Mayor names director of Denver's first climate agency

Grace Rink to lead Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency

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A leader in the sustainability field with nearly two decades of experience working on climate issues will lead Denver's first climate agency.

Grace Rink was appointed by Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock as executive director of the new Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency. She will begin her role as chief climate officer on March 16.

“Climate change represents the greatest environmental challenge to our planet, and while leadership at the federal level is lacking, states and cities are moving to take action,” Hancock said in a news release. “Denver is taking a major step forward with this new office and Grace's leadership. I also want to acknowledge city council president Jolon Clark's passion for this work, and his efforts to push Denver into the forefront of those cities that are addressing climate strategies at the local level.”

Rink and the new climate agency will work to engage the community in efforts to reduce the carbon footprint, safeguard historically marginalized communities of color who are disproportionally affected by the health impacts of climate change, power Denver with 100 percent renewable electricity, and ensure environmental justice and equity as Denver transitions to carbon-free energy and transportation systems.

“The need for cities to take a leadership role in addressing climate change has never been more important, because this is where the on-the-ground work is being done and real progress is being made,” Rink said in the release. “Denver has been leading the way and is taking the steps necessary to shape this work, and I want to thank Mayor Hancock and the Denver climate team for this opportunity to advance those efforts and make some real, positive impacts on communities and in people's lives.”

Rink is president and CEO of Quercus Consulting, the top-grossing woman-owned sustainability consulting firm in the Chicago metropolitan area. Quercus has been the leading sustainability consultant for metro Chicago local governments, including Lake County, Illinois; the City of Highland Park; the Chicago Housing Authority; and multiple City of Chicago departments.

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