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Environmental Justice Leaders Program

The EJ Leaders Program engages a cohort of seasoned environmental justice leaders that benefits the communities they serve, and the university researchers they engage with.

The Energy and Efficiency Institute (EEI), in partnership with the Institute of Transportation Studies and the Policy Institute launched a new Environmental Justice (EJ) Leaders Program in 2022 to connect university-based research programs and personnel with community expertise and knowledge.


This program aims to address three key challenges:

  1. Communities have untapped knowledge that is not disseminated widely or is ignored by government and other entities, due to physical distance, language barriers, cost, and lack of access to information;
  2. the research community has untapped knowledge and expertise but has historically shared an asymmetrical power balance with environmental justice advocacy groups and community organizations; and
  3. there has been limited sharing of information between academia and EJ communities, poor public engagement, and missed opportunities to improve public policy.

This program will address these challenges by connecting university-based research programs and personnel with community expertise and knowledge.

General Application Timeline

Application Opens: September
Application Deadline: November
Program Start: January


In January 2022, we welcomed our first cohort of 11 leaders. This group of environmental justice leaders represents diverse geographies across California, as well as other states, and is working with communities on issues such as energy just transitions, active transportation, vehicle electrification, air quality, toxic site cleanup, water quality, and economic growth. 

Contact Us

This program is led by Dr. Sarah McCullough. She can be reached at: smcc@ucdavis.edu