United States Heartland China Association


Environment, Infrastructure & Energy



The Environment, Infrastructure & Energy Committee works in the intersection of areas of competitive advantage: US & Chinese expertise and needs in environmental stewardship, infrastructure construction, and energy production.

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Steve Mahfood - ChairPerson

Steve Mahfood has a 45 year track record as an innovator and leader in the environmental, energy and natural resource fields.

Steve has a deep appreciation for the environment and has broad and diverse experience that spans several continents. After graduating from Rutgers University College of Environmental Science he worked in the US for a few years in the environmental planning and public health fields before beginning work for many years in North Africa and the Middle East in environmental and public health programs for Project Hope and CARE/UN.

Steve was appointed for 8 years by successive governors as Cabinet Secretary to lead the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and it’s 2200 employees, 39 Boards and Commissions and $330 million budget. In that role he was responsible for managing the environmental, state parks, energy, geological, cultural and historic resources of the state.  

He also represented Missouri and the US in a number of prominent roles including as a Presidential Appointment, chairing the NAFTA-US Governmental Environmental Advisory Commission (GAC), a Congressional Appointment to serve on the Anthony Commission on Environmental Infrastructure Finance, serving on the EPA’s Environmental Financial Advisory Board (EFAB) for 13 years, developing programs on environmental issues for the US/German Marshall Fund, and having received the “United States Presidential Environmental Achievement Award” from President Bush in 1989. His work was also featured in a “60 Minutes” episode highlighting his leadership in negotiating the first agreement in US history for a corporate buy out of the houses of Missouri citizens whose children were being exposed to lead contamination and smelter emissions.

As Principal of Mahfood Associates, he devoted himself as Governmental Affairs Advisor to the Missouri Chapter of the Nature Conservancy for over 12 years and has quietly assisted many other influential organizations on environmental, energy, natural resource, carbon management and climate change issues. In 2016 he Co-chaired the Committee to renew the Missouri Parks and Soils Sales Tax which passed with an 80% margin.

He continues to serve in a leadership role on a number of key boards including The MO Chapter of TNC, The LAD Foundation, Missouri Coalition for the Environment, Missouri Parks Association, Missouri Parks Foundation, and the Washington University Environmental Law Clinic.

Steve holds a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Science from Rutgers University and is a graduate of the Yale University Environmental and Management Leadership Program.

Committee Members


Josh Campbell

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Dan Slane

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Jim Curran

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