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Baker announces transition of leadership for Massachusetts’ department

Last updated on May 1, 2022

A new leader for Massachusetts’ Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs will be in place May 6, Gov. Charlie Baker said.

The governor announced the appointment of Beth Card as the head of the organization to replace Secretary Kathleen Theoharides, who is leaving the department. Card is currently the Undersecretary of Environmental Policy and Climate Resilience.

“Secretary Theoharides has been dedicated to making Massachusetts a national leader in climate solutions, including guiding the development of the offshore wind industry,” Baker said in the release. “Katie has done a tremendous job leading our administration’s statewide efforts to comprehensively plan for the effects of climate change, and I wish her all the best in the future. Beth Card has a deep knowledge of environmental policy and a wealth of experience in leading climate resiliency efforts in state government, and we are glad to appoint her as Secretary.”

Theoharides said in the release she was “deeply grateful” to the governor for “trusting me to serve the residents of the Commonwealth.”

“I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve done together to increase access to the outdoors, invest in our natural resources, and deploy climate change solutions, including the first utility scale offshore wind farm, expand the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness resiliency program in 95% of the state’s communities, and create new initiatives to cut emissions in our transportation and heating sectors,” Theoharides said. “I’ve worked closely with Beth Card throughout my time in state service and I respect her leadership qualities and close work with stakeholders, legislators, and local leaders.

“Much work remains as we seek to fund critical climate, clean water, parks and infrastructure projects, and I’m confident in Beth’s deep expertise in environmental policy, water quality and climate change and in her ability to build and lead strong partnerships to deliver great outcomes.”

Card said the “tireless efforts” of Theoharides in the department has enacted climate change programs and invested in the state’s renewable energy portfolio.

“As we look ahead to the prospect of investing billions of dollars into our environmental, water and sewer, and port infrastructure for offshore wind deployment, I look forward to working alongside my colleagues and our many partners to continue the important work of our energy and environment programs and set a course for achieving commitments established in the Administration’s climate law,” Card said.

Under Theoharides leadership, according to the release, Massachusetts has deployed the first large-scale offshore wind farm in the nation, created climate resiliency that leads the nation, and established a net-zero carbon emissions goal by 2050.

The department also initiated clean energy strategies and polices that are designed to surpass emissions limits in the next 10 years through the 2030 Clean Energy and Climate Plan and coordinated needed updates to the state’s solar initiative.

The $58 million Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program was also established, according to the release. The program provides dollars to farms, food pantries, nonprofits, communities, and schools to supplement local food networks.

Card joined the Baker-Polito Administration in 2021 and possesses more than 25 years of services in state agencies and other governmental groups. She earned a degree in Political Science with a minor in Environmental Conservation and Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire. She earned her juris doctorate from the Massachusetts School of Law.

This article was originally posted on Baker announces transition of leadership for Massachusetts’ department

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