Rob Watson, Chair
Partner, Upland Road; Founder of LEED™ and SWEEP™
Rob Watson is one of the pioneers of the modern Green Building Movement. An international leader in market transformation and green buildings, Watson is known as the “Founding Father of LEED” and was its Founding Chairman through 2006. Under Rob’s direction, LEED became the largest and fastest-growing international standard by which green buildings are measured. Author Thomas Friedman calls Rob "one of the best environmental minds in America." Watson is at the forefront of technical innovation in green buildings, energy efficiency, and circular economy. A Senior Scientist with the NRDC for 21 years, Rob directed the International Energy and Green Building programs and worked extensively on five continents improving the environmental performance of buildings, utilities and transportation.
Among numerous international awards for his work, Watson was the only foreigner honored for Green Building Innovation by the Chinese Ministry of Construction and received the first lifetime achievement award from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2002. In 2019, Dartmouth College named him one of the 25 Most Influential Alumni in the college’s 250 year history. His work on green buildings and related technology has been featured in numerous publications. Mr. Watson is a graduate of Dartmouth College and has an MBA from Columbia University and a MSc from UC Berkeley.
Dr Mamie Parker
Former Head of Fisheries, US Fish and Wildlife Services
Mamie Parker is a leader in Nominating and Governance in various nonprofit organizations and serves on the Board of Directors of The Nature Conservancy (Virginia Chapter), the National Wildlife Federation, Center for Large Landscape Conservation Board, Duke University NSOE, Northland College, Student Conservation Association, the National Wildlife Refuge Association, Brown Advisory Sustainable Investment, Marstel-Day Consulting Company, the Potomac and the Chesapeake Conservancy. As an Aspen Institute Fellow, she was awarded the Council of World Women Leaders' exchange fellowship to work in the Kingdom of Lesotho, and in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa. She received great accolades in China while speaking at the World Fisheries Congress on the impacts of climate change and development in coastal cities and communities of color.
Director of Sustainability, The Town School
Ken Higgins is the Dean of Students, Chair of the Music Department, and Director of Sustainability at The Town School in NYC. As a founding member of the Green Schools Alliance in 2007 and Trustee, he coordinates service and education programs that address climate and sustainability. He has been an environmental activist since middle school when he organized a town-wide clean up and tree planting in celebration of the very first Earth Day. Today, Ken is also the Co-founder and Coordinator of the New York City Sustainability Educators Group, an organization committed to educating students for a sustainable future, sharing best practices, resources, curriculum, and strategizing to impact community and civic action. In 2011, he was selected to participate in the Fulbright Japan Educators for Sustainable Development program. His song "Rise Up,” dedicated to the victims of the Fukishima Earthquake and Nuclear disaster, was recorded by a dozen Japanese and American choruses.
President, Blue J Strategies
Jan is President of Blue J Strategies, a strategic advisory business that she founded with Jimmy Chamberlin (Smashing Pumpkins), that provides access, connectivity and strategic direction to companies across the media, entertainment, technology and non-profit sectors, creating opportunities that accelerate growth, time to market, and value. Jan is a partnership builder, focused on harnessing the power of digital media and technology to make the world a better place. She has held senior positions at AOL, Yahoo, Topspin Media (acquired by Apple), The Find (acquired by Facebook) and Backplane. Jan is also a Venture Partner at venture capital firms StudioVC and Correlation Ventures, as well as Savano Capital Partners, providing interim liquidity to founders, employees and former employees at high growth private companies. She speaks frequently on digital media, women’s empowerment, entrepreneurship, philanthropy and the intersection thereof. She received her J.D. cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center and her A.B. in English and American Literature from Brown University.
Veronique Choa Pittman
Activist, Social-Capitalist, and Cross Pollinator
Veronique C. Pittman is an Advisory Board Member of the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy, and Board member of The Rainforest Foundation, Global Goods Partners, Bedford2020, and LessCancer. She also serves on Audubon's Rachel Carson Awards Council. She is a community organizer and activist in the areas of indigenous rights, biodiversity conservation, green solutions, waste & recycling, women's reproductive health, and participatory art. A web designer by profession, she is also a writer, mountaineer and professional cook. She graduated with a BS in Cultural Anthropology from University of Pennsylvania.
Margaret Howard Watson
Founder and President, Green Schools Alliance
As Founder, CEO and President of the GSA, Margaret (Peg) Watson spearheaded the launch and growth of the GSA to help mitigate the climate and conservation challenges of our times through education and action. She continues to work with founding member schools and partners on development of GSA programs and partnerships. Guiding her efforts is a deep belief in the impact of aggregating primary and secondary schools, as hubs of communities worldwide, to build resilience, transform markets, policy and education, shift behavior, and foster understanding across geopolitical, socioeconomic and generational boundaries through shared values and the language of sustainability. In her varied roles, Peg helps to connect schools locally and virtually to share and implement sustainable best practices, promote connections between schools, communities, and the environments that sustain them, and prepare the next generation of innovators to become environmental stewards. Since GSA’s inception in 2006, she has worked closely with sustainability thought leaders including faculty, facility managers, business officers, heads of school, students and school associations to further their needs and goals.
Formerly a green architect and one of the country's original green building materials experts, Peg has coordinated greening charrettes in the national parks, from the Grand Canyon to Denali National Park, and lived intermittently in Yellowstone to help implement the Greening of Yellowstone Initiative. The conservation ethos of the National Parks, Fish and Wildlife Service and other DOI agencies is one she greatly admires and hopes to help communicate to the next generation of stewards. In 1993, Peg was one of 60 national experts invited to participate in the 1993 Greening of the White House Initiative launched by the Clinton Administration. In 1994, she founded Global Environmental Options (GEO) through which stakeholders were convened to develop and implement greening initiatives including the National Parks projects and the U.S.-Japan Charrette for post-earthquake Kobe which she co-initiated. As a result of her participation in the Greening of The White House, her relationships with GSA partner organizations span two decades and include school associations, government agencies and NGOs. Peg also participated in the Habitat for Humanity Greening, Presidio and Mississippi Flood Plains charrettes among other national and international collaborative efforts.