Colander began her career in public service as the Deputy General Counsel for the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). CEQ is charged with upholding the tenets of the National Environmental Policy Act and facilitating interagency coordination among federal agencies in the development of environmental and energy policies and initiatives. During this time, she advised principals and staff on legal aspects of CEQ actions, statutory and regulatory interpretations, drafted Executive Orders and Presidential Memoranda in coordination with cooperating agencies, represented the Council in advancing the Administration’s infrastructure efforts, and assisted in the resolution of interagency disputes regarding energy, the environment and natural resources.
Prior to joining the Executive Office of the President, Colander was an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an international environmental non-profit headquartered in New York City. Working with NRDC’s Air & Energy group, her expertise in energy policy focused on industry restructuring and utility regulation, energy efficiency, the “smart grid” and renewable energy programs-of particular note, offshore wind. In this role, Colander also served as the project manager of the Facebook/NRDC/Opower social energy initiative to enhance energy literacy and influence energy consumption behavior and greenpowernyc.com, a website developed to enable New York City resident to purchase renewable energy through renewable energy credits.
Colander earned her Master’s degree at Yale University, Juris Doctor at Vermont Law School and Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia. She serves on the board of the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.