Bakeyah Nelson, Executive Director

Dr. Bakeyah Nelson has been working to improve public health for the past several years in the Houston region. Prior to joining Air Alliance Houston, Dr. Nelson most recently served as a consultant working to advance dialogue about the policies and practices that produce health inequities which includes the over-concentration of environmental hazards and exposures in low income communities and communities of color. She previously served in the Office of Policy and Planning for Harris County Public Health, where she was responsible for monitoring community health status throughout Harris County and facilitating the planning and implementation of community-based assessment initiatives to improve health.

Paige Powell, Director of Operations

Paige has been a public servant and advocate for the environment since her youth. She studied economics and political science at the University of Houston, and has recently attained the Certified Public Manager designation from the Hobby School of Public Affairs. She is a great proponent of education, and serves as the director of Air Alliance Houston’s Ozone Theater program. Paige is a trained member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps, and is currently active on the issues of climate change, transportation, energy, and sustainability. Outside of work, she spends her time raising a young daughter, playing music, and practicing yoga.


Juan Flores, Community Outreach Coordinator

Juan is a Houston-area native who studied at the University of Houston. Outside of being a community activist and leader, he enjoys spending time with his family family, sports, the outdoors, and being a part of many great social organizations.

Leticia Ablaza, Community Outreach Director

Leticia was born in Mexico and came to Houston as a child, eventually graduating from the University of St. Thomas and Milby High School. Prior to joining Air Alliance Houston, she served as the Chief of Staff for City Council District A Council Member Helena Brown.

Paula Torrado, Community Outreach Coordinator

Paula graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor’s degree in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Her main focus at Air Alliance Houston is the Pasadena Community Project, with the goal of reducing air pollution in the area. Paula is passionate about nature and the environment, and her studies have motivated her to devote her time to learning about global climate, the earth, the environment, and the state and local policies surrounding these areas. Prior to joining Air Alliance Houston, she did work with the Texas Campaign for the Environment, volunteered with The Sierra Club, and worked as a research assistant for the Atmospheric Sciences Department at the University of Houston, where she worked on an ozone analysis project.

Corey Williams, Research and Policy Director

Corey has worked as an environmental compliance contractor in Houston-area industries for nearly a decade. Amid growing concern about the efficacy of his efforts to promote environmental responsibility from within industry, he returned to school to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography and Minor in Environmental Science from the University of Houston – Clear Lake. Through the use of spatial tools and research methods, Corey is working to better understand the unique environmental conditions within and among Houston-area communities and to inform the creation of smarter environmental policy decisions.

Emilia Benton, Communications Director









Emilia is Air Alliance Houston’s communications director, as well as as a freelance writer and editor for a variety of publications. She previously worked as an editor at the Houston Chronicle and MD Anderson Cancer Center. She is a graduate of Hofstra University in Long Island, New York, where she studied journalism, Spanish and women’s studies. Emilia is also a nine-time marathoner, avid baker and frequent traveler.