Erin Crotty, M.S.’92, a seasoned public administrator with deep roots in Troy and the Capital Region, has joined Rensselaer as the director of community relations. The first female commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and a Rensselaer alumna, Crotty will coordinate and enhance community partnership programs and expand local outreach efforts to the communities that Rensselaer shares.
“Erin is widely known for her environmental leadership, but she has always remained a strong supporter of Troy, the Capital Region, and Rensselaer,” said William Walker, vice president for strategic communications and external relations. “Her history with the university and its communities, and her experience in government and business, will continue to extend the reach of the Institute beyond the borders of the campus, building the connections between Rensselaer and the communities that we all call home.”
In her role as director of community relations, she will seek to expand Rensselaer’s working relationship with Troy and the Capital Region. She will work with Institute leadership to encourage and facilitate an expanded role for faculty, staff, and students in local neighborhoods. She also will bolster the connections between the Institute and local governments and businesses, and foster community involvement with Rensselaer.
Crotty has 20 years of experience in both the public and private sector in the Capital Region.
At DEC, Crotty oversaw a staff of 3,300 and a budget of nearly $1 billion. With former Governor George Pataki, she preserved more than 900,000 acres of open space. She implemented some the nation’s toughest acid rain regulations and reached two agreements covering six coal-fired power plants that will achieve the largest reduction in air pollution levels ever attained through settlement.
On the local level, Crotty supported the cleanup of contaminated and underused industrial properties in downtown Troy and throughout the state through the Superfund/Brownfields program and encouraged the governor to support the development of a river and estuary research center based in Troy, which was recently launched as the Upper Hudson Research Center of the Beacon Institute.
Crotty is currently president of the Crotty Group, a consultancy that she founded in 2005. The company assists corporations in identifying and executing sustainable business growth strategies and aids governments and non-governmental organizations in the development of innovative solutions to complex public and social challenges. Prior to becoming commissioner of DEC, she served as deputy commissioner of DEC’s Divisions of Water Quality and Environmental Remediation. She also worked as the director of state and local government relations at Latham-based Plug Power.
Early in her career Crotty worked directly with Governor Pataki as a research and policy analyst and later the director of special environmental projects. It was there that she helped implement the $1.75 billion 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act, which continues to fund environmental protection and restoration throughout the state. She began her career in the New York State Senate as part of the Commission on Toxic Substances and Hazardous Wastes.
Crotty sits on the boards of the New York State Thruway Authority, Emma Willard School in Troy, and Audubon New York. She grew up and was educated in Troy. She attended the Emma Willard School and earned her bachelor’s in political science from Russell Sage College. She earned her master’s in urban and environmental studies from Rensselaer.
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