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Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning

Betsy McDonald Llanwarne Endowment Fund

Betsy McDonald Llanwarne (1986-2018) was born in Southborough, MA. She loved the outdoors from an early age, and turned her passion for the environment into a successful career in the sustainability field. After receiving her B.A. in Environmental Studies from Bowdoin College, Betsy spent a year as an Environmental Educator in the Maine Conservation Corps. She then returned to her home state to work at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Sector, before deciding to pursue her Masters degree at Tufts University in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. After graduate school, she worked for the Consortium for Energy Efficiency and the Center for Sustainable Energy, utilizing her extensive technical knowledge and her deep passion for environmental justice.

The UEP faculty, staff, and alumni community were deeply saddened by Betsy's passing in October 2018. To honor her legacy and with the support of Betsy's family, UEP has dedicated the Betsy McDonald Llanwarne Endowment Fund to support research and professional development opportunities for current students, enhance their learning experience and expand their available resources to develop as change agents.

Support the Betsy McDonald Llanwarne Endowment Fund

Reflections of Betsy

Betsy and I met in Field Projects. We were part of a group researching community choice aggregation for a semester, and I knew immediately that I could rely on her. She always did more than her share of the work. I think that's true of everything that she did, and it's why she chose the field she did: she wanted to do more than her share of making the world a better place. Betsy came to UEP after already working at MassCEC, and she had a combination of idealism and real-world practicality that was energizing. She thought deeply about policy but wasn't afraid to dive into implementation. She loved to learn new things, and you could see that in the progress of her career, from solar to efficiency to electric vehicles.
– Brenda Pike, Tufts UEP alum (UEP '14)
Betsy was a clean energy powerhouse, who oversaw several MassCEC solar PV incentive programs that led to over 15,000 homes and businesses installing solar. Betsy was passionate about her work. Betsy went out of her way to support participating installers and residents coming through MassCEC's programs. Betsy was also a pleasure to work with. She literally lit up the room with her positive energy, wonderful sense of humor, and drive for her work.
– Elizabeth Youngblood, former co-worker and roommate
Betsy was mission-driven in her work and her passion for energy and environmental issues was evident. She imparted her knowledge in ways that were approachable and ultimately made us a better team. Outside of work, Betsy was always game for the obscure, be it an internet cat video festival, roller derby, or dock dog competition; her enthusiasm for the little things in life was contagious. Above all else, Betsy was unfailingly kind – even in her short time, she left the world a better place and is missed beyond measure.
– Catie Snyder, former co-worker
When I hired Betsy, it became immediately apparent that she was going to be a true foundation for the growth of solar in Massachusetts. She was incredibly dedicated to her work, and would always be thinking of new and innovative ways we could run our programs. The solar industry knew her by name, and she was respected by everyone with whom she worked. She would light up a room, and manage to make you smile and laugh within just a few minutes. Over the years of working with her, Betsy became more than just a colleague, but a dear friend. The world is less bright without her around, I feel confident that we can honor her memory by continuing to make our world a cleaner, more resilient, and beautiful place.
– Elizabeth Kennedy, former co-worker