USGBC Board of Directors announces governance evolution for USGBC | U.S. Green Building Council
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USGBC was founded 22 years ago with a governance structure appropriate for a U.S.-based, start-up NGO with a transformational mission. Our governance required passionate and talented individuals who represented all of the perspectives from the built environment to bring our mission to life.

Two decades later, USGBC has inspired the LEED certification of billions of square feet in more than 150 countries. The business environment is more complex, and our industry is affected by globalization, big data and partnerships beyond the built environment. If we are to create the opportunities—and conquer the challenges—of this new reality, USGBC needs a governance structure that will drive our global growth, increase our influence, and bring high-level business skills from many disciplines to inform our sophisticated business model.

In 2014, the USGBC’s Board of Directors began a change to our governance structure that will move the USGBC forward in the years ahead. Beginning in 2016, the USGBC will seat two leadership bodies: an Advisory Council and a Board of Directors.

This evolution of governance allows us to do two things:

  • Leverage the deep technical expertise and broad community engagement that exists among our diverse USGBC members through the Advisory Council.
  • Recruit key players to our Board of Directors who have deep leadership experience and C-suite level functional expertise in fiscal management, technology, public policy and marketing, standards development and assessment, law and human resources, and post-secondary education leadership.

The Advisory Council will provide the visionary industry leadership and perspectives that have built our authenticity, credibility and relevance. Advisory Council members will connect with key stakeholder groups across the sustainability movement and identify emerging opportunities and needs. As our highest-level customer engagement platform, it will recommend policy and initiatives to the Board. The Board of Directors will retain the legal authority to make policy and direct staff. The Board of Directors will retain the ultimate fiduciary responsibility and liability for the advancement of USGBC’s business and mission.

About the Advisory Council

With vibrant connections to the green building community and technical expertise in green building issues and emerging best practices, this diverse group of volunteer leaders will inform the Board’s agenda and scope of work. As ambassadors for the global sustainability movement, the individuals on the Advisory Council may be tapped to carry out specific initiatives and lend their acknowledged prestige and community clout to fundraising and advocacy campaigns.

At the end of 2015 the currently serving members of the USGBC Board of Directors will transition to seats on the Advisory Council. There are six seats that will be up for election in this process because the term of the Board member holding that seat will expire at the end of 2015. Those seats will be filled as they have been in the past, elected by the membership in a process overseen by 2015 Board. The Advisory Council can have up to 23 seats that represent specific perspectives of the global green building movement.

About the Board of Directors

Beginning in 2016, the USGBC Board of Directors will consist of nine directors, one of whom will be the USGBC CEO serving in an ex-officio capacity. The 2015 Board will actively recruit candidates for these positions who have the specific, high-level business skills and the influential networks needed to address emerging opportunities for USGBC. Once the candidates have been secured, a ballot will be presented to the membership as a single slate, a best practice among successful NGOs across the globe.

This is one of the most exciting times in USGBC’s history, and your Board feels this change in governance will better advance our growth and global reach. We’re very excited about the potential this opens up for USGBC as an organization and for the green building movement as a whole.

Learn more about the nomination submittal process

USGBC Articles can be accessed in the USGBC app for iOS or Android on your iPhone, iPad or Android device.
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Total 3 commentsLeave a comment

President, The Kobet Collaborative
I applaud this gesture and hope it leads to the most effective governance possible. Most of all I hope it precipitates a much greater overall transparency of how the USGBC expends its human and financial resources, including an annual detailed, line item format publication of all finances - expenses, salaries, legal fees, Greenbuild costs, publications, LEED administration, Chapter expenses, etc.. By its own admission, the USGBC is carried on the backs of countless unpaid volunteers, and those of us who pay our annual dues, LEED administration fees, etc. Complete transparency regarding all USGBC financial matters could go a long way to dispel the concerns voiced by others I know who share David Tsevat's feelings.
Chief Sustainability Officer, Skanska
Congratulations to USGBC's 2015 Board of Directors for the extraordinary insight and bravery to evolve USGBC's governance structure in this way. Having served on the Board for six years, on several committees and in 2012 as Chair, I had a front row seat to the evolution of the organization from start up NGO to global change agent. This new governance structure harnesses the industrry insight of the membership through the Advisory Council while adding C-suite leadership skills through its new Board of Directors. This move reflects the robust health of USGBC's organization and the current Board's wisdom and introspection to embrace the need for its own transformation. Well done.
"A ballot will be presented to the membership as a single slate." Another phoney BoD "election". Why even bother. Just pick the people you and your cronies want and inform us as to who they are.

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