Environment Massachusetts Research and Policy Center Staff
As State Director for Environment Massachusetts, Ben Hellerstein works with a team of advocates and organizers, alongside thousands of citizen members, to protect Massachusetts' air, water, and open spaces. Prior to assuming his current role, Ben led the organization's efforts to get 20% of Massachusetts' electricity from solar power by 2025, and worked on campaigns to protect Massachusetts' rivers, streams, and parks from pollution, overdevelopment, and underfunding.
Ben grew up enjoying some of New England's great natural places, from Boston Harbor and Cape Cod to the Green Mountains. As a junior in high school, Ben spent four months at the Mountain School, a semester program at a hilltop farm in Vershire, Vermont, where he learned how to identify trees, take care of baby lambs, weed the lettuce patch, and find his way around the woods with only a map and compass.
Ben attended Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, where he majored in American Studies and led the local chapter of MPIRG (the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group), a student political advocacy organization. His senior thesis examined the effects of public transportation on the West Seventh neighborhood of St. Paul.
Before coming to Environment Massachusetts, Ben worked for Green Corps, the field school for environmental organizing, and ran grassroots campaigns in Los Angeles, Texas, and D.C. Ben also directed door-to-door canvassing offices in Philadelphia, Newton, and Cambridge, training and overseeing dozens of staff who collectively raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and collected tens of thousands of petition signatures in support of critical environmental campaigns.
In his spare time, Ben enjoys getting out and exploring the Greater Boston area on foot, by bike, and by public transit.