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Gena McKinley is the Strategic Initiatives Division Manager for Austin Resource Recovery, the City department charged with the implementation of the City of Austin's Zero Waste Plan. She has spent over 15 years working in the solid waste industry. Prior to joining the City of Austin, Gena worked in sustainable development at a regional council of government, with a focus on technical assistance for municipal waste management. Her leadership, commitment and advocacy for zero waste earned national recognition as she was chosen to be included in Waste360s 40 Under 40 list of rising stars in the industry.
The Strategic Initiatives Division focuses on recycling economic development, zero waste policy and program development, business outreach and public education and marketing. By fostering innovative community-wide partnerships to advance zero waste, this work supports the necessary infrastructure for a resilient circular economy in Central Texas.
Gena holds a Masters of Public Health from the University of Texas School of Health and a Bachelor of Arts from Southwestern University in Biology and Sociology . During her academic career, she focused on behavioral science and enjoys applying behavior change theory to the various aspects of her efforts in local government. Gena is Congress for the New Urbanism Accredited, a member of the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling Central Texas Steering Committee and several other professional organizations. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Land Conservancy.
Gena lives in Austin with her son and they can often be found on a hiking trail or listening to live music. She also spends time serving as a Guardian ad litem for children in the foster care system through CASA of Travis County and helping Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM) raise money to fund its efforts to provide healthcare for Austin musicians.
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