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Carter Strickland

Lecturer; New York State Director, The Trust for Public Land

Currently, Carter Strickland is a Vice-President at HDR, a top 10 ranked architecture and engineering firm, where his projects include resiliency at Hunts Point, infrastructure development.

Serving as New York State Director for The Trust for Public Land (TPL) since 2017, Strickland leads a team that protects open space and builds parks and playgrounds around New York. Under his leadership, The Trust for Public Land has tripled its development of parks within New York City; diversified its public funding sources; recruited board members and increased board engagement and philanthropy; and developed a programmatic, five-year strategic plan; launched a 175-mile trail across Long Island; and protected key landscapes around the Appalachian Trail and Long Path, a 357-mile New Jersey-New York long-distance hiking trail.

Over a 25-year environmental career, Strickland has protected the environment in the public, private and non-profit sectors. As an attorney, he prosecuted polluters and defended environmental laws at the New York Attorney General’s office and represented environmental groups at the Rutgers Environmental Law Clinic in New Jersey, where his cases included victories at the New Jersey Supreme Court for citizens’ rights to have access to beaches and public trust lands and for landowners to protect wetlands against condemnation under eminent domain.

As part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s sustainability team, and later as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the largest municipally-owned water agency in the country, Strickland created campaigns with multiple stakeholders that resulted in the $2.4 billion NYC Green Infrastructure program, the NYC Clean Heat initiative, and the NYC Wastewater Resiliency Plan. He developed and implemented strategic planning, structural and cost-savings reforms at the 5,700-person DEP, led the agency’s response to Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, and oversaw programs related to infrastructure planning and construction, water quality, air quality, climate change, land use, ecological restoration, and energy. 

Later at HDR, a top 10 national architecture and environmental engineering firm, Strickland developed the sustainability and water practice, where his projects included a resilient energy program for key sectors in the Hunts Points neighborhood of the Bronx; a study to reduce greenhouse gases from the NYC building sector; and senior advice and counsel for cities, water and wastewater utilities, and clients concerned about sustainability.

Strickland taught environmental and law use law at Fordham and Rutgers Law Schools and he currently teaches graduate courses on sustainability management and infrastructure development at Columbia University and New York University. Born and raised in Central New York and in the 1000 Islands region of the St. Lawrence River, Strickland has lived in Brooklyn for the past 20 years where he, his wife, and two children spend as much time as they can hiking, skiing, fishing, and hunting in the Adirondacks, Catskills, and Hudson and Delaware River regions.


  • J.D., Columbia Law School
  • A.B., Dartmouth College