Richard and Barbara Hansen Leadership Award and Distinguished Lecture

2023 Honoree

The University of Iowa College of Public Health has selected Peggy Shepard, co-founder and executive director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice, as the 2023 recipient of the Richard and Barbara Hansen Leadership Award.

Advancing Environmental Health Through Justice and Equity

12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023
Callaghan Auditorium (N110 College of Public Health Building)

View a Recording of the Lecture

Peggy Shepard is co-founder and executive director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice and has a long history of organizing and engaging Northern Manhattan residents in community-based planning and campaigns to address environmental protection and environmental health policy locally and nationally. She has successfully combined grassroots organizing, environmental advocacy, and environmental health community-based participatory research to become a national leader in advancing environmental policy and the perspective of environmental justice in urban communities — to ensure that the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment extends to all.

Shepard has been named co-chair of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council as well as chair of the New York City Environmental Justice Advisory Board, and was the first female chair of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the National Black Environmental Justice Network and the Board of Advisors of the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.

Her work has received broad recognition: the Jane Jacobs Medal from the Rockefeller Foundation for Lifetime Achievement, the 10th Annual Heinz Award For the Environment, the William K. Reilly Award for Environmental Leadership, the Knight of the National Order of Merit from the French Republic, the Damu Smith Power of One Award, the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award from the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, and Honorary Doctorates from Smith College and Lawrence University.

Peggy Shepard, winner of the 2023 Richard and Barbara Hansen Award.
Peggy Shepard (photo by Allie Holloway)

About the Award

Learn more about the Hansen Award and Lectureship and its creators, Richard and Barbara Hansen.

The Award

2023 Honoree

Peggy Shepard is the recipient of the 2023 Richard and Barbara Hansen Leadership Award.

2023 Honoree

Past Recipients

See biographies of past winners of the Hansen Award, along with archive video of their respective lectures.

Past Recipients