Shalini Gupta

Shalini Gupta Photo
HEFN Position: 
Consultant, Climate, Health, and Equity Project
Email Address: 

Shalini Gupta joined HEFN as a consultant to its Climate, Health, and Equity Project in June 2019. She has been involved with climate, energy and environmental policy - with a focus on building grassroots/frontline community capacity - for the past 20 years.  Through her consultancy work, Shalini works with a range of philanthropic, governmental and community-based organizations across the country. At HEFN, her work is focused on improving health and equity outcomes by expanding philanthropic investment in communities most impacted by climate change and the fossil fuel economy. 

Shalini’s past work experience includes research and advocacy positions at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy in Germany, and the Izaak Walton League of America.  A former governor appointee to the Minnesota Next Generation Energy Board, Shalini has served as co-Chair of the Headwaters Foundation for Justice Board of Directors and on the founding leadership team of the Midwest Environmental Justice Network. Prior to starting her consulting work, Shalini was the co-founder and executive director of the Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy, an environmental justice research and policy nonprofit.  She is deeply grounded in environmental justice where she lives, having been involved with the formation of the Green Zones initiative with the City of Minneapolis.

Shalini holds a BA in the Geophysical Sciences from the University of Chicago and an MA in Environmental Management from Yale University. ​ She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband, two sons, mother, and a community of friends and extended family.

What Inspires Me Most About Environmental Health and Justice: 

My inspiration to work on these issues comes from my lived experience. This includes a history of migration to the Midwest as a child and the link to my grandmother and extended family in New Delhi, India who are experiencing extreme heat and some of the worst air pollution in the world.  My own path to wellness has guided my work, as well as my friends’ and family’s uneven experiences with governmental and health systems based on race, culture and class. Seeing the light of the future in my children’s eyes, I hold a deep commitment to the earth and our right to live in harmony and connection.  

Why I Love My Job: 

I get to bring my science, policy, philanthropic and community experience together toward health and justice. It’s challenging every day and dynamic. I also get to work across a broad spectrum of colleagues across the country who are smart and deeply committed - where I feel together, we can start to turn the tide toward health and justice for our communities.  

When I'm Not at Work You Might Find Me: 

Playing tennis with my kids, baking sourdough bread, taking solo walks, having friends and family over for meals, and writing.

Contact Me When: 

You want to know the results of HEFN’s climate, health and equity funder and nonprofit survey, receive our toolkit, or learn how your funding can connect to climate change, health and justice.


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