Jalonne L. White-Newsome

AGU Board of DIrectors

Director III


Senior Program Officer, The Kresge Foundation, and Professional Lecturer, The George Washington University, West Bloomfield, Michigan, USA

Volunteer experience that relates to this position: 

My current board service includes serving as cochair for the Health and Environmental Funders Network; a member of the Board on Environment Change and Society with The National Academy of Sciences; an advisory board member for the American Public Health Associations Center for Climate Change, Health and Equity advisory board; grants chair for a Detroit-based foundation focused on education and economic development, the Minerva Education and Development Foundation.


The AGU strategic plan represents a significant pivot for AGU. Board members must work together with each other, other volunteer leaders, and staff to play a key role in implementing the plan. What are the key features of the strategic plan that you find most exciting? What features do you think will be most challenging? As a Board member how would you advance the strategic plan?


I am excited about the clear articulation of AGU's vision and values. For member-based organizations, creating a solid foundation around vision and values can provide three things: a reminder of what the shared north star is, the ways in which an organization should engage in the work and with each other and a framework of accountability. Over the decades, AGU members have been committed to scientific discovery and solution-based science, maintaining a stellar reputation in the U.S. and beyond. With that in mind, I am particularly excited about the goals in the plan that will stretch AGU to be all that it can be and more, specifically the areas of the plan focused on promoting an inclusive scientific culture and partnering with other organizations to address societal change. The intersectional nature of the challenges we are facing in our society racism, health disparities, scientific integrity requires expanding the network of AGU to include diverse sets of stakeholders that can strengthen the power and impact of the science being developed. Initiating new partnerships with public health practitioners, environmental justice leaders, and artists could offer interesting perspectives and help tackle old problems in new ways. Addressing existing racial inequities in our society and our many institutions will require time, trust and humility. As an aspiring Board Director, I am confident that my experience working across sectors, building comprehensive coalitions, advancing racial equity and personal commitment can help make the intent and spirit of this strategic plan a reality.

Section affiliations:

Atmospheric Sciences; GeoHealth; Global Environmental Change; Science and Society