Director of Programs
Kelly Henderson is the Director of Programs at Sustainable Pittsburgh, responsible for developing and executing programming strategy, including designation programs, networks, and targeted initiatives. Before joining Sustainable Pittsburgh, Henderson coordinated sustainability education programs at Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus for nine years. While at Chatham, she co-created and directed a residential Sustainable Leadership Academy program, an intergenerational Seeds of Change conference, a chapter of EnvironMentors, and educator professional development programs, including Growing Teacher Advocates, an experiential race identity development and gardening program. As adjunct faculty at Chatham, Henderson also taught courses on “Education for Sustainability,” “Leadership in Sustainability,” “Intergroup Dialogue Facilitation,” “Intergroup Dialogue: Gender,” and “Experiential Learning and Classroom Partnerships.”
In multiple professional contexts and as a consultant, Henderson is skilled at centering and operationalizing equity in sustainability work. She has worked with HR professionals, educators and organizational leaders on just hiring and retention practices, professional development plans, DEI strategic planning, convening white caucus and/or multiracial professional learning communities, shared decision-making, deep listening and heart-centered leadership. She has training in Intergroup Dialogue facilitation from the University of Michigan, Cross-Cultural Facilitation from Stir Fry Seminars and is a LUMA Institute Certified Practitioner in Human-Centered Design.
Earlier in her career, Henderson was the Sustainability and Communications Coordinator at The Efficiency Network (TEN), where she managed the LEED Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance certification process for the United Steelworkers building as a LEED Accredited Professional. She was also a Building Strategy Fellow with the Green Building Alliance, where she helped with the data logistics needed to launch the Pittsburgh 2030 District in 2012. Before moving to Pittsburgh, Henderson spent time as a basic science researcher in labs studying solar photovoltaic materials and hydrogen storage materials, including at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. She also has about 20 years of experience as an outdoor and environmental educator in various capacities.
Henderson holds a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Colgate University, a master’s degree in Sustainable Energy Systems from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and a master’s degree in Secondary Science Education from Chatham University. Outside of work, Henderson is a member of the Homestead Borough Planning Commission. She sits on the board of Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) and PULSE Pittsburgh, as well as the STEM Education for Sustainable Development and Network for Emergent Socioscientific Thinking Advisory Committee through the Smithsonian Institution. She was also on the board of the Point Breeze North Development Corporation from 2017 to 2019.