Arlington resident Theoharides

Kathleen TheoharidesTheoharides

Arlington resident Kathleen Theoharides, recently named the new secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the state’s top environmental agency, is the featured speaker on "Climate Change and Regional Resilience," with Sen. Jason Lewis and Rep. Mike Day.

The event is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, at the Jenks Community Center, 109 Skillings Road, Winchester.

A news release about the event calls the gathering a collaborative opportunity at the state, regional and local levels to improve climate-preparedness

Theoharides, whose title is undersecretary of climate change, plans to speak about initiatives to guide our communities toward higher levels of climate adaptation and resiliency.

Sen. Lewis, Rep. Day

Lewis will offer remarks regarding climate-change legislation at the state level, and Day will address the municipal level/

Cohosts are Climate Action Advisory Committee, the League of Women Voters of MA, the League of Women Voters of Winchester, Sustainable Middlesex, Sustainable Melrose, Sustainable Winchester, Winchester Farmers Market and Wright-Locke Farm.

Theoharides was officially be sworn in May 3 following Gov. Baker's announcement of her appointment. She follows the departure of Secretary Matthew Beaton, who will be the senior vice president of renewable energy and emerging technology at TRC Companies.

Beaton said in a news release: “Katie is an experienced, knowledgeable and passionate leader, and I am eager to watch her continue the Baker-Polio Administration’s commitment to developing new ideas and solutions to make the Commonwealth an even better place to live, raise a family, grow a business, and enjoy the great outdoors.”

Joined Baker team in 2016

In 2016, Theoharides joined the Baker-Polito Administration as director of climate and global warming solutions in the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

As director and later assistant secretary, Theoharides guided the development and implementation of the administration’s efforts to safeguard Massachusetts from the impacts of climate change, support cities and towns, and coordinate efforts across state government to reduce emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

She worked to implement Executive Order 569, led the development of the state Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan and created the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program, working to increase the program to reach 50 percent of cities and towns in the Commonwealth in less than three years.

Theoharides was promoted to undersecretary in 2019, and continued to lead the Commonwealth’s efforts on climate change, including working to strengthen regional and national coalitions focused on bipartisan state climate leadership, including the U.S. Climate Alliance and the Transportation Climate Initiative.

Trained as a field biologist, Theoharides began her policy career working in Washington, D.C., at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and Defenders of Wildlife. During her time in D.C., Theoharides worked on the federal farm bill and conservation policy, and helped establish a national program that partnered with federal and state agencies to incorporate climate change adaptation into policy, budgets, and planning.

After returning to Massachusetts, Theoharides served as the executive director of the Hilltown Land Trust, and founded Theoharides Consulting, which provided climate and environmental policy analysis, strategic planning, and facilitation to universities, government agencies and nonprofits.

Theoharides received a B.A. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Dartmouth College and M.S. in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Massachusetts-Boston.

Originally from western Massachusetts, Theoharides lives with her husband, three young children and dog in Arlington.

This news announcement was published Friday, May 3, 2019.