Cuyahoga County Names Deputy Chief of Staff for Climate and Sustainability

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Media Contact: Kelly Woodard: (216) 250-6146;

Jenita McGowan

The newly created position will drive initiatives to build the County’s climate resilience

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH - Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne is pleased to announce Jenita McGowan as the new Deputy Chief of Staff for Climate and Sustainability. McGowan will start her new position on April 15.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jenita McGowan into this top-level position within our administration,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne. “Climate resilience and sustainability initiatives are critical to our region, our world and to the county team. As Deputy Chief of Staff, McGowan will help to guide our community towards programs and initiatives that address the urgent challenges of climate change and promote the responsible stewardship of our natural resources.”

McGowan has over 15 years of sustainability experience in the corporate, nonprofit, and public sectors. Most recently, she worked at Eaton as the Director of Global Sustainability Engagement and Reporting. In her six years at Eaton, McGowan also served as Senior Manager of Global Sustainability and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Excellence, collaborating with global teams on climate and renewable resource strategies. She also served as the Chief of Sustainability for the City of Cleveland, where she developed the city’s first Climate Action Plan and led strategies that spurred economic growth and reduced Cleveland’s ecological footprint.

As Deputy Chief of Staff for Climate and Sustainability, McGowan will lead Cuyahoga County’s efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and advance our green infrastructure. She will work on one of Executive Ronayne’s top priorities, Fresh Water Institute, a water initiative focusing on education and research, environmental stewardship, advocacy and access, and economic development on the Great Lakes. McGowan will also engage residents and businesses in sustainable practices. This position is jointly funded by the Cleveland Foundation and The George Gund Foundation.

McGowan received a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance from Kent State University. She also earned a Masters in Nonprofit Management from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. She has earned credentials in green building, climate risk, and sustainable accounting.

“Climate change knows no borders, and its effects are worldwide,” remarks Executive Ronayne. “Cuyahoga County is committed to addressing this global challenge by prioritizing sustainability initiatives. With the hiring of Jenita McGowan, we are investing in the future of our county and the well-being of our residents. Her leadership will guide us to a more sustainable future for generations to come.”

To learn more about Cuyahoga County’s Sustainability initiatives, visit View images and photos.