Ansje Miller

HEFN Position: 
HEFN Executive Director
Email Address: 

Ansje Miller is the Executive Director of the Health and Environmental Funders Network (HEFN). Throughout her 20 plus years in the environmental health, environmental justice and climate fields, Ansje has worked to collectively mobilize with other activists and partners to combat the increasing threats to our health through environmental exposures, and the rising racial and social justice attacks on our communities. She has led both state and national advocacy coalitions and successful legislative and regulatory campaigns to promote environmental health and justice leading to the reduction of exposures from toxic chemicals and efforts to mitigate climate change and promote renewable energy. Her organizing efforts, research reports, and popular articles have also led to the creation of numerous policies on toxics and global warming including California’s landmark global warming law AB32, the Green Chemistry Initiative, and won critical health protections in the 2016 update to the Toxic Substances Control Act. 

Before joining HEFN, Ansje was the Director of Policy and Partnerships for the Center for Environmental Health (CEH). In that role, she represented CEH with elected officials, regulators, and business leaders as well as directed the activities in the Eastern States office. Prior to her work at CEH, Ansje founded and directed the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative, a coalition that brought together the nation’s leading environmental justice, faith- based, and policy organizations to advocate socially just policies on climate change. 

Ansje is currently on the Sierra Club National board and has served leadership roles in the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, Healthy Babies Bright Futures, and Safer Chemicals Healthy Families. She has most recently served as policy co-chair of the BizNGO Working Group on Safer Chemicals as well as for the Cancer Free Economy Network.

What Inspires Me Most About Environmental Health and Justice: 

Our health and our environments are facing multiple threats, from climate change to toxic chemicals in our air, water, and everyday products, to sprawling development encroaching upon ecosystems that support biodiversity. We are facing an unprecedented attack by the Trump Administration, our broken democracy, and a dysfunctional Congress.

From rollbacks on fundamental protections on the brain-drain pesticide chlorpyrifos and the Mercury and Air Toxics rule, to the draconian Clean Cars Standards, to the lack of action on Teflon PFAS chemicals that have been found in the water supplies for as many as 110 million Americans, the Trump Administration’s assault on our environment must be stopped. 

Those challenges are also opportunities. Businesses are recognizing that consumers and communities are demanding better business practices. People are taking to the streets, knocking on doors to register voters, and running for elected office in unprecedented numbers. As American democracy is in turmoil and undermined by corporate interests that have rewritten the rules of our governance, it’s even more imperative that philanthropy play a critical role in mobilizing people working together and organizing in the face of divisiveness to win the day.

Why I Love My Job: 

Using all my experiences, skills and networks to grow the necessary resources to advance social and racial justice so that ALL communities can live environmentally sound and healthy lives inspires and moves me into action.  My work at HEFN allows me to tactically build the entire field of environmental health, with all its intersections and complexities, to ensure that philanthropy engages with activists in multiple ways so that environmental health and justice expands in the hearts and minds of more and more funders. The groups that funders invest in are the ones that move the field.  I am excited by HEFN’s commitment to work with philanthropy to invest in long-term, trust-based and intersectional work with those leading the movements to bring about racial justice – especially when we are talking about environmental health! 

When I'm Not at Work You Might Find Me: 

Dancing with my wife, running through the forest with my dog, learning Spanish, riding my bike wherever the wheels take me, playing with my toddler niece, or swimming and scuba diving the oceans near a warm and tropical locale.

Contact Me When: 

You want to know how HEFN can support your philanthropic efforts and how your funding can connect with environmental health and justice, or when you’d like to learn more about our existing programs and how to engage with HEFN. Let me be a resource for you.

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