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10th Anniversary Community Involvement Training Conference LogoPlenary Biographies

Dollie B. Burwell
Regional District Director for Congressman G.K. Butterfield (NC)

Dollie B. Burwell has a degree in business administration from Durham College in North Carolina. Ms. Burwell has more than 30 years of experience as a community organizer. A native North Carolinian from Vance County, Ms. Burwell led the 1982 community protest against the State of North Carolina in what the Washington Post called the greatest civil rights movement since the l960s. Ms. Burwell was arrested and jailed five times for her acts of citizen protest. She was arrested and spent several nights in jail after blocking trucks carrying PCB-laced soil that was to be placed in a dump in her community. These acts were widely hailed as the beginning of the environmental justice movement. Stories of her life and work have been published in three books, Crazy for Democracy: Women in Grassroots Movements, by Temma Kaplin; The Politics of Motherhood: Activist Voices From the Left to Right, by Alexis Jetter, Annelise Orleck, and Diana Taylor; and Women Reshaping Human Rights: How Extraordinary Activists Are Changing the World, by Marguerite Guzman Bouvard. She served as Chair of the Joint Warren County/State PCB Landfill Working Group, a task force that secured more than $25 million from the State of North Carolina to detoxify the Warren County PCB Landfill.

Her volunteer service includes serving as an organizer for the United Church of Christ's Commission for Racial Justice and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Additionally, she has volunteered with many human rights, economic, and environmental justice organizations and agencies dedicated to serving the needs of children, young adults, and women.

In 1992, Ms. Burwell was chosen as one of 16 women to participate in a 14-day educational and solidarity tour of South Africa. In 1994, she served as a peace monitor and election observer during the South African elections, working with local church and non-governmental agencies, as well as community leaders in the most violent areas. She accompanied Congresswoman Eva M. Clayton, the first African American woman to be elected to Congress from North Carolina, to Botswana, Africa, to address the issue of AIDS. Ms. Burwell also accompanied a congressional staff delegation to China under a cultural exchange program organized by the US-ASIA Foundation.

Mrs. Burwell has received many honors for her civic endeavors, including the SCLC Women Award for Outstanding Activism in Civil Rights, the SCLC Rosa Parks Award for Outstanding Leadership and Activism for Racial Justice and Human Rights, the Vance County Ministerial Award for Outstanding Community Service, the Ernest A. Turner Citizen of the Year Award for Outstanding Civic Leadership, the Vance County African American Leadership Caucus Award for Outstanding Leadership for Justice, Equality and Human Rights, the Congressional Black Caucus "Unsung Hero" Award, and the NAACP National Trail Blazer Award.

Mrs. Burwell is currently employed as the Regional District Director for Congressman G. K. Butterfield. Formerly, she has served as District Director for Congressman Frank W. Ballance, Jr., and as the Director of Field Services for Congresswoman Eva M. Clayton.

Helen Du Teau
Superfund Public Liaison for Region 3

Helen brings 19 years of experience to EPA's Community Involvement Program. After receiving a B.S. in public relations and journalism, she joined EPA's Kansas City office as a Community Involvement Coordinator. It was during the 1993 Midwest floods that Helen quickly developed a passion for emergency response communications and developed national training in media relations and crisis and risk communications. In 1997, Helen accepted a position as National Program Manager in the EPA Headquarters Office of Emergency and Remedial Response where she created the Superfund Emergency Communications and Outreach Team. Helen also served as the National Response Team's Sub-Committee Chair, leading the effort to revise the NRT Joint Information Center Model. Helen has served in key leadership positions for the 1993 Midwest floods, Capitol Hill anthrax and ricin responses, September 11 terrorist attacks, and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. From those events, she helped design and teach a national certification course for Public Information Officers. In 2003, Helen moved (yet again!) to EPA's Philadelphia office as the Branch Chief for Community Involvement and Outreach, and she currently serves as an expert advisor to EPA Headquarters on crisis communications issues. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Helen lived in seven different countries before finally landing in the USA...for now, anyway!

James B. Gulliford
Assistant Administrator for the Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances

As Assistant Administrator for the Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, James B. Gulliford oversees implementation of the nation's pesticide, toxic substances and pollution prevention laws. Most recently Mr. Gulliford was the Regional Administrator for Region 7. Prior to joining EPA, Mr. Gulliford directed Iowa's Department of Soil Conservation. He holds a bachelor degree in forestry management and a master degree in forestry economics and marketing from Iowa State University.

Susanna Hass Lyons
AmericaSpeaks, Program Associate

As a Program Associate, Ms. Lyons plays a leadership role in AmericaSpeaks' 21st Century Town Meeting® and Civic Engagement Consulting projects. She specializes in project management and issue communications. Since joining the AmericaSpeaks team in the fall of 2005, she has served the organization in various roles, including co-project manager for the 1,200-person multi-site Community Congress III meeting for the Unified New Orleans Plan; producer for the series of 200-person community meetings with the national, bi-partisan Citizens' Health Care Working Group; and project manager for the 1,000-person regional meeting on economic redevelopment for Voices and Choices in Northeast Ohio.

Prior to joining AmericaSpeaks, Ms. Lyons worked as a Stakeholder Engagement Consultant for business, government, and non-profit organizations developing programs and communication campaigns and conducting training in public and stakeholder engagement. She also was honored to serve as Project Coordinator with the Citizen's Assembly on Electoral Reform, a historic democratic process recently conducted in British Columbia, Canada. This process resulted in a recommendation being sent directly to the people as a referendum question.

Ms. Lyons is trained in a variety of facilitation methodologies, including consensus building and mediation. She holds B.A. in communications from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, a certificate in public participation by the International Association for Public Participation, and was a 2005 Action Canada Fellow.

An active member of her community, Susanna has served on the board of directors for a number of peace and environmental organizations. She lives in Washington, DC, and enjoys sea kayaking, pottery, and cooking.

Richard Moore
Executive Director, Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice

Richard Moore is a key national leader of the environmental economic justice movement with over 40 years of experience as a community organizer. Of Puerto Rican descent, Mr. Moore has resided in New Mexico since 1966. He has worked with a variety of community-based organizations dealing with such issues as welfare rights, police repression, street gang activities, drug abuse, low-cost healthcare, child nutrition, and the fight against racism, including the struggle for environmental and economic justice.

Mr. Moore is a founding member of the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) and the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice. He is presently the Executive Director of the Southwest Network, a bi-national organization that comprises over 60 community-based, grassroots organizations working in communities of color in six southwestern states and Northern Mexico. Mr. Moore's commitment to multi-racial and multi-issue community organizing?and recognition of the interconnectedness of local, regional, national, and international issues?made him an important member of the planning committee for the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit, which took place in October 1991.

Mr. Moore serves on the Environmental and Economic Justice Project's Board of Directors and completed a three-year term as chair of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council to the EPA. He served on the board of the Alston/Bannerman Fellowship Program from 1998-2002. In addition, he played a significant role in establishing the Environmental Justice Fund?a coalition of environmental justice networks. Mr. Moore is the co-chair of the Congressional Black Caucus National Environmental Policy Commission and serves on the Planning Committee of the Inter-Agency Working Group on Environmental Justice. In recognition of his lifelong work, he received the 1991 Bannerman Award, the 1995 Albuquerque Human Rights Award, the 1997 Tides Foundation Jane Bagley Lehman Award for public policy, and the 2005 Leadership for a Changing World award.

James I. Palmer, Jr. (Jimmy)
Regional Administrator for Region 4

In October 2001, President Bush appointed Jimmy Palmer Regional Administrator for EPA Region 4, which comprises Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. A Mississippi native, Jimmy holds a B.S. degree in civil engineering from Mississippi State University and a Juris Doctorate degree, with honors, from the University of Mississippi. He is a Registered Professional Engineer and Licensed Attorney in Mississippi.

Jimmy served the State of Mississippi for over 25 years in several capacities in the environmental field, including the Attorney General's Office, the Governor's Office, and, for over 12 years, as Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. He then re-entered private law practice before being appointed EPA Regional Administrator.

Mayor John Peyton
Mayor of Jacksonville

John Peyton was sworn in as Mayor of Jacksonville on July 1, 2003, only the second Republican in 100 years to be elected to that office. Overwhelmingly re-elected to a second term on March 20, 2007, Mayor Peyton has brought a business mentality to Jacksonville's city government, streamlining operations and implementing best practices from the private sector.

The mayor's top priority is growing good jobs for Jacksonville's citizens, and he has been an integral part of economic development efforts. In 2005, he played an active role in preparing for the city's first-ever Super Bowl, which was an enormous success. He is working in tandem with the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce to establish a blueprint for increasing per capita income in Jacksonville, and he has created the Jacksonville Small and Emerging Business initiative, an innovative program to help small businesses compete and succeed. He has reached out in an unprecedented way to the local military community, and worked successfully with local, state and federal leaders to protect Jacksonville's military facilities and personnel in the 2005 Base Closure and Realignment process.

Mayor Peyton has also significantly enhanced public safety, providing additional resources for the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and related agencies that have improved response time and crime-solving ability, increased the city's ability to respond to disasters, and upgraded safety for first responders. With a high level of community involvement, he is working to take Jacksonville's park system from the nation's biggest to its best, and to implement the recommendations of his growth management task force. He has also established an office of faith and community-based initiatives to help improve the capacity of Jacksonville's faith and nonprofit community to meet the needs of the city's most challenged citizens.

In order to encourage individual success for Jacksonville's children and ensure regional prosperity in the future, the mayor has made early literacy another top priority. He developed and implemented RALLY Jacksonville!, a cutting-edge early literacy program aimed at growing the workforce of tomorrow. In addition to reaching thousands of four-year-olds and their families, RALLY Jacksonville! has stimulated community-wide participation and become a model for other cities to follow, and the mayor is currently engaged in implementing its second stage, baby Rally!, an effort to put early literacy materials into the hands of new parents.

Mayor Peyton's work in this crucial area earned him the 2005 James Patterson Pageturner Award in recognition of his "notable contributions to promoting books and reading" and resulted in the City of Jacksonville being named one of the nation's Best 100 Communities for Young People by America's Promise, the Alliance for Youth founded by Gen. Colin Powell. He has also been honored by Episcopal Children's Services, which presented him with its inaugural Children's Champion award. Most recently, he was appointed by President Bush to serve a six-year term on the board of trustees of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation.

Prior to his election, the Jacksonville native served as vice president of Gate Petroleum Company, one of the largest privately held corporations in Florida. Mayor Peyton has been actively involved in community service for many years, serving on the transition team of former Mayor John Delaney and on the boards of a number of civic and charitable organizations. He is a former chairman of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority - where he played an integral part in the development and early implementation of the Better Jacksonville Plan - the Jacksonville Symphony Association and Greenscape of Jacksonville.

Mayor Peyton is an alumnus of Mercer University and the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program, as well as a graduate of both Leadership Jacksonville and Leadership Florida. He and his wife, Jacksonville physician Kathryn Pearson Peyton, are members of St. John's Episcopal Cathedral. The proud parents of a son, John Connor Peyton, they expect another child in the spring.

Katherine E. Rowan, Ph.D
Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Communication, George Mason University

Dr. Rowan's research concerns the public relations challenges of earning trust and explaining complexities in risk and crisis communication contexts. At George Mason University (GMU), she heads the public relations curriculum. She received her bachelor's degree from GMU's English Department in 1975. After graduation, she worked for the Smithsonian Institution's Office of Public Affairs. Her Master's Degree was earned in communication and journalism from the University of Illinois, and her doctorate in the teaching of rhetoric and composition from Purdue University's English Department. She joined Purdue's Communication Department in 1985, earning tenure in 1991 and full professor status in 1996. In 2000, she joined GMU as a full-time faculty member. She serves GMU as both a Professor of Communication and the Associate Chair of the Department of Communication. Professor Rowan became interested in risk communication through studies of science communication in the mass media. She has authored or edited more than 50 scholarly and governmental publications concerning effective methods for earning trust and explaining complex science. Dr. Rowan also has conducted research of scientists' explanations of their work to lay audiences.

Dr. Rowan also has served in the following educational capacities: Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Communication, GMU (2004); Associate Professor, Department of Communication, GMU (2000); and Professor, Department of Communication, Purdue University (1996).

Dr. Rowan has received many honors, appointments, and grants addressing risk and effective risk communication including: participant in the Research Roadmap Working Group supported by the Marshall Space Flight Center and University of Florida on effective interaction among public information officers, scientists, and journalists; current member of the National Academy of Sciences Study Committee on Health Effects of Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation; past Journalism Excellence Fellow, American Society of Newspaper Editors; and, speaker to brief the U.S. Congress and staff on risk communication.

B. Suzi Ruhl, J.D., M.P.H
Director, Public Health and Law Program, Environmental Law Institute

B. Suzi Ruhl, J.D., M.P.H., is currently the Director of the Public Health and Law Program for the Environmental Law Institute. She also is the founder and former president of the Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation, Inc. (LEAF). Ms. Ruhl provides legal and health expertise on a variety of environmental issues, including drinking water protection, pollution prevention, health risk assessment, community environmental health, and environmental justice. She has provided legal assistance to citizens throughout the United States, Eastern Europe, Russia, and Australia. She also engages in policy development at the local, state, and federal levels of government. A former adjunct professor of environmental law at the University of Alabama, Ms. Ruhl has authored numerous articles on toxic pollution. Ms. Ruhl serves as Vice Chair of the Community Environmental Health Advisory Board within the Florida Department of Health. She also served on the Executive Council of the Environmental and Land Use Law Section of the Florida Bar, and is Chair of the Committee on Access to Justice. She sits on the boards of the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice (formerly the Citizen's Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste) and the Environmental Law Institute. She is a recent past board member of the Waste Policy Institute at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Ms. Ruhl served on Florida's Environmental Equity and Justice Commission, where she chaired the Subcommittee on Environmental Health and Risk. She also served as the Vice-Chair of the Florida Pollution Prevention Council. In addition to her law degree, Ms. Ruhl has a Master's Degree in Public Health (Epidemiology).

Gregory J. Strong
Northeast District Director, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Gregory J. Strong was appointed District Director of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Northeast District on December 1, 2005. Mr. Strong oversees all regulatory activities within the District's 20 counties. He manages a work plan that implements environmental law, rules, and regulations, issues permits, and performs compliance and enforcement activities.

Mr. Strong has more than 15 years of environmental management experience in the aerospace, chemical, and oil and gas industries. Most recently, he worked in marketing for the Veeder-Root Company where he developed marketing strategies for environmental products sold to retail fueling companies. In addition, Mr. Strong was the Manager of Regulatory Affairs for MacDermid Corporation, a global specialty chemical manufacturer, where he managed corporate regulatory compliance programs. Prior to joining MacDermid, he worked in environmental compliance for The Torrington Company, a leading manufacturer of aerospace and commercial bearings.

Mr. Strong earned a B.S. degree in biology from Florida State University, a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law, and an M.B.A. from the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management. He and his wife, Colette, have two daughters.

Marylouise M. Uhlig
Associate Assistant Administrator for Management in the Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances

Marylouise M. Uhlig is the Associate Assistant Administrator for Management in the Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances at EPA in Washington, DC. Her career includes positions with the Defense Mapping Agency, Department of Labor, and the Navy. She is past president of Executive Women in Government (EWG), Federally Employed Women (FEW), and chair of the Board of Directors for the Senior Executives Association (SEA). She holds a B.A. from the Pennsylvania State University in organizational communications, an M.A. in Public Administration from Central Michigan University, and is also a graduate of the Senior Managers in Government Program at Harvard University.

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