the University of Washington in Seattle, then Family Medicine residency at Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland. Both institutions encouraged an expansive view of health. Her M.F.A. from Portland State is in long-form journalism. She has reported on West Nile virus, Portland rats, indoor air quality, and cultural barriers to reducing medical mistakes. As a Team Leader with Neighborhood Emergency Teams (Portland’s CERT), she studied and taught Disaster Sanitation, leading her to PHLUSH. Joining the Board has given her a view of the astounding breadth of sanitation activism, and the synergy of solutions among its various fields. She is also a designer and maker, who was about to launch workshops to build simple, cheap handwashing stations for disasters, when the pandemic intervened. Her design is posted on Instructables.com, under Creative Commons license. Merilee currently serves as Board Director. Email Merilee here.





Genevieve has a background in environmental engineering and is a Utility Advisor at Moonshot Missions. She holds a BS and MS in Environmental Engineering from University of Colorado at Boulder and Oregon State University, respectively. She is passionate about understanding and mitigating impacts to human and ecological health due to environmental pollution or inadequate sanitation and hygiene access. She also is interested in human behaviors surrounding the use and adoption of sanitation/hygiene technology. She has completed coursework in Engineering for Developing Communities in Israel, has volunteered to assist in footbridge construction in Haiti, and most recently traveled to Vietnam, where she conducted her MS thesis research on the prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria in septic tank sludge and waterways in Ho Chi Minh City. Genevieve currently serves as Board President. Email Genevieve here.









Hayley is passionate about appropriate toilet technologies and availability. She is currently a Visiting Instructor of Geology at Hanover College, and was previously the program director at the Ecovillage Training Center where she ran permaculture and natural-building educational experiences. Hayley earned her Master’s degree in geosciences from North Carolina University, and focused on sustainable design and the influence science education on student attitude and decision-making. Over the last fifteen years, she has researched the relationship between quality of life and wastewater systems. While working for a watershed-based non-profit, she developed a place-based curriculum and working model that illustrated the connection among our natural and constructed water systems. While her international work has focused on constructing sanitation systems for small communities, PHLUSH drew her attention to the need for public toilet advocacy and disaster preparedness in the United States. You can learn more on her website. Hayley currently serves as Board Secretary. Email Hayley here.





Kyle is a sanitation entrepreneur and loves that his job is to talk with people about restrooms. His experience with sanitation goes back to the late 90’s when his dad invented a portable flush restroom for the National Park Service. The two of them later built off of that invention in 2010 by starting Green Flush Technologies. Through their business, they are able to provide flush restroom buildings to areas that lack access to sewer and septic systems. Shortly after getting into the sanitation business, Kyle discovered a piece of PHLUSH literature while volunteering at a local homeless shelter and immediately became a fan of the their work. He then connected with PHLUSH at the World Toilet Summit in Philadelphia and has stayed connected ever since. Kyle hopes to use his varied experience in the sanitation industry to aid PHLUSH in improving and securing sanitation for all. Kyle currently serves as Board Treasurer. Email Kyle here.






Board Director

Ashley holds a BA in anthropology from Oregon State University and a Masters of Science (MS) degree in water resources policy and management, focusing on water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). Her master's thesis delves into identifying WASH access gaps within the local unhoused community of Corvallis, Oregon. She first developed an interest in WASH issues during her travels across South East Asia and living in Da Nang, Vietnam, where she observed various different water and sanitation management systems and strategies. Ashley is driven by a deep interest in understanding human relationships with water and sanitation, encompassing environmental, economic, social, and spiritual dimensions. Her advocacy extends to the rights of the unhoused, recognizing the foundational role water and sanitation play in fostering resilient and thriving communities. Ashley currently serves as Board Director. Email Ashley here.







Programs Volunteer

Carol is PHLUSH's co-founder and now serves as an adjunct contributor. She sees solving toilet issues at the heart of human dignity, community well-being, and the health of people and our planet. Her passions run the gamut from championing public toilets to questioning how much longer we can afford to use drinking water to transport our pee and poo to wastewater treatment plants vulnerable to seismic events, climate change, and sea-level rise. Equipped with an MA in teaching and an MS in development management, Carol spent three decades working in Morocco, Tunisia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen. Along with five neighbors, she co-founded PHLUSH in 2005 in Portland’s Old Town Chinatown District. Email Carol here.








Volunteer Coordinator

Tolu is a scientist, artist, and social justice activist at the City College of New York. She prioritizes work in intersectional equity and heads several accessibility projects such as the Science and Technology Entry Program at John Jay College. Upon discovering PHLUSH on a volunteering website, Tolu immediately resonated with PHLUSH’s mission and made it her duty to help the organization succeed. With over five years of experience in research, mentorship, and design, Tolu hopes to contribute to sanitation equity while serving as PHLUSH’s Volunteer Coordinator. Email Tolu here




Sanitation Justice Advocate

Abigail Brown is an enthusiastic researcher and educator with over fifteen years of experience in the environmental field. She holds a BSc in Environmental Studies from The Evergreen State College, an MSc in Water Resources Policy and Management from Oregon State University, and an MA in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz. Her research interests include urban water and sanitation access, water and sanitation infrastructure, and water and sanitation justice. Her master’s projects focused on: 1) empowerment and gender equality around water and sanitation in rural India and 2) equitable participation in groundwater decision-making in Central California. Abigail was a board member of PHLUSH for several years. Her professional background includes positions evaluating surface and groundwater policies with state water agencies, conducting watershed restoration with non-profit organizations, and teaching about water issues with non-profits and universities. 

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Margot Headshot


Graphic Designer

Margot is an advocate for public toilet access and restroom design. She is an architect, teacher, and mentor who is motivated by seeing the impact of her work on its users and her students. As a frequent traveler with experience in city planning, toilet access has always been an important topic to her. She learned about how critical toilet and restroom access is for those experiencing homelessness while living in Los Angeles earning her Masters of Architecture at USC. She encourages her students, design teams, and clients to consider access and inclusion in restroom design to promote an equitable and safe experience for all users. Margot is excited to be a part of the PHLUSH team where she volunteers as both an advocate and graphic designer. Email Margot here



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