SAN FRANCISCO (November 24, 2008) -- After nearly twenty five years as an advocate, attorney, and administrator championing conservation of California's natural resources, Felicia Marcus has accepted the newly created Western Director position at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). She started work on November 5, 2008.
“As America moves toward a clean energy future, it will look to California – and the state’s environmental leaders including Felicia Marcus – for guidance in addressing our energy and climate crisis,” said NRDC President Frances Beinecke. “As NRDC’s new Western Director, Felicia will help California continue its trailblazer tradition. Felicia will provide leadership for the environmental community in the West, tackling the biggest local issues and joining NRDC’s fight against the threats to our environment, our economy and our energy security.”
Prior to joining NRDC, Marcus served as The Trust for Public Land’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, managing the organization’s 450 employees in over 40 offices across the United States. Previously, Marcus was appointed by President Clinton and served as the Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region IX from October 1993 until January 2001. The office addresses environmental issues in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, former trust territories in the Pacific, and over 140 federally recognized Indian tribes. In addition to bringing unlikely allies together to make environmental progress, her hallmarks included engaging the public meaningfully in the work of the Agency, building capacity and close working relationships with tribes, leadership on environmental justice issues, and diversity work within the agency.
“We cannot afford to relent in our fight against climate change and I hope to amplify the work NRDC is already doing in California and across the western states, especially with an incoming national administration that will be looking for solutions,” said Marcus. “This is a critical time for everyone who cares about clean air, clean water, clean energy, reducing toxics, and reducing our global warming emissions. California and many western states recognize we’re at a critical point in our fight against global warming and for a healthier environment. NRDC has long been a leader in protecting the health of people and the planet and I am very proud to be joining them.”
As president of the Board of Public Works for the City of Los Angeles, Marcus was responsible for the city’s wastewater, solid waste, major construction, and other critical programs in a time when the City went from garnering lawsuits to garnering national awards for environmental excellence.
“Felicia brings a wealth of experience in fighting for the environmental priorities of the West,” said NRDC Executive Director Peter Lehner. “She has been a leader at The Trust for Public Land, with the City of Los Angeles, in the EPA – and now here at the NRDC. We are excited to have Felicia on board and honored to have such a decorated environmental veteran leading our western operations.”
Marcus has extensive prior experience as a public interest lawyer and community organizer in Los Angeles, with experience in air, water, toxics, and land use matters and being a leader of non-profit groups. Her current volunteer Board involvements include the California League of Conservation Voters, San Francisco Baykeeper, Urban Habitat, Natural Heritage Institute, and the Environmental Law Institute, among others.
Felicia received an AB cum laude from Harvard College in East Asian Studies and a JD from New York University where she was a Root-Tilden Fellow. She also studied at Hong Kong University on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship.