Gretchen Ferenz

Gretchen has over 30 years experience in program development, project management and partnership building. She effectively engages and facilitates meaningful involvement by diverse public audiences and government, non-profit, foundation and corporate partners.  She develops programs that assess local needs and respond with innovative and feasible solutions.  Her approach to public engagement engenders buy-in from a broad range of diverse stakeholders and builds capacity for sustained outcomes.
Gretchen’s work has focused on urban areas where she has increased awareness of and involvement in environmental issues and the adoption of new methods. Her primary tools are informal education, service and action-oriented initiatives. Working in leadership positions at Cornell University Cooperative Extension – NYC for 29 years, Gretchen brought the research and educational resources of Cornell and other academic, government and funding institutions primarily to underserved neighborhoods through public education, strategic partnerships and grantsmanship.  
Gretchen applies research-based science utilizing participatory involvement and experiential learning to shape planning and implementation strategies for positive results and impacts. She has partnered on multiple social science and biological, natural science research initiatives, most notably the new Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay, to help to improve the quality of life of individuals, communities, and the urban environment.  
Gretchen is a skilled communicator, facilitator, trainer and educator, among her other program and fund development skills. She has served on the National Board of Epsilon Sigma Phi, Extension’s professional association. Gretchen received her BS from Rutgers University and her MS from the University of California, Davis.