Christina Motilall graduated from the O’Neill School in 2012 with the dual Master of Public Affairs in Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management and Master of Science in Environmental Science in Chemistry, Toxicology, and Risk Assessment. She chose the O’Neill school for its stellar reputation and academic opportunities.
Following graduation Motilall worked as an environmental fellow at a nonpartisan think tank, then as an environmental scientist at a consulting firm. Ultimately her career landed her at the Environmental Protection Agency, and she relocated to the Washington, D.C., area.
Motilall has focused her career on environmental justice (EJ), working on behalf of communities overburdened by pollution and underserved by their representatives and regulators. She is the communications lead for the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights (OEJECR). She manages all internal and external communications for OEJECR including a widely distributed EJ listserv and the EPA’s EJ Twitter account. She also co-chairs the Public Participation Committee for the White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council.
If you are interested in pursuing a career in public or environmental affairs, Motilall’s advice is to keep an open mind.
“While I was intent on working in environmental justice, I knew there were many paths to accomplishing that goal; some less obvious than others. I am happy I walked through a few different doors to gain experiences that ultimately rounded out my resume in helpful ways,” said Motilall. “While having a plan is important, it is even more important to keep progressing in some way. If you keep moving forward and trying your best, you’ll land where you need to.”