Mayor Fischer presents Justin Mog with Joan Riehm Memorial Environmental Leadership Award

June 5, 2017

Mayor Fischer has awarded the 2017 Joan Riehm Memorial Environmental Leadership Award to University of Louisville (UofL) Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability Initiatives Justin Mog. The award, now in its eighth year, honors public service employees, volunteers or students who have gone to great lengths to make Louisville a clean, green and healthier place to live, work and play.

“In carrying on Joan Riehm’s legacy, Justin has a played a remarkable role in making the University of Louisville a more sustainable campus,” Fischer said. “From reducing the university’s carbon emission to promoting ride sharing, urban agriculture and more, Justin is well deserved of this award and I look forward to seeing his continued impact on the school and community.”

“I was tickled pink to learn that I had been selected! What an incredible honor to follow in the footsteps of past recipients who I regard so highly as my own local sustainability heroes – terrific citizens and servants like Larry Owsley, Mike Mulheirn, Pamela Dumm, Tina Ward-Pugh, and Tom Owen,” Mog said. “Sadly, I came to Louisville too late to know Joan Riehm personally, but her impact on our community is undeniable. I am humbled to receive this award in memory of Joan. Let’s continue working together every day to cement the only legacy that would truly have mattered to her - a sustainable future for Louisville.”

Justin says he seeks an Earth restored and lives his life as a car-free, vegetarian, beekeeping, gardening, urban foraging citizen living in a completely solar powered home.

Justin has served as the UofL’s Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability Initiatives since 2009. He earned his B.S. in Environmental Studies & Geology at Oberlin College (1996) and went on to acquire an M.S. and Ph.D. (2003) in Land Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Institute for Environmental Studies. His graduate research focused on assessing the sustainability of international rural development projects, and his studies took him to Ghana, Costa Rica, and the southern Philippines as a Fulbright scholar in 2001. He continued this work from 2005-2008 when he lived in Paraguay working on sustainable rural development efforts with the U.S. Peace Corps and Plan Paraguay.

The Joan Riehm Memorial Environmental Leadership Award was created after Riehm's death from pancreatic cancer in 2008. Riehm became the first female deputy mayor for the city of Louisville in 1985. She left government 10 years later to serve as a consultant specializing in public issues management and communication, but returned to city government in 2002 to co-chair the merger transition team. Riehm later initiated Metro government's inclusion in the Partnership for a Green City, a collaborative effort to improve sustainability internally and in the community by four of Louisville's largest public entities: Louisville Metro Government, University of Louisville (UofL), Jefferson County Public Schools, and Jefferson Community & Technical College.  

Past recipients of the Joan Riehm Memorial Environmental Leadership Award include citizen volunteer Mike Hayman, retired JCPS teacher Darleen Horton, JCTC Business Manager Pamela Dumm, former Metro Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh, former JCPS Director of Facilities and Environmental Services Michael Mulheirn, former UofL Vice President of Business Affairs Larry L. Owsley, and former Metro Councilman Tom Owen.

For more information on Partnership for the Green City, please visit