Chester County has a new person at the helm of managing the County’s Climate Action Plan, Rachael Griffith, who moves up from her role as Senior Trails and Open Space Planner at the Chester County Planning Commission.
In her new post, Griffith will assist County departments, municipalities, and other stakeholders to meet the County’s goals for sustainability, clean energy, greenhouse gas reduction, resource protection, and public outreach and communications.
Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Marian Moskowitz said Griffith has distinguished herself in her five-plus years of service to the Chester County.
“Improving our climate is a priority item for us, and although it is an existential global issue, we must make every effort to contribute to decreasing our local dependency on fossil fuels,” Moskowitz said. “Rachael is the ideal person to help lead our efforts. She has devoted her career to endeavors that build productive interactions between people, the environment, and economic systems - the three tenets of sustainability.”
Griffith began her career as a landscape architect before moving to the LandHealth Institute in Philadelphia as Community Projects and Programs Manager. She joined the Chester County Planning Commission in December 2016.
Chester County Commissioner Josh Maxwell, who has championed the climate issue, welcomed Griffith to the position. Living in a section of the county prone to flooding, Maxwell said he sees the effects of climate change up close.
“Flooding in our county will only continue to worsen if climate conditions are not reversed,” he said. “Severe flooding puts people’s properties and lives at risk. We need to take these critical steps to make sure that future generations don’t have to go through the same climate emergencies at the frequency that we do today. I know Rachael feels similar urgency and am pleased that she is taking on this leadership role.”
Aside from the positions she has held, Griffith has been highly active in the community. She serves in a volunteer capacity for the Urban Land Institute, East Vincent Township Planning Commission, French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust, Natural Lands, and the Phoenixville Area Time Bank.
“Rachael’s community involvement speaks to the commitment she brings to Chester County and the environment,” commented Chester County Commissioner Michelle Kichline. “A key responsibility of this position involves constantly meeting with people to help guide their efforts, as well as building consensus. We have every confidence based on her history, that Rachael will be successful in those efforts.”
Griffith earned her undergraduate degree in landscape architecture from Temple University, and a master’s in public administration and certificate in public finance from the University of Pennsylvania.