Kathy Sykes has worked in the public health and environmental fields for nearly three decades, holding legislative and policy positions in the federal government and as a Congressional staff member. While at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), from which she retired in August of last year, she created and led a program, the Aging Initiative, that focused on improving the environmental health of older adults by promoting changes to the built environment to reduce exposure to environmental hazards and promote walking by persons of all ages and abilities. She came to Washington in 1989 to work as a professional staff member for the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. A year later, she joined the staff of U.S. Rep David Obey (WI) as a health legislative and appropriations staffer. In 1995, Kathy was recruited to serve as Associate Director for Planning, Policy and Legislation for the the Centers for Disease Control’s National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health.
Although Kathy has “retired,” she remains active with numerous professional organizations in the aging and public health fields and has assumed new roles and activities to support and advance their work. She is also a member of her local Main Street organization and tends to pollinator gardens she planted in her neighborhood to promote the environment and walking. Kathy is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, from which she received an M.A. in Public Policy and Administration.