National Environmental Youth Advisory Council: Council Members
EPA appointed new members to the National Environmental Youth Advisory Council (NEYAC) in November 2023. Council members currently serve two-year terms. Current members are listed below.
- Read the June 2023 press release for the establishment of NEYAC and solicitation of membership. Read the Federal Register Notice.
National Environmental Youth Advisory Council 2023-2025 Membership Roster
Emmanuel Alcantar, Vice-Chairperson
Los Angeles, California - Region 9
Emmanuel Alcantar is a climate and pro-housing advocate from South Los Angeles. He currently works as a Media and Communications Coordinator for Climate Cabinet, a national climate organization that supports down-ballot candidates running for office, and he also serves on Los Angeles County's inaugural Youth and Climate Commission. As a Commissioner, Emmanuel has championed issues related to electrification and IRA implementation. Additionally, he dedicates his time and expertise to serving as the Education Representative for the Voices Neighborhood Council and serves as the Sustainability Director for Westside Young Democrats.
Wrangell, Alaska - Region 10
As the current Environmental Coordinator for Wrangell Cooperative Association's Tl'átk/Earth Branch, Alex Angerman brings hands-on experience to her role while simultaneously pursuing a Master of Professional Science in Environmental Studies and Sustainability. Actively involved in the Southeast Alaska Solid Waste Association, she champions sustainable waste management practices. Additionally, as a committed member of the Southeast Alaska Indigenous Transboundary Commission, Alex works towards addressing unique environmental challenges faced by indigenous communities in the region. Alex has a passion for both environmental sustainability and intersectional perspectives.
Gretna, Louisiana - Region 6
Rachel Billiot-Bruleigh is a citizen of the United Houma Nation in southeast Louisiana. She graduated from the University of New Orleans with a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in Cultural & Environmental Studies. During internships with the SCCASC and Haskell Environmental Research Studies Institute, her research involved work with traditional ecological knowledge, health, and environmental conservation. As part of the Wizipan Program at the Indian University of North America, she earned a Certificate in Leadership and Sustainability from South Dakota State University. She has also completed the Alaska Indigenous Research Program with the ANTHC and Alaska Pacific University. She remains committed to building positive relationships between land, water, people, and wildlife.
Sioux City, Iowa - Region 7
Nick Blumenthal is an international food systems activist who focuses on combating food insecurity and nutritional deficiency. As an international youth delegate to the United Nations Committee on World Food Security, he has addressed nations on global agricultural data policy, equity, and security at the UN Food & Agriculture Organization Headquarters. Nick has previously served as a national youth representative at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, the first national food security and nutrition reform effort in 50+ years. Additionally, he represents North America on the foremost International youth agriculture advocacy coalition. As a researcher, he has presented his work on nutritional biochemistry and agricultural economics at numerous international conferences. Nick applies his extensive experience as a global consultant, advising agricultural development projects across the world.
Gatesville, Texas - Region 6
Colton Buckley is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils, a national nonprofit network dedicated to advancing agricultural conservation efforts and fostering rural economic development. He has previously served on the Governor of Texas’ Young Texans Steering Committee, the Texas Commissioner of Agriculture’s Advisory Council, the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, and the Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas board of directors. He holds a bachelor's degree in agricultural services and development from Tarleton State University and a master's degree in communication from Liberty University, where he is currently pursuing a PhD in public policy. Colton grew up on his grandparents' Brangus cow-calf operation in Arnett, Texas, and has always been an advocate for agriculture and the revitalization of rural communities through equity-based solutions.
Weehawken, New Jersey - Region 2
Kristy Drutman is a Jewish-Filipina woman who is known as “Browngirl Green,” a speaker, consultant, media producer, and environmental educator passionate about working at the intersections between media, diversity, and environmentalism. Her focus is on educating people globally about modern-day environmental issues through speeches and media content and facilitates workshops centered around environmental media and storytelling in cities across the U.S. Kristy is also the Co-Founder of the Green Jobs Board, a climate tech start-up bridging the equity and inclusion gap within the green economy.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Region 3
Wanjiku "Wawa" Gatheru is Kenyan American and the Founder and executive director of Black Girl Environmentalist (BGE), a national organization dedicated to empowering Black girls, women, and gender expansive people across the climate sector. She made history as the first Black person to receive the Rhodes, Truman, and Udall scholarships. Wawa is a Public Voices Fellow on the Climate Crisis with the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and has been named a Climate Creator to Watch by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Wawa has also been recognized as a Glamour College Woman of the Year and was recently featured on the first digital cover of Vogue alongside Billie Eilish and 7 other youth climate advocates.
Hyde Park, Massachusetts - Region 1
Osasenaga Idahor grew up in Hyde Park, Boston, a neighborhood predominantly home to immigrant people of color, and witnessed firsthand the devastating impact of overlooked environmental health issues in his community. He uses his platform of environmental health research to inform public policy. Osasenaga writes, records, and publishes his podcast, 'The Climate Doctor (No MD)', which focuses on the relevance of our climate to our daily health by diving into climate change, climate concepts, and environmental justice issues. He also uses his science policy communication skills in his work as an executive team member of the Harvard Undergraduate Black Health Advocates group. Osasenaga previously served as an Environmental Health intern for the Moms Clean Air Force and, there, he hosted a five-episode podcast series, "A Plastic People", which concentrated on the health, environmental injustice, and climate change impacts of petrochemicals and the plastics industry.
Sophia Kianni, Vice-Chairperson
McLean, Virginia - Region 3
Sophia Kianni is an Iranian-American social entrepreneur and activist studying at Stanford University. She is the founder and executive director of Climate Cardinals, the world’s largest youth-led climate nonprofit, with 10,000 volunteers in 80+ countries. Under her leadership, Climate Cardinals has translated 1.5 million words of climate resources into 100+ languages. Sophia is the youngest United Nations advisor in US history. She won the TED global idea competition, with her debut TED Talk reaching 2+ million views. She has been named VICE Media's youngest Human of the Year, a National Geographic Young Explorer, and a Forbes 30 under 30 honoree.
Katy, Texas - Region 6
Meghana Kunapareddy is a high school senior from Houston, Texas. Her focus is on education - specifically ensuring that climate justice is part of the curriculum for students in the k-12 level. Meghana grew up surrounded by the oil industry along the Gulf Coast, making her extremely passionate about creating climate solutions that directly combat the impacts of the oil industry on disadvantaged communities. To date, she has worked directly with over 50 Texas school districts to bring climate curriculum to her home state, involving over 100,000 students. She also hosts a podcast on sustainability, climate justice, and business ethics as it relates to the environment, called the Sustainabilidate. Meghana is extremely honored and excited to be a part of NEYAC for the next two years!
Gabriel Nagel, Chairperson
Denver, Colorado - Region 8
Gabriel Nagel is an accomplished youth climate justice activist and community organizer. He is the founder and CEO of the nonprofit Light CO2, which launched a carbon footprint tracking app, curated a collection of youth-written articles, and planted 10,000+ trees. Gabriel is also the founder and co-leader of the DPS Students for Climate Action team, which developed an environmental justice policy passed across 200 schools, impacting 92,000 students. The policy is one of the first among all US school districts to address social and climate justice. He serves on Denver's Sustainability Advisory Council, which manages a $40 million budget, and as the United Nations Association's Climate Action Ambassador, where he is drafting the first UN Youth Declaration of Human Rights. In addition to being featured on NPR twice, he spoke at NYC Climate Week and met with Vice-President Kamala Harris to discuss climate anxiety. He is honored with the President's Environmental Youth Award.
Kiera O’Brien, Chairperson
Washington, DC - Region 3
Kiera O’Brien was born and raised in Ketchikan, Alaska, a small island community in southeast Alaska. Growing up in Ketchikan, Kiera developed a deep understanding of the land we live on and how that land impacts daily life. Kiera is focused on bipartisan solutions and renewable energy development and is currently a Public Policy Representative at TotalEnergies. Prior to joining TotalEnergies she worked on energy policy in the US Senate and spent over 3 years in the nonprofit space. While studying at Harvard, Kiera launched a 501(c)(3) organization called Students for Carbon Dividends, with the goal of promoting a path toward federal bipartisan climate policy. Kiera has experience engaging with think tanks across the world through fellowships with the Yale Program on Climate, Change Communication, Atlantic Council Women Leaders in Energy and Climate Fellowship, and as a policy commissioner with the Aspen Institute’s K12 Climate Action program. She is on the 2023 Forbes 30 Under 20 list for Energy.
Chicago, Illinois - Region 5
Lisette Perez, a Chicago native hailing from the vibrant South Side, navigated her upbringing amidst neighborhoods grappling with environmental injustices. As a first-generation college graduate and a woman of color in STEM, Lisette earned her Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Sciences & Management. Specializing in Environmental Education and Human Dimensions of Conservation, Lisette has cultivated her identity as an environmental educator, storyteller, and an advocate for social and environmental justice. In her recent endeavors, Lisette played a pivotal role as a Region Program Assistant at the Field Museum in Chicago. There, she dedicated herself to connecting with diverse communities, sharing insights on environmental education, and promoting opportunities for positive change. As she navigates the next chapter of her professional journey, Lisette remains passionate about contributing to positive social and environmental change that allow her to make a lasting impact.
Newark, New Jersey - Region 2
Asada Rashidi is an Environmental Justice Organizer with South Ward Environmental Alliance. She currently serves as the Chair for the Environmental Justice Committee for the Newark Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Asada is committed to ensuring that those most affected by environmental degradation have a seat and voice at the table, and that solutions to environmental problems contribute to broader goals of justice. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies from Spelman College.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina - Region 4
Page Tsirigotis is dedicated to understanding why some people are resistant to the reality of climate change. She is currently working towards a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her academic focus on psychology and neuroscience provides an integral perspective on understanding the emotions, motivations, and beliefs that drive people's stance on the environment. Page is currently working part-time as a Research Assistant at both UNC-Chapel Hill and Columbia University. Additionally, she works as an Office Manager Assistant and blogger for a group mental health practice.