Sustainability Directors Network Speak to Local Governments [Climate Correction™ 2023 Panel]

Local governments in the Southeast face numerous challenges and barriers to advancing their sustainability and climate action priorities. This session will specifically focus on how SSDN is helping local governments build internal capacity to achieve climate-related goals, including participating in state-level policy forums and accessing federal funding to resource these activities. Southeast Sustainability Directors Network is a peer-to-peer network connecting over 100 local and tribal governments with the goal to accelerate, scale, and implement sustainability best practices throughout the Southeast region. SSDN speakers will include Ann Livingston (Director of Policy) who will discuss building the capacity of local government to meet climate and energy goals as well as engage with state and federal partners and Michael Dexter (Director of the SSDN’s Multimedia Environmental Finance Center) who will discuss federal funding opportunities and technical assistance offerings to help resource local governments to achieve climate priorities.


Michael Dexter

Southeast Sustainability Director’s Network

Michael is the Director of the Multimedia Environmental Finance Center, a pilot program of the Southeast Sustainability Directors Network. SSDN’s EFC helps local governments and the communities they represent in the Southeast have the opportunity and support to access and be awarded funding to advance sustainability and resilience efforts. He provides technical assistance to members to access and apply for federal funding, liaises with federal agencies, and connects local governments with key partners who provide additional support under the Center’s umbrella. Prior to being with SSDN, he worked within local, state, and federal government including at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to oversee a $1.2 billion annual grant program, coordinate agency-wide climate change adaptation efforts, and support disaster preparedness and emergency response efforts.

Ann Livingston

Director, State Policy Program, Southeast Sustainability Directors Network

Ann has consistently taken an entrepreneurial approach to developing and implementing leading-edge solutions to sustainability issues facing communities, regions, and states since earning both a Juris Doctorate and an Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Environment, Policy and Society from the University of Colorado in 2000. She has served as the Land Use Attorney for Environment Colorado; Director, Center for Communities by Design at the AIA National Chapter; Boulder County Sustainability Coordinator; Program Manager for State and Local Engagement at the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), Principal Planner in Sustainability for Fort Lauderdale; and as a Climate Advisor for the City of St. Petersburg, FL prior to joining the SSDN team as Policy Director. Ann has worked collaboratively with multiple levels of government, utilities, the private sector (including technology firms, trade allies, and financial institutions), advocacy groups, Federal Laboratories, the US Department of Energy, and state energy offices among others. She has served on the City of Boulder and Xcel Energy Task Force (focused on municipalization and alternative partnership options), as President of the Colorado Green Building Guild, as Vice-President of the Environment Colorado Research and Policy Center Board of Directors, and on numerous other advisory boards and work groups. Ann was named as a Person of the Year by the Boulder Weekly (2009), Sustainability Champion (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 2010), and Forty Under Forty by the Boulder County Business Report (2010). Ann is a 5th generation native Floridian—her love of natural Florida inspired her to pursue a career in sustainability and remains a source of motivation today.

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