NAEM Women’s Leadership Roundtable 2021
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Tamara Toles O'Laughlin, President and Chief Executive Officer; Environmental Grantmakers Association

Tamara Toles O'Laughlin

Tamara Toles O’Laughlin is an national climate strategist and environmental advocate focused on people and planet. Her niche in environmental work is developing capacity building programs and creating multimedia campaigns to dismantle privilege and increase opportunities for vulnerable populations to access healthy air, clean energy, and a toxic free economy at the local, regional and national level.


Tamara casts a wide net in service to the community. Among her activities, she is a co-chair of the Green Leadership Trust, which builds a more powerful environmental movement by expanding the impact and leadership of people of color and indigenous people serving on US environmental nonprofit boards. She is a member of the World Economic Forum, National Cities executive working group. Additionally, she has just concluded a two-year term as Chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Air and Climate Public Advisory Committee. Tamara also serves as the chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Women’s Voices for the Earth based in Missoula, Montana. Women’s Voices disrupts industry standards by forcing ingredient disclosure and the elimination of toxic chemicals from personal care products.


Tamara was recently appointed as the President and CEO of the Environmental Grantmakers Association in June 2021. Previously, Tamara served as the North America Director at and 350 Action, where she drove regional strategy in the United States and Canada. As the leader of 350’s programming she led mission critical work and organizational investments to build a multiracial, multi-generational climate movement capable of holding leaders accountable to science and justice. Prior to joining Tamara was executive director of the Maryland Environmental Health Network in Baltimore, Maryland, where she championed its mission to promote the elimination of environmental threats to human health.


Tamara is a thought leader working across sectors to support inclusive climate change action. She serves on the Advisory Board of Climate Power 2020, and is a member of Politico’s sustainability forum, The Long Game, where she provides insight on issues of climate change and social responsibility.


She graduated from the Vermont Law School in 2009, with a Juris Doctor and Master of Environmental Law and Policy with a concentration in energy generation and carbon constraint.


Tamara has worked for two decades to embed the principles of environmental justice into environmental work, with attention to community capacity building, mobilization, equity in enforcement, and environmental health.


Over the course of her career she has held full time, fellowship and intern positions with distinguished organizations including the District Department of Energy and Environment in Washington DC, the Maryland Energy Administration Advisory Council of Historic Preservation, The Environmental Protection Agency, the Center on Race, Poverty and Environment, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, among others.



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