Marissa Ramirez is the Senior Community Climate Strategy Manager for the People and Communities Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Since coming to NRDC in 2010, Marissa has worked with neighbors and local leaders, primarily in underserved communities of color, on revitalization efforts by providing best practices and tools for a more equitable and sustainable future. She believes that meaningful change happens locally.
Marissa is co-author of “4-Steps to a Climate Savvy Community,” which is designed for communities to find solutions to climate, health, and racial equity issues. She is also author and co-author of “Green Neighborhoods: Advancing Strategies that Create Strong, Just, and Resilient Communities” and “The Sustainable Square Mile Handbook: Cultivate Your Green Village with Community-Based Principles and Practices.” Marissa takes great pride in leading new research to uncover the links between climate change, displacement, and gentrification in U.S cities.
Marissa’s work enables community stakeholders to obtain the knowledge and power to adapt to climate change and collectively design solutions to advance local priorities. She knows building communities that are green and provide opportunities for everyone involves bringing thought leaders together from diverse fields and perspectives. Forming these intersecting and innovative ideas is what inspires her daily work to bring positive and lasting change. Her work has advanced policies and investments for creating communities that are walkable, green, healthy, and just.
Prior to coming to NRDC, Marissa was a Science Researcher at Albert Einstein College of Medicine focused on developing novel cancer therapies. Marissa holds a Master of Environmental Management degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she focused on Urban Environmental Economics. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Yale University. Marissa continues to bring both her passion for human and environmental health to her professional work.