Bruce Oreck served as the United States Ambassador to Finland from 2009 until 2015. During that time he also served as the Chairman of the State Department’s League of Green Embassies and in that capacity achieved the first LEED® Platinum embassy building anywhere in the world. Under his leadership Embassy Helsinki became the only embassy in the world to utilize both district heating and cooling (with an operating efficiency of over 90%) and the Embassy’s Innovation Center became the first (and only) U.S. Government building in the world to deploy exclusively LED and OLED lighting.
Ambassador Oreck is the recipient of the United States Navy’s Distinguished Service Award (the highest award that the Secretary of the Navy may bestow on a civilian); The Alliance to Save Energy’s Charles H. Percy Award for Public Service and the City of Helsinki’s Golden Medal (the only non-Finn to ever have been presented this honor).
Prior to his work at the State Department, Ambassador Oreck practiced law specializing in business and taxation and represented many of the top 100 companies in America. In addition, he served as the Executive Vice-President and General Counsel for Oreck Corporation, the floorcare and consumer products company. Ambassador Oreck is the author of several tax treatises and has been a public speaker for over 20 years. Ambassador Oreck also founded the Zero Carbon Initiative (ZCI) to advance high performance building practices in the residential construction industry. ZCI’s last project was the construction of The Next West House – a LEED® Platinum, zero carbon house built in an historic district as a teaching showcase for builders, politicians and the public.
Currently Ambassador Oreck is an Adjunct Professor (Executive in Residence) at Aalto University in Helsinki focusing on business and entrepreneurship.