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I found my calling in the environmental field in college. After changing majors seemingly every semester (art, Russian literature, psychology…), I took some classes in environmental policy, clean energy, and what we now call sustainable economic development. I also took an anthropology class in systems theory, based on Gregory Bateson’s Steps to an Ecology of Mind. This combination was life changing for me, enabling me to see how things that on their face may not seem connected (including my disparate interests), are actually quite interconnected, and how, without protecting our environment, nothing else we care about really matters. It still impacts who I am, how I see the world, and how I approach the work that I do.

The first half of my career was in the public sector—as the first Director of Solid Waste for Passaic County, New Jersey; the Director of Recycling for the City and County of San Francisco; and the founding Executive Director of the Chelsea Center for Recycling and Economic Development.  In these positions, I regularly brought together businesses, other government leaders, non-profit organizations, and academic researchers to develop innovative programs that garnered state and national awards and recognition. Having worked in government strengthens my effectiveness as a consultant, building on my ability to communicate with and motivate each sector and giving me a realistic outlook on what each can (and should) do to reduce negative

impacts on our planet.


I have an innate strategic and problem-solving way of thinking, see the big picture as well as the steps to get there, enjoy bringing people together to collaborate on positive change, see a world full of dots and new ways to connect them, and have a natural sense of curiosity. I love building capacity within individuals and organizations. I don’t enjoy cookie cutter approaches to anything, although I don’t like reinventing the wheel, either. I love talking to groups of all ages about environmental careers, environmental issues, and why they matter. I bring all of this to the projects I undertake.


I am proud of the many personal honors I have received over the years for my work. Among them are being the kick-off speaker at the Massachusetts legislature’s Green Economy Caucus, an appointment to Massachusetts Governor Patrick’s Transition Team on Energy and Environment, an invitation to be in the first cohort of Fellows at UMass Lowell’s Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, a commendation for my efforts to improve the quality of life in the City and County of San Francisco, and a profile in the first Complete Guide to Environmental Careers book.


I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies and Environmental Policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. I have additional training in, business development, facilitation, and participatory processes.

What I do can’t be condensed into a nutshell. I feel energized when I get to work on creative projects that bring people together, add something new to the topic at hand, help make the world a better place, and solve a problem. And, if it’s fun and engaging in the process, all the better.  If my way of thinking and approaching things intrigues you but you don’t see a ‘service’ on my web page that relates specifically to what you are looking for, please feel free to get in touch with me and we can talk. As Perlmutter Associates, I can bring together the best team of nationally respected experts to meet your needs.