The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Alumnae Awarded Public Works Young Leader Award

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Claire Moss ’17 recently received the New England Chapter Young Leader Award from the American Public Works Association (APWA). Claire currently serves as the environmental manager for the Department of Public Works in Wakefield, Mass., after graduating from Commonwealth Honors as a bachelor of science, majoring in public health and minoring in environmental science.

“I am honored to be a part of APWA and to receive the New England Chapter Young Leader Award,” Moss said. “APWA has provided me with so many opportunities to learn and grow in the field of public works, and I’m excited to continue working with such a remarkable association.”

The New England Chapter Young Leader Award recognizes young members who have demonstrated commitment to the public works profession and the New England Chapter. Awardees contribute in a significant manner to their agency, helping advance the cause of the public works profession. They also demonstrate an ongoing commitment to continuing education in the public works field.

As environmental manager, Moss serves as the point-person on environment and sustainability-related tasks including staff training, public engagement and outreach, conservation, water quality management, refuse and recycling operations, and climate change and planning initiatives. Among her accomplishments as environmental manager, Moss developed a successful municipal rain barrel program, promoting the use of barrels to conserve and reuse water. The program has since become the largest in Massachusetts and provides educational presentations to K–12 students, property and business owners, and residents.

Outside the office, Moss has been heavily involved with the APWA and New England APWA, where she sits on the Public Works Awareness Committee, co-chairs the Young Professional (YP) and Newsletter committees, and acts as a liaison to the National YP Committee. In these roles, she has hosted events for public work directors and young professionals to discuss succession planning sustainability. Earlier this month, she accepted her appointment to the Center of Sustainability, APWA’s National Committee.

Moss completed a master’s degree in city planning from Boston University in 2019. She has also developed solid waste reduction initiatives, such as offering public-space recycling, curbside textile and organic material pick-ups, and zero-waste events to combat the cost of disposal and mitigate the town of Wakefield's impact on the environment. During her senior year at Commonwealth Honors, Claire completed her honors thesis, The Role of Green Space in Urban Planning, A Case Study: Management of Stormwater Using Green Infrastructure.