Lacey Raak appointed UCSC’s Director of Sustainability

To: UCSC Community

From:  John Barnes, Campus Architect and Associate Vice Chancellor Physical Planning and Construction

Photo of Lacey Raak
Lacey Raak (Photo: Carolyn Lagattuta)

I am very pleased to announce that Lacey Raak has been appointed UCSC’s Director of Sustainability. Lacey, who has been the interim director since last spring, was selected following a national search. Prior to serving in the interim capacity, she was the Climate Action Manager for the campus working on UCSC’s Climate Action Plan, identifying ways to reduce the campus’s carbon emissions.

UC Santa Cruz has been consistently rated in the top tier of sustainable colleges and universities in the nation. We have achieved this through the incredible dedication of many students, faculty, and staff who believe deeply in protecting the environment and increasing campus sustainability. 

Among institutions of higher learning, UCSC stands out for our students’ commitment to continually pushing the envelope of what is possible when it comes to sustainability. Now, UCSC is engaged with a new level of urgency to lower both our resource consumption and our greenhouse gas emissions. To meet our obligations under UC policy and new “Cap and Trade” regulations, we are working on a concerted long-term effort to transition campus-wide operations, and the behaviors of each of us, towards a truly sustainable future. Lacey’s role, and the role of the very talented Sustainability Office staff and student interns, is to facilitate and coordinate the transformation necessary to maintain UCSC’s leadership as a sustainable university.

Throughout her career, Lacey has worked in the field of sustainability and environmental policy, first as a U. S. Department of State Intern on international sustainable development in Washington, D. C. and later in the mid-east working to restore the flows of the Jordan River with Friends of the Earth – Middle East. More recently, Lacey was the Sustainability and Climate Change Program Manager with the City of Monterey where she completed the city’s greenhouse gas audit and Climate Action Plan, as well as coordinated the development of the City of Monterey Bikeways Plan.

Lacey holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Minnesota, where she majored in Global Studies with a minor in Journalism and Mass Communication, and a Master of Arts from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in International Environmental Policy. She has studied abroad in Jordan, Mexico, and the United Kingdom and, in 2010, was a Fulbright Scholar in Indonesia where she studied Indonesia’s “National Sustainable Development Strategy.”

In addition to her understanding of sustainability in higher education, Lacey brings a positive and constructive approach to everything she does and a willingness to “roll up her sleeves.” Please join me, not only in welcoming Lacey Raak as UCSC’s next Director of Sustainability, but also helping to support sustainability on our campus.