Chitra Kumar is a Senior Fellow with the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group. Chitra joins Aspen CSG on detail from the US Environmental Protection Agency where she has spent over 16 years, most recently as the Director of the Federal and State Division in the Office of Community Revitalization from 2015-2019. In that role, she created partnerships with federal, state and local organizations to develop environmental strategies for land use and infrastructure, building and community design, equity and community wealth-building, particularly in distressed small towns and urban neighborhoods. Chitra has expertise in public policy and planning, and providing grants and technical assistance for a range of needs.
From 2013-2014, Chitra served at the White House Council on Environmental Quality as the Deputy Associate Director for Water, where she contributed to high-profile water-related federal policies, including implementation strategies for clean water, water infrastructure finance, green infrastructure, and freshwater climate change resilience.
A second-generation immigrant to the rural Midwest, Chitra is particularly interested in advancing equity, environmental sustainability, and economic resilience, while highlighting immigrants’ contributions to the American economy.
Chitra holds a Master in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Arts from Boston University. In her free time, she is an active member of neighborhood advocacy and planning initiatives in Arlington, Virginia, where she currently resides with her family. She is an avid meditator and singer, using both to uplift others.