Tiffany Taulton is the Director of Community Initiatives for the Hazelwood Initiative, a community development corporation located in Hazelwood--one of Pittsburgh's most racially diverse neighborhoods. In her role, Tiffany oversees community engagement, communications, and grants with an eye towards strengthening equity and inclusivity in the development process.
Prior to working at the Hazelwood Initiative, Tiffany evaluated national clean energy strategies for the Environmental Defense Fund in New York, worked for the Pittsburgh Department of City Planning, where she authored the food chapter of the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan 2.0, and spent four years working for the Department of Public Information at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. She also has four years of healthcare experience working in hospitals as a Spanish interpreter, doula, and medical biller.
Her passion for environmental justice started during her time as an undergraduate student in Georgetown University when she learned about the droughts in Haiti caused by severe deforestation resulting from a need for cooking fuel. Her interest was again stirred in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina Disaster when hundreds of thousands of black people were displaced from their homes-some relocating to as far away as New York City, where she lived at the time. Finally, following the destruction of New York City by Super Storm Sandy, she took the Earth Activist Training in Permaculture Design by Starhawk and returned to her family home in Pittsburgh to dedicate her life to helping vulnerable communities prepare for climate change. Over the last 7 years, Tiffany has been an active member of the Black Permaculture Network, volunteered with the Black Urban Farmers & Gardeners (BUGS) Co-op of Pittsburgh, trained in organic farming in Mississippi under Ben Burkett-2014 James Beard Awardee and former president of the National Family Farm Coalition-led two trips of the CMU in Puerto Rico student group that she founded at Carnegie Mellon University to assist in community-led, climate-resilient, recovery efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria and, most recently, taken the training for creating EcoDistricts.
Tiffany brings an eye to diversity and cross-cultural understanding in all that she does thanks to her unique upbringing. A childhood spent as a Navy brat in Puerto Rico, combined with high school and college exchange programs in Costa Rica, and an early professional career as an English teacher in Taiwan and France have led her to spend more than 10 years of her life living outside of the mainland U.S. She has visited over 20 countries and territories so far in the Americas, Europe, and Asia and looks forward to traveling again once the pandemic has ended.
EducationM.S. Public Policy & Management, Heinz College of Carnegie Mellon University
B.S. International Relations-Latin American Region, Georgetown University
Areas of Expertise & Professional Affiliations
- Food Policy and Urban Agriculture
- Reforestation and Urban Greenspace
- Climate Resilient Development
- Disaster Risk Mitigation and Recovery
- Environmental Justice
- Public Health
- Infant and Maternal Health
- International Education
- Afro American Historical & Genealogical Society of Pittsburgh
- American Planning Association
- One Pennsylvania-Environmental Justice Committee, Education Justice Committee
- The Pittsburgh Black Environmental Collective
- EcoDistricts Accredited Professional (AP)