Kathleen ‘Katie’ McGinty Takes the Helm at EDF Oceans Program

Former head Amanda Leland promoted to EVP for core programs

July 16, 2018
Matt Smelser, (202) 572-3272, msmelser@edf.org

(WASHINGTON – July 16, 2018) Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) announced today that Kathleen ‘Katie’ McGinty, a nationally recognized environmental leader, is the new leader and Senior Vice President of the Oceans program. 

Amanda Leland, who headed the Oceans program for the past six years, was promoted to Executive Vice President in charge of overseeing EDF’s core programs, including Climate, Energy, Health, Ecosystems and Oceans.

“Under Amanda’s leadership, the Oceans program has made tremendous gains toward our goal of ending overfishing and restoring our seas to abundance,” said EDF President Fred Krupp. “After decades of declines, more than half of all U.S. federal fisheries that had been in trouble have been rebuilt - with most of the rest on the way back. And progress is spreading around the world including Indonesia, Mexico, Sweden, and Japan. But there is more work in front of us.

“Overfishing is one of the most pressing and solvable environmental challenges of our time and I’m delighted that Katie will be joining our team of experts to help tackle it,” Krupp added. “She has the inclusive vision, world-class experience and global perspective to lead the Oceans program toward a future where we have more food on the plate, more fish in the sea and more prosperity for the world’s fishing communities.”

McGinty, who served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), has deep expertise coordinating environmental policy while working with stakeholders on all sides to ensure the best possible outcome for the environment and the economy. For example, during her tenure at CEQ McGinty led efforts to restore salmon runs, bringing together landowners, farmers, and tribes to find a solution.

“I’m thrilled to be leading EDF’s Oceans program at this critical time because I believe the Oceans are a fulcrum for the health of our planet and our wellbeing,” McGinty said. “How the oceans go, so goes our future. We have an amazing opportunity in front of us to achieve environmental and economic outcomes that benefit future generations who will rely on this fundamental resource, and I’m honored to be a part of that.”

As former head of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, McGinty was instrumental in developing balanced environmental policies that allowed the state to be a leader in aligning environmental stewardship with business growth, including spearheading an effort to make Pennsylvania a frontrunner in wind and solar manufacturing. Her leadership resulted in 3,000 new jobs and $1 billion in new investments in the state.

In addition to her public service, McGinty also has significant international private sector experience, having served as partner at Element Partners, a growth equity fund dedicated to investments in sustainable technology and innovation in large industrial markets across the globe. McGinty has also lived in India and worked in China, overseeing efforts in brownfield cleanup and sustainable community development.

“EDF’s mission to end overfishing ties in perfectly with Katie’s work throughout her career to find solutions that benefit the greatest number of people,” said Leland. “With a passion for working with all sides to find common-sense solutions to environmental and public health challenges, Katie brings to the role a wealth of experience, depth of knowledge and strength of relationships that are unparalleled.”

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