Kaela Mainsah was born in Zambia to parents dedicated to a life of public service, with the goal of improving the lives of the voiceless and marginalized.
These same values continue to drive Kaela in her role as Vice President of Environmental Justice at the New York Power Authority. With over 15 years of experience in environmental policy and engineering management in the US and the UK, Kaela has developed one of the most innovative Environmental Justice Programs in the energy industry. An award-winning initiative, the mission of the Environmental Justice Department can be summed up in four words – Being A Good Neighbor.
Kaela firmly believes that one of the most effective ways to lift people out of poverty is by empowering them with education. That is why enhancing educational equity serves as the cornerstone of NYPA’s Environmental Justice efforts. This is best evidenced by the robust portfolio of programs designed in collaboration with the historically underserved communities located near NYPA’s statewide facilities.
The Environmental Justice (EJ) program leverages NYPA’s expertise in energy and energy technology to provide no-cost energy-related STEM education and STEM Career Readiness Programs for students in grades 3 -12. Programs range from basic electricity to the impacts of Climate Change, Indoor Hydroponic Food Production Systems, and Environmental Stewardship. NYPA also offers Adult Energy Literacy weatherization workshops for low-income homeowners and renters and solar power and emergency readiness workshops. EJ also funds comprehensive community energy service projects for constituents that include the Niagara Falls Housing Authority and the Tuscarora Elementary School, an indigenous grade school located in Lewiston, NY.
Kaela holds a master’s degree in public administration – Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University (US), Post Graduate Certificate in Engineering Management from Cambridge University (UK), and bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Aston University (UK).
The mother of three adult children, Kaela currently resides in Purchase, New York with her husband.