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Panelist Bio


Marylee Orr
Executive Director of the Louisiana Environmental Action Network

Marylee Orr has led LEAN for most of its nineteen years. Marylee became an activist when her youngest son was born with a respiratory illness. Prior to working on environmental issues, she was involved with Head Start programs and owned a small business. She is one of the cofounders of LEAN in 1986. Marylee administers the organization's budget, manages its fundraising efforts through grants and membership development. She coordinates member groups, board, and staff activities.

Ms. Orr organizes member groups' participation in public hearings, coordinates its media strategies on the local, state and national level, and serves as the environmental community's voice with local, state, and federal agencies.

She organizes events related to issues of LEAN members, coordinates annual conferences for citizens, legislators, and other grass roots organization leaders on topics ranging from health issues to political activism. Ms. Orr was featured in Family Circle Magazine, the Lifetime movie of the week, Taking Back Our Town, and in numerous articles about successful environmental activists.

An EPA report credits LEAN and its executive director Marylee Orr with giving a voice to the people concerned about releases of toxic chemicals from local facilities. Marylee attributes her motivation to the constant positive pressure from the members, board, and staff to hold polluting facilities accountable.

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