by Jasmine Batchelor
August 30, 2019
President and CEO,
Green & Healthy Homes Initiative
Ruth Ann Norton serves as President & CEO of the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI), a national nonprofit founded in 1986 dedicated to the elimination of childhood lead poisoning and the creation of healthy, safe and energy efficient housing for America’s children. A dedicated advocate for healthy housing, she broadened the mission of the organization, formerly the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, by designing a groundbreaking national program built on a framework of cross-sector collaboration to efficiently deliver green, healthy and safe homes in communities throughout the United States.
One of the nation’s leading experts on healthy housing, Ms. Norton is a founding member of the Maryland Lead Poisoning Prevention Commission and has led efforts to reduce childhood lead poisoning by 98% in the state of Maryland. In addition, she has served as the primary author of 35 pieces of healthy housing legislation and as the principal or co-principal on more than 40 federally funded grant programs to combat unhealthy housing and improve energy efficiency. Over the course of this work, she has been a senior advisor to government and philanthropy, raising more than $310 million from the public and private sector.
In partnership with the Council on Foundations, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Ms. Norton designed the national Green & Healthy Homes Initiative to cost effectively integrate energy efficiency and weatherization investments with lead hazard control and health and safety efforts. GHHI currently operates in 30 U.S. cities in advancing the GHHI model. In 2014, Ms. Norton led GHHI’s entry into the Social Impact Bond/Pay for Success field to advance social impact financing and demonstrate health and other benefits of energy efficiency improvements to create models for Medicaid reimbursement. She also provides a leading voice to articulate the significant health and social benefits of energy efficient investments through her senior advisory role with Energy Efficiency for All (led by NRDC, Elevate Energy, NHT, Energy Foundation and ENI).
Ms. Norton served as a federally appointed liaison to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention and served as an expert panel member for HUD’s Healthy Homes Guidance Manual. She currently serves as a board member of GHHI and Groundswell, is on the Executive Committee of the Maryland Asthma Control Council, is a member of the Maryland State Innovation Model Local Health Improvement Coalition Stakeholder Group, is a member of Maryland’s Workgroup for Workforce Development for Community Health Workers and formerly served on the Maryland Medicaid Advisory Committee. She serves on the steering committee for Network Energy Water and Health in Affordable Housing (funded by Energy Foundation, JPB and MacArthur) and is a Technical Advisor for the National Environmental Health Association in the area Healthy Homes and Housing. She also developed and implemented one of the nation’s first healthy homes programs to address the multiple environmental health and safety hazards in low and very low income housing for pregnant women. Ms. Norton, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Community Health Leader (2005) and a Weinberg Foundation Fellow (2003), was named as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women by The Daily Record.