Former EPA Administrator
A career public servant in both Democratic and Republican administrations, Gina McCarthy has been a leading advocate for common sense strategies to protect public health and the environment for more than thirty years. As the head of EPA under President Obama, she led historic progress to achieve the administration’s public health and environmental protection goals and Climate Action Plan. In 2015, McCarthy signed the Clean Power Plan, which set the first-ever national standards for reducing carbon emissions from existing power plants, underscoring the country’s commitment to domestic climate action and spurring international efforts that helped secure the Paris Climate Agreement. During her tenure, EPA initiatives cut air pollution, protected water resources, reduced greenhouse gases and strengthened chemical safety to better protect more Americans, especially the most vulnerable, from negative health impacts. Internationally, McCarthy worked with the UN and WHO on a variety of efforts and represented the U.S. on global initiatives to reduce high risk sources of pollution. Known for her pragmatic approaches and disarming, plain-speaking style, McCarthy has earned the respect of the environmental, public health and business communities with her thorough understanding of all sides of climate, air quality, chemical safety, environmental justice and health equity, and water, land and natural resource protection and restoration discussions.
Before joining EPA, she served five Massachusetts Democratic and Republican administrations and was Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. She joined EPA in 2009 as Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. In 2013, she was chosen by President Obama to spearhead his climate efforts at the federal level as EPA Administrator.
(biography from: http://iop.harvard.edu/fellows/gina-mccarthy)
EPA Region 1 Administrator
Alexandra Dapolito Dunn serves as the Regional Administrator for EPA Region 1. Her responsibilities include overseeing the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and ten tribal nations.
Prior to joining EPA Region 1, Ms. Dunn served as executive director and general counsel for the Environmental Council of States (ECOS), a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to helping state agencies improve environmental outcomes for all Americans. Since 2014, Ms. Dunn has helped state governments improve water infrastructure, air pollution control, site cleanup, chemical management, and economic development. Prior to joining ECOS, Ms. Dunn served as executive director and general counsel for the Association of Clean Water Administrators.
Ms. Dunn has been published in the areas of the ethics of community advocacy, environmental justice, urban sustainability, water quality, cooperative federalism, and the Clean Water Act. She has taught on the subjects of environmental justice, and human rights and the environment as dean of Environmental Law Programs at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. She has also taught at the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America, where she served as faculty adviser to the student Environmental Law Society. Ms. Dunn most recently taught environmental justice as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at the American University’s Washington College of Law.
In 2015, Ms. Dunn was elected to the American College of Environmental Lawyers and served in leadership roles through the end of 2017. She also served through the end of 2017 on the executive committee and board of directors of the Environmental Law Institute. She has chaired the American Bar Association’s (ABA) section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, its World Justice Task Force, and served on the ABA Presidential Force on Sustainable Development.
Ms. Dunn received a B.A. in political science from James Madison University followed by a J.D. from the Columbus School of Law, where she was elected editor-in-chief of the law review. She is a member of the bar in D.C., Maryland, and New York, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Secretary Matthew A. Beaton oversees the Commonwealth’s six environmental, natural resource and energy regulatory agencies, which include the Departments of Environmental Protection, Public Utilities, Energy Resources, Conservation & Recreation, Agricultural Resources, and Fish & Game. Secretary Beaton also serves as Chairman of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, the Energy Facilities Siting Board, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.
During his tenure, Secretary Beaton has worked to stabilize electricity rates and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through bi-partisan energy diversification and solar legislation, and advancing clean energy technologies. Under his leadership, the secretariat has further worked to address climate change by working with cities and towns to make their communities more resilient, and through the implementation of an Executive Order which lays out a comprehensive approach to adapt and prepare for the impacts of climate change.
Additionally, Secretary Beaton, an avid outdoorsman, continues to take action on the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to supporting the Commonwealth’s vital fishing and agricultural industries, expanding tree canopies within urban communities, ensuring all residents have access to outdoor recreational opportunities and the state’s extensive parks system, and conserving valuable land and natural resources for future generations.
Before being appointed to the cabinet post at Energy and Environmental Affairs, Secretary Beaton served as a State Representative. First elected in 2011, he was a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, the House Committee on Ethics, and the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. In the private sector, Secretary Beaton has worked as an environmental engineer and energy efficiency consultant.
Secretary Beaton earned a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a master’s degree in energy and environmental analysis from Boston University. Currently, Secretary Beaton lives with his wife Laura and their three young children in Shrewsbury, where he designed the first Passive House in Massachusetts, which does not rely on a furnace and has very little heating or cooling needs.
(biography from https://www.mass.gov/service-details/secretary-matthew-a-beaton)
Note: Secretary Beaton will be presenting with Katie Theoharides, Assistant Secretary of Climate Change
MWRA Executive Director
Since 2001, Fred Laskey has served as the executive director of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority which provides drinking water and wastewater services for 2.5 million people in Massachusetts.
He manages 1,200 employees who operate this important infrastructure and has overseen over $2 billion of projects to complete the much heralded clean-up of Boston Harbor – including the Charles, Mystic and Neponset Rivers – and to upgrade the drinking water system to meet the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Under his leadership, MWRA has been recognized nationally for its sustainability and renewable energy initiatives. Fred graduated from UMass/Boston and lives in Medford with his wife Donna. They have four children.
Boston Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space
Austin Blackmon is Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space for the City of Boston. His Cabinet is comprised of the Inspectional Services Department, the Environment Department, and the Parks and Recreation Department. Mr. Blackmon serves as the Mayor’s appointee to the boards of the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA), Boston Groundwater Trust, Boston Harbor Now, and the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership. Mr. Blackmon also represents the City on the Green Ribbon Commission, the State’s Global Warming Solutions Act’s Implementation Advisory Committee and the State’s Energy Efficiency Advisory Council.
In his role, Mr. Blackmon oversees policy and programs on Energy, Climate Change, Sustainability, Building Safety, Historic Preservation and Open Space, including Climate Ready Boston, the Building Energy Reporting & Disclosure Ordinance, Rental Registry and Greenovate Boston, the city’s community outreach initiative on sustainability. Mr. Blackmon is currently leading efforts to implement Boston’s Climate Action Plan, which aims to reduce citywide greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.
Prior to his appointment with the City, Mr. Blackmon served as Interim Head of Project Finance at Terraverde Renewable Partners, a clean energy consulting firm focused on helping cities, school districts and companies implement solar projects and energy efficiency retrofits. His experience also includes positions at C12 Energy, Wells Fargo Securities’ Energy Group and Booz Allen Hamilton’s Strategy and Organization consulting practice. He also advised US Renewables Group by evaluating potential investments in waste recovery solutions.
Mr. Blackmon is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School.
(biography from: https://www.boston.gov/departments/environment/austin-blackmon)
William B. Golden
President and Co-founder, National Institute for Coastal and Harbor Infrastructure
William B. Golden is the co-founder and President of the National Institute for Coastal and Harbor Infrastructure (NICHIusa.org), a 501 c3 nonprofit focused on rising sea levels, extreme storms and aging infrastructure. Mr. Golden has over thirty-five years of experience working on environmental issues, as an attorney, a governmental official and as a private sector entrepreneur. Mr. Golden has served as staff on the United States President’s Advisory Council on Executive Organization, Environmental Task Force that drafted the enabling legislation that created USEPA and NOAA; as staff in the Office of the Administrator of USEPA; as Quincy City Solicitor; as a three term Massachusetts State Senator; as co-chair of a successful statewide hazardous waste cleanup referendum; as a member of the Stellwagen Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council; and as a member of the President’s Export Council. As City Solicitor for the City of Quincy, Mr. Golden filed the lawsuit that resulted in the first Boston Harbor Cleanup schedule and the creation of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. Mr. Golden has also served as a co-founder and Board Member of both Mass PIRG East and Save the Harbor, Save the Bay. As an Entrepreneur, Mr. Golden has served as founder and principal of an international consulting firm with offices in Boston, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Taipei and as principal in a geothermal management services company that managed and developed commercial geothermal generating facilities in Nevada. As the owner of two lightships, Mr. Golden and his wife Kristen own and operate a charter business. Mr. Golden graduated from Hebron Academy and has degrees from Yale University (BA), Harvard University Kennedy School of Government (MPA) and Boston University School of Law (JD).
Program and Agenda
Keynote address and featured speakers
Box lunch provided for all attendees
Please note: the exact agenda and topics are still being finalized. Check back for more details!
Check back soon for more details on the panel discussion
Over the past few months, communities have had to come face to face with the reality of storm impacts. Be it the Seaport District in Boston to any of our coastal communities, storms have caused severe flooding and significant impacts to the environment and our residents. With this in mind, the Advisory Board is dedicating our #MuniWorks community-based workshop series to examine climate change resiliency.
Are we ready for the next storm?
Storm damage to Boston Harbor Islands during the March nor’easters
(click to view)
Did you miss our Just the FAQs video on Climate Change and the MWRA system? Watch below!
Latest Blog Posts
April 23 Forum at the Massachusetts State House hosted by the National Institute for Coastal and Harbor Infrastructure
Board Briefs – PMD Update, Community Assistance Update, and Deer Island Storm Event
Upcoming stormwater conference in Portsmouth, NH
Reserve Your Spot
Friday, June 15th
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Yawkey Center at Boston College
(Murray Function Room)
Parking details to come
Walking Directions from Parking to Event
Map to Garage
Please note that this address (21 Campanella Way) is a private B.C. road, and may not show up in all GPS apps