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USGBC Announces Launch of CEO Search

Thursday, January 13, 2022

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Last month, the U.S. Green Building Council’s Board of Directors announced that it had selected a firm to conduct the search for the organization’s next president and CEO.

The executive search company, Odgers Berndtson, will help the organization to land on an individual who will provide strategic, financial and operational leadership, working closely with the board and senior leadership team.

The new CEO will also oversee the implementation of the organization’s vision of buildings and communities to regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of all life within a generation.

“Earlier this year, the USGBC board announced a review of USGBC and GBCI’s leadership and go-to-market strategy to support and grow the green building community, increase access to sustainable, healthy and resilient places, and ensure organizational excellence,” said Ari Bernstein, USGBC Board Chair.

“With the help of Odgers Berndtson, we are confident that we will find a leader who can not only advance our organization into the future and at scale, but who will also strengthen support for green building as a solution to the most pressing issues today, including the climate crisis, equity, resilience and human health.”

Transition Announcement

In September, the USGBC announced that former president and CEO of Green Business Certification and Arc Skoru, Mahesh Ramanujam, would be steeping down from his role, effective Nov. 1.

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Last month, the U.S. Green Building Council’s Board of Directors announced that it had selected a firm to conduct the search for the organization’s next president and CEO.

According to the USGBC, Ramanujam stepped down was a result of the organization’s recent review of its structure, go-to-market strategy and leadership to optimize the organizations’ support of the green building community. The organization also reviewed expansion options for the green building marketplace, increasing access to sustainable, healthy and resilient places, and how to ensure organizational excellence.

“Mahesh Ramanujam has a deep dedication to the green building movement and has worked tirelessly to advance the goals of sustainability and health in the past decade,” said Dr. Aaron Bernstein, Interim Director – Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and USGBC board chair, at the time.

“The USGBC board thanks him for his leadership and knows that he will bring his immense energies and talents to bear upon actions that will make our world better for all.”

In a statement, Ramanujam reported that the most rewarding part of his more than 12 years at USGBC and GBCI, including five as its president and CEO, were the countless relationships he’d built with people across the globe—who share his passion and commitment to growing both a non-profit and for-profit enterprise that promises to improve our collective quality of life for generations to come.

Additionally, he shared his pride in the organization’s achievements. Some highlights included the USGBC reaching more than 107,000 LEED registrations and certifications, LEED’s expansion into 182 countries and territories, the engagement of nearly 205,000 LEED professionals, having 21,000 projects across 135 countries and territories measuring their sustainability performance in Arc and having 273 global cities and communities participating in LEED.

Taking his place for the time being will be Peter Templeton, the current President and CEO of Cradle-to-Cradle Products Innovation Institute, who has been appointed by the USGBC Board of Directors to serve as USGBC’s interim President and CEO, while it conducts a formal CEO search.

Templeton previously served as the first President of GBCI from 2009–2012 and as Senior Vice President of USGBC.

The transition announcement arrived just weeks before the kick-off of the Council’s 2021 edition of its annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo.

What Now

According to the USGBC, the organization selected Odgers Berndston due to its experience with worldwide searches and its commitment to advancing inclusion and diversity.

“Since its inception, USGBC has led the global effort to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life,” wrote the USGBC on the matter.

Slated to lead search efforts is Tonya Muse, a partner in Odgers Berndtson’s Washington, D.C. office.

No timeline has been released as to when a new president and CEO would be selected.


Tagged categories: Business management; Business matters; Business operations; Good Technical Practice; Industry News; NA; North America; Personnel; Program/Project Management; United States Green Building Council (USGBC)

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