Neil Seldman, President - Institute for Local Self-Reliance Washington, DC 20005
Neil Seldman worked in manufacturing and distribution plants from an early age and rose to Assistant to the President after earning a Bachelor of Science degree at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. He left the private sector to follow a career in Kremlinology and Soviet and Chinese Communist industrial models. He earned a Masters of International Communism at the Sino-Soviet Institute at The George Washington University. He earned a Ph.D. studying the History of Ideas under Professor Wolfgang Kraus, Chair of the Political Science Department at GWU, where he was Associate Professorial Lecturer. He also served as the Assistant Director, Division of Experimental Programs at GWU. Seldman co-founded the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in l974, an organization which provides research, technical assistance and policy analysis for cities, states, industry and community development organizations. He has served as director of the Waste to Wealth Program and as ILSR president. He also co-founded the National Recycling Coalition (l980) and the Grass Roots Recycling Network (l995). Seldman is credited with introducing the concept and practice of recycling enterprises and community economic development. Seldman is an experienced speaker on topics including community economic development, sustainable industrial economies, and deconstruction as a link between community-based employment and labor unions, and the history of the ideas underlying market and planned economies. His presentations include case examples, contacts and lessons learned from diverse investment projects in urban and rural areas.
Peggy Shepard, Executive Director and co-founder ? West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc. (WE ACT) - New York
Peggy Shepard is executive director and co-founder of West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc. (WE ACT). Founded in 1988, WE ACT was New York?s first environmental justice organization created to improve environmental health and quality of life in communities of color. A recipient of the 10th Annual Heinz Award for the Environment, she is a former Democratic District Leader, who represented West Harlem from 1985 to April 1993, and served as President of the National Women?s Political Caucus-Manhattan from 1993-1997.
From January 2001-2003, Ms Shepard served as the first female chair of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and is co-chair of the Northeast Environmental Justice Network. Ms. Shepard serves on the Institute of Medicine?s committee: Ethics of Housing-Related Health Hazard Research Involving Children, Youth, and Families. In 1988, Ms. Shepard co-founded West Harlem Environmental Action, a non-profit organization working to improve environmental policy, public health, and quality of life in communities of color. WE ACT is a nationally recognized organization in the field of community-based participatory research in partnership with the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Ms. Ms. Shepard received the Dean's Distinguished Service Award in 2004 from the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health. She is the recipient of the 10th Annual Heinz Award for the Environment from the Heinz Foundation, December 2003.
Peggy Shepard, a former journalist, was a reporter for The Indianapolis News, a copy editor for The San Juan Star, and a researcher for Time-Life Books. She has served as an editor at Redbook, Essence, and Black Enterprise magazines. A frequent lecturer at universities and conferences on issues of environmental justice and community-based health research, she is a graduate of Howard University and Solebury and Newtown Friends Schools. She has one daughter, Nicole and lives in the Hamilton Grange Historic District of West Harlem.
Wilma Subra, Environmental Chemist, 1999 MacArthur Genius Award Recipient
Wilma Subra is president of Subra Company, an environmental consulting firm she founded in 1981. She provides technical assistance to community groups on a wide range of environmental issues including oil and gas drilling, production and waste issues. Ms. Subra has been a member of the IOGCC guidelines development work group and has participated in a number of state reviews. She is a founding board member of the Oil and Gas Accountability Project that works with communities to prevent and reduce the social, economic and environmental problems caused by oil and gas development. She currently serves on a number of Environmental Protection Agency national advisory committees: Vice-Chair of the National Advisory Council on Environment, Policy and Technology; National Advisory Committee to the U.S. Representative to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation; NACEPT superfund Subcommittee; and National Environmental Justice Advisory Council.
Paul H. Templet, Ph.D.
Professor of Environmental Studies
Louisiana State University
Dr. Paul Templet is a professor of environmental studies at Louisiana State University. He has degrees in Chemistry and Physics, teaches environmental planning and management and conducts research concerning environmental management, risk assessment, energy analysis, industrial ecology and systems analysis of economic and environmental systems. He was Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality from 1988-1992 and has developed and implemented Coastal Management Programs and National Estuary and Marine Sanctuary programs in Louisiana and American Samoa. He has authored over 40 papers in professional journals, 10 book chapters and has been an invited speaker at numerous meetings. He is a member of the Consultative Group of the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation which works to facilitate environmental reporting in Mexico, Canada and the US. In addition, he has served as a consultant to the EPA's Science Advisory Board, as a member of a panel of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences and on many other scientific panels.