Jennifer Watson Roberts, the 58th Mayor of Charlotte, NC, has been a life-long champion of issues related to sustainability, education and equality. She is the first person to be elected to serve as both Chairman of the Mecklenburg County Commission and later as Mayor of Charlotte.
While Chair of the Mecklenburg County Commission from 2006-2011, Roberts championed a Park and Recreation Master Plan, supported energy reduction and conservation in County operations, led the move to require new buildings be LEED certified, and headed a Clean Air Works initiative to reduce carbon emissions in area businesses and County operations. Under her leadership, Mecklenburg County first measured its carbon footprint and set annual reduction goals in line with the Paris Climate Accords.
As Mayor of Charlotte, Roberts signed the Mayor’s Climate Pledge and became part of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. She introduced a Sustainability Resolution for the City of Charlotte, in which the City’s goal is to use 100% clean energy by 2030. She serves as Vice Chair of the board of the non-profit North Carolina Climate Solutions Coalition, a group working with local governments across NC to enact more 100% clean energy resolutions.
Roberts is a proud recipient of the Maya Angelou Women Who Lead award, the National Association of Women Business Owners’ Public Policy Leader of the Year award, and Equality North Carolina’s Ally of the Year award. She received her B.A. with highest honors in English from UNC-Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead Scholar; a Masters in European History from the University of Toronto; and a Masters in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. She and her husband Manley live in Charlotte, but can usually be found on the weekends hiking the NC mountains. They have two adult children.