Environmental Studies at UVM

Kerry Duggan '00

Director of Legislative, Regulatory, and Urban Affairs, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy

Kerry Duggan was recruited to UVM as a talented basketball player but changed course to follow a passion she found reading Rachel Carson in her high school environmental studies class. “I came to play basketball. But I got into the Environmental Program and went back to my roots—I found that there’s a lot more to life than just shooting hoops.”

Inspired by the teachers, by the global approach and by the books she read, it all started to come together for Kerry in her sophomore year. “I remember a book by David Orr about digging in and really living, not just in a residence hall or a dorm, but actively participating in your community. I started to understand that everything I threw into the waste basket was going somewhere.”

After UVM, Kerry returned home to Detroit, motivated to take up graduate study in environmental justice with a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan. Fired up about local political issues, she served as an organizer for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters and later took up national issues at the LCV office in DC.

“Probably the biggest thing I learned in the Environmental Program was critical thinking—looking at the connections between things, a systems thinking approach and why policy matters. I think back to learning about Rachel Carson and how one person can really make a big change.”

Kerry lives in Washington D.C. where she is Director of Legislative, Regulatory, and Urban Affairs, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy.