Sacha-Rose Phillips joined McKnight as a program officer with the Midwest Climate & Energy program in November 2022. In this role, she oversees and develops significant grant portfolios that support efforts to build power through partnerships, aligning McKnight’s climate and equity goals to advance solutions to the climate crisis.

Sacha-Rose is an energy justice and policy practitioner specializing in transportation electrification, rural energy access, and community development. Most recently, she worked for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) designing and implementing policy strategies to advance research and programs on transportation, energy, climate, and coastal resilience in New York. She also coordinated the EDF New York State Affairs team’s engagement with advocates, environmental justice organizations, government officials, and other key decision-makers. A key initiative she led while at EDF is an incentive design research project aimed at increasing access to zero-emissions medium and heavy-duty vehicles for small freight businesses, fleet owners of color, and fleets operating in disadvantaged communities.

Prior to her time at EDF, Sacha worked as a program consultant with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) where she lent her expertise to government agencies and organizations in Jamaica, The Bahamas, the Turks Caicos Islands, and Belize to advance electric vehicle, natural disaster recovery, climate resilience, and green financing programs.

Sacha-Rose holds both a master of science in environment and sustainability and a master of public policy from the University of Michigan. While studying there, she conducted research on energy poverty and access and served as a diversity, equity, and inclusion specialist for the School of Information serving over 1,500 students, staff, and faculty members. Sacha also has an undergraduate degree in environmental studies from Carleton College where she was the recipient of the 2017 David Field Prize for Ingenuity. She is a Mellon Mays Research Fellow (2015), an NPR ‘How I Built This’ Fellow (2018), and an alumnus of the Environmental Grantmakers Association’s Environmental Fellows Program. Born and raised in Jamaica, Sacha-Rose loves to travel with friends and family, hike, and dig into a good book.