Gallagher, with Extensive Experience in Environmental Planning, Will Oversee Efforts to Ensure Sustainable Water Management Practices
The Suffolk County Water Authority Board on Tuesday voted unanimously to hire Carrie Meek Gallagher, an environmentalist with extensive experience as a planner, to spearhead the Authority’s efforts to ensure sustainable water management practices for current and future generations.
Gallagher will serve as the Authority’s first Chief Sustainability Officer. Her wide-ranging responsibilities will include monitoring potential environmental threats to the Authority’s more than 560 active wells; aiding in developing the Authority’s infrastructure; developing and implementing the Authority’s land management program; furthering the Authority’s energy optimization efforts; and developing detailed plans for future land easements, among many other responsibilities.
Gallagher, currently serving as the commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Environment and Energy, is a Magna cum Laude graduate of Amherst College, with a focus on sustainable development. She also earned a Master of Science degree in conservation biology and a Master of Business Administration and has more than a decade of experience in various environmental planning and protection positions on Long Island. In 2003, she was honored by the Long Island Business News as one of the region’s top talents under the age of 40.
“I’m thrilled to be bringing Carrie on board,” said Board President Jim Gaughran. “She will bring to the Authority a complete dedication to the economic and environmental issues that will shape our future, as we seek to protect our precious water supply for future generations.”
“As we position the Authority for the coming decades, a major focus will be embarking on a program of sustainability for both source protection and, in a broader sense, a full range of environmental protection initiatives, including water conservation, the use of renewable energies, recycling and waste reduction,” said SCWA Chief Executive Officer Jeff Szabo. “Carrie is the perfect person to help us realize these goals.”
Prior to serving as commissioner of the county’s Department of Environment and Energy, Gallagher was deputy director of the county’s Department of Planning. She began her career as program coordinator for Sustainable Long Island of Huntington, and has also been employed as senior planner for JAC Environmental Planning and Consulting of Great Neck; director of the Economic Development Resource Center of Mineola; and director of the Long Island Index Project for the Rauch Foundation of Garden City.
“I believe my background and experience give me the perfect skill set for this new opportunity,” Gallagher said. “I look forward to focusing on the big picture issues that will impact the Suffolk County Water Authority’s future, and by extension the future of all Suffolk residents.”
The Suffolk County Water Authority is an independent public-benefit corporation operating under the authority of the Public Authorities Law of the State of New York. Serving approximately 1.2 million Suffolk County residents, the Authority operates without taxing power on a not-for-profit basis.