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The Current Role of Women in Air Quality Reform

Women’s History Month offers the opportunity to highlight women and their contributions to Utah’s air quality – past and present.

The history of air quality is intertwined with the history of women and the steady progression of their voice in advocacy and policy. According to the Marriott Library at the University of Utah, it was because of their role in the home that women noticed the soot and residue from the dirty air, and witnessed the impact of poor air quality on their family’s health. So in turn it was women who established clubs and groups to push for air quality reform in the early 1900s here in Utah. You can read more about those movements here.

But what about today? The push for improved air quality in Utah has only continued to gain momentum, and women continue to lead out. 

Kim Frost, Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR)

The Executive Director of UCAIR since 2021, Kim Frost has led clean air efforts across the state. Kim’s passion for Utah, its citizens and our shared high quality of life drive her efforts as she guides UCAIR’s public education, partnership and resource sharing mission. She was also recently appointed to the State’s Air Quality Board by Governor Spencer Cox.

Kim Shelley, Utah Department of Environmental Quality

Kim Shelley is the Executive Director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, and a native Utahn whose expertise on the subject of environmental policy has led to her appointments on various boards and councils that oversee the mitigation of Utah’s air, land and water. Kim is also a member of the UCAIR Board’s Executive Committee. 

Liz Joy, Intermountain Healthcare

Dr. Liz Joy is a Sports and Family Medicine Specialist at Intermountain Healthcare. She previously served as a member and as Chair of the UCAIR Board. Her background in athletics means that Liz has key insights about the effect of air quality on athletes’ health. 

Kerry Kelly, University of Utah

Dr. Kerry Kelly has served for 8 years on Utah’s Air Quality Board and currently serves on the state’s Air Quality Policy Advisory Board. Kerry is also an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Utah, and has a PhD in Environmental Engineering. Her research focuses largely on the connections between air quality, energy and health.

Ashley Miller, Breathe Utah

Ashley Miller is the Executive Director of Breathe Utah, an organization that seeks to educate and engage the public through their efforts to improve air quality and the policy surrounding it. In addition to her passion for skiing and mountain biking, Ashley is a member of the state Air Quality Policy Advisory Board and is currently serving her second term as Vice-Chair.

Sarah Wright, Utah Clean Energy

The founder and Executive Director of Utah Clean Energy, Sarah Wright has a proven track record for promoting energy efficiency in Utah. Her background in government and legislative policy and her knowledge in environmental causes make Sarah a vital member of the team working to improve air quality. 

Tammie Bostick, Utah Clean Cities

Tammie Bostick, Executive Director of Utah Clean Cities Coalition (UCCC), is a native Utahn with a passion for clean air and clean energy. Tammie serves as Vice President of Transportation Energy Partners and also as a Northwest Clean Cities Regional Council member.

These women and many more have all worked diligently to cement themselves as advocates for clear skies in Utah. Their dedication to improved air quality serves as a reminder that women not only played a role in the past, but that their contributions continue with passion and ingenuity.