Viniece Jennings is the Deputy Director at the NOAA Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems. The center is led by FAMU (Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University) and includes 5 partner institutions. Her role is to provide executive leadership for the center in administering operations, education, research, and professional development for students. Prior to taking this position, Jennings was an Assistant Professor at Agnes Scott College, where she focused on the intersection between green space, health, and social justice. Viniece was also an expert featured in Atlanta Magazine, Georgia Public Broadcasting, and Live Happy Magazine for her contributions to research on city parks and well-being. Prior to her role at the USDA, she interned at the White House Council on Environmental Quality for the Obama Administration.
She earned her Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in environmental science with a focus in policy and management from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. She is the lead author of influential articles that have advanced our understanding on ecosystem services, health disparities and social determinants of health. The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health noted that her article on green space, equity, and social determinants of health was among its most cited research articles and among the top for media attention.
In 2015 and 2017, her work was recognized as relevant research for practitioners in health, social equity, conservation and resiliency by the National Recreation and Parks Association. Her work was also referenced in the EPA’s Research Agenda for Environmental Justice. She was selected as a honoree for the 2017 ‘Hidden Treasure’ for Women of Excellence in Science by a foundation in Atlanta.