The Center’s Advisory Board provides expert input to the Center’s leadership team and robust connectivity for the Center’s programming. Advisory Board members are leaders in their respective fields
Secretary, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
Deborah Markowitz is the Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, the state agency with primary responsibility for protecting Vermont’s environment, natural resources and wildlife and for maintaining Vermont’s forests and state parks. Markowitz was named to that position by Governor Peter Shumlin in January 2011.
Secretary Markowitz previously served as Vermont’s Secretary of State from 1999 until 2011. Markowitz has a distinguished record of achievement and is widely recognized for enhancing customer service at the Secretary of State’s office, improving access to government and strengthening Vermont’s democracy.
As Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources, Markowitz has shaped the environmental agenda of the state, focusing on the challenges of climate change, strategic land conservation, growing threats to forest health and integrity, and improving the water quality of Vermont’s lakes and rivers. Markowitz believes that given today’s challenges, we must find new and creative approaches to care for nature, build healthy communities, and support the working landscape for a sustainable future.
A graduate of the University of Vermont (B.A., 1983), Markowitz received her Juris Doctorate degree from the Georgetown University Law Center (magna cum laude,1987). Markowitz served as a law clerk with Justice Louis Peck of the Vermont Supreme Court (1987 – 1988) and practiced law with Langrock, Sperry, Parker and Wool (1988 – 1990). She served as the founding director of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns Municipal Law Center (1990 – 1997), where she published numerous handbooks and academic papers on local government law and lectured locally and nationally on issues related to municipal law and on ethics in government. Markowitz is the author of the Vermont Municipal Guide to Land Use Regulation (1997) and Vermont Municipal Environmental Handbook (1995).
Secretary Markowitz serves as the Chair of Vermont’s Climate Cabinet and represented Vermont on the White House Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. She serves on the Executive Board of the Environmental Council of the States and on the Boards of Advisors for the Georgetown Climate Center, Antioch’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience, and for the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources.
Markowitz is the founder of the Vermont Women’s Leadership Initiative and Vermont Parks Forever – the Foundation for Vermont’s State Parks. She has been recognized nationally for her leadership by being awarded an Aspen Institute Rodel fellowship and the Kennedy School of Governments’ Cahn Fellowship.
Amber Pairis, Ph.D.
Director, Climate Science Alliance-South Coast
Dr. Amber Pairis is the Director of the Climate Science Alliance-South Coast covering southern California and Baja. Her current work focuses on building a science focused network of leaders, scientists, and managers focused on sharing ecosystem-based resiliency approaches to safeguard our communities and natural resources from climate change. Pairis leads several initiatives related to innovative community engagement including Climate Kids and the role of art and artists in building community engagement on climate change. In 2013 Pairis was appointed by Governor Brown as the Assistant Secretary for Climate Change-California Natural Resources Agency and worked collaboratively to coordinate the State’s activities related to climate change adaptation. Preceding the appointment, Pairis served as the Climate Change Advisor for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for five years and created the Department’s Climate Science Program and CDFW Climate College. In 2006 Pairis worked for the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Washington D.C. where she was the Science Liaison coordinating between the states and federal natural resource agencies on energy and climate change. Pairis is a scientist by training and completed her Ph.D. in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England. Pairis is a fellow of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation.
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
Bob Perciasepe is President of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, which is widely recognized in the United States and internationally as a leading, independent voice for practical policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change.
Mr. Perciasepe has been an environmental policy leader in and outside government for more than 30 years, most recently as Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He is a respected expert on environmental stewardship, natural resource management, and public policy, and has built a reputation for bringing stakeholders together to solve issues.
While Mr. Perciasepe served as Deputy Administrator from 2009 to 2014, EPA set stricter auto emissions and mileage standards, increased protections for the nation’s streams and rivers, and developed carbon emissions standards for power plants. Mr. Perciasepe was previously assistant administrator for both the agency’s water and clean air programs, leading efforts improve the safety of America’s drinking water and lower sulfur levels in gasoline to reduce smog.
In 2002, Mr. Perciasepe joined the National Audubon Society, one of the nation’s oldest conservation organizations, as its senior vice president for public policy. He served as the group’s chief operating officer from 2004 to 2009, and worked to protect wetlands and expand environmental education.
He has also held top positions in state and municipal government — as Secretary of the Environment for the state of Maryland from 1990 to 1993 and as a senior planning official for the city of Baltimore, where he managed the city’s capital budget.
Mr. Perciasepe is a member of the Export-Import Bank Advisory Committee, Bank of America National Community Advisory Council, the National Academy of Science Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, and the North American Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance Steering Committee. He is also a member of the Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience Advisory Board (Antioch University). He has been named a 2016 winner of American University’s William K. Reilly Award for Environmental Leadership.
Mr. Perciasepe holds a master’s degree in planning and public administration from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and a Bachelor of Science degree in natural resources from Cornell University.
Founder, BuildingGreen, Inc.
Alex Wilson is the founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. in Brattleboro, Vermont, an 18-person company that has served the design and construction industry with non-biased information on environmentally responsible design and construction since 1985. He has served as executive editor of Environmental Building News since the publication’s launch in 1992. He is a widely published writer on energy, green building, and environmental topics, including authoring or coauthoring Your Green Home (2006), The Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings (1st edition, 1990, 9th edition 2007), and Green Development: Integrating Ecology and Real Estate (1998). He received the first annual Lifetime Achievement Award from the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association in 1993, the Leadership Award for Education from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2008, and the second Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing in 2010. Alex served on the national board of the U.S. Green Building Council from 2000 through 2005 and served for nine years on the board of the Vermont Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. Most recently, Alex founded the nonprofit Resilient Design Institute in 2012. http://www.buildinggreen.com/