Press Releases

Kizzy Charles-Guzman Named CEO of the Center for Environmental Health


Oakland, California – The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) announced a new Chief Executive Officer, Kizzy Charles-Guzman, who will take the helm at the national nonprofit organization. CEH protects people from toxic chemicals by working with communities, consumers, workers, government, and the private sector to demand and support business practices that are safe for public health and the environment. 

Charles-Guzman has over 18 years of career service in policy and program development work at the intersection of environmental health, sustainability, and racial equity. She led the New York City (NYC) Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice and developed the country’s first strategy to mitigate the public health impacts of rising temperatures and heat waves.

A proud Brooklynite since immigrating to NYC as a young teen, Charles-Guzman started her career at WEACT for Environmental Justice, under the mentorship of Peggy Shepard, Cecil Corbin-Mark, and Dr. Bunyan Bryant. Charles-Guzman has advised three New York City Mayors in her career to make the city healthier and more resilient, successfully securing over $5 billion in investments to uplift historically redlined and underserved neighborhoods, and most recently releasing New York City’s Sustainability strategy–PlaNYC

Kizzy Charles-Guzman

Kizzy Charles-Guzman will take the helm at CEH. Photo by Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

“The work of CEH has had a profound impact on the world benefitting the health of millions of people by eliminating exposures to toxic chemicals in their lives,” said Charles-Guzman. “I am thrilled to build upon our 27-year legacy and start a new chapter for this organization, ushering in a new era of major wins to make our neighborhoods healthier places to live, work, and play.”

“We are excited that Kizzy Charles-Guzman has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Environmental Health,” said Peggy Shepard, Co-Founder & Executive Director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice. “A longtime advocate for environmental justice and public health, Kizzy brings a wealth of experience to this position, from her days as an Environmental Policy Coordinator here at WE ACT to serving as Executive Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice.”

Charles-Guzman’s contributions have been recognized on a national level. She received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Quality Award and a Champion of Change Award from the U.S. White House under President Obama, highlighting her significant policy achievements, her contributions to society, her tireless focus on justice, and her dedication to her community. 

“I couldn’t think of a better person to lead CEH into its next phase of growth than Kizzy. Rooted in a commitment to environmental justice and creating healthier, thriving communities, Kizzy has the vision, passion, and track record of success in working with a variety of stakeholders to enact large-scale institutional change,” said Ansje Miller, Executive Director of the Health and Environmental Funders Network (HEFN). “With Kizzy at the helm, CEH is in a great position to be even more effective at protecting our health from dangerous chemicals.”

“This is a magnificent day for CEH,” said Michael Green, Founder of CEH, who served as CEO for 26 years. “Kizzy Charles-Guzman is a champion of sustainability and climate leadership and has a proven track record of implementing programs to advance environmental health, equity in open space planning, decarbonization, and environmental justice. I deeply admire Kizzy and her work, and am certain that under her leadership, CEH will continue to have profound and measurable success for years to come.”