Jun 13

What’s new
A Tribute and a Welcome

Michael Lerner, PhD photoBy Michael Lerner, PhD
President, Commonweal; Co-founder CHE

Dear CHE Friends,

In the 20 years since we co-founded the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, we have benefited from exemplary leadership from a number of gifted people. The most recent is Hannah Donart, who has done remarkable work, first as deputy to Karen Wang, and more recently as CHE Director in her own right.

One of the most fundamental gifts Hannah brought to CHE is her profound commitment to environmental health science as her dedicated career path. She trained for this work and intends to pursue it throughout her career.

A second gift Hannah brought to CHE is her deep passion for environmental justice and commitment to amplifying the voices of a whole new generation of environmental health scientists coming from minority and disproportionately impacted communities. She has done precisely that.

A third gift Hannah brought to CHE is a strong commitment to scientific rigor. This has always been the hallmark of CHE's work.

A fourth gift Hannah brought to CHE is high social and emotional intelligence. CHE's motto has always been "science and civility." We have always wanted CHE to be a place where the science could be debated with deep mutual respect.

We are immensely grateful that an equally gifted colleague, Kristin Schafer, has accepted responsibility for guiding CHE as our new Director. Kristin has been a trusted colleague for many years at Pesticide Action Network (PAN) North America, where she served for the last five years as Executive Director.

Kristin, as it happens, shares all four of Hannah's gifts — a life passion for the work, a profound commitment to justice, a strong understanding of the science, and being a deep joy to work with as a colleague.

Kristin is committed to continuing all the important innovations that Hannah and Karen nourished at CHE. Kristin is completing a comprehensive review of how CHE can best serve the field in the years ahead, which she will announce by year's end.

We know that CHE's principle partnerships with the EDC strategies group, CHE Alaska and others will continue.  We know our commitment to environmental justice is fundamental. We know that we will continue to raise the voices of a new generation of environmental health scientists. We know that our commitment to moving the work from science to policy action will be a CHE hallmark moving forward.

CHE has made remarkable contributions to environmental health and justice science, policy and advocacy work over the past 20 years.

We thank Hannah Donart for moving our work forward with such passion and commitment.  We welcome Kristin Schafer as our gifted new CHE Director.


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