Denise G. Fairchild, Ph.D.

Denise Fairchild is the inaugural president and CEO of Emerald Cities Collaborative (ECC), a national nonprofit coalition of labor, business, community, and environmental organizations dedicated to building high road — sustainable, resilient and just — economies in US metro regions. With coalitions in 10 metro areas, ECC focuses on community-based approaches to building a clean energy economy that leads to healthy communities, strong local economies and the participation of low-income communities of color as full beneficiaries.

Denise has been working at the intersection of environment, economy and equity for over 45 years, working to improve the quality of life in and with LA’s low-income communities. In 1985, as a member of the Los Angeles Environmental Quality Board, Denise joined forces with Concerned Citizens of South Los Angeles to form a city-wide coalition to defeat the LANCER project, a proposed municipal incinerator in the Vernon-Central neighborhood of South LA. This movement led to city-wide recycling. It also led to the empowerment of black and brown communities throughout the city to not only fight against all forms of environmental dumping, but to developing quality housing, jobs and businesses for their communities.

From 1995-2010, Dr. Fairchild founded and directed the community planning program at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, the first community college in the country to offer an experiential learning certificate and associate degree program in community organizing and sustainable development for grassroots residents.

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