Press Release

October 9, 2019

National environmental-justice champion to lead Grist’s solutions lab

Lisa Garcia, who led the EPA’s environmental-justice work under President Obama, will be the new director for Grist’s solutions lab, Fix.

Seattle, Washington — Grist welcomes Lisa Garcia, who led the Environmental Protection Agency’s environmental-justice work under President Obama, as the program director for its growing solutions lab, Fix.

Grist is a nonprofit media organization for people who want a planet that doesn’t burn and a future that doesn’t suck. Fix builds on Grist’s two-decade commitment to award-winning journalism by exploring the world of what’s possible, identifying and celebrating emerging climate and justice leaders, connecting them to each other to deepen their impact, and telling unexpected stories about progress.

“Lisa is a total superhero,” said Chip Giller, Grist founder, who launched Fix earlier this year. “She’s a fierce defender of justice, and has an amazing knack for building community and sparking positive change. I mean, we’ve seen her sporting a cape. We’re absolutely thrilled to have her on the team.”

As the Fix program director, Garcia will ​spearhead initiatives that knit together hundreds of leaders around the country and help show the way forward with a new story of positive change​.

Fix is one-half network-building and one-half storytelling. Through projects such as ​the Grist 50​, the program identifies and lifts up a diverse array of leaders developing solutions to environmental and social-justice challenges. It brings them together to

break down silos, develop new collaborations, and accelerate solutions. And through storytelling, live events, and partnerships with culture-shaping institutions, it ushers in a whole new narrative of what’s possible to achieve a world that works for everyone.

“We need a new storyline about positive change, about how we can take on climate change and create a better world,” said Garcia. “I’m excited to help build a program that celebrates and connects the diverse array of leaders who stand at the center of that story, and that shift our country’s understanding of what what we can achieve when we work together to support community-based leadership.”

At the EPA, Garcia served as both ​an associate administrator and the environmental-justice advisor to the EPA administrator, ​appointed by President Obama. She helped create and implement ​Plan EJ 2014,​ a roadmap for weaving environmental justice into all of the EPA’s work. She also led the federal Environmental Justice Interagency Workgroup, collaborating with other agencies across the U.S. government to address some of the country’s most persistent environmental challenges.

She comes to Grist from the nonprofit public-interest law organization Earthjustice, where, as a vice president, she led high-impact litigation work designed to protect communities and families from toxic pesticides, refinery and factory pollution, chemical dumping, and unsustainable industrial development​. She also spearheaded an effort to build diverse partnerships and coalitions.

“Lisa knows how to build relationships among different groups and people, and bring about change for the communities that need it most,” said Lisa Jackson, former EPA administrator for President Obama. “When it comes to the environment, the climate, and justice, we need people working across boundaries to support on-the-ground change — now more than ever. And Lisa is the best person to lead this important effort.”

“As Grist expands our impact with Fix’s solution​s work, we’re thrilled to have Lisa join our team,” said Brady Piñero Walkinshaw, Grist’s CEO. “It’s exciting to build on our longtime dedication to journalism, expanding our work in ways that connect and elevate the leaders who are driving the change for a more just, sustainable future.”

Before working at the EPA, Garcia served as the chief advocate for environmental justice and equity at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Prior to that, she was assistant attorney general for the state of New York.

MEDIA INQUIRIES: ​Lisa Garcia is available for interviews in English and Spanish. Chip Giller is available for interviews in English. Contact Nora Rothman, special projects manager, at nrothman@grist.org.

About Grist:​ ​Founded in 1999, Grist is a beacon in the smog — an independent, irreverent news outlet and network of innovators working toward a planet that doesn’t burn and a future that doesn’t suck. Learn more about Fix, Grist’s solutions lab, at https://grist.org/about/fix.

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