Ansje Miller Named New HEFN Executive Director

HEFN is pleased to announce Ansje Miller as its new Executive Director, succeeding Kathy Sessions who stepped down in July after 20 years with the philanthropy serving organization. Ansje will start her new role on Oct. 14, 2019.

“Ansje is known in the field as a strategic thinker, consensus-builder, and an incredible ambassador with an inspiring vision for HEFN as it enters its third decade,” said Amy Panek, Co-Chair of the HEFN Steering Committee and Senior Program Officer for the Park Foundation. “I’m thrilled to welcome Ansje to the HEFN community on behalf of the Steering Committee."

Ansje is currently the Director of Policy and Partnerships for the Center for Environmental Health (CEH). In that role, she represents CEH with elected officials, regulators, and business leaders as well as directs the activities in the Eastern States office. For over 20 years, she has led both state and national advocacy coalitions and successful legislative and regulatory campaigns to promote environmental health leading to the reduction of exposures from toxic chemicals and efforts to mitigate climate change and promote renewable energy. Her organizing efforts, research reports, and popular articles have also led to the creation of numerous policies on toxics and global warming including California’s landmark global warming law AB32, the Green Chemistry Initiative, and won critical health protections in the 2016 update to the Toxic Substances Control Act. 

“HEFN is incredibly relevant now more than ever both with increasing threats to our health through environmental exposures, and with racial and social justice attacks on the rise.” Ansje said. “These threats are met by incredible energy in the field and I’m looking forward to working with the philanthropic sector to mobilize all our resources and the investments necessary to meet these important challenges.”

Ansje is currently on the Sierra Club National board and has served on the boards of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, Healthy Babies Bright Futures and on the steering committees of Safer Chemicals Healthy Families. She has most recently served as policy co-chair of the BizNGO Working Group on Safer Chemicals as well as for the Cancer Free Economy Network. Prior to her work at CEH, Ansje founded and directed the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative, a coalition that brought together the nation’s leading environmental justice, faith- based, and policy organizations to advocate socially just policies on climate change. 

“The HEFN Steering Committee and search team were overwhelmingly supportive of Ansje’s candidacy, particularly her commitment to racial equity, justice and environmental health,” said Jalonne L. White-Newsome, Co-Chair, HEFN Steering Committee and Senior Program Officer for The Kresge Foundation. “I am excited to work with Ansje as we ‘level-up’ the work of HEFN and challenge ourselves, our partners, and the field of philanthropy to operationalize funding that will support those communities most impacted by environmental racism and unnecessary health disparities.”

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