Keynote Speaker

2016 Sustainability Conference Keynote Speaker

Catherine Werner

  In 2009, Mayor Slay appointed Catherine Werner as the first Sustainability Director for the City of St. Louis. Catherine works on numerous urban sustainability initiatives.  She spearheaded development of an award-winning Sustainability Plan for the City of St. Louis and oversees implementation of the Mayor’s Sustainability Action Agenda of priorities.

Catherine has been a champion of triple bottom line sustainability principles – balancing social, economic and environmental issues. Catherine was instrumental in launching several successful sustainability efforts in the City, such as its Sustainable Neighborhood Initiative, the Urban Vitality & Ecology Initiative, Milkweeds for Monarchs: The St. Louis Butterfly Project, and the Set The PACE St. Louis energy-efficiency financing program.

Catherine worked on all aspects of the City’s $3.7 Million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, including the City’s Downtown Bicycle Station and Cycling Initiative, obtaining the first Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and advancing several climate protection efforts. She also managed the City’s role in the HUD-awarded Regional Sustainable Communities Planning Grant for transit-oriented development, and oversaw the City’s participation in the STAR Community Rating System (sustainability framework and rating system).

Catherine has worked as an environmental attorney, green building consultant, natural resources specialist and environmental educator. She has extensive experience in legal, real estate, ecological and sustainable design projects, and has worked on sustainable development issues in both a planning and implementation capacity.

In the wake of the S&L crisis, Catherine served as lead Environmental Counsel for the federal Resolution Trust Corporation agency in the Washington, D.C. headquarters.  She worked at the local government level for the City of Chicago's Department of Environment.  As Director of Land Protection for The Nature Conservancy of Missouri and Program Coordinator for the Chicago Wilderness biodiversity collaboration, Catherine obtained valuable experience in the natural resource world.

She also founded a nonprofit organization to raise awareness of the significance of tallgrass prairies. In the private sector, Catherine was the Environmental Specialist for a large-scale master planned community in northern Nevada. She also was the Sustainability Consultant to the provost at the University of Nevada, Reno. Catherine has taught environmental courses at various institutions of higher learning, including Environmental Law: Applications Toward Sustainability and Urban Ecology: Principles and Practice at Washington University.

Catherine is a LEED Accredited Professional, obtained her J.D. from Washington University School of Law, and her undergraduate degree from Duke University.