James S. Gruber, PE, PhD, MS, MPA

Core Faculty and Director of the Environmental Studies PhD Program
Department of Environmental Studies

International Environmental-Social Policy Assistance Work

Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia (2000-2003): U.S. Project Director for a two- year participatory planning and community philanthropy initiative as part of the Baltic American Partnership social capacity building project in the Baltic States. Supported by the Open Society Fund and U.S.A.I.D., this pan-Baltic initiative worked to increase civic engagement and philanthropy at the community level. It included trainings, and assistance to national support organizations and pilot sites in each of the three countries.

Bulgaria (1994-1998): U.S. Project Manager for a four-year national solid waste environmental policy development and implementation project under a contract with the Institute for Sustainable Communities. Partners included the Bulgarian Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Regional Planning and Construction, and the U.S. EPA. The goal of the project was to assist the country in developing a national solid waste policy and supporting national legislation through a multi-level, open policy development process. The process included developing a series of trainings, seminars, and conferences for Ministry staff, local government, and other stakeholders; developing workbooks and manuals; providing technical and policy assistance; assisting with public hearings; supporting their development of local plans and model local ordinances; organizing and conducting a Ministry delegation seminar in the U.S., supporting the drafting of a national policy and the introduction of new national solid waste legislation. After passage of national legislation (1996), a national training program was organized for local government implementation of the legislation. This project required ten visits to Bulgaria over four years.

Macedonia and Albania (1997): Advisor to local and national officials in Macedonia and Albania regarding a bilateral strategic planning process for solid waste management within the watershed of Lake Ohrid. This study tour/consultation visit was sponsored by the Institute for Sustainable Communities, Vermont

Latvia (1993): Participated in a public officials environmental professional exchange program under a program of Project Harmony of Vermont. This project included a two-week study tour/consultations in Latvia. (1993)

Hungary (1994): Provided technical assistance (from the U.S.) to Satoraljaujhely on their local curbside-recycling program. This included local funding strategies for program financing.

Croatia (2005/2009): Lecturer for courses on Environmental Policy and Communication, Post-Graduate Environmental Management Study, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia.

Romania (2008): Research in Apuseni Mountains region on their community-based natural resource management approach.

Mexico (2008): Research in Oaxaca on sustainable forestry management through a community-based natural resource management approach