Welcome to Names in the News, the spring 2019 edition. Since we covered the early-year job jumpers, movers and shakers, an entire host of sustainability career changes has taken place. Many people are making fresh new starts and big transitions this spring, and we’re covering some of the most notable.
If you know of any big career jumps among your colleagues, friends and mentors — even yourself — that you would like to see featured in our next edition of Names in the News, send a note to [email protected].
The American Sustainable Business Council has a new CEO, Jeffrey Hollender, the co-founder and former CEO of Seventh Generation. Hollender previously served as co-board chair. He helped found the organization almost a decade ago, and replaces the former CEO, Hammad Atassi. Hammad is currently serving as president of Nutricare, North America.
Rob Bernard, former chief environmental strategist at Microsoft, heads up strategic partnerships at National Geographic Society. He’s focused on sustainable alliances with organizations, foundations and corporations as NatGeo looks to expand its offerings across more sectors.
The former head of sustainability at NRG and director of social responsibility at Dell, Bruno Sarda, has moved onwards and upwards with a new role as president of the CDP North America. He’ll lead the N.A. strategy and operations for the nonprofit, which works with investors, companies and cities on global disclosure processes and systems.
Soil Health Institute named Cristine Morgan as chief scientific officer, where she’ll be responsible for developing and establishing the scientific direction, strategy and implementation plan for the Institute’s research programs. A big name in soil, she previously was a professor of soil science at Texas A&M University, and her work on soil health and its security has been published in a plethora of journals.
Nestlé Waters North America has named David Tulauskas as vice president and chief sustainability officer. Tulauskas was previously director of sustainability at General Motors and left after the automaker’s broad shake-up last fall. He succeeds Nelson Switzer, who left Nestlé Waters last year to join Loop Industries, a technology innovator in sustainable plastic.
Roger McClendon has been announced as the new executive director for the Green Sports Alliance. He comes from his previous CSO role at Yum! Brands (the company that sits over KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and others brands). His chief priorities include implementing targets based on the Sustainable Development Goals and driving fan engagement.
As Impossible Foods grows, it has added a new position: president. The first to hold this title is Dennis Woodside, a tech industry veteran hailing from Adobe and Motorola Mobility, who will oversee the traditional presidential duties of manufacturing, supply chain, sales, marketing, human resources and other functions.
Just Salad named its first sustainability chief, in a promotion from her previous roles in supply chain and purchasing: Janani Lee. As the company looks to meet commitments that reduce plastic use in packaging and products, and expand composting, the time is ripe for Just Salad to formalize its sustainability leadership.
The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute has new (official) leadership: Peter Templeton was named as the Institute’s president and CEO after serving as interim president and CEO since September.
Neil Hawkins has been named as the president of the Erb Family Foundation, moving into the role in an official capacity after leaving his position as CSO at Dow Chemical.
Meanwhile, Mary Draves, the previous global director of remediation, environmental technology and environmental operations, is the new vice president and chief sustainability officer of Dow Chemical.
For the past decade, Elizabeth Fretheim had guided Walmart’s supply chain sustainability programs — a crucial role for the world’s largest retailer as it worked on the ambitious Project Gigaton, its project to get its suppliers to cut more than 1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions out of their operations by 2030. She left at the beginning of this year and recently landed at Nikola Motors, a startup that’s developing hydrogen-powered electric semi-trucks (which we recently covered).
Karen Weigert has joined Slipstream, a nonprofit focused on energy efficiency and renewable energy programs for the clean economy, as vice president of business strategy and regional operations. Formerly chief sustainability officer for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, she had developed the 2015 Sustainable Chicago Action Agenda and moves to the private sector to continue to drive impact.
Avi Garbow has come on board at Patagonia as its newest — and first — environmental advocate to lead and shape its policy advocacy. Before this, Garbow was the Environmental Protection Agency’s longest-serving general counsel under President Barack Obama.
California State Senate President pro tempore emeritus Kevin de León has been announced as a strategic advisor for Elemental Excelerator. The author of the state’s watershed clean energy legislation, he’ll provide advice and insight to the cleantech startups in Elemental’s acceleration programs, specifically for its latest cohort of companies that work on equitably serving disadvantaged communities.
Another EPA veteran, Dominique Lueckenhoff, is joining Hugo Neu as senior vice president of corporate affairs and sustainability. The company — which along with its subsidiaries invests in, builds and manage recycling, e-recycling, real estate and other related industries — is looking to deepen its sustainability offerings.
The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) announced that its foundation, the SASB Foundation, has new leadership: Madelyn Antoncic. A former vice president and treasurer at the World Bank, Antoncic will serve as the new CEO to guide the nonprofit that’s developed and codified sustainability accounting standards globally.
In addition, the SASB Foundation announced the appointment of Marc A. Siegel, formerly the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) director and currently a partner in Ernst & Young’s Financial Accounting and Advisory Service practice, to SASB, to continue to advance environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics.
Energy Web Foundation — the energy blockchain industry consortium — recruited ING COO Walter Kok to take on the position of chief operating officer as it grows its C-suite.
Elisabeth Best is manager of advisory services, sustainability management and information and communications technology at BSR, switching from her previous role as sustainability communications manager and editor-in-chief of the BSR Insights blog.
A longtime Bay Area city official, Alicia John-Baptiste, has been tapped to head SPUR Oakland (that’s short for San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association). As president and CEO, after three years as deputy director, she’ll bring a wealth of experience to define the organization’s overall vision and strategies.
Aviva Investors, the global asset management unit of Aviva PLC, appointed Paul LaCoursiere to the newly created position of global head of ESG research within its Global Responsible Investment section.
As sports industries expand their sustainability offerings, Allen Hershkowitz has been named the New York Yankees’ environmental science adviser. Hershkowitz previously served as an NRDC Senior Scientist and ex-president of the Green Sports Alliance, and becomes the first in this newly created role.
Varun Rai has been named the next director of the Energy Institute at The University of Texas at Austin. Rai’s previous scholarly experience involves researching the social, institutional, economic and technological components of energy systems.
Leaving his previous job as senior communications officer for the sustainability department at Harvard University, Colin Durrant has a new position as director of media relations and advocacy communications at the Natural Resources Council of Maine.
Asim Haque, former chairman and chief executive officer of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), has a new job at PJM Interconnection as its executive director of strategic policy and external affairs. He moves from a bipartisan energy regulator to energy policy and partnership adviser in the private sector.
Nellie Cohen joined Brown and Wilmanns Environmental, LLC (BWE), a Santa Barbara, California-based sustainability consulting firm, as a senior consulting associate, coming from Patagonia, where she developed the company’s circular economy program, “Worn Wear.”
A former sustainability specialist at NRG Energy, Rachel Ett, joined the corporate origination team of First Solar — a solar panel manufacturer — to lead and manage its global corporate renewables business and facilitate corporate partners’ power purchase agreements (PPAs).
Gap Inc. has promoted Keith White as executive vice president of loss prevention and global sustainability to oversee loss prevention, corporate security and global sustainability for the company. He’s been with Gap Inc. for almost two decades and helped build its resilience programs.