Alexa White, Ph.D.

Alexa White, Ph.D., the co-founder and executive director of the Aya Research Institute, is a leading figure in fostering diversity in science and engineering, particularly in the realm of environmental justice research. The Department of Ecology at the University of Michigan recognizes her as an esteemed agroecologist, highlighting her significant contributions to sustainable agriculture and environmental justice. Her laboratory focuses on the global food systems and climate governance. As a United Nations delegate, she plays a crucial role in enhancing biophysical indicators for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Alexa’s accolades include the 2023 Federation of American Scientists (FAS) Policy Entrepreneurship Award and the 2020 World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Conservation Leadership Award. She has spearheaded the development of environmental justice screening tools for the Mid-Atlantic U.S. governments during her tenure as a Senior Harvard Climate Justice Design Fellow. Her collaborations with the White House Council for Environmental Quality (CEQ) and FAS resulted in the creation of the first Justice40 tracker and report. Alexa’s expertise and dedication in the food sovereignty domain have earned her seats on boards of prestigious organizations such as the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Renewable Thermal Collaborative (RTC), 100K Trees for Humanity, and the Edfu Foundation. In 2022, she accepted the role of Columbia Mailman School Agents of Change in Environmental Justice Senior Fellow, using storytelling to promote agroecology and amplify the voices of small-scale farmers. Today she is a 2024 Summit Climate Lab Fellow, where she contributes to a network leadership program for climate entrepreneurs.