Judy Adler, Turner Foundation

TITLE: Senior Program Officer

FUNDING AREAS: Water and energy management, environmental sustainability, healthy living

CONTACT: judya@turnerfoundation.org, 404-681-9900

IP TAKE: Adler draws from a career’s worth of expertise in energy and sustainability to guide the whole gamut of Turner’s awards to environmental initiatives, including efforts on climate change.    

PROFILE: The Turner Foundation is a big name in Georgia’s environmental community—first, because its founder is Ted Turner, the internationally famous outspoken landowner, media mogul, and conservationist; and second, because it’s one of the state’s largest sources of grant funding, averaging about $10 million in grant awards each year for a very diverse range of environmental work.

And Judy Adler, as the foundation’s senior program officer for both its Creating Solutions for Sustainable Living program and its Healthy Planet, Healthy Communities program plays a preeminent role in making Turner’s magnanimous grant-giving happen.

Adler came to environmental protection through the nuts and bolts of sustainability. She previouslyworked as a staffer in the Georgia state government’s Sustainability Division, and in the private sector as an energy consultant with the architectural and engineering consulting firm Metcalf & Eddy, (which is now AECOM).

Though she's worked in the grant management capacity for Turner since 2006, Adler is an engineer first and foremost. She holds a bachelor's degree in engineering from Vanderbilt University and a master's in environmental engineering from UNC-Chapel Hill. She's a LEED Green Associate, and a Certified Energy Manager, two titles that certify her as credentialed to advise private sector and public sector organizations alike on energy efficiency and resource use.

Energy, sustainable building, and managing water resources are among her fortés. During her time working for the State of Georgia Department of Natural Resources, she managed a team of engineers that helped businesses and institutions reduce their environmental impact. During that time, she became an authority on water conservation and resource management in the state, and was appointed chair of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership.

Adler's programs give to many of the things you'd expect, given her background: The Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeepers, for example. But Turner has been a generous contributor over the years to large national groups like the Nature Conservancy, the National Parks Conservation Association, and the Center for Climate Strategies, as well as numerous local groups in multiple states, such as the Southface Energy Institute in Georgia and the Earth Island Institute in California.

Don’t send her any applications unsolicited, however. The Turner Foundation is invite-only, both for letters of inquiry and for proposals.