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Martin J. Chávez

Executive Director, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA


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Martin J. Chávez, three-term former mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is executive director of ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA, the nation’s leading advocate for 600 local governments on climate change and sustainability. He is based in ICLEI USA's Washington D.C. Executive Office and assumed his position on March 1, 2010.

Chávez leads the growing national movement of U.S. cities, towns, and counties that are taking action to combat climate change, save energy, create green jobs, and improve the quality of life of residents and their communities. He directs ICLEI USA’s ongoing efforts to empower these local governments with the proven tools, resources, and expertise necessary to be successful and achieve their sustainability goals. Known for his passion and unremitting commitment to clean energy and the environment, Chávez has garnered worldwide recognition for his accomplished work on climate and sustainability during his twelve years as Albuquerque mayor. He received the World Leadership Award for Water and Utilities (London) 2006, the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Award (first place) 2007, the EPA Climate
Protection Award (first place) 2008, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce/Siemens Sustainability Award 2008 and the Renewable Energy Innovator of the Year Award/Association of Energy Engineers 2008, among several others.

Prior to becoming its executive director, Chávez was a member of the ICLEI USA Board of Directors and of the worldwide ICLEI Executive Committee. He also served as a trustee of the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM), chaired the Urban Water Council, and was co-chair of USCM’s Climate Change Task Force, which involved lectures around the country and in France and Mexico. He was one of four mayors who served as an advisor to Newsweek Magazine on green initiatives. Chávez was recently named by Triple Pundit as one of the top ten elected officials leading the transition to a low carbon economy.

Chávez is the current Chair of the Advisory Board for the Center for Green Schools at the U.S.Green Building Council; a member of the National Building Museum’s Intelligent Cities Advisory Committee; and a member of the Vibrant Cities and Urban Forests Task Force led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the New York Restoration Project. He recently joined renowned polar explorer and environmentalist, Sir Robert Swan, on an eye-opening expedition to explore the effects of climate change on the Antarctica. Chávez visited the remnants of the Larsen Ice Shelf known as “Larsen B;” once an ice shelf larger than the state of Rhode Island, which disintegrated over a three-week period in 2002 as a result of global warming.

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