Christine James

HEFN Position: 
Steering Committee Member

Christine James came to the John Merck Fund in 2008, after 20+ years working for small, community-based human service and environmental nonprofit organizations in Maine and Massachusetts. As program officer for JMF, her work centers on food systems initiatives in New England, with particular emphasis on the farm-to-institution value chain, and on environmental health issues, primarily chemicals policy reform. She has a BA in art history from Bowdoin College and an MA in public policy from Tufts University's Urban & Environmental Policy program. Before coming to JMF James was executive director of EarthWorks, a small urban greening organization based in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. Her work in Maine included 4 years as executive director of an educational organic farm, and 2 years working on clean energy & climate change issues.

My Grantmaking Focus Is On: 

Engaging diverse constituencies to push for science-based policy and market solutions for moving our economy away from toxic chemicals and fossil fuels and toward healthier alternatives.

What Drew Me Into HEFN Leadership: 

The opportunities for professional growth that it offers—to  learn from colleagues, to find ways to support fellow environmental health funders and attract more funders into the field, and to explore ways for doing smarter, more strategic grantmaking. 

I See the HEFN Community Making a Difference: 

By supporting NGOs that are working to move us toward a healthier, safer, more sustainable world; by strengthening the environmental health field; by building a more cohesive and effective community of environmental health funders; and by connecting environmental health with food systems, climate/clean energy and related health and sustainability arenas.

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

On long-distance bike rides, knitting, gardening, hiking, x-country skiing, visiting art museums, baking funky personalized cakes, and spending time with friends and family.

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