Elizabeth Balkan

Director of Policy and Senior Advisor — New York City Department of Sanitation


Elizabeth Balkan is the Director of Policy and Senior Advisor to the Commissioner at the New York City Department of Sanitation. In this role, she has been responsible for developing and implementing the city's zero waste plan. She is also the Executive Director for the Foundation for New York's Strongest, the official nonprofit organization of the New York City Department of Sanitation. Supported by private funding and in-kind donations, the Foundation leverages innovative strategies to promote sustainability and advance the essential services Sanitation employees provide. Previously, she worked on long-term planning and sustainability at the Mayor’s Office. Before joining the City, she lived and worked in China for more than a decade, researching solid waste planning in China and running an energy and environmental consulting firm. She has worked extensively with cities to make sustainable development a viable option for both developed and emerging economies. Her educational background is in public policy and economic development. She holds a Masters degree from Columbia University and a Bachelors from Georgetown University