You are here: American University Media Relations Media Advisories AU Celebrates 2022 Environment Champions With Reilly Awards

Communications and Media

AU Celebrates 2022 Environment Champions With Reilly Awards


The Center for Environmental Policy at American University’s School of Public Affairs will celebrate this year’s winners of its annual William K. Reilly Awards for Environmental Leadership. The virtual event will bring together accomplished leaders in environmental policy, equity, and sustainability.  


Wednesday, Monday, May 2, 2022, 1:00-2:15 p.m. (ET)


The Center for Environmental Policy's William K. Reilly Awards for Environmental Leadership recognize individuals and organizations who have made lasting contributions to preserving the environment and preparing the next generation of environmental leaders. In addition, two School of Public Affairs students, Stephanie Strickland (2003) and Taylor Reed (2023),are awarded the annual William K. Reilly scholarship for their commitment to environmental and energy issues and their interest in pursuing a career in environmental, energy, or sustainability policy, and strong academic record.

The Reilly Awards will be presented to Catherine Coleman Flowers, Founding Director of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice and Vice Chair of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, and Paul Polman, Co-Founder and Chairman, Imagine, Former CEO, Unilever, Author of Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take.

Catherine Coleman Flowers is recognized for her work on environmental justice issues, including addressing failing infrastructure that causes socioeconomic disparities in rural neighborhoods in the U.S. Flowers is an internationally renowned advocate for sanitation solutions and water access. She is the author of Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret. Flowers advocates for addressing the overlapping and synergistic impacts of climate change and inequality. Flowers was named 2020 MacArthur Fellow for Environmental Health Advocacy. She serves as a board member of the Natural Resources Defense Council and The Climate Reality Project.

Paul Polman works to accelerate action by business to achieve the UN Global Goals, which he helped develop. As CEO of Unilever (2009-2019), he demonstrated that a long-term, multi-stakeholder model goes hand-in-hand with excellent financial performance and has been described by the Financial Times as "a standout CEO of the past decade." Paul’s new book, “Net Positive”, is a call to arms to courageous business leaders, setting out how to build net positive companies which profit by fixing the world’s problems rather than creating them. He Chairs IMAGINE and Saïd Business School and is Vice-Chair of the UN Global Compact as well as B Team Leader. Paul is Honorary Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce, which he led for two years.

Introduced in 2013, the annual award is named in honor of former EPA Administrator William K. Reilly. Mr. Reilly served four U.S. Presidents in various capacities. He was founder of Aqua International Partners and served as a Senior Advisor to TPG Capital. Mr. Reilly also served as president of World Wildlife Fund and later chairman of the board; president of The Conservation Foundation; and director of the Rockefeller Task Force on Land Use and Urban Growth.

The event will include remarks from this year’s awardees and former EPA Administrator Reilly.

RSVP and Interview Availability:

For more information about the award, please contact Natasha Abel: Register for the event here .