UN Global Leadership Award for UTA sustainability leader
Meghna Tare, chief sustainability officer at The University of Texas at Arlington, has earned the 2022 U.N. Global Leadership Award for United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (UNSDG) No. 4, Quality Education.
The awards honor individuals whose work responds to imminent global challenges such as climate change, migration, rising inequity and the pandemic.
Sustainability education has been recognized as a critical tool for the transition to sustainable development. This award reflects the bold and transformative programs Tare is leading to advance the U.N.’s goals, as well as translating these global goals into the context of North Texas communities.
“Institutions of higher education like UTA play a pivotal role in transforming the lives of individuals and enhancing their communities through collective action,” Tare said. “This award celebrates UT Arlington’s commitment to positive change in the community and leadership by action.”
Tare is the founder and director of Regional Center of Expertise for Education on Sustainable Development (RCE North Texas), a program of the United Nations University. RCE North Texas is a multi-sectoral and interdisciplinary consortium of members who work collaboratively through capacity building, education and training. RCE North Texas is one of 179 RCEs across the world and the only one in Texas.
Earlier this year, UTA received the national Excellence in Sustainability Award from the National Association of College and University Business Officers for Tare’s efforts to fight food insecurity and reduce food waste. She also led UTA efforts to become the first university in the North Texas area to pass a green fund, a small student fee that supports sustainability efforts on campus.
Tare said one of the priority areas of focus for UTA’s sustainability efforts is addressing food insecurity. She spearheaded and founded the North Texas Food Policy Alliance, which aims to foster regional collaboration to develop sustainable and equitable food systems in North Texas. Tare also has expertise in areas such as climate change, equitable food systems, water conservation and social impact.
Tare serves as a mentor for a global policy, diplomacy and sustainability fellowship; presented at a UNESCO conference on sustainable development; and represents UTA on several advisory boards, including the National Academy of Science Board on Higher Education and Workforce Development—Policy and Global Affairs, Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and the International Council for Local Environmental Initiative.