UPSTREAM Taps Jamie Rhodes, Environmental Attorney and Seasoned Campaigner, as New Program Director

Campaigns: Make It, Take It Campaign, P4 Project, Press Releases, Sustainable Packaging Policy, Toxic-Free Furniture


September 22, 2015


Matt Prindiville, Executive Director,, 207-902-0054

Mark Hays, Board President,, 508-414-1722

Jamie Rhodes joins the staff of UPSTREAM as the organization’s Program Director. Jamie is an environmental attorney with a long history of work on cutting-edge public policy. He brings a wealth of experience on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation while working as the Rhode Island State Director for Clean Water Action. He helped develop and implement a locally run take-back program for fluorescent lamps in partnership with hardware stores, and worked with state and national partners to introduce one of the first EPR for packaging bills in the country. His varied experience makes him a solid choice for UPSTREAM’s new position.

“I have worked with Jamie in several capacities over the last three years. He is a remarkably talented individual with a variety of skills and experience that will greatly expand our ability to deliver on our projects,” says Matt Prindiville, Executive Director. “He is a passionate leader of the finest kind, and I look forward to great things to come for UPSTREAM with Jamie as our Program Director.

“Jamie will be a valued addition to the UPSTREAM team,” says Mark Hays, UPSTREAM board president. “His dedication to EPR legislation and environmental issues will be key to seeing even greater success with our projects and organization goals.”

Rhodes will be responsible for leading UPSTREAM’s four major projects: Sustainable Packaging Policy – a major stakeholder engagement project to develop and advance sustainable packaging through public and corporate policies; the Make It, Take It Campaign – a collaborative effort to pressure companies to take responsibility for packaging waste; the Plastic Pollution Policy Project (P4) – that  identifies, engages, and resources key stakeholders to stop plastic pollution at the source through effective policies and innovative solution; and the Toxic Free Furniture Stewardship Project that works to develop and implement policies that address the coming wave of unwanted couches and furniture contaminated with toxic flame retardants.

Adding Rhodes to UPSTREAM’s staff will add new perspective and boost the organization’s capacity to continue its leadership role in the development and implementation of materials management policies across the country.

“My past experience had me on the front lines doing outreach to legislators and municipal officials about the core policy efforts that UPSTREAM is promoting,” says Rhodes. “I spent years in the halls of the Rhode Island statehouse hearing concerns from stakeholders and engaging in a dynamic discussion about the future of one state’s materials management systems. As UPSTREAM continues to promote more sustainable systems, we need to be in constant contact with these constituency groups who will be responsible for making the programs work.”

Rhodes is eager to begin his role that will potentially impact the current way in which the waste management system works. He sees UPSTREAM moving forward by taking concrete actions toward issues that concern all of us such as plastic pollution in our oceans. UPSTREAM will be the catalyst that coordinates response to this ever worsening issue.

“Our success will be measured by the public and private entities, meaning people, governments and companies that push us past our current tipping point and into a future where our economy and environment are supportive of each other’s long-term health,” says Rhodes.


Rhodes is a graduate of University of California -Santa Cruz, and Roger Williams University School of Law, Bristol, RI. He is also a member of both the Rhode Island Bar and Massachusetts Bar.

He was also the Rhode Island Director for Public Policy and Government Relations for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England where he lobbied and advocated for issues of reproductive health, rights and justice.

Rhodes is the founder and sole proprietor of the Law Offices of James G. Rhodes, that primarily provides legal and consulting services to non-profit organizations, and is Chief Financial Officer, at Entrepreneur Support Services, a fast growing startup providing strategic advice and consulting services to new business seeking to leverage their brand through the power and authority of expertise in new media platforms.

Currently he volunteers as President, Environment Council of Rhode Island (statewide environmental coalition and National Wildlife Federation Affiliate) and previously as Treasurer, Ocean State Action and Ocean State Action Fund (progressive electoral and advocacy organizations).


Founded in 2003, UPSTREAM is a national public-interest organization dedicated to creating a healthy, sustainable, and equitable society by addressing the root causes of environmental harm. Our mission is to advance sustainability and reduce climate disruption through product-focused environmental policies. UPSTREAM conducts original research, develops model policies and educational materials, and organizes key stakeholders to build a green and just economy.

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