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Celebrating Women Leaders at NETL - Pierina Fayish

Pierina Fayish

NEPA Compliance Officer and Document Manager


In 1997, Pierina Fayish earned a bachelor’s degree in marine and environmental science from the United States Coast Guard Academy. She served for two years on the Coast Guard Cutter Madrona (WLB-302), homeported in Charleston, South Carolina, and four years at the Marine Safety Office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, before she resigned her commission as a Coast Guard lieutenant in 2003.

Later that year, Fayish earned a master’s degree in environmental science and management from Duquesne University. In February of 2004, she was hired here at NETL.

Since arriving at NETL, she has proved to be a dedicated individual. She started out working as a federal project manager and NEPA specialist in several divisions, before ultimately joining the dedicated NETL NEPA group in response to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and the subsequent major influx of NEPA documents in 2009. She just celebrated 30 years of total federal service in October 2023.

Currently, Fayish is the NEPA compliance officer and document manager. The NEPA team is responsible for reviewing impacts to the human environment that would result from DOE’s proposed activities. They apply the environmental laws and regulations to all of NETL’s actions, such as making facility improvements on one of the campuses, setting up laboratory equipment or cost-sharing in the development of a new technology. Their activities include categorical exclusions, environmental assessments and environmental impact statements, based on the location and severity of impacts. 

When asked about what Women’s History Month means to her, Fayish thought of a quote from Harvey Mackay that says, “learn from the past, but don’t live there.” She said that she would like to go one step further, and not just learn from the past, but celebrate the distance we’ve come as an organization and a nation and express her thanks to those who have created those changes.

Fayish noted that she wants to celebrate and thank the women of past generations who opened career paths in STEM and non-traditional fields (and that they did it while being required to wear pantyhose).

“I celebrate and thank women who came back to work after having a child and suffered firing, reduced hours or poor performance evaluations due to childcare. I celebrate and thank members of our local AFGE (American Federation of Government Employees) unions who worked to give us our dedicated daycare facilities, so that working parents can focus on work, secure in the knowledge that their children are in a clean, safe space for learning. I celebrate and thank our NETL staff who mentor, recruit and encourage women in STEM careers. I celebrate and thank our NETL leadership for working to continuously improve workforce diversity,” Fayish added.

According to Fayish, the end of Mackay’s quote says, “…every 24 hours, you have the opportunity to have the best day of your company’s life.” She said that she is looking forward to many more “best” days with everyone at NETL.

Pierina Fayish

Pierina Fayish

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