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Symposium Speakers

Wendell Pritchett

Provost, and Presidential Professor of Law and Education
University of Pennsylvania

Wendell Pritchett, Presidential Professor in the Penn Law School and the Graduate School of Education, is Penn’s 30th Provost.  An award-winning scholar, author, lawyer, professor, and civic and academic leader, he has served as Chancellor of Rutgers University-Camden, as Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Policy in the City of Philadelphia, and in a wide range of major board and leadership positions, including member of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission, Board Chair of the Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, President of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities, and Co-Chair of Barack Obama’s Urban Policy Task Force.

His scholarly work focuses on urban history – especially housing, race relations, and economic development – including two major books, Robert Clifton Weaver and the American City: The Life and Times of an Urban Reformer (University of Chicago Press 2008) and Brownsville, Brooklyn: Blacks, Jews and the Changing Face of the Ghetto (University of Chicago Press 2002), and “Which Urban Crisis?,” which was named the Best Article of the Year in 2008 by the Urban History Association.  Provost Pritchett first joined the Penn Law faculty in 2002, serving as Interim Dean from 2014-15 and as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2006-07. Before coming to Penn, he was an assistant professor of history at Baruch College of the City University of New York and an attorney in housing, real estate, and employment law.  He earned a PhD in History from Penn, a JD from Yale Law School, and a BA in Political Science from Brown University.

Reto Gieré

Professor and Chair of Earth and Environmental Science
University of Pennsylvania

Reto Gieré received his Ph.D. in Earth Sciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich and his Venia Legendi at the University of Basel. He has extensive international research and teaching experience through his posts at the University of British Columbia (Canada), the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington D.C., the University of Siena (Italy), the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization in Sydney, Purdue University in Indiana and the University of Freiburg in Germany. He is an editor for Journal of Petrology and Chief Editor for European Journal of Mineralogy, a Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America and the Geological Society of London, an Honorary Member of the Mineralogical Society of Slovakia, and holds an Honorary Doctorate from the Université de Haute-Alsace, France. His research interests lie in the fields of mineralogy, petrology, environmental geochemistry, and health impacts of Earth materials.

Gieré’s recent academic work has focused on the fate of bio-transformed products such as metabolized pharmaceuticals in wastewater during UV treatment, and how these pharmaceuticals, especially painkillers and sugars, are transformed in water and their effect on public health. His current research focusses on characterizing airborne dust particles in the atmosphere and studying their effects on human health.

Paul Mohai

Professor, School for Environment and Sustainability
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Paul Mohai’s teaching and research interests are focused on environmental justice, public opinion and the environment, and influences on environmental policy making. He is a founder of the Environmental Justice Program at the University of Michigan and a major contributor to the growing body of quantitative research examining disproportionate environmental burdens and their impacts on low income and people of color communities. In 1990, he co-organized with Dr. Bunyan Bryant the “Michigan Conference on Race and the Incidence of Environmental Hazards”, which was credited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as one of two events bringing the issue of Environmental Justice to the attention of the Agency. He is author or co-author of numerous articles, books, and reports focused on race and the environment, including Environmental Racism: Reviewing the Evidence, Race and the Incidence of Environmental Hazards, Toxic Waste and Race at Twenty, and Which Came First, People or Pollution?. His current research involves national level studies examining the causes of environmental disparities and the role environmental factors play in accounting for racial and socioeconomic disparities in health. Through a grant from the Kresge Foundation, he is also examining pollution burdens around public schools and the links between such burdens and student performance and health.

Mohai is a past member of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2007-2013). He is currently a member of the Governor’s Environmental Justice Work Group charged with developing an Environmental Justice Plan for Michigan. He is also currently a member of the Advisory Board of the Global Environmental Justice Movement Project (ENVJUSTICE) which is documenting and mapping environmental justice conflicts around the world. He has provided testimony on environmental justice to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1993 and 1999, the U.S. Senate in 2007, and the Michigan Civil Rights Commission in 2016. In 1997, he was awarded NAACP Environmental and Social Justice Award for Outstanding Service in the Struggle for Environmental and Social Justice, and his 2015 article “Which came first, people or pollution? Assessing the disparate siting and post-siting demographic change hypotheses of environmental injustice” was selected for inclusion in Environmental Research Letters Highlights of 2015 collection for the work’s “novelty, scientific impact, and advance made within the field.”

Michael Weisberg

Professor and Chair of Philosophy
Co-Director of the Penn Laboratory for Understanding Science
University of Pennsylvania

Michael Weisberg is Professor and Chair of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. He also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Biology and Philosophy and co-director of the Penn Laboratory for Understanding Science and the Galápagos Education and Research Alliance. Since coming to Penn in 2003, he has served as chairman of the graduate group in Philosophy and co-chair of Penn’s Year of Evolution.

Weisberg received a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of California, San Diego in 1999, and continued his graduate studies in Philosophy and Evolutionary Biology at Stanford University, earning a Ph.D. in Philosophy in 2003. His research focuses on methodological issues arising in the life and social sciences, especially the ways highly idealized models and simulations can be used to understand complex systems. Weisberg’s research group aims to develop a comprehensive analysis of public understanding and misconceptions of scientific issues. His group has recently completed the most comprehensive study to date of North Americans’ attitudes about, and knowledge of, evolutionary biology, and is working with experimental documentary filmmaking techniques to help address common misconceptions.

Weisberg also co-leads several community science and community conservation initiatives in the Galápagos archipelago. He regularly discusses his findings with academic audiences, policy makers, and the public, including audiences at the Penn Lightbulb Café, BBC’s “Up All Night”, the AAAS, the National Academy of Sciences, and with park officials, naturalist guides, and tourists in the Galápagos.

Trevor Penning

Molinoff Professor of Pharmacology
Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics and OB/GYN
Director of the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology
University of Pennsylvania

Trevor Penning is internationally recognized for his research on steroid hormone transforming enzymes and mechanisms by which polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons cause cancer.  His research is now focused on the emerging role of Aldo-Keto Reductases in hormonal and chemical carcinogenesis.  Penning has published over 260 peer-reviewed articles, lectured nationally and internationally and trained numerous successful young investigators.  He has served on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and Chemical Research in Toxicology. He is currently Senior Editor of Cancer Research and is on the Editorial Boards of Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Molecular & Cellular Endocrinology and Steroids. He is a member of the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars, a Fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS), a past Chair and recipient of the Founders Award of the ACS Division of Chemical Toxicology, and a recipient of Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) grant support including a PCF Challenge Award.

In addition to his dedication to research and academic training, Penning was the founding Director Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology, which is Penn’s Environmental Health Sciences Center, and the only one in US EPA region 3.  He has served as consultant to academia (Columbia University, University of North Carolina, Rutgers University and others), industry (Avid Therapeutics, GlaxoSmithKline, Kythera, Organon, Schering-Plough and others), the World Health Organization, and the National Center for Toxicological Research. He holds 6 US patents and has 2 patent applications are pending. He obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry with Professor M. Akhtar F.R.S. at Southampton University, UK, and conducted postdoctoral training with Professor Paul Talalay, member of the National Academy of Sciences, at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD.

Marc Edwards

University Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering
Virginia Tech

Marc Edwards is a University Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering at Virginia Tech, where he teaches courses in environmental engineering, applied aquatic chemistry and engineering ethics. His research group conducted the investigative science uncovering the 2001-2004 D.C. Lead Crisis, the 2014-2016 Flint Water Disaster, and illegal pesticide dosing to water of Denmark SC 2008-2018.

Time Magazine dubbed Edwards “The Plumbing Professor” in 2004, listing him amongst the 4 most important “Innovators” in water from around the world.  The White House awarded him a Presidential Faculty Fellowship in 1996, he won a MacArthur Fellowship in 2007, and in 2013 Edwards’ was the 9th recipient (in a quarter century) of the IEEE Barus Award for “courageously defending the public interest at great personal risk.”

In 2016 he was named amongst TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential people in the World, the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine, Politico Magazine’s Top 50 Visionaries who have transformed American politics, Foreign Policy Magazines 100 World’s Greatest Thinkers, and was short-listed amongst Flint whistleblowers as Time person(s) of the year.

He was co-recipient of the inaugural 2017 MIT Disobedience Award, and received the AAAS Scientific Freedom and Responsibility award (2018) and the Hoover Humanitarian Medal (2019).

Gwen Ottinger

Associate Professor, Department of Politics, Center for Science, Technology and Society, Center for Public Policy
Drexel University

Gwen Ottinger is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Drexel University.  She is the author of Refining Expertise: How Responsible Engineers Subvert Environmental Justice Challenges, which was awarded the 2015 Rachel Carson Prize by the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), and co-editor of Technoscience and Environmental Justice: Expert Cultures in a Grassroots Movement.  She is also the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER award for her project on “Environmental Justice and the Ethics of Science and Technology.”

Ottinger’s research group, the Fair Tech Collective, is dedicated to using social science theory and methods to inform the development of technology that fosters environmental justice. One example is, a website co-designed with residents of refinery-adjacent communities in the San Francisco Bay area.  Unlike comparable sites, it gives residents access to current and historical air quality data and allows them to annotate the data with first-person observations of pollution.  This experiment in creating environmentally just information infrastructure resulted in significant policy recommendations and was awarded an Honorable Mention for the 4S’s 2018 Making and Doing Award.

Ottinger is currently working on a book about community-led innovation in technologies for knowing, and its importance to achieving just environmental policy.  She is also piloting a new approach to teaching engineering ethics in a course called “Innovation and Social Justice.”  It replaces the usual focus on case-studies and professional codes of ethics with an explicit orientation to engineers’ potential role in exacerbating or ameliorating structural inequalities.

Paul English

Senior Branch Science Advisor, Environmental Health Investigations Branch
Center for Healthy Communities, California Department of Public Health

Paul English has had over 20 years’ experience working in environmental public health, focusing on health effects of pesticides and air pollution, public health impacts of climate change, environmental health issues at the U.S./Mexico border, and environmental health surveillance. He has been dedicated to responding to community needs and concerns regarding environmentally-related disease by integrating environmental epidemiology, health education, community participation, geographic information systems and spatial methodologies. Dr. English is Director of Tracking California, which takes a community-based approach to develop surveillance systems for environmental hazards, exposures, and environmentally-related chronic disease. Dr. English and his team focus on research which will have impacts on environmental health policy. They have worked on citizen science projects, in particular assisting community members in developing the capacity to monitor the air quality in their neighborhoods. Dr. English has conducted climate change population vulnerability assessments, in particular the effects of heat waves. He has served as an advisor to the World Health Organization in developing climate-sensitive health indicators and was an invited expert for the Indian Institute of Public Health training South Asian nations on developing heat alert action plans. Dr. English received his Master’s in Public Health and Doctorate in Epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley and has published extensively in the peer-reviewed literature.

Regina Austin

William A. Schnader Professor of Law
Director of the Penn Program on Documentaries & the Law
University of Pennsylvania

Regina Austin pursues her interest in the overlapping burdens of race, gender, and class oppression in traditional legal scholarship, as well as in her work on documentary films. Her writing has covered such topics as predatory lending and the democratization of credit, the social basis of black homeownership, and governmental constraints on black leisure. She is the director of the Penn Program on Documentaries & the Law, which hosts screenings of law-genre documentary films throughout the year, maintains a national repository of dozens of clemency videos as a resource for attorneys representing capital defendants, and produces videos in collaboration with grassroots organizations devoted to criminal justice reform. In addition to making extensive use of documentaries in her traditional courses, Austin teaches a visual legal advocacy seminar in which the students make videos on behalf of actual public interest clients and causes involved in social justice campaigns.

Michael Ash

Co-Director, Corporate Toxics Information Project
Professor of Economics and Public Policy
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Michael Ash is professor of economics and public policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His areas of research are labor, health, and environmental economics, examined through quantitative models. Ash’s main interests in environmental policy include disclosure and right-to-know laws, greenhouse-gas policy, and environmental justice. At UMass Amherst, Ash co-directs the Corporate Toxics Information Project of the Political Economy Research Institute, which publishes the Toxic 100, an index that identifies top U.S. toxic polluters among large corporations. In 2013, Ph.D. student Thomas Herndon, colleague Robert Pollin, and Ash critiqued the argument of Harvard University economics professors Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff that high public debt strangles economic growth. Herndon, Ash, and Pollin identified errors in Reinhart-Rogoff, undermined its key arguments, and spurred reassessment of the austerity agenda. Ash also served as staff labor economist for the Council of Economic Advisers (Washington, DC) in 1995-1996 and as Princeton Project 55 Fellow for the Trenton Office of Policy Studies (Trenton, NJ) in 1991-1992.

He is the coauthor, with Francisco Louçã, of Shadow Networks: Financial Disorder and the System that Caused Crisis (Oxford University Press, 2018) and has written numerous articles on topics including environmental justice, unionization, and public debt. He received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to support his research on the relationship between hospital labor unions, wages, and patient safety.  Ash was a Fulbright Fellow in Budapest, Hungary, and served as a staff labor economist for the Council of Economic Advisors. He has received a UMass Amherst Outstanding Accomplishment in Research Award and a College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award.

Christopher Foreman

Professor of Public Policy
Director of Social Policy Program
University of Maryland

Chris Foreman is professor and director of the social policy program at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, where he teaches courses on political institutions and the politics of inequality. He came to the school in 2000 after more than a decade at the Brookings Institution, where he continues as a non-resident senior fellow in the governance studies program. Previously, he taught at American University. He served on the board of governors of The Nature Conservancy from 1999 to 2005, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Armenia in 2008-2009. His areas of interest include political institutions; the politics of health, safety, and the environment; African Americans and public policy; environmental justice; and government reform.

His book Signals from the Hill: Congressional Oversight and the Challenge of Social Regulation (Yale University Press, 1988) won the 1989 D.B. Hardeman Prize for the best book on Congress. He is also the author of Plagues, Products and Politics: Emergent Public Health Hazards and National Policymaking (Brookings, 1994). In The Promise and Peril of Environmental Justice (Brookings, 1998) Foreman addressed the opportunities and constraints facing advocates and policymakers in the search for environmental equity. He is also the editor of The African American Predicament (Brookings, 1999).

Hari Osofsky

Dean of Penn State Law and the School of International Affairs
Distinguished Professor of Law, Professor of International Affairs, Professor of Geography
Pennsylvania State University, University Park

Hari M. Osofsky is Dean of Penn State Law and the Penn State School of International Affairs and Distinguished Professor of Law, Professor of International Affairs, and Professor of Geography. As dean, she is deeply committed to collaboratively building legal and international affairs education for a changing society, and is leading initiatives in mentoring, technology, and interdisciplinary and international partnerships. She has been recognized for her technology leadership by the American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Resource Center as one of the 2019 Women of Legal-Tech. She also has been very involved nationally in supporting more women and people of color to consider law school and university leadership.

Osofsky’s over 50 publications focus on improving governance and addressing injustice in energy and climate change regulation. Her scholarship includes books with Cambridge University Press on climate change litigation, textbooks on both energy and climate change law, and articles in leading law and geography journals. Her Emory Law Journal article, Energy Partisanship, was awarded the 2018 Morrison Prize, which recognizes the most impactful sustainability-related legal academic article published in North America during the previous year. She has collaborated extensively with business, government, and nonprofit leaders to make bipartisan progress on these issues through her leadership roles and teaching.

Her professional leadership roles have included, among others, serving as President of the Association for Law, Property, and Society; chair of the American Association of Law School’s Section on Property; and a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law and the International Law Association’s Committee on the Legal Principles of Climate Change. She also is a member of the Board of Governors of the Society of American Law Teachers and the editorial board of Climate Law. Her leadership and mentorship work was recognized by the Association for Law, Property, and Society’s 2016 Distinguished Service Award and the University of Minnesota 2015 Sara Evans Faculty Woman Scholar/Leader Award.

Osofsky received a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Oregon and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Prior to joining the Pennsylvania State University, Dean Osofsky served on the faculties of University of Minnesota Law School, Washington and Lee University School of Law, the University of Oregon School of Law, and Whittier Law School.

David Konisky

Professor, O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs
Faculty Affiliate, Ostrom Workshop, Department of Political Science, Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society 
Indiana University

David Konisky’s research and teaching focuses on U.S. environmental and energy policy, with particular emphasis on regulation, federalism and state politics, public opinion, and environmental justice. Konisky’s current environmental justice research examines racial and ethnic disparities in government enforcement of pollution control laws, the effectiveness of federal and state policy, and how the energy transition is affecting vulnerable communities. His research has been published widely in political science, public policy, and environmental science journals, and he has authored or edited three books on environmental politics and policy, including most recently Failed Promises: Evaluating the Federal Government’s Response to Environmental Justice (MIT Press, 2015) and Cheap and Clean: How Americans Think about Energy in the Age of Global Warming (MIT Press, 2014, with Steve Ansolabehere). Konisky’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Konisky earned his Ph.D. in political science from MIT. He also holds master’s degrees from Yale University in environmental management and international relations. At the undergraduate level, he studied history and environmental studies at Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to joining the O’Neill School in 2015, Konisky was on the faculty at Georgetown University and the University of Missouri, and served as a research associate at Resources for the Future.

Daniel Aldana Cohen

Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Pennsylvania

Daniel Aldana Cohen earned a Ph.D. degree in Sociology from New York University in 2016. He was awarded a B.A. degree in Intellectual History and International Development Studies from McGill University in 2005, and currently serves as Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. During the academic year 2018-2019, he was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

He works on the politics of climate change, investigating the intersections of climate change, political economy, inequalities of race and social class, and political projects of elites and social movements in global cities of the North and South. In new qualitative work, he is turning toward urban-rural links (especially energy landscapes). He is also working collaboratively on quantitative techniques to address these research concerns through comprehensive carbon-footprint analysis, coordinating that analysis with other approaches to socio-spatial segregation. To that end, he has founded the Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative, or (SC)2.

His research argues for a closer focus on the links between housing and climate politics, by showing how housing and land use mediate water access, and water-oriented political mobilization, during a drought. He has advanced a new, encompassing framework for understanding urban ecological politics, and showed how housing movements can slow or advance low-carbon policy even without speaking (or thinking) in terms of carbon. In his urban research so far, his most consistent finding is that social inequality is a barrier to rapidly and deeply reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For urban sustainability policy to be both more effective and more equitable, it needs to work with data that is global in scope, and it needs to engage more people, most notably national policymakers and social movement activists. Social movements are at the center of his qualitative fieldwork and most of his writing.

Julian Agyeman

Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning
Tufts University

Julian Agyeman is the originator of the increasingly influential concept of just sustainabilities, the intentional integration of social justice and sustainability. He is a Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. Trained in the UK, initially in Geography and Botany, Conservation Policy, and finally Urban Studies, he is better known today as a critical urban planning and environmental social science scholar. He centers his research on critical explorations of the complex and embedded relations between humans and the urban environment, whether mediated by governments or social movement organizations, and their effects on public policy and planning processes and outcomes, particularly in relation to notions of justice and equity. His key research contributions include just sustainabilities in policy and planning; environmental and food justice; planning in, and for Sharing Cities; planning in, and for intercultural cities. In the top 20 most highly cited urban planning academics in North America, his wide-ranging and influential publications include Mind the Gap: Why do people act environmentally and what are the barriers to pro-environmental behavior? (2002). It is the most highly cited journal article by an urban planning academic in North America. In addition to its theoretical contributions, Mind the Gap continues to have great practical impact around the world, influencing think-tanks and government policy in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, France, Ireland, as well as within the European Commission and the United Nations (UNEP and FAO), among others.

He is the author or editor of 11 books, including Just Sustainabilities: Development in an Unequal World (MIT Press, 2003), Sustainable Communities and the Challenge of Environmental Justice (NYU Press, 2005), The New Countryside?: Ethnicity, Nation and Exclusion in Contemporary Rural Britain (Policy Press, 2006), Environmental Justice and Sustainability in the Former Soviet Union (MIT Press, 2009), Speaking for Ourselves: Environmental Justice in Canada (UBC Press, 2010), Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class and Sustainability (MIT Press, 2011), Environmental Inequalities Beyond Borders: Local Perspectives on Global Injustices (MIT Press, 2011), Introducing Just Sustainabilities: Policy, Planning and Practice (Zed Books, 2013), Incomplete Streets: Processes, Practices, and Possibilities (Routledge, 2014) and Sharing Cities: A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities (MIT Press, 2015), one of Nature’s Top 20 Books of 2015.  His latest book is Food Trucks, Cultural Identity, and Social Justice: From Loncheras to Lobsta Love (MIT Press, 2017).

He was co-founder in 1996, and is now Editor-in-Chief of Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability. He is Series Editor of Just Sustainabilities: Policy, Planning and Practice published by Zed Books and Co-Editor of the Routledge Equity, Justice and the Sustainable City Series.  He is also Contributing Editor to Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development and a member of the Editorial Board of the Australian Journal of Environmental Education. Agyeman was co-founder in 1988, and served as chair until 1994, of the Black Environment Network (BEN), the first environmental justice-based organization of its kind in Britain. In 1996, he was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of the Arts (FRSA) in the UK, and in 2016 he became a Fellow of the UK Royal Geographical Society (FRGS). In 2018, he was awarded the Athena City Accolade by KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, for his “outstanding contribution to the field of social justice and ecological sustainability, environmental policy and planning”.

Nicky Sheats

Director of the Center for the Urban Environment at the John S. Watson
Institute for Public Policy
Thomas Edison State University

Nicky Sheats received his Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University in 2000, specializing in stable isotope biogeochemistry. After graduating, he worked for Environmental Defense as a science and law fellow, at the College of New Jersey as a visiting scholar, and at the Earth Institute of Columbia University as a post-doctoral fellow. He also has an undergraduate degree in Economics from Princeton University and a Law degree from Harvard Law School. He worked as a public interest attorney for almost eight years after graduating from law school. During that time, he served as a law clerk for the Chief Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals (the equivalent of a state supreme court), a landlord-tenant and housing attorney at Camden Regional Legal Services, a public defender in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and a legal instructor at a community legal education and college preparatory program in Harlem.

Sheats is currently the director of the Center for the Urban Environment at the John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy of Thomas Edison State University, where he has defined the Center’s primary mission as providing support for New Jersey’s environmental justice (EJ) community. He has also been a member of the New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance, New Jersey’s only statewide environmental organization that focuses solely on EJ issues, since its inception in 2003. Among the issues he is working on are particulate matter air pollution, climate change, cumulative risk and impacts, developing EJ legal strategies and increasing the capacity of the EJ community to address these and other issues. The EJ community’s stance on climate change, in particular, has gained attention since it uniquely emphasizes reducing emissions of particulate matter along with carbon dioxide and is highly critical of carbon trading.

Sheats has been appointed to New Jersey’s Clean Air Council and in recent years has expanded his work to a national level where he is currently a member of the EJ Leadership Forum on Climate Change and EPA’s Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, and was a member of the School Air Toxics Working Group of the National EJ Advisory Council and the New Orleans and Delta Area EJ Policy Task Force of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Dillard University. He is also serving as a lead author on the health chapter of the National Climate Assessment and will serve on the national NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Advisory Panel. Within the EJ Leadership Forum on Climate Change he is the primary organizer of the EJ and Science Initiative.

Jacqueline Patterson

Director of the Environmental and Climate Justice Program, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

Jacqueline Patterson is the Senior Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program. Since 2007 Patterson has served as coordinator & co-founder of Women of Color United. Jacqui Patterson has worked as a researcher, program manager, coordinator, advocate and activist working on women‘s rights, violence against women, HIV&AIDS, racial justice, economic justice, and environmental and climate justice. Patterson served as a Senior Women’s Rights Policy Analyst for ActionAid where she integrated a women’s rights lens for the issues of food rights, macroeconomics, and climate change as well as the intersection of violence against women and HIV&AIDS.  Previously, she served as Assistant Vice-President of HIV/AIDS Programs for IMA World Health providing management and technical assistance to medical facilities and programs in 23 countries in Africa and the Caribbean. Patterson served as the Outreach Project Associate for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and Research Coordinator for Johns Hopkins University. She also served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica, West Indies.

Patterson’s publications/articles include: ”Jobs vs Health: An Unnecessary Dilemma”, “Climate Change is a Civil Rights Issue”, “Gulf Oil Drilling Disaster: Gendered Layers of Impact”, “Disasters, Climate Change Uproot Women of Color”; “Coal Blooded; Putting Profits Before People”;  “Just Energy Policies: Reducing Pollution, Creating Jobs”: “And the People Shall Lead: Centralizing Frontline Community Leadership in the Movement Towards a Sustainable Planet”;   and book chapter, “Equity in Disasters: Civil and Human Rights Challenges in the Context of Emergency Events” in the book “Building Community Resilience Post-Disaster”.

Patterson holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University. She currently serves on the Steering Committee for Interfaith Moral Action on Climate, Advisory Board for Center for Earth Ethics as well as on the Boards of Directors for the Institute of the Black World, Center for Story Based Strategy, the American Society of Adaptation Professionals, Greenprint Partners, and the National Black Workers Center.

Jerome Shabazz

Executive Director of Overbrook Environmental Education Center

Jerome Shabazz holds an M.S. in Environmental Protection & Safety Management from St. Joseph’s University, and a B.A. in Organizational Management from Eastern University. He is the Executive Director of the Overbrook Environmental Education Center. He is also an adjunct professor at both Community College of Philadelphia and Penn State University. He is the founder and Executive Director of JASTECH (Juveniles Active in Science and Technology) Development Services, Inc., a not-for-profit organization developed in 1998 to promote environmental justice, encourage sustainable design and to promote public health in urban communities.

In 2002, JASTECH received a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant under the Clean Water Act to establish the Overbrook Environmental Education Center (OEEC), a community-based center dedicated to preserving our built and natural environments. Under Mr. Shabazz’s direction, the OEEC completed a Targeted Brownfields Assessment (TBA) and remediated environmental hazards from a brownfield site in Western Philadelphia. The OEEC has trained thousands of students on the Clean Water Act and Toxic Substances Control Act, and other topics that help reduce human exposure to toxic substances at home and school. The OEEC is nationally known for its environmental justice and project-based learning programs.

Prior to working in the non-profit sector, Shabazz worked for 25 years in water and gas utilities. He served as Safety & Training Manager at the Philadelphia Gas Works – LNG Processing Division. He also worked in the training, engineering and operations divisions at the Philadelphia Water Department. Mr. Shabazz has received numerous citations and awards, most recently from the PA House of Representatives – PA Legislative Black Caucus, City Council of Philadelphia and the Environmental Protection Agency for his commitment to environmental justice.

Howard Neukrug

Professor of Practice, and Executive Director of the Water Center
University of Pennsylvania

Howard Neukrug is the founder and director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Water Center at Penn.  He has 40 years of experience in the water industry, most recently as Commissioner and CEO of Philadelphia Water.  He is a national expert and advisor to cities, water utilities and regulators on topics of integrated urban water systems, green infrastructure, advanced technologies, water science and policy/regulations, and in the financing and operations of utilities. His key area of research interests involves the role water systems play in the creation of sustainable and resilient cities and regions, public health and watershed protection

Neukrug is the founder of Philadelphia’s Office of Watersheds and the creator of its award-winning Green Cities, Clean Waters program.  Neukrug is also a co-founder of the US Water Alliance, the Schuylkill Action Network, the AWWA Water Utility Council, and the Leading Utility of World CEO Network, as well as other non-profit organizations.  He is a Professional Engineer, a member of the US National Drinking Water Advisory Council, a board member of the Fund for the Fairmount Water Works, principal of CASE Environmental LLC, and Senior Advisor to the Global Water Leaders Group.  At the University of Pennsylvania, Neukrug teaches courses concerning the future of water.

Joseph S. Francisco

President’s Distinguished Professor of Earth and Environmental Science
University of Pennsylvania

Joseph S. Francisco is an internationally recognized scholar of atmospheric chemistry and chemical kinetics.  He received his B.S. at the University of Texas, Austin, and he received his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Francisco was a Research Fellow at Cambridge University in England, and a Visiting Associate in Planetary Science at California Institute of Technology.  He is the co-author of the fundamental textbook in chemical kinetics and dynamics, Chemical Kinetics and Dynamics, as well as more than 600 peer reviewed publications in the fields of atmospheric chemistry, chemical kinetics, quantum chemistry, laser photochemistry, and spectroscopy.  His research has focused on bringing new tools from experimental physical and theoretical chemistry to atmospheric chemical problems to enhance our understanding of chemistry in the atmosphere at the molecular level.  This work has led to important discoveries of new chemistries occurring on the interfaces of cloud surfaces as well as fundamental new chemical bonding controlling these processes. 

He is a recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Teacher-Scholar Award, as well as a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. He is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society, American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  He has been awarded an Alexander von Humboldt U.S. Senior Scientist Award, and appointed a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Bologna, Italy; Professeur Invité at the Université de Paris-Est, France; a Visiting Professor at Uppsala Universitet, Sweden; an Honorary International Chair Professor at National Taipei University, Taiwan; and an Honorary Professor, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, China.  He has served as a member of the Editorial Advisory Boards of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Journal of Physical Chemistry, Spectrochimica Acta Part A, Journal of Molecular Structure Theochem, and Theoretical Chemistry Accounts.  He has been the Atmospheric and Ocean Science Editor for Pure and Applied Geophysics and is currently an Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.  Francisco was appointed a member of the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science by former President Barack Obama and a former member of the Naval Research Advisory Committee for the Department of the Navy. He served as President of the American Chemical Society in 2010.  He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.