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Leadership Award

Leadership Award recipients inspire us with their words, actions and passion.

Each year, the U.S. Green Building Council honors individuals and organizations whose vision, leadership and commitment have been fundamental to the evolution of green building design and construction. The awards also highlight individuals and organizations that have helped improve awareness of the green building movement throughout the United States.

Since established in 2005, winners have included:


Tom Darden, Executive Director of Make It Right, a non-profit organization that builds sustainable homes and buildings for communities in need. Make It Right began as an effort to rebuild safe, sustainable homes in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina.


The Honorable Michael Bloomberg. As Mayor of New York City, Mayor Bloomberg established PlaNYC, a long-term sustainability plan that has allowed New York City to adopt some of the most aggressive green building legislation in the country, including requiring ongoing energy efficiency upgrades in existing buildings.


Richard Piacentini, executive director of the Pittsburgh-based Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, who received the award for Individual Leadership for leading the transformation of a century-old conservatory into a model of green-building practices and environmental awareness. Its Welcome Center is LEED silver-certified.


The Construction and Engineering Research Laboratory for the U.S. Army, which was recognized in the Leadership in the Public Sector category for its commitment to LEED certification in the facility acquisition process. Beginning in 2008, the Army team instituted a policy that requires all new military construction projects to achieve LEED Silver and all design teams to include at least one LEED AP.


Alexander Karsner, assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, who received the President’s Award for efforts to advance energy efficiency and renewable energy information to a broad audience throughout the United States and abroad.


David Eisenberg and the Development Center for Appropriate Technology, who received the Organizational Excellence Leadership Award for success in integrating building sustainability into municipal codes and for underscoring to mainstream industry the importance of such integration.

Ashok Gupta, director of the air and energy program at Natural Resources Defense Council, who was recognized in the Advocacy category for work on the New York State Green Building Tax Credit and the carbon neutral redevelopment of the site of World Trade Center.


Maria Atkinson, global head of sustainability at Lend Lease, who was honored in the Advocacy category for spearheading Lend Lease’s green building and broader sustainability agendas.


Bob Berkebile, of BNIM Architects, who was recognized in the Community category for his lifelong commitment to sustainability.