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Center for Environmental Policy

The Center for Environmental Policy aims to improve the nation's ability to address environmental challenges through effective governance.

Environmental Attitudes and Innovations in Rural America

April 15, 2020 | 2-3:30PM EST

Join American University's Center for Environmental Policy for a free webinar that will explore new research about the environmental attitudes of Americans living in rural communities on topics such as stewardship, conservation and regulations, as well as practical approaches for bridging divisions between environmentalists in rural and urban communities. The discussion will also address existing and emerging innovations in sustainable farming and ranching practices using technologies and science-based production techniques.
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Clean Air for All 50 Years of the Clean Air Act

September 29, 2020, National Press Club

In partnership with the American Lung Association and American University’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking, the Center for Environmental Policy is pleased to announce the symposium Clean Air for All: 50 Years of the Clean Air Act. The symposium will feature a full day of moderated panel discussions with practitioners and experts as well as the premiere of a new short film, Unbreathable: The Fight for Healthy Air.

Featured speakers include:

  • Gina McCarthy, President and CEO, Natural Resources Defense Council and Former Administrator, US EPA
  • William K. Reilly, Former Administrator, US EPA
  • Peggy Shepard, Co-Founder and Executive Director, WE ACT for Environmental Justice
  • Tommy Wells, Director, Department of Energy & Environment, District of Columbia

William K. Reilly Awards 2020 Winners

The Center for Environmental Policy has announced the winners of the 2020 William K. Reilly Awards for Environmental Leadership, Monica Ellis and Frank Loy. The awards will be presented at a ceremony on campus on May 7, 2020. A backup date is being identified and will be announced soon should the program need to be postponed due to COVID-19. 

Savonala “Savi” Horne, Executive Director, Land Loss Prevention Project, will deliver the keynote address.

Monica Ellis, CEO, Global Environment & Technology Foundation; Global Water Challenge

Monica Ellis HeadshotMonica Ellis serves as the CEO of two organizations: Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF) and the Global Water Challenge (GWC). Ms. Ellis focuses on bringing safe water to communities and families that lack reliable and affordable access to this essential resource. To date, over four million people in 41 countries across Africa have received clean water through her team’s effort and a total of six million are expected to receive water by the end of 2020. In support of this work, she has organized a partnership of companies, foundations and government agencies and raised over $200 million dollars to support these programs.

Today, hundreds of projects are either underway or have been successfully transitioned to local communities as a result of Ms. Ellis’ vision, resilience, leadership and unfaltering commitment to leaving the world better than she found it.

Ms. Ellis serves as a member and/or advisor to several boards, including that of GETF, the Johns Hopkins University Global Water Advisory Board, U.S. Water Partnership, the Graham Sustainability Institute at the University of Michigan and the Global Water Institute at Ohio State University

Frank Loy, former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs

Frank Loy HeadshotFrank Loy has been engaged in environmental and climate issues since the 1980s.  He has served as lead U.S. climate negotiator, and as chair of major non-governmental organizations:  The Environmental Defense Fund, Resources for the Future, The League of Conservation Voters and Population Services International, the largest family planning organization operating in the developing world.  He served nine years on the Global board of The Nature Conservancy, was founding chair of ecoAmerica, and now chairs several climate-related organizations, including Climate Advisers Trust and The Smart Surfaces Coalition. 
He was appointed to posts in the State Department in four administrations:  by President Johnson as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs, by President Carter as Director of the U.S. Refugee Program, by President Clinton as Under Secretary for Global Affairs (which included the climate and environmental portfolios), and by President Obama as Alternate U.S. Representative to the UN.  He now funds an annual award for State career officers’ achievements in environmental diplomacy.
He spent a decade in the business sector, including as Senior VP of Pan American Airways, and as a partner of a turn-around firm that brought companies out of bankruptcy, including the Penn Central Transportation Company, then the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.
He served for a decade as president of The German Marshall Fund of the U.S., an American foundation focused on US/European relations.

He has served on numerous corporate boards, including Madison Square Garden, Six Flags, and companies in the energy and real estate sectors.  He now serves on the Advisory Board of Terra Alpha Investments and on ExxonMobil’s External Sustainability Advisory Panel.

A Good Life on a Finite Earth wins Charles Levine Prize

Each year, the International Political Science Association’s Research Committee on the Structure of Governance sponsors the Levine Prize. It is named in honour of Charles H. Levine, who was a distinguished member of the Research Committee and served on the editorial board of its official journal, Governance. 

The prize is awarded on the recommendation of a distinguished committee for the best book on comparative administration or public policy published in the previous year. 

This year’s committee was composed of Professors Linda White (University of Toronto, Canada), Kutsal Yesilkagit (Leiden University, The Netherlands) and Robert Cox (University of South Carolina, United States). The Award Committee has selected “A Good Life on a Finite Earth: The Political Economy of Green Growth,” by Daniel J. Fiorino as the 2019 recipient of the Levine Award. 

Moving Forward: Future Directions for EPA and Environmental Protection

The Center for Environmental Policy began a partnership with the EPA Alumni Association in 2018 to identify the greatest environmental challenges and to suggest “future directions” for EPA. Informed by this partnership, the Center has identified six key future directions that are described in the report, Moving Forward: Future Directions for EPA and Environmental Protection.

The research behind this report builds on the April 2019 conference hosted the Center for Environmental Policy and AU’s Washington College of Law, and co-sponsored by the EPA Alumni Association, the Environmental Law Institute, and the Hanley Family Foundation.
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Towards 21st Century Environmental Protection Policies, Technologies, and Institutions

On November 14-15, 2019, the Center for Environmental Policy at American University in partnership with the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies convened practitioners and thought leaders to address the critical issues for advancing environmental protection in the future. The summary report is now available.

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2019 William K. Reilly Scholars Announced

SPA Master of Public Policy student and winner of the 2019 William K. Reilly Scholarship, Caroline Nickerson, describes her passion for environmental policy.

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Sabina Vecchi

SPA Master of Public Policy student and winner of the 2019 William K. Reilly Scholarship, Sabina Vecchi, describes her interests in renewable energy.

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Reflection on U.S. Environmental Policy

This video history, produced with support from the EPA Alumni Association, honors William K. Reilly’s tenure as EPA Administrator and his many contributions to federal, state, and local environmental governance.

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Grass cutout of world continents

Environment ·

Book Focused on Environmental Policy and Sustainability Receives International Political Science Prize

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A Good Life on a Finite Earth

Daniel Fiorino, distinguished executive in residence at the American University School of Public Affairs, argues that policymakers need to protect the environment if they want the economy to grow in the long-term.

In his new book, A Good Life on a Finite Earth: The Political Economy of Green Growth, which was published in December by Oxford University Press, Fiorino links academic research with policy analysis.

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Environmental leaders explore path forward on sustainable policies

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Charting a Course for Net Zero Carbon by 2050

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Environmental Protection Experts Analyze Challenges and Opportunities for EPA

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New Survey Suggests Future Directions for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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Reilly Awardees

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Environment Leaders Honored With Annual Reilly Awards

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