NATIONAL CITY, Tuesday, April 28, 2020 – Joy Williams, research director with Environmental Health Coalition (EHC), has received the 2019 Haagen-Smit Clean Air Award from the California Air Resources Board (CARB). For over 30 years, Williams has dedicated her career to reducing pollution and improving health in the most impacted communities in the San Diego/Tijuana region and throughout California. She is the first-ever awardee in the Community Service and Environmental Justice category of the prestigious recognition.

The premier California award honors Dr. Arie J. Haagen-Smit, who was a leader in developing air quality standards based on his research efforts. CARB bestows the distinguished award annually to recognize individuals with exceptional career accomplishments in one or more air quality and climate change categories.

“As an asthma patient and resident of National City, I am truly grateful for William’s expertise and dedication to our community,” said Silvia Calzada, a longtime member of EHC’s Community Action Team. “Her diverse skill set enables her to compile and synthesize data, conduct air quality monitoring, develop community surveys, conduct popular education with residents, and deliver compelling project analyses and testimonies at public hearings."

Williams received an MPH in1986 from San Diego State University and has since been empowering residents of disadvantaged communities in the San Diego-Tijuana region to protect themselves and their environment from toxic pollutants. Among her notable accomplishments, she served on the original Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment team tasked with developing a cumulative environmental impact analysis that would ultimately become CalEnviroScreen.

“I have had the privilege of working with Joy almost since the inception of EHC.  Her tireless efforts have led to countless accomplishments that have improved San Diego/Tijuana’s air quality and improved public health,” noted Diane Takvorian, EHC’s executive director. “Joy is a unique professional who translates complex scientific data for non-scientists and her expertise is well-regarded by government agency regulators, impacted families, and environmental advocates alike.”

As research director at EHC, Williams has led multi-disciplinary teams of academics, healthcare providers, and community advocates; written numerous publications on pollution prevention, air quality, land-use, cumulative impacts, health impacts; and developed technical analyses for environmental review documents. 

For more information, please contact Bari Samad at 619-343-6509 or Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo..


Founded in 1980, Environmental Health Coalition (EHC) builds grassroots campaigns to confront the unjust consequences of toxic pollution, discriminatory land use, and climate change. Visit online at