Meet USGBC National Capital Region's new director: Q&A with Mark Bryan
Learn more about USGBC National Capital Region's new director, Mark Bryan.
Today, USGBC announced the appointment of Mark Bryan as the director of USGBC National Capitol Region. In this role, Bryan will work to amplify healthy, sustainable buildings throughout the Washington, D.C., metro area and advocate on behalf of the green building sector.
As director of USGBC National Capital Region, Bryan will engage members, stakeholders and local communities to collaborate on initiatives that advance USGBC’s mission to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated. He will also work to expand the use of LEED, the world’s most widely used green building rating system.
Where are you from?
I’m originally from Long Island in New York, but have been a Washingtonian since 1998.
What’s your favorite thing to do in in your town on a Saturday afternoon?
I love checking out the latest exhibits at Smithsonian museums, especially the American Art Museum, where my wife works.
Who would you want to go to dinner with—living or dead?
Without a doubt, I would dine with Albert Einstein. Not only was he a revolutionary physicist, he was also a deeply spiritual person who saw no distinction between science and spirituality.
What’s your proudest accomplishment?
As a partnerships officer for the United Nations Foundation, I helped secure tens of thousands of vaccinations for children around the world.
Who is your favorite superhero, and why?
My favorite superhero is Wolverine, since he can take whatever beating comes his way and keep pushing forward. Also, he has amazing hair.
What’s your background, and what motivated you to pursue a career in sustainability?
I’ve served in the nonprofit sector for the past 17 years and worked on wide range of issues, including global health, international development, environmental conservation, climate and energy policy, corporate sustainability and green buildings. After spending six years working on population and climate change issues, I became very passionate about solving the climate crisis and shifted my attention to renewable energy and energy efficiency.
After learning that 40 percent of America’s energy is used in buildings, I decided to dedicate my career to improving building energy efficiency, changing attitudes around sustainability and improving indoor environmental quality. Taken together, all of these factors make a real difference in the lives of building occupants and the areas where they’re located.
What impact does LEED have on the National Capital Region?
Buildings in D.C., Maryland and Virginia have been transformed by LEED over the past 15 years. Our region consistently makes the top 10 list for statewide LEED projects because our markets have come to expect top-quality buildings and spaces. Local governments have implemented green building codes with LEED in mind, and all the federal buildings and spaces require LEED certification, further cementing LEED’s status as a virtual requirement in the region. We’ve helped define industry standards, and I expect we’ll continue to push the envelope for years to come.
What excites you most about joining the USGBC team?
Having worked in the green building industry at that international level at the United Nations Foundation, and at the national level at the Institute for Market Transformation, I’m very exciting to be serving my local community in my new role as director of the National Capital Region. I feel fortunate that so much incredible work is already under way and look forward to spotlighting stories of success and sustainability from our members and partners.
What part of the sustainability movement inspires you the most?
The dedication and enthusiasm of the people involved in our community and our movement inspire me every day. We’ve got some of the most talented people in the green building industry right in our backyard, and I’m always amazing by how they step up, year after year, to volunteer their time and energy to improve our communities.
What’s your favorite LEED project?
I may be biased because I’ve been to a few events there, but Nixon Peabody’s LEED Platinum ID+C: Commercial Interiors project in their D.C. headquarters is very impressive. Working in partnership with Perkins + Will, they created warm, welcoming spaces that are healthy and sustainable while using cutting-edge technology and biophilic design principles. They also completed a solar project that provides energy to local low-income residents on top of their LEED project, making it my favorite project so far.