EWG Names New Executive Director
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Heather White has been named executive director of Environmental Working Group, the Washington-based nonprofit consumer advocacy and research organization announced today.
White, who has been the organization’s chief of staff and general counsel since 2009, will be responsible for all aspects of EWG operations, including managing its 47 employees and $6.7 million budget, and overseeing its research, advocacy and policy initiatives, fund-raising and development and engagement with its more than 1.3 million online supporters.
“I’ve worked with Heather for more than a decade and there’s no one I’d rather have leading our team,” said Ken Cook, president and co-founder of EWG. “Her leadership, political experience, and command of the issues are just what we need as EWG moves forward to celebrate its 20th year. The organization is poised to make a quantum leap as more and more Americans begin to connect the dots between industrial chemical pollution and the products they use, between agricultural runoff and the food they eat, and between their health and the health of the planet.”
Cook will continue his role at EWG as president, playing a central role in organizational and policy strategy and development, and representing EWG to external audiences. He is also a member of the EWG board of directors.
“I'm thrilled to be at the helm of the most effective environmental organization in the country," White said. "I look forward to expanding EWG's ability to change markets, to maintaining its strong and respected voice on Capitol Hill, and to reforming our broken toxics law, the farm bill and national energy policy. Our cutting-edge research and technology will continue to make a game-changing difference in these national debates.”
Before joining EWG, White was the director of education advocacy for the National Wildlife Federation. She previously served as EWG’s general counsel from 2001 to 2003 and as counsel to then-U.S. Sen. Russell D. Feingold (D-Wisc.) on energy and environmental issues from 2003 to 2005. In 2000, White was a recount attorney for then-Vice President Al Gore’s presidential campaign during the contested Florida vote count and the deputy director of women’s outreach for the Gore campaign. She also was an associate at the law firm of Bass, Berry & Sims in Nashville, Tenn.
“As a mother of two young girls, I get the connection between health and the environment in a deeply personal way. I will strive to create even more opportunities for women to engage in environmental policy and in leadership in the environmental movement,” White said.
White graduated magna cum laude from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1999. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science in 1995 from the University of Virginia, where she was an Echols Scholar. White is an adjunct faculty member of Georgetown University Law Center and lives with her husband David Diamond and two daughters in Takoma Park, Maryland.