Four New Members Appointed to NEEF Board of Directors
November 16, 2021

The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) is pleased to announce the appointment of four new members to its Board of Directors.

“We are pleased to welcome this group of talented and accomplished individuals to NEEF's Board of Directors,” said NEEF Board Chair, Kevin Butt. “Each brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership in their fields and will be tremendous assets in moving NEEF towards its mission of making the environment more accessible, relatable, relevant, and connected to the daily lives of all Americans.”


headshots of NEEF 2021 Board Appointees

Alongside current members, the following appointees will serve four-year terms on the NEEF Board:

  • Robert D. Bullard, Ph.D. is often described as the father of environmental justice. Previously serving as dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University (TSU) from 2011-2016, Bullard is currently a Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy at TSU, as well as co-chair of the HBCU Climate Change Consortium and National Black Environmental Justice Network. Prior to this, he was the founding director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University. Bullard is an award-winning author of eighteen books covering topics such as sustainable development, environmental racism, community reinvestment, and climate justice, among others. His latest books include Race, Place and Environmental Justice After Hurricane Katrina, Environmental Health and Racial Equity in the United States, and The Wrong Complexion for Protection. Dr. Bullard earned his doctoral degree from Iowa State University and is a US Marine Corps veteran.

    “I am honored to join the NEEF board and hope my participation will help infuse an equity and justice lens and urgency of tackling environmental and climate challenges that disproportionately impact poor, marginalized and vulnerable populations in the U.S.,” said Dr. Bullard. 

  • Sally Cole is a director of employee communications at Apple. During her eight years with the company, she has grown Apple's employee communications function, greatly increasing engagement and connection to leadership. Previously, Cole worked as the Director of Internal Communications at Google, Senior Director of Strategy at the Gap, and VP of Development and Corporate Partnerships at Earth Force. She served on President Clinton's Council on Sustainable Development, helping to bring together CEOs, cabinet members and NGO leaders to produce a national strategy on sustainability. Cole holds a Juris Doctor (JD) and an MBA from Stanford University and a BA from Yale University. 
  • Arturo Garcia-Costas is the environment program officer for The New York Community Trust, where he manages The Trust's national, New York City, and Appalachia grantmaking. He brings 25 years of policy experience in environmental health, climate change, sustainable energy, and biodiversity conservation in the nonprofit sector and at all levels of government to the board. Garcia-Costas managed a global initiative to help developing countries implement the Earth Summit treaties for the United Nations Development Programme. During the Clinton Administration, he led an effort by the Environmental Protection Agency to engage with the Latinx community on pressing environmental concerns, and later worked on climate justice issues with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. He has a BA in international affairs and theater from the City University of New York; a Juris Doctor (JD) from Stanford Law School, where he focused on international and environmental law; and an MS in urban policy and leadership from Hunter College.
  • Omar Mitchell is the vice president of sustainable infrastructure and growth initiatives for the National Hockey League (NHL). He is responsible for promoting strategies and innovations that address growth of the game via environmental, economic and social sustainability as well as environmental advocacy across the league and its member Clubs. Mitchell became the NHL's first environmental sustainability director in 2012, overseeing NHL GreenTM  the award-winning environmental sustainability initiative and has led League corporate social impact efforts including public affairs and philanthropic initiatives during his tenure. He started his career in architecture and real estate and holds an MBA from MIT's Sloan School of Management, and a master's degree in architecture from Columbia University.

    “Sports offers a unique platform to inspire positive change and educate on the pressing environmental concerns facing the communities where we live, work, and play. I look forward to advancing the mission of NEEF and working alongside my Board colleagues to progress this important work," said Mitchell. 

NEEF President and CEO, Meri-Margaret Deoudes is looking forward to collaborating with the Board members. “The experience and expertise of our new members in environmental justice, sustainability, and public engagement, will enrich our environmental education grant and program work across our key focus areas: K-12 education, health, and conservation, as well as employee engagement,” said Deoudes.


About NEEF

The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) is the nation's leading organization in lifelong environmental learning, creating opportunities for people to experience and learn about the environment in ways that improve their lives and the health of the planet. Congressionally chartered in 1990, NEEF is a non-partisan, non-advocacy organization working to make the environment more accessible, relatable, relevant, and connected to people's daily lives.  

Learn more at—or follow NEEF on Facebook and on Twitter.