Keisha Payson

Affiliation: Sustainability
Director of Sustainability
Keisha Payson is the Director of Sustainability for Bowdoin College, a position she has been guiding since the summer of 2001. Over the years Payson has focused on both engaging faculty, staff,and students in Bowdoin’s sustainability efforts as well as ensuring that Bowdoin integrates sustainable practices and policies in operations across campus. 

Initiatives she has implemented or overseen include significant waste reduction efforts during student move-out, food waste diversion programs, Bowdoin’s transition to single-stream recycling, alternative transportation programming, developing one of the first EcoRep programs in the country, and focusing on efforts to reduce the college’s greenhouse gas emissions. Payson chairs Bowdoin’s Sustainability Implementation Committee which oversaw the achievement of carbon neutrality in 2018 and is now engaged in the next phase of Bowdoin’s climate goals, aiming to become a fossil fuel free campus by 2042.  She is ever inspired by Bowdoin’s bright and passionate students who continually advocate for a more sustainable future.  She enjoys sharing with them the planning and operational details and decision-making processes that inform Bowdoin’s real world sustainability efforts. Payson appreciates working as part of a Facilities Management team dedicated to sustainability as well as collaborating with other departments on campus towards Bowdoin’s broader sustainability efforts.

Keisha received a bachelor’s degree in Geography and Environmental Studies as well as a master’s degree in Community Planning and Development, both from the University of Southern Maine. She is also a Senior Fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program.