Dr. Simona Perry (Ph.D., Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Conservation) is an applied social and environmental scientist and community rights advocate. In her current dual roles as a professional research and communications consultant and leader of a national safety advocacy organization, she focuses on development and implementation of community-centered practices focused on long-term resilience, self-determination, collaborative and adaptive governance, human rights, and rights of nature.
Her applied work over the past 12 years on rivers, people, energy infrastructure, and cultural history involves collaborative, participant-driven documentation, analysis, and development of alternative mechanisms to address emerging social-environmental conflicts. Her broad theoretical and practical focus is on centering the everyday lives of individuals and communities in a rapidly changing and globalized world, ensuring that policy analyses and technocratic interventions are locally-informed and relevant. Whenever feasible she incorporates deliberative dialogue and dynamic facilitation processes into her work involving debates among individuals and communities around complex social and environmental problems. Dr. Perry is currently writing a book of creative non-fiction based on her participatory ethnographic fieldwork with rural landowners along the Susquehanna River in Bradford County, Pennsylvania and what they taught her about home, loss, and liminality.
In 2012 Dr. Perry founded c.a.s.e. Consulting Services LLC, a roots-based consultancy providing local, regional, and national consulting services and resources to rural and urban communities directly impacted by rapid social and environmental changes and conflicts. In addition to this entrepreneurial activity, she is currently the Executive Director of Pipeline Safety Coalition, a public safety organization providing pipeline and energy safety information, engagement, and advocacy in the public interest. In the past ten years she has also served as Executive Director/Riverkeeper for the Ogeechee-Canoochee Riverkeeper (2018), as the Civic Professionalism Program Director for Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN) (2013-2015), as a Research Scientist at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York (2012), and as a Mellon Post-Doctoral Scholar at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania (2009-2011). In 2016, Dr. Perry was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to serve a three-year term as a safety advocate representative on the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Working Group on Voluntary Information-Sharing. As a public safety advocate, she provides input and serves on technical standards committees related to pipeline safety management systems, public engagement, and transforming safety culture.
From 2004 to 2006 Simona directed a non-profit international environmental education organization based in Washington, D.C., and from 1995 to 2003 she worked as a field biologist, environmental regulator, and policy analyst with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Massachusetts, Seattle, California, and Maryland. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Biology and Management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, her Master’s degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington, Seattle. In 2009 she was granted her Doctoral Degree in the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Conservation from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.