Molly Gail Mehling is currently a program officer for the Environment category of the Heinz Awards, a program established in 1993 by Teresa Heinz in memory of Senator John Heinz, celebrating extraordinary individuals who embody his spirit and work ethic.
Prior to her transition into philanthropy, Mehling was one of three founding faculty members in the Falk School of Sustainability and Environment at Chatham University, Rachel Carson's alma mater. Through the development of undergraduate and graduate programs, the Eden Hall Campus, student projects, and many ground-breaking courses, Mehling reshaped the boundaries between academic research and community partners. Projects organized around the themes of water, health, and biodiversity were intensely local and transdisciplinary, but shared nationally and with international collaborators in Costa Rica and Indonesia.
Mehling holds a Ph.D. in Ecology and a Masters of Environmental Sciences both from Miami University, as well as a B.S. in Environmental Biology from Mount Union University.
Growing up 60 miles downstream from Pittsburgh in the biodiverse yet strip-mined hills of eastern Ohio -- where the environment takes its toll on health, but communities have yet to find their voice -- Mehling found a chasm between research and action that she is compelled to bridge.