Director, Environmental Justice and Equity, WRI-United States
Carla Walker is the Director of Environmental Justice and Equity for WRI-US. In this role, she provides leadership to WRI-United States' work around equity, environmental justice, and just transition in the context of climate change to expand visibility and impact, and influence decision makers to advance solutions for today’s environmental challenges.
Previously, Carla worked for NRDC as the Climate Advisor for the city of Cincinnati through the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge. She led the city’s work on creating energy efficiency programs for low-income families living in multi-family structures, public education initiatives on electric vehicles, building out the city’s EV charging infrastructure, and facilitated community workshops for the city’s engagement in the Groundworks USA Climate Safe Neighborhoods initiative.
Prior to NRDC, Carla spearheaded large-scale civic engagement and public service initiatives at the local, state, national and international levels for 20 years. She has held positions in three Mayor’s offices, at a state legislature, and has consulted or advised on more than 100 political or issue campaigns. For eleven years, her strategic planning and communications consultancy managed a project portfolio that included leading equity and inclusion for Healing Our Waters Coalition, advocating for fair sewer rates, developing gender equity initiatives across sub-Saharan Africa for ONE.org Africa, and working with North Central Water Region Network to examine the intersection of green infrastructure, social equity, and workforce development.
Carla holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of Cincinnati, an M.S. in Environmental Engineering Science from the University of Florida, and an M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School. She serves on the board of directors for Ohio Citizen Action, Clean Fuels Ohio, Lloyd Library, Black Art Speaks Artist Collective, and Green Umbrella, the regional sustainability alliance in Southwest Ohio.
Carla lives in Cincinnati, OH, and spends her free time creating citizen diplomacy initiatives between the US and France as the volunteer president of the Cincinnati-Nancy Sister City Association.