Mary Anne Hitt is director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, which is working to eliminate the pollution caused by coal throughout its life cycle, and repower the nation with clean energy. In 2012, Mother Jones described the campaign as “a grassroots rebellion [that] is winning the biggest victory yet on climate change.” Mary Anne previously served as executive director of Appalachian Voices (where she was one of the creators of the award-winning campaign to end mountaintop removal, iLoveMountains.org), the Ecology Center, and the Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project.
Mary Anne was named one of the 10 most influential people of 2013 by SNL Energy, and was listed in 2013 by the Washingtonian as part of “The New Guard: People Who are Shaping Washington” in Obama’s second term. She is an alum of the Rockwood Leadership Institute’s National Yearlong Leading from the Inside Out Fellowship, and also a senior fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program. She received her Master’s of Science from the University of Montana, where she received the Len and Sandy Sargent Environmental Advocacy Award, and her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, where she was a Whittle Scholar and the founder of the campus group Students Promoting Environmental Action in Knoxville (SPEAK), and where she later received the 2008 Notable UT Woman Award. She grew up in the mountains of east Tennessee and now lives in West Virginia with her family.