May 3, 2024


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Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced today the appointment of Nicole Hewitt-Cabral as Chief Sustainability Officer of the City of Newark.


Ms. Hewitt-Cabral has worked for 24 years in a variety of positions in environmental sustainability and community building at national levels, including creating and managing all aspects of the Sustainable Communities Network. The network supported 30 leaders in rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina pummeled the New Orleans region in 2005. She went on to lead community-building projects as Founder and CEO of Newark-based Community Action Strategies, LLC.


“We are proud and privileged to appoint someone with the professional credentials and proven track record of commitment to Newark and our residents like Nicole Hewitt-Cabral to the critical position of Chief Sustainability Officer,” said Mayor Baraka. “Ms. Hewitt-Cabral will provide our administration with the energy, determination, and leadership to take command of our sustainability office.”


The Chief Sustainability Officer reports to the Business Administrator, and works closely with an interdepartmental Sustainability Team made up of staff from key City departments, the Newark Environmental Commission, Newark Green Team, and other community, university and private sector partners to implement policies and programs that create a healthier, greener Newark in all five wards. The work of the Sustainability Team builds on the framework laid out in the Newark Sustainability Action Plan, and is guided by principles of environmental and social justice, ensuring all members of the Newark community benefit from the city’s progress.


Ms. Hewitt-Cabral gained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Environmental Science & Policy in 2000 from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. She earned a Master’s of Public Administration, specializing in International Public and Nonprofit Policy and Management from New York University in 2006.


“It is an honor to serve in this role serving a city that I love as we work together to continue to shape our sustainability initiatives that increase our urban tree canopy, support our local growers to provide nourishing food to our residents, and invest in clean energy while preparing us for a hotter and wetter future,” said Ms. Hewitt-Cabral.


In 1999, she was an intern for the President’s Council on Sustainable Development for the White House in Washington, DC, and in 2005 as an intern with the United Nations Development Program working on both its Equator Initiative and the United Nations Capital Development Fund.


She served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Bolivia from 2000 to 2002 in two roles as a Natural Resources Management Extensionist and then as a Gender and Development Representative, managing community-driven agroforestry and soil conservation projects supporting women farmers.


After gaining her Master’s Degree, Ms. Hewitt-Cabral was a Program Officer for the Institute for Sustainable Communities, in Washington, DC and Gulf Coast, where she worked on supporting leaders and the community in rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina, serving in that role from 2007 to 2010.


From 2014 to 2023, she worked at Public Agenda, based in Brooklyn, first as Associate Director of Public Engagement & Senior Public Engagement Associate, then as Director of Public Engagement. She led complex, innovative projects such as the NYC-focused Cycles of Resilience that supported citizen-centered climate justice and resiliency planning in NYC neighborhoods devastated by Superstorm Sandy.


In December 2022, she founded Community Action Strategies, which led community-building projects with clients that included the City University of New York (CUNY), Canarsie Community Development Inc., and the City of Newark, serving as CEO until this year.


For her photo, click here.