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Janey appoints new environmental chief for Boston

Acting Mayor Kim Janey.
Acting Mayor Kim Janey.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Acting Mayor Kim Janey on Monday named a new chief of environment, energy, and open space for the city, the latest Cabinet-level shake-up in the transition from Martin J. Walsh’s administration.

The Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, the founding pastor of New Roots AME Church in Dorchester, will succeed Chris Cook, who has been named executive director of The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy.

“I am confident that Rev. White-Hammond is the right person to accelerate our efforts around environmental justice, while expanding our green jobs pipeline and helping us achieve our goal of carbon neutrality, all of which are critical elements of our recovery and renewal agenda,” Janey said in a statement.

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White-Hammond, who is a fellow with the Green Justice Coalition, a consortium of eight advocacy groups in the state, will be responsible for enhancing the quality of life in Boston by “protecting air, water, climate, and land resources, as well as preserving and improving the integrity of Boston’s architectural and historic resources,” according to a City Hall press release.

“I want to thank Mayor Janey for her leadership and willingness to tackle the inequities in our neighborhoods that have been exacerbated by climate change,” White-Hammond said in a statement. “I am committed to supporting Mayor Janey’s agenda for recovery, reopening, and renewal through an equity lens and that creates sustainable opportunities for Bostonians.”

White-Hammond plans “to mitigate extreme heat and create equitable cooling plans during the summer, enhancing food access through community gardens, as well as creating a new green jobs pipeline targeting workforce development for the younger generation,” the release added.

Janey became acting mayor last month when Walsh left his City Hall post to become the nation’s labor secretary. She has announced that she is running for a full term in this fall’s election.

Other recent city government departures include Karilyn Crockett, Walsh’s equity chief who was rumored to be considering a mayoral bid before saying she would not be a candidate. Walsh’s chief of staff, Kathryn Burton, his chief of policy, Joyce Linehan, the city’s chief financial officer, Emme Handy, the city’s chief of operations, Patrick Brophy, and the city’s corporation counsel, Eugene O’Flaherty, also left City Hall positions.

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Additionally, Walsh’s economic development chief, John Barros, handed in his resignation and announced he was running for mayor.


Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.