Charles Lee is widely recognized as a true a pioneer in the arena of environmental justice (EJ). He was the principal author of the landmark report, “Toxic Wastes and Race in the United States,” and helped spearhead the emergence of a national EJ movement and Federal action, including the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit; Executive Order 12898; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Environmental Justice; the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC); and the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice.
Mr. Lee is currently the Senior Policy Advisor for Environmental Justice at EPA. He has served in multiple capacities, ranging from creating the United Church of Christ’s EJ program to directing EPA’s EJ office. He was a charter member of the NEJAC, where he chaired its Waste and Facility Siting committee, as well as serving on the National Academy of Science/Institute of Medicine Committee on Environmental Justice and numerous other panels. In these capacities, he led efforts to incorporate EJ into EPA’s rulemaking process, develop models for collaborative problem-solving, transform brownfields redevelopment into a community revitalization paradigm, advance approaches to address cumulative risks and impacts, lay a strong science foundation for integrating EJ into decision-making, develop and implement EPA’s EJ strategic plans, and advance EJ at the State level. Mr. Lee is the author of numerous articles and the recipient of numerous awards.