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Denis Hayes

Denis HayesA seasoned veteran of many legislative, cultural, and courtroom battles over the years, and the author of numerous books and articles, Denis Hayes is probably still best known for having been National Coordinator of the first Earth Day when he was 25. In addition to serving as President of the Bullitt Foundation, Denis chairs the board of the international Earth Day Network, and he is the immediate past chair of the boards of trustees of the Energy Foundation and of the American Solar Energy Society.

During the Carter Administration, Denis directed the federal National Renewable Energy Laboratory. He has been a visiting scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center and at the Bellagio Center in Italy. He has been a senior fellow at the Worldwatch Institute, an adjunct professor of engineering at Stanford University, and a Silicon Valley lawyer.

Internationally, Denis is recognized for having expanded Earth Day to more than 180 nations. It is now the world’s most widely observed secular holiday. Hayes remains the honorary chair of the Earth Day Network. Denis has received the national Jefferson Medal for Outstanding Public Serviceas well as the highest awards bestowed by the Sierra Club, the Humane Society of the United States, the National Wildlife Federation, the Natural Resources Council of America, the Global Environmental Facility, the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility, the American Solar Energy Society, and the Commonwealth Club.

He has served on dozens of governing boards, including those of Stanford University, the World Resources Institute, the Federation of American Scientists, the Energy Foundation, Children Now, the National Programming Council for Public Television, the American Solar Energy Society, Greenpeace, CERES, and the Environmental Grantmakers Association. Time magazine selected Hayes as one of its “Heroes of the Planet”. He has been profiled as “Newsmaker of the week” by ABC News and as “Today’s Person in the News” by the New York Times.

At the Bullitt Foundation, Denis leads an effort to mold the American Pacific Northwest into a global model of urban sustainability. Focusing mostly on the region’s largest cities (Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver) and its dominant industries, the foundation applies principles of the science of ecology to the design of ‘human ecosystems’. To “walk its talk”, the foundation recently designed and constructed, and now owns and operates, the world’s greenest office building.

Updated on October 28, 2014

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