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NIEHS employees win Green Dream Team Award

By Eddy Ball
November 2010

Caroline Dilworth, Ph.D.
Dilworth is overseeing the new NIH climate change and health grants inspired by the white paper. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Julia Gohlke, Ph.D.
Gohlke was a fellow in Portier's group at NIEHS, prior to being awarded an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellowship in 2009. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Thigpen Tart, left, and Chris Portier, Ph.D.
Thigpen Tart, left, was coordinating editor of the white paper, while Portier, right, was one of the NIEHS leads on climate change prior to his appointment to a leadership position with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Photo courtesy of Joel Scheraga, EPA)

Four NIEHS staffers were part of a group honored with one of the 2010 GreenGov Presidential Awards in a ceremony Oct. 7 in Washington, D.C. (see White House press release (  Download Adobe Reader (85 KB). The group was honored with the Green Dream Team Award for its work on the Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Climate Change and Health.

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The IWG issued a white paper, "A Human Health Perspective on Climate Change" (see story (, that was published by NIEHS and Environmental Health Perspectives in April. The paper inspired new funding opportunities by NIH to address the IWG's findings (see story (

Representatives of seven federal agencies collaborated as part of the IWG. NIEHS employees honored for their contributions to the IWG are former Senior Advisor Chris Portier, Ph.D., Program Analyst Kimberly Thigpen Tart, Health Scientist Administrator Caroline Dilworth, Ph.D., and former Intramural Research Training Award Fellow Julia Gohlke, Ph.D.

Portier, Thigpen Tart, and three of their IWG colleagues accepted the award on the team's behalf, during the ceremony in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. The awards ceremony was part of the 2010 GreenGov Symposium ( Exit NIEHS, Oct. 5-7.

The Green Dream Team Award honors achievement in one of six categories recognized by GreenGov. It specifically recognizes "exceptional leadership by an interagency green team to effectively place a federal sustainability idea into action." The team selected must have demonstrated that collaboration efforts were integral to its success. The award underscores the importance of partnerships among different agencies, councils, boards, or other groups.

The GreenGov Presidential Awards celebrate extraordinary achievement in the pursuit of President Obama's Executive Order 13514 on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance.

In that Executive Order, Obama wrote, "In order to create a clean energy economy that will increase our Nation's prosperity, promote energy security, protect the interests of taxpayers, and safeguard the health of our environment, the Federal Government must lead by example."

The White House points to the federal government's 1.8 million civilian employees, 500,000 buildings, and $500 billion in annual purchasing power, as compelling reasons why it has an obligation to lead by example in the areas of environmental, energy, and economic performance.

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