Maya Van Rossum
Maya van Rossum is the Delaware Riverkeeper and leads the Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN). She heads a team of dedicated staff and volunteers who monitor the River and all of its tributaries for threats and challenges, and who then take this information and advocate, educate and litigate for protection, restoration and change. The Delaware Riverkeeper and Delaware Riverkeeper Network work to restore natural balance in the River and watershed where it has been lost, and to ensure preservation where it still exists.
In 1994, Maya came to work at the DRN. By 1996, she had been appointed the Delaware Riverkeeper. She testifies before state and national governing bodies, organizes concerned citizens, and keeps a close watch on the Delaware. Often, she is out on the water herself, keeping an eye on the River and looking for signs of pollution and illegal activity.
Maya earned her J.D. from Pace University School of Law, and then earned an LL.M. in Corporate Finance from the Widener University School of Law. While at Pace she worked with and for the Hudson Riverkeeper and discovered her passion for Riverkeeping. Upon graduation from law school and her successful admission to the bars for PA, NJ and DC, she was appointed staff attorney and student supervisor for the Widener Environmental Law Clinic, then representing the Delaware Riverkeeper Network in litigation. After completion of this two-year appointment and her LL.M degree, Maya went to work for the DRN and started her journey to be the Delaware Riverkeeper. A committed environmentalist, Maya relishes her role as an advocate for our River on behalf of thousands of DRN members who are passionate about clean water and a healthy environment.
Harriet has worn many hats over the course of her life. She has been a ski instructor in Western Canada, an orchard worker in Israel, and a member of her college sky diving club. Harriet has spent most of her professional career working as an economist, policy advocate and educator. Harriet worked with the Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario governments in Canada, and spent 13 years at the United Nations as a representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Harriet followed many of the United Nations environmental and sustainable development committees and conferences for the IMF – including the first UN Earth Summit – at United Nations headquarters in New York and around the world.
In the spring of 2007 Harriet was selected from thousands of individuals across the country to participate in a training program conducted by Former Vice President Al Gore and sponsored by The Climate Reality Project. Harriet is one of the first 1000 individuals from around the world who have been personally trained by Mr. Gore to educate the public on climate change, and has served as District Manger and Mentor for the Climate Reality Project in the NYC Metro/NJ/PA/DE area. Harriet has spoken with thousands of individuals around the United States on climate change. Harriet is proud to be a Climate Reality leader and credits her work with Climate Reality for inspiring her to create and launch ClimateMama, Harriet’s passion and adventure.
Launched in late 2009, ClimateMama.com is a climate change education, advocacy and advisory organization, targeted at parents of all ages who want to learn more about climate change, what it’s all about, and what they can do about it! Harriet works with colleges, school children and their parents, educators, businesses, PTA groups, civil society organizations and houses of worships that are interested in learning more about what actions they can take to help make our world a better place.
Of the many “hats” Harriet wears, she will tell you that the most important hat is one she put on in 1998 and continues to wear to this day, and that is Mom to her two children. Becoming a mom heightened Harriet’s desire to find a way to “make the world a better place”, not only for her children, but for all the children around us, even the grown up ones. Through her work on Climate Change, Harriet feels she has found her passion, her opportunity and the ability to help raise awareness on THE most important and challenging issue any of us will face in our lives.
Harriet serves as the chair of her town’s Environmental Commission and Green Team where she oversees the town’s “Sustainable Jersey” certification bid. Harriet works with local and national environmental organizations and has been a Mentor for the national Green Faith Certification program. Working at a grassroots level, Harriet sits on and chairs several community based local and regional environmental and social policy groups. Harriet’s writing has been featured by many national media outlets and organizations, including: MSNBC, Christian Science Monitor, Lifetime TV, Huffington Post, the Rodale Media Network, Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, The Global Team of 200, Healthy Child Healthy World, The EPA, USAID and many more. As well Harriet is a vocal advocate and activist at the state and national levels for legislative action on climate change and for the promotion and adoption of an energy plan that focuses on clean, renewable energy. In 2011, Harriet was one of 1253 individuals arrested in Washington DC protesting the building of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Harriet lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children who are her passion and inspiration for everything she does.