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Remarkable Women

Through monthly chapter gatherings, EcoWomen has featured mavericks, influential voices, and leaders of today and the future. Below is a sampling of remarkable women who have shared their experiences and advice through the EcoWomen monthly speaker series.

  • Maude Barlow

  • Juliet Eilperin

  • Lois Gibbs

  • Kathleen Hogan

  • Nancy Knowlton

  • Nora Pouillon

  • Gina McCarthy

  • Mishkat Al Moumin

  • Jamie Rappaport Clark

  • Elizabeth Shogren

  • Kristen Wolf-Grimm


Titles and affiliations for each speaker below were current at the time the women were featured as EcoWomen speakers and may have since changed. For a full list of past speakers, please visit the Washington, DC Chapter of EcoWomen. Featured EcoWomen from other chapters will be added when available.

Maude Barlow

National Chairperson, Council of Canadians; Author of “Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop Corporate Theft of the World’s Water”

DC EcoWomen, June 2007

Maude Barlow is the National Chairperson of The Council of Canadians, Canada’s largest citizens’ advocacy organization with members and chapters across Canada, as well as the co- founder of the Blue Planet Project which works to stop commodification of the world’s water. She is also a Director with the International Forum on Globalization, a San Francisco based research and education institution opposed to economic globalization. Maude is the recipient of numerous educational awards and has received honorary doctorates from six Canadian universities for her social justice work as well as the recipient of the “2005/2006 Lannan Cultural Freedom Fellowship”.

Most recently she received the prestigious “2005 Right Livelihood Award” given by the Swedish Parliament and widely referred to as “The Alternative Nobel.” She is the best-selling author or co-author of fifteen books. Her most recent publications are Too Close for Comfort: Canada’s Future within Fortress North America; and Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop Corporate Theft of the World’s Water (with Tony Clarke), now published in 47 countries. Currently, Maude is writing a new book on the global fight for the right to water entitled Blue Covenant.

Juliet Eilperin

National Staff Writer/Environment, Washington Post

DC EcoWomen, October 2005

As a Washington, D.C., native, Juliet Eilperin grew up immersed in politics. After graduating from Princeton University in 1992, she spent the next 10 years covering politics. Before joining the Washington Post in 1998, she covered politics and economics for an English-language magazine in Seoul, South Korea, on a Luce Scholarship and wrote for States News Service and Roll Call newspaper. After having covered a political beat, she decided that she needed a change, which led her to focus on environmental issues.

Lois Gibbs

Founder & Executive Director; Center for Health, Environment & Justice

DC EcoWomen, January 2005

In 1978, Lois Gibbs became concerned about reports of leaking chemical waste in her Niagara Falls neighborhood, wondering if her children’s unusual health problems were connected to it. Lois later discovered that her neighborhood sat on top of 21,000 tons of buried chemical waste, the now infamous Love Canal. With no prior experience in community activism, she led her community in a battle against the local, state and federal governments. After years of struggle, more than 800 families were eventually evacuated, Love Canal cleanup began, the U.S. EPA’s “Superfund” program was created, and national press coverage made Lois Gibbs a household name.


After winning the federal relocation of Love Canal residents, Lois and other local activists were inundated with calls from people around the country who were facing similar threats and wanted help. The Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ) was founded in 1981 to address this need.

Kathleen Hogan

Director, Climate Protection Partnerships Division, U.S. EPA

DC EcoWomen, October 2008

Kathleen Hogan is the Director of the Climate Protection Partnerships Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. There she manages many of the Agency’s industry partnership programs designed to remove market barriers and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while saving businesses and consumers money.

These programs include the EPA’s flagship voluntary program, ENERGY STAR, which offers energy efficiency solutions across the residential, commercial and industrial sectors: partnership programs to promote renewable energy and combined heat and power; Climate Leaders, a corporate  program for addressing climate change; and a State partnership designed to promote clean energy policies with state decision-makers. Hogan has been with the EPA for 15 years. Prior to EPA, she worked in consulting and for a water resources planning commission for the Potomac River. She received her doctorate in systems analysis and environmental engineering from the Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Bucknell University.

Nancy Knowlton

Sant Chair in Marien Science, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural Science

DC EcoWomen, January 2009

Dr. Nancy Knowlton holds the Sant Chair in Marine Science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Her research focuses on the ecology, evolution and conservation of coral reef organisms, and has taken her to the Caribbean, Brazil, the eastern Atlantic, and the Indo-west and central Pacific. Her analyses have led to the now widespread recognition that estimates of marine diversity are probably too low by a factor of ten. Dr. Knowlton received her undergraduate degree 

at Harvard University and her PhD at the University of California at Berkeley, and was a professor at Yale University prior to moving to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Later, she joined the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego, where she was the founding Director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation and the leader of its interdisciplinary research and education (IGERT) program.

Dr. Knowlton currently serves on the National Geographic Society’s Committee on Research and Exploration and Conservation Trust Committee, chairs the World Bank’s Targeted Research Program for Coral Reefs, is principle investigator of the Census of Marine Life’s Coral Reef Initiative, and is an Associate Editor for the Annual Review of Marine Science. She is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an Aldo Leopold Fellow.

Nora Pouillon

Chef and Owner, Restaurant Nora and Asia Nora

DC EcoWomen, July 2005

Nora Pouillon, a true believer in healthy living, is a longtime advocate for increasing the quality and nutritional value of our food supply. She is a pioneer who first introduced organic dining to the Washington area over twenty two years ago. In April 1999, Restaurant Nora became the first certified organic restaurant in the nation, proving you can run an upscale restaurant that is successful and good for the environment. Nora’s commitment to a healthy lifestyle extends beyond the kitchen. Nora has consulted for Fresh Fields/Whole Foods Market and Walnut Acres, where she has developed a number of product lines. She is a founding board member of Chefs Collaborative 2000 and leading spokesperson for the NRDC/SeaWeb “Give North Atlantic Swordfish a Break” campaign.

Gina McCarthy

Assistant Administrator, U.S. EPA, Office of Air & Radiation

DC EcoWomen, November 2010

As Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation (OAR), Gina McCarthy has been a leading advocate for comprehensive strategies to confront climate change and strengthen our green economy. During her tenure, OAR has taken important steps to limit greenhouse gas emissions, including the Endangerment Finding, the Mandatory Reporting Rule, the first tailpipe greenhouse gas emission standard for passenger vehicles, and the Prevention of Significant Deterioration Tailoring Rule. These rules are common-sense ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect public health and the environment.

Prior to her confirmation, Ms. McCarthy served as the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. In her 25 year career, she has worked at both the state and local levels on critical environmental issues and helped coordinate policies on economic growth, energy, transportation and the environment. Ms. McCarthy also has extensive experience with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the nation’s first market-based greenhouse gas cap-and-trade system. Ms. McCarthy received a B.A. in Social Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and a joint M.S. in Environmental Health Engineering and Planning and Policy from Tufts University.

Mishkat Al Moumin

Former Minister of the Environment in the Interim Iraqi Government & Current Futrell Visiting Scholar at the Environment Law Institute

DC EcoWomen, September 2006

Former Minister of the Environment in the interim Iraqi government and Current Futrell Visiting Scholar at the Environmental Law Institute September, 2006, Dr. Mishkat Al Moumin is a well-known Iraqi lawyer and a lecturer of human rights at the University of Baghdad – College of Law. Dr. Al Moumin designed the entire structure of the Department of Environment in Iraq from the previous Department of Health. While serving as the Minister of the Environment, Dr. Al Moumin also developed new environmental law, led campaigns to support Iraqi people living in environmentally dangerous situations, and initiated awareness and clean-up projects.

Prior to joining the government Dr. Al Moumin served as the women’s issues director for the Free Iraq Foundation, where she successfully advocated for women to hold 25% of the seats in the new Iraqi Parliament. Dr. Al Moumin graduated as a Mason fellow at the Kennedy school of Government at Harvard University where she earned a Master’s degree in public administration. This degree was in addition to her MA and PhD in public international law from the University of Baghdad.

Jamie Rappaport Clark

Executive Director, Defenders of Wildlife

DC EcoWomen, October 2007

Jamie Rappaport Clark joined Defenders of Wildlife as executive vice president in February 2004. Jamie oversees a staff of 145 in Washington, D.C. and in field offices across the country and in Mexico and Canada. Jamie came to Defenders after a 20-year career with the federal government, mostly with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 1997, she was appointed director of the Service by President Bill Clinton, a post she held until 2001. During her tenure as director, Jamie oversaw the addition of two million acres to the National Wildlife Refuge System, including the establishment of 27 new refuges, and presided over the recovery of key endangered species such as the bald eagle, gray wolf, and peregrine falcon. Jamie’s tenure as director of Fish and Wildlife Service was also marked by the adoption of innovative policies to encourage landowners to voluntarily conserve wildlife, including the safe harbor program and expanded habitat and candidate conservation programs. Also under her leadership, the Fish and Wildlife Service worked with Congress to pass the landmark National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, which established wildlife conservation as the primary purpose of all refuges within the system.


Prior to her appointment as director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, Jamie served the agency as chief of the division of endangered species, southwest deputy assistant regional director, and senior staff biologist. Jamie Clark holds a B.S. in wildlife biology from Towson State University in Towson, Maryland, where she also did post-graduate work in environmental planning. She holds an M.S. in wildlife ecology from the University of Maryland.

Elizabeth Shogren

National Desk; National Public Radio

DC EcoWomen, February 2006

Elizabeth Shogren came to NPR in February 2005 to cover environmental issues on the National Desk. Prior to NPR, Shogren spent 14 years as a reporter on a variety of beats at The Los Angeles Times. For the last four years she reported on environmental issues in Washington, D.C., and across the country. From 1993 – 2000, Shogren worked from The Los Angeles Times’ Washington bureau covering the White House, Congress, social policy, money and politics, and presidential campaigns. Starting in 1988, Shogren worked as a freelance reporter based in Moscow, publishing in a variety of newspapers and magazines, including Newsweek, The Dallas Morning News, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Washington Post. During that time, she covered the fall of the Berlin Wall and the peaceful revolution in Prague.

Kristen Wolf-Grimm

President, Spitfire Strategies

DC EcoWomen, March 2005

One of the foremost campaign communications experts in the country, Kristen Wolf-Grimm is a preeminent communications advisor for advocacy organizations, foundations and other institutions. If you’ve heard that swordfish are in danger, it is largely thanks to Kristen. She crafted the communication strategy for this issue, winning the Silver Anvil award for her work. The SeaWeb’s ‘Give Swordfish a Break’ campaign successfully mobilized hundreds of chefs across the country to stop serving swordfish until the U.S. government adopted a sustainable fisheries management plan. Kristen is a powerful and sought-after speaker who has recently addressed Independent Sector, Environmental Grantmakers Association, the Council on Foundations, the Communications Network, and the National Association of Children’s Hospitals.

Kristen helps social change organizations use their voice in a strong, clear and compelling way to articulate their vision of a better world. She produces excellent communications tools for non-profits. And, she conducts capacity building communications trainings for nonprofits, foundations, and corporations (such as the Open Society Institute, Pew Charitable Trusts, Arsalyn Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, and National Association of Children’s Hospitals). Hear Kristen once, and you may find an entirely new way of talking about the environment.

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