Deb Markowitz, who led Vermont’s top environmental agency, has joined the Gund Institute for Environment at UVM as Director of Policy Outreach. Markowitz’s distinguished public service career spans nearly 20 years as Secretary of Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources (2011-2016) and Vermont Secretary of State (1999-2011). She is currently a Gund Affiliate and visiting professor at UVM’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources (RSENR).
In her new role, Markowitz will connect the Gund Institute with society’s leaders – regionally, nationally and internationally – to advance policy and develop partnerships with government, business and other organizations to solve urgent environmental issues.
“Deb Markowitz is the perfect person to bring together Gund researchers and leaders to accelerate solutions and increase our impact.” says Donna Rizzo, Acting Director of the Gund Institute for Environment. “Deb is an experienced environmental leader, with deep expertise in policy making, and a vast professional network. We are thrilled to welcome our first ever Director of Policy Outreach.”
As Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources, Markowitz shaped Vermont’s environmental agenda. She represented Vermont nationally and internationally, from the United Nations’ Summits on Climate Change in Paris and Marrakech and a White House Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
“I am excited to be joining the talented and innovative team at the Gund Institute for Environment,” said Deb Markowitz. “By connecting the Gund’s cutting-edge research with policymakers and leaders we can advance solutions to some of the most pressing environmental and social justice issues of our time.”
Markowitz’s role at the Gund Institute started January 19 in a part-time capacity. The position is for at least one year. She will balance her time as a visiting professor at UVM, where she leads graduate seminars on environmental leadership and policy, and studies federal environmental policy changes and proposals.
Markowitz was elected six times as Vermont’s Secretary of State, receiving both the Democratic and Republican nominations on two occasions. She was the first women to hold the position.
A graduate of UVM, Markowitz received her law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center, magna cum laude, and a Certificate in Public Leadership from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. She is a recipient of the EPA New England’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Markowitz currently serves on the boards of advisors for the Georgetown Climate Center, Antioch’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience, and RSENR.
About the Gund Institute
Launched in 2016, the Gund Institute for Environment is UVM’s first ever university-wide environmental research institute. It brings scholars and leaders together to accelerate research, uncover solutions and tackle the world's most pressing environmental issues.
The Gund Institute’s global network includes 150 affiliated researchers and experts from UVM and beyond. This includes 44 organizations, such as Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Conservation International.
The Institute recently announced nearly $250,000 in Gund Catalyst Award seed grants and event support to accelerate new UVM efforts on global climate modelling, renewable biofuels, climate impacts on mountain communities, nitrogen ‘trouble zones’ and sustainable agriculture.