A Note to Our Community: An SCPN Leadership Change

I am so excited to share that starting next week, the State Climate Policy Network will be managed by the incredible Kristen Soares. After three years directing this network, I will be leaving Climate XChange to work full-time on reducing the climate footprint of the food sector, and hope to connect with many of you in that capacity! 

Kristen has been supporting SCPN management alongside me since May, and has infused new energy and ideas into our work. She brings a superb environmental justice background and a deep understanding of state-level climate policy. I truly can’t imagine a better person to lead this network and build upon this work. 

As I leave Climate XChange, I want to take the opportunity to reflect on my last few years here, and thank all of the wonderful individuals who made this experience so special. I took over the SCPN in 2018, when Trump was just a year and a half into his presidency and states appeared to be America’s only shot at meaningful climate action. Our network back then consisted of 250 scrappy individuals committed to putting a price on pollution in their state, and I was a 20-year-old tasked with overseeing it. 

From Day 1, I was welcomed into this national community in a way I will never forget. Legislators mentored me on how the legislative process worked in their state and nonprofit leaders shared thoughtful advice on how Climate XChange could best support climate activists across the nation. Advocates from Boston to San Francisco and everywhere in between volunteered their time and knowledge, helping us create a model of information-sharing that has become the cornerstone of the SCPN today. It was clear to me that I had joined a dedicated community of advocates who simply wanted to fight climate change and support others doing so. I feel so fortunate to have launched my career at Climate XChange alongside such a brilliant, thoughtful, and hard-working team, and as part of a national community of tireless and generous climate advocates. 

Thanks to each and every one of you, our network has grown immensely over the past three years. We broadened our focus from just tracking carbon pollution pricing to monitoring a broad range of climate policies, launching a comprehensive State Climate Policy Dashboard earlier this fall. Today, we have more than 16,000 members in our network, spanning across all 50 states and hailing from all walks of life. We’ve had more than 65 undergraduate and graduate students participate in our fellowship program, and more than 800 legislators join our events. We’ve provided technical support to dozens of states, and connected tens of thousands of individuals with one another. But our work is only getting started. 

Under Kristen’s guidance, we will continue to help provide advocates with the tools they need to advance their climate campaigns and increase cross-collaboration within the movement. In 2022, we will host regular Deep Dive webinars on a range of climate policy topics, monthly policy calls, and networking events. We will spotlight SCPN members, and hear directly from members themselves — plus, lots more. 

You can reach Kristen at kristen@climate-xchange.org — feel free to say hi, introduce yourself, or share any thoughts about how to best guide the network moving forward! If you want to stay in touch with me, you can do so via my personal email, noadalzell@gmail.com or on my LinkedIn

As the threat of climate change intensifies, we must continue to support one another in this fight. Our State Climate Policy Network will continue to share curated information, resources, and support. We are only getting started.

Featured Image: Graphic design by Amanda Pontillo, Climate XChange