2018 Awardee

Christie Keith

U.S. Executive Director, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA)

Christie Keith joined the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) in 2005, serving as U.S. Executive Director, as well as International Coordinator for 800 communities and organizations in 91 countries.  Under her leadership, GAIA is developing effective, multi-level solutions to create a just, toxic-free world without pollution and waste.  GAIA recognizes that our earth’s finite resources, fragile ecosystem and health of all living beings are endangered by inefficient and health-threatening production practices and disposal methods.  GAIA’s vision is to create an efficient, democratized economy with clean production methods—where all products are reused, repaired, composted, or recycled.

Christie has 26 years of experience with social movements and international nonprofit organizations.  At GAIA, she helped build a powerful network to fight pollution in the U.S. and tackle global emissions.  During tough economic times, Christie courageously led GAIA to go bold, increasing its budget tenfold to create richer programs and amplify community voices during global climate negotiations.  Two years ago, GAIA supported the launch of the #breakfreefromplastics movement, which is now organizing against industry plans to quadruple global plastics by 2050.  It’s perfect – and essential – timing for a sabbatical.  Christie is looking forward to hiking, traveling, creative writing, caring for herself and her home, and spending time with her family.

Christie says “A sabbatical will allow me to lead with joy and love to find global solutions during this urgent time when our world is at a turning point.  I want to figure out the next evolution of my role so I can share what I have learned more broadly, leverage relationships and develop frontline community and worker capacity to create change.”

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