About Tonya Howard Calhoun

Tonya Howard Calhoun, PhD 

Director, Community Engagement


Areas of expertise:

Environmental justice, environmental public policy, advocacy, community outreach and community engagement


Tonya is a lead strategist for community engagement, assisting in effective decision-making and programmatic planning. She creates fruitful engagements with mayors, labor organizations, environmental groups, faith-based organizations, and businesses, for the purpose of putting people at the center of every climate solution.


Supporting communities and volunteer efforts is Tonya’s happy space and she is passionate about ensuring that community voices are being heard and provided effective solutions. As a child who suffered with respiratory issues, Tonya is a firm believer that clean air is a fundamental right and understands that many Americans are denied that right every day in communities across the country.   

Prior to joining the Office of Community Engagement, Dr. Calhoun worked at Moms Clean Air Force, as a National Field Manager. In this role, Tonya supported field staff across the nation, helping to coordinate climate work at the state and federal level. She also assisted in launching, and managing, the Community Rx Program (African-American advocacy), while supervising the EcoMadres Program (Latino advocacy). 


Tonya holds a BA from Spelman College, an MPA from Troy University, and a PhD in nonprofit management & leadership (specializing in volunteer & community engagement) from Walden University.


Calhoun, Tonya. “With All Eyes on Georgia, Solutions for Pollution are a Critical Issue.” Word in Black, Nov 30, 2022. 

Calhoun, Tonya. “The Gulf Coast is Worth the Fight.” One Breath Partnership, Sep 23, 2021. 

Calhoun, Tonya. “John Lewis’ Fight Goes on For Black Children to Breathe.” Successful Black Parenting, Jul 17, 2021. 

Calhoun, Tonya. “Climate Change Harms Moms and Babies – But We Can Do Something About It Right Now.” Motherly, Apr 22, 2021. 

Calhoun, Tonya. “Coronavirus Reveals Why Environmental Justice is Still the Critical Issue of our Time.” EcoWurd, April 13, 2020.