Press Release

NCEL Board Elects New Leaders, Emphasizes Importance of State Policymakers in 2024

October 12, 2023



NCEL Point of Contact

Taylor Anderson
Communications Director


This fall the NCEL Board of Directors elected Hawaii State Senator Chris Lee to serve as NCEL President, and Alissa Keny-Guyer to serve as NCEL Vice President. As states head into the 2024 legislative session and action in Congress continues to stall, state coordination is crucial.

“With Congress narrowly divided, the role of the states developing and enacting environmental policy will be more important than ever in 2024, and it is critical states work together and take action when the federal government is unable to act swiftly,” said Senator Lee.

NCEL is a nonpartisan network of over 1200 state lawmakers from all 50 states committed to helping legislators develop and implement environmental and conservation policies. NCEL members collaborate across state lines, share best practices and lessons learned, and work together to create solutions for important problems facing states around the country. This is done through research, education on emerging topics, regional and national convenings, and empowering legislators through multistate learning and action. 

Hawaii State Senator Chris Lee (left) and Former Oregon State Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer (right)

Senator Chris Lee is a national leader in environmental policy. In 2015, he authored and passed the first-in-the-nation 100% RPS; in 2018, he passed legislation making Hawaii the first state committed to 100% carbon neutrality. In 2023, he also authored and passed an ambitious bill setting the goal for zero-emission land, air, and sea transportation.

Senator Lee has consistently advocated for the benefits and support offered by NCEL. In 2021, he represented the Caucus at COP26 in Glasgow. We look forward to his continued leadership in this transition from Vice President to President.

Senator Chris Lee was first elected to the Hawaii State House of Representatives in 2008. He was then elected to the State Senate in 2020, and currently serves as Assistant Majority Whip, and is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Transportation and Culture and the Arts.

Alissa Keny-Guyer represented District 46 in the Oregon House from 2011-2021. She served on the Oregon House Committees on Human Services and Housing, Energy and Environment, Health Care, Early Childhood & Family Support, Consumer Affairs, and Revenue, as well as the Ways & Means Joint Subcommittee for Human Services. With NCEL’s guidance, Keny-Guyer championed the toxic-free Children’s Act, which passed after four sessions. Alissa now resides in Santa Fe and serves on the New Mexico Housing Trust Fund board, the Penney Family Fund board, the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter’s advocacy team, and the City of Santa Fe’s Community Development Commission.


Created by and for state legislators, the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that organizes over 1,200 environmentally-committed state legislators from all 50 states and both parties. NCEL provides venues and opportunities for lawmakers to share ideas and collaborate on environmental issues.