Robert D. Bullard is often described as the father of environmental justice. He is the former Dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University 2011-2016. Bullard currently is a Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy. Prior to coming to TSU, he was the founding Director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University. He received his Ph.D. degree from Iowa State University. He is an award-winning author of 18 books that address sustainable development, environmental racism, urban land use, industrial facility siting, community reinvestment, housing, transportation, climate justice, disasters, emergency response, and community resilience, smart growth, and regional equity. He is the co-founder of the HBCU Climate Change Consortium. Bullard is a proud U.S. Marine Corps veteran.
He has been featured in the July 2007 CNN People You Should Know, "Bullard: Green Issue is Black and White." In 2008, Newsweek named him one of "13 Environmental Leaders of the Century." And that same year, Co-op America honored him with its Building Economic Alternatives Award (BEA). In 2010, The Grio named him one of the “100 Black History Makers in the Making” and Planet Harmony named him one of “Ten African American Green Heroes.”
His book, Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class and Environmental Quality (Westview Press, 2000), is a standard text in the environmental justice field. Some of his other book titles include The Quest for Environmental Justice: Human Rights and the Politics of Pollution (Sierra Club Books, 2005), Growing Smarter: Achieving Livable Communities, Environmental Justice, and Regional Equity (MIT Press, 2007), and The Black Metropolis in the Twenty-First Century: Race, Power, and the Politics of Place (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007). His latest books include Environmental Health and Racial Equity in the United States (American Public Health Association Press, 2011), and The Wrong Complexion for Protection (New York University Press, 2012). In 2013, he was honored with the Sierra Club John Muir Award, the first African American to win the award. In 2014, the Sierra Club named its new Environmental Justice Award after Dr. Bullard. In 2015, the Iowa State University Alumni Association named him its Alumni Merit Award recipient—an award also given to George Washington Carver (1894 ISU alum) in 1937. In 2017, the Children’s Environmental Health Network presented him with the Child Health Advocate Award. In 2018, the Global Climate Action Summit named Dr. Bullard one of "22 Climate Trailblazers." In 2019, Apolitical named Bullard one of the world’s "100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy."