Heather McTeer ToneyClimate Justice Liaison at Environmental Defense Fund Oxford, MS Award Year: 2022
Heather McTeer Toney was the first African-American, first female, and the youngest person to serve as Mayor of Greenville, Mississippi (from 2004-2012). In 2014, she was appointed by President Obama as Regional Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Southeast Region (Region 4), where she was responsible for protecting public health and the environment in eight southeastern states, as well as six federally recognized tribes. She led efforts to create and support local environmental justice initiatives and promote clean energy. Currently, Toney serves as the Climate Justice Liaison for the Environmental Defense Fund and Senior Advisor to Moms Clean Air Force, two affiliated organizations that represent over three million climate and environment allies committed to fighting climate change and protecting children from the dangers of air pollution. Previously, Toney served as a national spokeswoman for She Should Run, a national organization that encourages women to run for office. She sits on the board of directors for Vote Solar, a nonprofit policy advocacy organization with the mission of making solar more accessible and affordable. Toney is often called upon for advocacy and training on equity in leadership, the environment and climate justice, and has presented in over 15 countries. She was one of the essayists featured in a breakout climate book of 2020, “All We Can Save”, which is a compilation of essays from women at the forefront of the climate movement.