The ICLEI USA Board of Directors are local leaders from across the country, including mayors and county executives representing each region. The Board helps drive the organization strategically and ensures that ICLEI’s value to its local government members continues to meet and exceed expectations. We extend our deepest appreciation to our Board of Directors:
Council Member Pam O’Connor
Council Member Pam O’Connor has championed policies and partnerships that enhance community livability and wellbeing on the Santa Monica City Council since 1994 and has served as Mayor five times. She is particularly interested in issues that advance sustainability and mobility.
Council Member O’Connor serves on Advisory Boards for the Santa Monica College Public Policy Institute and UCLA’s Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies. She participated in the U.S. Conference of Mayors and is an active member of the National League of Cities having served on its Transportation Infrastructure and Services Committee, Information Technology and Communications Committee, and on the Board of Women in Municipal Government.
Council Member O’Connor also served on the California Coastal Commission as an alternate from 2010 to 2012. This quasi-judicial regulatory body oversees land use issues that impact California’s coastline, with the goal of protecting and conserving the environment and preserving public access to this natural resource.
As a professional urban planning consultant, Pam O’Connor specializes in historic preservation. She has worked on significant historic buildings throughout Southern California including the Los Angeles City Hall Seismic Rehabilitation, and at institutions. Her expertise includes environmental review and rehabilitation of historic resources. Other previous positions of note include: Director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Northridge Earthquake Recovery Partnership Program; Planner for the City of Pasadena; and Research Associate at the Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.
Pam O’Connor holds Masters’ degrees in Planning and in Technology Management from Eastern Michigan University and a B.S. in Communications from Southern Illinois University.
Council Member O’Connor views community wellbeing as the natural next step in the evolution of local government, as well as a way to advance the connection between mobility and sustainability issues by looking at their impact through the lens of human flourishing.
Angie Fyfe joined ICLEI USA in 2014 as the Director of Resource Efficiency and Renewable Energy. She was promoted to Executive Director on January 1, 2016.
Angie’s strategic vision for the organization is to create exceptional value for ICLEI local government members, partners, and funders by harnessing the power of the ICLEI network and the deep expertise ICLEI has developed since it was formed by local elected officials in 1990, and to build on ICLEI’s unique global role as the focal point for local governments in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
With a focus on climate finance and the implementation of the Paris Agreement, she aims to weave health and equity considerations into ICLEI USA offerings based on her interest in human-centered design.
Angie’s previous experience includes serving as the Associate Director and program manager of the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office, where she was part of the team to develop and implement 57 pieces of clean energy legislation under Governor Bill Ritter, and as the executive director of the U.S. Green Building Council, Colorado Chapter. Additionally, Angie was the founder of an online real estate services company and the Real Estate Product and Partnership Manager of global corporate relocation services firm. Her clients included Johnson & Johnson, Fidelity Investments, Costco, IBM, CH2MHill, and Frist Data Western Union.
Angie is a LEED AP O+M and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Finance. With a wealth of sustainability leadership experience, she actively advises the City of Denver on its climate action agenda as a member of the Denver Mayor’s Office of Sustainability Advisory Council. Her former advisory positions include the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant sub-committee, appointed by the U.S. Department of Energy to advise Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, the University of Colorado Denver speakers’ bureau Wirth Chair Sustainability Series, and the Women in Sustainable Energy non-profit. In 2014, the Denver Business Journal named her one of Colorado’s Top Women in Energy.
Angie and her husband live in a small bungalow near a Denver urban park where, when she’s not traveling for work, she can often be found taking an early morning run. Their daughter is a recent college graduate, now teaching in New Orleans with the Teach for America program and their son is studying Industrial Design at the Savannah College of Art & Design.
Council Member Matthew Appelbaum
Council Member, City of Boulder, Colorado
Council Member Matthew Appelbaum has been a member of the Boulder city council for 16 years, 1987 – 1995 and currently since 2007. During that period he served as mayor for almost five years, most recently from 2011 – 2015. Boulder is well known nationally and internationally for our many innovative programs and policies related to sustainability, energy, and resilience, and has recently been selected as one of the 100 Resilient Cities by the Rockefeller Foundation. Boulder is also currently attempting to “municipalize” our electric power system as a way to greatly increase the use of renewable energy and escape from an outdated regulatory regime that mandates a non-competitive, vertically integrated monopoly utility dependent on fossil fuels.
Nationally, he was just elected to the Board of ICLEI USA. I serve on the Board of Directors of The National League of Cities, where I’ve been on the steering committee of NLC’s Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Policy Committee for six years, including two as vice-chair and then as committee chair. EENR has focused its efforts on national policies and best practices relating to energy efficiency, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and resiliency. Council Member Appelbaum also serves on the steering committee of NLC’s Sustainable Cities Institute.
Regionally Council Member Appelbaum serves on the Executive Board of the Colorado Municipal League, having been on CML’s Policy Committee for several years, and has previously served on the Executive Committee of the Denver Metro Mayors Caucus. He also was Boulder’s representative to the US36 Mayors and Commissioners Coalition, a group formed to facilitate the construction of bus rapid transit along US36 from Denver to Boulder (now being completed), as well as additional mobility/transit improvements in our sub-region.
Prior to joining the council, and also during his break between terms, Council Member Appelbaum served on the board and as co-chair/chair of PLAN-Boulder County, a citizen organization devoted to environmental protection and good planning. He also served a term on the local Sierra Club group’s executive committee, and wrote a monthly column for four years for the local daily newspaper focusing on local and regional issues.
Although Council Member Appelbaum is not a design professional, he am a LEED AP (so that he could better understand the components of sustainable design), and was the main designer and energy modeler for his own passive-solar house.
Mayor Frank Cownie
Mayor, City of Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines Mayor T. M. Franklin Cownie has spent much of his time in leadership roles on the national and international stage representing issues that he is most passionate about; local control, green initiatives, jobs and the economy. Most recently Mayor Cownie represented America’s cities and the United States at the International Climate Meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark where he was invited to participate as a local government delegate. Cownie has been invited to the White House on several occasions to share the local government perspective on jobs, the economy and the environment. He works extensively with the US Conference of Mayors, ICLEI USA, and many others. Frank is the father of four children and has deep ties to his community. His goal has always been to build a better future and a better community for the next generation.
Frank was elected to an At-Large Council seat in January 2002. He was then elected to the mayor’s seat in January 2004 and was re-elected in January 2008, winning 80 percent of the votes cast. With this overwhelming vote of confidence from the community Cownie continues his leadership role in the business community and across the city.
Mayor Cownie created and led the Mayor’s Task Force on Energy and Environment, which brought together representatives from across the community to collaborate on environmental and energy-efficiency issues. This task force ultimately led to the Des Moines City Council adoption of guiding principles for the city’s green initiatives. He led the initiative to have the first LEED Certified Building constructed in Des Moines – the Park and Recreation Department’s Glendale/West Zone Maintenance Facility.
Mayor Cownie has been a long-time proponent of adding hybrid vehicles to the city fleet operations and it was through his efforts that the city has developed alternative transportation initiatives, and received a federal grant to purchase a fleet of energy-efficient hybrid automobiles.
Frank has been on the front line of the battle for trees. Pushing to increase the urban forest and to save trees from destruction, he led the effort to adopt the new City of Des Moines Tree Preservation Ordinance. Other recent successes include community partnerships to re-forest the city.
Cownie is also rapidly gaining national recognition through his leadership roles with the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He is a member of The U.S. Conference of Mayors Advisory Board and is a Co-Chair of the Hunger and Homelessness Task Force. He was one of only eleven U.S. mayors chosen to travel to Israel in 2005 as a member of the International Council of Mayors; and one of only eight U.S. mayors chosen to formulate regional environmental policies for American cities through his work with the international group, Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI). Mayor Cownie is an active member of the progressive group, the New City Project, and was an early signer of the US Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement.
Honorable Harvey Ruvin
Clerk of the Courts, Miami-Dade County, Florida
Harvey Ruvin is a graduate Industrial Engineer (University of Florida 1959). He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Miami Law School, 1962. Mr. Ruvin lives in Miami Beach with his wife, Risa. He has two sons, an adult son Eric and Zachary, a teenager.
He was first elected to public office in 1968 at the age of 30. Serving as Mayor of the City of North Bay Village, he became one of the youngest mayors in Miami-Dade County history. In 1972, Ruvin was elected to the Metro Dade County Commission where he served till 1992, becoming the only person ever to be elected to five consecutive 4-year terms to the Commission.
In 1992, he was elected to the Office of Miami-Dade County Clerk and in 1996 and 2000 was re-elected without opposition. The Office’s constitutional responsibilities include interaction with the County’s Billion plus budget and financial management, Clerk of the Courts, Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, Recorder of Deeds, Records Management and much more. The Agency has 1400 employees and a million budget funded mostly from its own revenue collections. The Office serves a myriad of functions and touches all branches of local government.
Commissioner Brigid Shea
County Commissioner Brigid Shea, Precinct 2 Travis County, Texas
Brigid came to Austin in 1988 to start the Texas chapter of Clean Water Action. Prior to that, she had been an award-winning journalist at NPR stations in Minnesota and Philadelphia. She served on the Austin city council 1993-1996 and championed consumer, electoral and environmental reforms. Shea is the co-founder of SOS, Austin’s historic law to save Barton Springs, has been an advisor to LCRA, Seton, the City of Austin, etc. and her work with a client recently won the TCEQ Environmental Excellence award. She serves on many boards, including the national board of Clean Water Action. She is a 2001 graduate of Leadership Austin and is a member of the Chamber of Commerce Clean Energy Council. She was elected Travis County Commissioner in 2014. She is a native of North Dakota, has 2 teenage boys and is married to John Umphress, Green Building specialist with Austin Energy.