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Saleem Chapman will be the next Director of Sustainability after Christine Knapp's departure.
Saleem Chapman will be the next Director of Sustainability after Christine Knapp's departure. Photo Courtesy: City of Philadelphia

New Philadelphia Director of Sustainability is appointed, will serve starting in September

Saleem Chapman will be the successor to Christine Knapp, who recently announced her departure.

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Philadelphia will have a new Director of Sustainability in September.

On July 7, Mayor Jim Kenney reported that Christine Knapp will step down from the City government after six years of service as the Director of the Office of Sustainability. 

Her departure is effective at the end of August, while her successor, Saleem Chapman, will step into the role at the beginning of September. 

Mayor Kenney has said that Knapp served well against the conflict of climate. Also, "Philadelphia has taken on a variety of new policies and programs aimed at creating a healthy, livable city now and in the future," under her direction. 

Kenney is grateful for all she has done.

During Knapp's time in service, she drove the creation and implementation of Greenworks, the City's comprehensive sustainability framework and the City's first Climate Action Playbook. Knapp also highlighted climate impacts like heat, flooding, environmental justice, waste reduction, municipal energy management, food justice and more.

To add to her successes, she guided the City's participation in the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge to deduct carbon emissions from the buildings. She built the Energy Performance Program, the Municipal Clean Fleet and the PGW Business Diversification plan.

"It has been an honor to serve as the Director of Sustainability for Philadelphia. I'm incredibly proud of our team's accomplishments and that we've become nationally recognized leaders in the climate fight. The urgency of the climate crisis requires continued and increasingly ambitious action. I know the City is well-positioned to meet that challenge," said Knapp in a press release.

Chapman, like Knapp, also has past experiences at the Office of Sustainability. He has served as the Deputy Director of the Office of Sustainability over the last three years. In 2021, Chapman was appointed the City's first Chief Resilience Officer. During these times, he guided the evolution of the City's first Environmental Justice Advisory Commission and pushed actions to strengthen climate risk considerations in planning and capital investment processes. 

Chapman feels at a loss for words and is honored that Mayor Kenney trusts him with the new position at the Office of Sustainability. "With the impacts of the climate crisis becoming more visible in our communities every day, I take seriously the reality that we cannot afford to lose any momentum. I'm dedicated to continuing what has become the hallmark of this office: building partnerships to deliver transformative solutions to issues at the core of environmental injustice and climate change," said Saleem Chapman. 

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