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Children’s Health Advocate and National Sustainability Leader Recognized at William K. Reilly Environmental Leadership Awards

Dan Fiorino, Nse Obot Witherspoon, Dan Esty, Dean Barbara Romzek

Dan Fiorino, Nse Obot Witherspoon, Dan Esty, School of Public Affairs Dean Barbara Romzek

On April 24, 2014, Nse Obot Witherspoon, Executive Director of the Children's Environmental Health Network and Daniel C. Esty received the William K. Reilly Awards for Environmental Leadership. Ms. Witherspoon was introduced by Center for Environmental Policy Advisory Board member Stanley Abramson who praised her work advocating for the protection of children from environmental health risks such as lead, air pollutants, and other toxics. Ms. Witherspoon shared stories of the impacts of environmental hazards on children's ability to learn, grow and thrive, and the importance of addressing these challenges through partnerships and policies. Mr. Esty was introduced by Center for Environmental Policy Advisory Member Stephen Harper who recognized Mr. Esty's contributions to Connecticut where he served as Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, and to federal environmental policy through his work at the US EPA. Examples of Mr. Esty's accomplishments include a Comprehensive Energy Strategy and a clean energy finance bank, among many others. Mr. Esty is well known for facilitating productive collaborations between the private and public sector to achieve environmental goals and was an early pioneer of sustainability metrics.

In addition to the awards program, William K. Reilly introduced former Senator Bob Graham who spoke about his experiences facilitating collaboration across divergent stakeholders, including in his role as co-chairman of the BP Oil Spill Commission.

Jennifer Fernandez (MPP 2015) and Kavita Mak (MPP 2015) received the William K. Reilly scholarship for their academic accomplishments in the School of Public Affairs and for their and commitment to a career in the environmental or energy fields.