Oakland County Appoints First Environmental Sustainability Officer

Pontiac, MI - Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter has appointed Erin Quetell to serve as the county’s first environmental sustainability officer.

Quetell will bring a wealth of valuable experience to the role. She has served as the environmental sustainability planner for the City of Ferndale, where she was responsible for integrating the social, financial, and environmental sustainability perspectives and best practices into everyday city operations.

“Protecting and preserving our environment is such an essential duty for all of us, especially as we face the existential threat that climate change is already having on our region, the nation and the world,” Coulter said. “Hiring Erin, who has played such a pivotal role in Ferndale, shows that Oakland County is committed to doing our part to ensure a safe, healthy and clean environment for our residents, businesses and visitors to enjoy for generations to come.”

Some of her notable projects include the first city-owned solar array, full LED streetlight conversion, a stormwater infrastructure vulnerability assessment, downtown waste management plan, greenhouse gas emission inventory, and completing the Ferndale Moves mobility plan update.

She also implemented a variety of policies in the city including Electric Vehicle (EV) requirements for new development including multifamily and single-family homes, fleet management to transition to hybrid and electric fleet vehicles, creating a revolving energy fund, and urban tree protection and expansion.

Quetell also represented the City of Ferndale in the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) and ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability.

In her new role at the county, Quetell will focus on developing sustainability best practices for Oakland County operations and facilities, develop actions for the county to reach carbon neutrality on the county government campus by 2030 and in the county overall by 2050. She will also support communities throughout Oakland County with their sustainability and climate goals.

Prior to her role in Ferndale, Quetell worked in the private and non-profit sectors focusing her work on environmental issues. She also served as an AmeriCorps member through the Huron Pines AmeriCorps program, where she served a full term with Little Forks Conservancy and the Leon P. Martuch Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

She is a graduate of the 2020 Michigan Women’s Municipal Leadership Program through the Michigan Municipal League (MML); a member of the Leadership Oakland Class XXIX “The Best Class Ever” and serves as the co-chair for the Great Lakes Climate Adaptation Network (GLCAN).

Quetell holds a Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Grand Valley State University.

Quetell spends her free time exploring the great outdoors with her wife and daughter. She lives in Farmington Hills and has been a resident of Oakland County for most of her life.

She will begin her new role on Monday, October 4.

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