CEH Mourns the Loss of Arlene Rodriguez

CEH mourns the immense loss of our longtime advisor, Board Member, colleague, and friend Arlene Rodriguez, who passed away on Saturday, October 2.

“Arlene was always enthusiastic, always ready to aim for the moon, and always driven by love and by what would make the world a better place,” said Michael Green, CEO of CEH. “In the last months, just like the last 6+ decades, she had a powerful desire to live each moment to the fullest. To me, she was my big sister, my friend, and my confidant. To my kids, she was Tia Arlene who made them laugh every time. Even in mourning, we take with us the lessons she taught us and renew our commitment to fight for justice and for a healthy environment free of toxic chemicals for everyone.”

Arlene is survived by her wife Ansje Miller, former Policy Director at CEH, her daughter Gabriella Fazio and daughter-in-law Leydi and countless friends and family members across the Bay Area, North Carolina, New York, and beyond.  

Rodriguez enjoyed a long career as a Philanthropic Advisor, assisting foundations, individual donors, and philanthropic affinity groups to establish strong board leadership and governance structures, build strategic vision, and organize deep and effective funder-grantee collaborations. 

“Arlene was fierce in her commitment to justice, bold in her actions, and passionate about people and our planet,” said CEH Board President Tina Eshaghpour. “I am honored to have served with Arlene on the CEH board and will always hear her wonderful, infectious laughter whenever I think of my dear friend.”

Previously, Rodriguez served as Senior Director of Programs and External Relations of the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN), responsible for the leadership, marketing and management of GLSEN’s core program areas. Prior to GLSEN, she oversaw Living Cities’ knowledge management and evaluation work, and led the organization’s external relationships, communications, and public relations. She also directed the environment program for The San Francisco Foundation for eight years. Arlene served as senior program officer for the environment at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, was the Director of Community Programs and Founding Director of the Crissy Field Environmental Center with Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and was Urban Program Director for the Western Region of The Trust for Public Land. 

CEH’s Sarah Packer said: “Arlene Rodriquez was a warrior, nurturer, comediene, and one of the strongest and most tender people I’ve known. She fought for justice and positive change with the same fierceness with which she loved her people. Whether she was facilitating a coalition meeting, speaking truth to power, dancing in the kitchen, or sharing a beautifully cooked meal or perfectly crafted cocktail, her thoughtfulness, creativity, and timing were impeccable. Arlene’s strength and determination sustained her, and all of us, till the end. As my grandfather used to say of people like Arlene, she knew how to live. May her legacy inspire us as we fight the good, hard fights, and may her memory be a revolution.”