Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Andrew McElwaine Returns To Heinz Endowments, Pennsylvania

In a move designed to deepen its commitment to social and environmental sustainability, The Heinz Endowments Tuesday announced the appointment of an environmental leader and former Endowments’ staff member to the new position of Senior Program Director for Sustainability and the Environment.
Andrew McElwaine, who is currently President and CEO of American Farmland Trust – a national farmland conservation organization based in Washington, D.C. – will oversee the Endowments’ environment grantmaking.
He will also be directly responsible for building the foundation’s sustainability-related work and will have broad responsibility for infusing the principles of environmental and social sustainability across the full range of the organization’s grantmaking and other activities.
Mr. McElwaine is returning to the Endowments where he served for six years as the organization’s first Environment Program Director. He left the Endowments in 1999 to take up the position of President and CEO with Pennsylvania Environmental Council and from there he moved to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida as President and CEO before joining the American Farmland Trust in 2013.
As part of the effort to strengthen its work in sustainability, the Endowments also announced the promotion of Phillip Johnson to the role of Program Director for Science and Environment. Mr Johnson joined the Endowments as Environment Program Officer in 2009 and has served as the department’s Interim Program Director for the past year. He will direct the foundation’s environmental stewardship and research work focusing on air and water quality and environmental impacts on human health.
“We believe that in the years ahead environmental issues are going to be at the forefront of how Pittsburgh defines itself and shapes the future of this community,” said Endowments’ President Grant Oliphant. “Our work will focus not only on the critical challenge of protecting the quality of our air and water but also on the opportunity to develop innovative sustainability practices that can make our region a leader in the solution of major social and environmental challenges.”
In welcoming Mr. McElwaine’s return to the Endowments, Mr Oliphant said: “Andrew is a courageous and seasoned environmental strategist who appreciates the Endowments’ guiding values and the role of philanthropy in developing creative solutions to environmental challenges.
“He understands the issues confronting the environment on both a global and a local scale and how important it is for communities like Pittsburgh to forge a path to a sustainable future.”
Commending Mr. Johnson for his interim leadership of the foundation’s environment work, Mr. Oliphant said: “Phil has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to environmental health and a rigorous understanding of environmental science. As interim leader of the environment program he proved his ability to lead our focus on air and water quality and the protection of human health from environmental toxins and degradation.”
Mr. McElwaine, who served as an environmental and government affairs aide to the late Senator John Heinz, recently completed a national strategic plan for the American Farmland Trust to implement sustainable agriculture, create local food systems and reduce climate impacts of farming.
Among other past accomplishments, he helped to develop the then Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s climate action plan and regional planning initiatives; he successfully defeated regional development plans for south Florida that would have endangered species habitat and wetlands; and he developed and facilitated the Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan that was adopted by then state Gov. Ed Rendell.
A former staff member of President George H.W. Bush’s Commission on Environmental Quality from 1991 to 1993, Mr. McElwaine has served on the boards of more than a dozen organizations concerned with policy work and issues related to the environment, conservancy, the safeguarding of natural resources and the protection of public health.
In 2014, the Endowments’ environment program distributed grants of over $14.4 million, including funding of more than $4.9 million to support the organization’s Breathe Project. The Endowments’ total grantmaking last year was over $75 million.
NewsClip: Heinz Endowments Taps McElwaine To Oversee Environmental Grantmaking

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