Chitra Kumar

National (2006)


Arlington, Virginia

Personal pronouns: She, her, hers

Chitra Kumar is a public policy and planning expert at the US Environmental Protection Agency. Throughout her nearly 20-year federal career, she has held various roles creating partnerships with federal, state and local organizations to develop more equitable strategies for environmental protection, land use and infrastructure, particularly in economically distressed small towns, rural areas, and urban neighborhoods.

Currently, she is on the senior leadership team in EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice. From March 2020-2021 Ms. Kumar was Senior Fellow with the Aspen Institute’s Community Strategies Group and Thrive Rural, focused on bridging the fields of health, environment, and economic development to improve rural well-being. From 2015-2019 she directed the Federal and State Division of EPA’s Office of Community Revitalization. From 2013-2014, she served at the White House Council on Environmental Quality as the Deputy Associate Director for Water, where she contributed to high-profile water-related federal policies, including implementation strategies for clean water, water infrastructure finance, green infrastructure, and freshwater climate change resilience.

An immigrant to the rural Midwest, Chitra is particularly interested in advancing equity, environmental sustainability, and economic resilience, while highlighting immigrants’ contributions to the American economy.

Chitra holds a Master in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Arts from Boston University. In her free time, she serves on Strong Towns' Advisory Board and volunteers with local organizations to advance Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI). She also is an avid meditator and singer, using both to uplift others.