Using Real-World Experience
To Tackle Real-World Complexity
Carmen Guerrero Pérez ’10 M.E.M., director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Caribbean Environmental Protection Division, will receive the 2019 Prospect Street Award for her years of work in environmental conservation and community engagement in Puerto Rico.
Carmen Guerrero Pérez ’10 M.E.M. had years of experience in environmental conservation and community engagement in her native Puerto Rico before she ever came to Yale.
So when she arrived at F&ES, she was already quite familiar with complexity, says Susan Clark, Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Adjunct Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Policy Science. “And she knew that the way to deal with this reality and to really help other people is to get yourself organized so you can deal with that complexity and not be overwhelmed by it,” Clark said.
“Carmen was someone who could do that because of her considerable real-world experience.”
She took that experience to her native Puerto Rico, where over the years she has led an expansion of the island’s natural protected areas network and the implementation of several executive orders that strengthened Puerto Rico’s climate change resiliency and adaptation capacity.
Guerrero Pérez, who is now director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Caribbean Environmental Protection Division, has also led efforts to protect the island’s coastal areas and ecosystems, wil receive the Prospect Street Award during the F&ES Reunion Weekend. The award recognizes recent graduates who have made significant contributions
The Caribbean Environmental Protection Division serves as the primary liaison on environmental issues with the governments of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Territory of the Virgin Islands.
Previously she served as Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, where she led an expansion of the island’s natural protected areas network and the implementation of several executive orders that strengthened Puerto Rico’s climate change resiliency and adaptation capacity. She has also led efforts to protect the island’s coastal areas and ecosystems.
She started her career at the EPA’s Office of Policy and Planning in Washington, D.C., before returning to Puerto Rico to join the San Juan Bay Estuary Program as project coordinator. She also spent 15 years as an environmental and conservation planner and consultant to several organizations and governmental groups, including the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust, El Yunque National Forest, Corporación ENLACE del Caño Martín Peña, the University of Puerto Rico, and The Nature Conservancy.
Note: Yale School of the Environment (YSE) was formerly known as the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES). News articles posted prior to July 1, 2020, refer to the School's name at that time.