Rich Schrader

Special Advisor, NRDC Action Fund; New York Legislative and Policy Director, NY Regional, Healthy People & Thriving Communities Program

Rich Schrader is a veteran New York environmental and political strategist who leads NRDC’s Albany advocacy and works throughout the Northeast region. He has helped secure a broad range of legislative and administrative wins that have elevated New York State’s national climate and environmental leadership. Schrader has played a key role in successful campaigns to protect the climate, advance clean energy, and curb fossil fuel reliance. These legislative and regulatory victories include New York’s seminal 2014 fracking ban, a prohibition on offshore drilling in the Atlantic, the multi-state rejection of the Williams Pipeline, the landmark divestment of the New York State Common Retirement fund from fossil fuel investments, and the passage of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act—the state’s nation-leading climate law that mandates 100% clean energy by 2040. He has also been involved in the decade-long effort to protect the Delaware River Basin from fracking, which culminated in a fracking ban in 2021.

Schrader had a hand in a number of additional historic campaigns to protect natural resources, endangered species, and public health. These achievements include the first congestion pricing plan in the U.S., a comprehensive food waste recycling law, the creation of NY SUN—a billion dollar investment in solar projects across the region, a first-in-the-nation statewide ban on ivory products and the commercial use of giraffe parts, bans on the use of the toxic chemical PFAS in firefighting foam and food containers, and prohibitions on toxic flame retardant chemicals used in household furniture and electronic casings. Prior to joining NRDC, Schrader was appointed as New York City's commissioner of consumer affairs by Mayor David Dinkins, where he led one of the nation’s first law enforcement actions prohibiting the sale of tobacco to minors. During his tenure, he managed the most extensive consumer affairs enforcement action, shutting down a ring of gas stations that conspired in a multimillion-dollar price gouging scheme. He also co-chaired the task force that designed the first commercial recycling regulations in New York City. City & State named him as part of its 2019 and 2020 list of New York’s top energy and environment power players. He is a graduate of Fordham University and holds a master’s in journalism from Boston University.