Rebecca L. Flora's work focuses on the creation of "Sustainable Societies" through facilitated planning processes and knowledge exchange that is supported by her expertise in sustainable development. Prior to starting her own consulting practice, RLF Collaborative, Rebecca was the Senior Vice President of Education and Research at the U.S. Green Building Council. While at USGBC she led the transformation of the education and research programs of USGBC creating new business models and methods in response to fast changing market needs globally. Her transformational leadership and entrepreneurial approach was also well established during her years at the head of the Green Building Alliance (GBA) in Pittsburgh. As GBA’s, first executive director she led many initiatives that established the Western Pennsylvania region as an earlier pioneer and leader in the green building movement. During her 11 years with GBA she erved as the LEED AP for the world’s first green convention center which was a catalyst for greening this industry; she also led the creation of the Green Building Products Initiative - a program created to grow Pennsylvania’s green economy; and, was instrumental in the development and approval of Pittsburgh’s Climate Action Plan.
Her work prior to GBA was solidly based in community development, as executive director of the South Side Local Development Company and project manager for the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh. In these positions she was directly involved in over 200 acres of brownfield redevelopment along Pittsburgh riverfront and led the revitalization of the South Side neighborhood. During her leadership the 1996 Great American Main Street award was presented to South Side’s Main Street on East Carson Program. She also led the development of over 100 units of housing using multiple financing mechanisms.
Rebecca has served on multiple boards and committees including serving as USGBC Board Chair in 2008. She also chaired the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh's Affordable Housing Advisory Council and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Convention Center Design Commission where she led the design competition for the convention center. She has served as an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College and was one of the first USGBC LEED Faculty members.
Rebecca holds a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Science from Plattsburgh SUNY. She holds several professional certificates, including The National Development Council’s Economic Development Finance Professional certification, GBCI’s LEED Accredited Professional and the American Institute of Certified Planners. She has received several recognitions and awards, including being named an “Environmental Hero for 2004” by Interiors & Sources magazine, as one of “The Top 50 Cultural Forces in Pittsburgh” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, AIA Pittsburgh’s Leadership Award and Carnegie Science Center’s Environmental Award in 2009. She was also honored by Pittsburgh City Council with a Service Award for commitment to promoting sustainability in the Pittsburgh region. Her role in developing Pittsburgh's riverfronts was also acknowledged early in her career with the 1991 REMAX Renaissance Award.