Meet the Candidates for ICLEI’s Regional Executive Committee 2017 – 2020

ICLEI’s election for the Regional Executive Committee has officially commenced. The Regional Executive Committee provides an international platform for city and county leaders to develop and drive organizational policies and strategies for ICLEI’s North America region. Members also represent ICLEI North America at regional and international meetings, and provide regional input to ICLEI’s Global Executive Committee, ICLEI’s highest level of global membership representation.


Learn More about the Regional Executive Committee

ICLEI Members vote for the Regional Executive Committee members, filling three U.S. vacancies for the 2018-2021 term. To learn more about how to get your voting credentials, email us here.

Council Member Matthew Appelbaum, City of Boulder, CO

I’ve served on the Boulder, CO, city council for 18 years and as mayor for five. Boulder is known internationally for innovative and aggressive programs and policies related to sustainability, energy, and resilience, including our ongoing efforts to “municipalize” our electric power system to greatly increase the use of renewable energy. Boulder’s local efforts are important, but even more essential is the role we play by developing best practices that can be shared. To that end, I and many colleagues have spoken at meetings and conferences worldwide, spreading our knowledge, learning from others, and making invaluable contacts. I’ve served one term on the Board of Directors of ICLEI USA and seek to serve another beginning this fall — there is an obvious alignment between that position and our RexCom. I’ve also served one term on the North America RexCom, attending all three ICLEI Council meetings and speaking at numerous sessions at ICLEI’s World Congress, COP21 representing NLC and environmental organizations, and Habitat III. Nationally, I’m on the National League of Cities’ Board of Directors, previously serving on and chairing NLC’s Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources committee. I’m also on the steering committee of the WaterNow Alliance, which partners with NLC to help cities understand and effect sustainable water solutions. Given that national governments — sadly, including ours — are doing little if anything substantive regarding sustainability and climate change, it is essential that cities worldwide take bold action and demonstrate how to effectively address these crucial issues.

Mayor T.M. Franklin Cownie, City of Des Moines, IA

I am currently serving my fourth term as the Mayor of Des Moines, IA. Since the beginning of my public service, I have spent much of my time in leadership roles on the national and international stage representing issues that I am most passionate about: local control, green initiatives, jobs and the economy. In 2005, I was one of only 11 U.S. mayors chosen to travel to Israel as a member of the International Council of Mayors. I was also chosen to formulate regional environmental policies for American cities through my work with ICLEI USA. I have served on the ICLEI USA Executive Committee as Treasurer and helped with the development of the STAR Community Rating System with the U.S. Green Building Council. I am proud to say that Des Moines was one of the original 10 cities in the beta testing group. In addition, I was an early signer of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement and was engaged in the COP21 Paris Agreement. I am actively engaged in the U.S. Conference of Mayors serving as a Trustee and this year as the Chair of the Nominating Committee. I am on the Steering Committee for the Mayors Innovation Project. Furthermore, I currently serve on the ICLEI Global Board. My wealth of experience leading on sustainability issues, paired with my passion, makes me an excellent fit for this position.

Council Member Pam O’Connor, City of Santa Monica, CA

Climate change and the sustainability of the planet are the most critical issues of our time. Especially in the USA, as the federal government backs away from GHG reduction efforts, it is critical that cities, states, NGOs and businesses work together and take action. As a member of ICLEI, my City of Santa Monica has been working to reduce our GHGs along with implementing our Sustainable City Plan. As a strong advocate for climate action and sustainability, I have taken my knowledge to advance climate action and sustainability regionally. As a member of the Los Angeles Metro Board, I established the agency’s Sustainability Committee, which I have chaired for the past 10 years. Over that period, Metro has reached the platinum level of achievement from the American Public Transportation Association and has also advanced active transportation planning and implementation. At the regional level, I served as President of Southern California Association of Governments and led the agency to its adoption of its first Sustainable Communities Strategy to ensure its transportation planning would meet GHG reduction targets. And I have been a strong supporter of ICLEI as an organization, participating regularly with ICLEI and serving on its USA Board of Directors. I have a proven track record of working with a range of people and organizations to achieve outcomes that not only reduce GHGs but provide significant co-benefits that improve people’s quality of life. Santa Monica has established a Well-Being Index which is leading the way to the goals of inclusiveness, equitable community building, and environmental justice.  It is critical that cities work together and my goal is to build the ICLEI network with cities leading the way to not only a low-carbon future but to a carbon neutral future where residents thrive.

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