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City of Philadelphia appoints new Sustainability Director

Following the departure of the previous director and Chief Resilience Officer, the City has appointed Liz Lankenau to the position.

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The City of Philadelphia’s new Sustainability Director and Chief Resilience Officer, Liz Lankenau, began her new position this week, reported the City in a press release.

In her new role, Lankenau will oversee the Office of Sustainability (OOS), directing their efforts to improve the quality of life in all Philadelphia environments, working with partners to address environmental justice issues, reduce the city's carbon emissions, and prepare for the changes the climate crisis will bring.

“As this administration enters its final months, I embrace the charge as interim Director to support OOS staff and our partners to carry through on Mayor Kenney’s agenda to build and invest in inclusive, thriving, and resilient neighborhoods,” said Lankenau in a statement. 

“The climate crisis has no political or geographic boundaries so I, with the OOS team, will be preparing for the next administration, particularly as federal funding through the Inflation Reduction Act becomes increasingly available,” she continued.

Lankenau's appointment comes after the departure of the previous Director, Saleem Chapman.

Born in Philadelphia, Lankenau brings with her 25 years of experience of planning for the public and private sector. Beginning her career at the Philadelphia Historical Commission, she prepared nominations for the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places to maintain the city’s historic buildings and locations.

During her time as a private sector planner, she enacted reviews for major land developments, and worked closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to help inform the public of their transportation project objectives.

She has held positions with the Philadelphia Water Department, and later, worked with the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, & Sustainability. In that position, Lankenau developed collaborative relationships among City agencies and their external partners.

Lankenau earned her bachelor's in Sociology and Urban Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, and her Master's in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania. 

She holds accreditation with the American Institute of Certified Planners, the United States’ independent certification service for a planner’s qualifications.

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