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Fedrizzi to Leave USGBC

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

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WASHINGTON--Rick Fedrizzi, founding chairman of the world's best-known green-building rating system, has announced that he will step down from his position at the end of 2016.

The move means that the U.S. Green Building Council will have its first new president and CEO in more than a decade.


"Since the beginning, Rick [Fedrizzi] has been a transformational leader," USGBC's board chair said of the council's co-founder.

“As one of the founders of USGBC, I never could have imagined the sweeping global impact the organization would have, the wide-ranging work that could be accomplished, the dramatic change in our industry that we would lead, the scale of the innovation we would spark, or the number of lives we would touch,” Fedrizzi said in his announcement.

“It’s been a humbling and gratifying experience.”


Fedrizzi was a co-founder of USGBC 22 years ago and served as its volunteer founding chair for the first six years. He was appointed president and CEO in 2003.

In 2009, he became CEO of the then-new Green Building Certification Institute (now Green Business Certification Inc.), a third-party organization established to provide credentialing and certification services for LEED, USGBC’s rating system.

Envision Design (left) / Eric Laignel (right)

Befitting its mission, the USGBC's 75,000-square-foot headquarters in Washington is certified LEED platinum.

USGBC Board Chair Marge Anderson called Fedrizzi "a transformational leader," adding: "USGBC’s next leader will have a strong foundation from which to launch USGBC’s next chapter.”

Added chair-elect Fiona Cousins: “As an industry, we’ve grown and prospered because of a powerful idea that ultimately sparked a movement.

“That movement has been ably led by Rick Fedrizzi for more than two decades, and it’s that success we’ll continue to build on in the future.”


Like his powerful organization and its globally dominant LEED rating system, however, Fedrizzi has drawn controversy as well.

Critics have called USGBC "out of touch," LEED's claims overblown and unfulfilled, and LEED's leaders "fascists."


Rick Fedrizzi's tenure has not been without controversy. He answered his critics at the opening plenary of Greenbuild 2012 in San Francisco.

D+D's  "Leaning Green" blogger, Robert J. Kobet, AIA, LEED Faculty, has regularly waded into LEED and USGBC controversies, asking at one point, "Do We Need One Nation Under LEED?"

Looking Ahead

Fedrizzi said he was giving advance notice of his plans to ensure a smooth transition. The council's board has already set up a search committee to fill the CEO position.

Fedrizzi said he was leaving the organization on a high note.

“The organization’s executive team is seasoned and capable, assuring that USGBC’s work will continue to be executed at a high level and that USGBC’s reputation as a leading voice in the sustainability movement will continue uninterrupted," he said.

"The emerging leaders across the organization are running sophisticated global business units of their own. Coupled with our exceptional volunteers, it’s clear that the organization is positioned for a bright and prosperous future.”


Tagged categories: Certifications and standards; Green building; Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI); LEED; Personnel; U.S. Green Building Council

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