Lisa Dulude is the energy and environmental sustainability manager for Snohomish County and an environmental wonder woman. Dulude leads the Office of Energy and Sustainability (OES) and works to create healthier, greener communities for Snohomish County residents.
In six years, Dulude has implemented several key programs. She helped pioneer the development and adoption of the Sustainable Operations Action Plan (SOAP), which implements environmentally sustainable practices in the County’s government operations, and ultimately strives to lower Snohomish County’s environmental footprint. She also spearheaded two successful financing programs—the Energy Smart Loan Program and the Savvy Septic Program. In all, these programs have provided financing for residents by lowering utility bills and offering financial assistance to repair failing septic systems, which helps to protect water quality.
From a young age, Dulude felt a strong connection to the environment. She spent the early years of her childhood growing up in the Marshall Islands, where she snorkeled and enjoyed being surrounded by natural beauty. “I remember seeing beautiful fish and coral, but also diapers and trash. Those experiences had a lasting impact on me.”
Dulude has dedicated her entire career to environmental conservation, beginning with an undergraduate education in environmental studies and a semester studying marine ecology in Tanzania. The opportunity to work as a consultant investigating occupational hazards for an environmental health and safety company brought Dulude to the Pacific Northwest. She earned a master’s degree in urban design and planning with a special focus on environmental planning from the University of Washington.
Dulude said, “I felt that urban planning was a great path to addressing environmental issues through land use, transportation, and building policy.”
After two years working as an urban planner for a multi-disciplinary consulting firm, Dulude accepted her current role leading Snohomish County’s OES. Because of her professional experiences and education, Dulude feels like she can assess and present environmental issues from multiple lenses, including environmental, economic, social justice, and equity, among others.
She says that she is driven by three factors: the urgent need for action, the ability to create programs and policies that help strengthen communities, and her overall love for nature. The challenges in her field keep Dulude constantly learning, launching projects and building new partnerships.
“These partnerships are supportive, energizing, and play a key role in the environmental progress that we’ve made as an organization,” Dulude said.
Dulude is proud of the work she’s done these past six years and looks forward to several new programs that are in the works. Two projects she is most excited about include a new green building program and a green storm water infrastructure program.