Environmental expert Arturo Garcia-Costas has joined The New York Community Trust as Program Officer for national and New York City environmental grantmaking. Garcia-Costas, who has worked for state and federal environmental agencies as well for a U.S. Congressman and the United Nations, brings more than 20 years of experience to The Trust, one of the largest funders of New York nonprofits, with assets of nearly $2.4 billion.
He came from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, where he launched the Green Gems Grants program to support community gardens and other green spaces in urban areas. He led efforts to make New York communities more resilient to coastal storms and climate change for the State's Sea Level Rise Task Force.
“I’ve long been passionate about protecting this beautiful jewel of a planet and making our city a healthier, more livable place,” said Garcia-Costas.
Garcia-Costas also ran a global funding initiative at the United Nations Development Program designed to help developing countries address climate change, biodiversity conservation and land degradation. He helped to phase out leaded gasoline in half a dozen countries across the Americas with the Natural Resources Defense Council and other nonprofits.
From 2005 to 2007, he monitored the recovery and redevelopment of Lower Manhattan after 9/11 as Congressman Jerrold Nadler’s community representative, and helped draft federal legislation to address its impact on public health and the environment.
Garcia-Costas has a Bachelor’s degree from the City University of New York in International Affairs and Theater, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School, where he focused on international and environmental law. At The Trust, he assumes responsibilities for environmental grantmaking from Patricia Jenny, who recently became Vice President for Grants.