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Past Honorees and Keynote Speakers

Since 1984, the faces and voices of ELI’s constituents have come together in a gathering of environmental professionals: the annual ELI Award Dinner. By honoring individuals and organizations for demonstrating outstanding commitment to environmental protection, ELI helps set the standards for the environmental profession. The dinner is a signal opportunity for environmental professionals to forge new bonds of cooperation, while supporting the agenda-setting research, education, and training programs of the Institute. The event now attracts attention year round, making it a unique gathering of the nation’s environmental leaders, with more than 750 professionals attending from across the country.

Past Honorees:

2019:

Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Rose Marcario, CEO and President of Patagonia

2018:

Lisa Jackson, Vice President of Apple’s Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives

2017:

Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

2016:

The Honorable Henry M. Paulson, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury (2006-2009) and Founder and Chairman, Paulson Institute

2015:

Henry Diamond, Founder and Senior Counsel, Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.

2014:
Mary Nichols, Chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, and the state of California

2013:
George Shultz, Secretary of State (1982-1989) and Chair of the Hoover Institution’s Schultz-Stephenson Task Force on Energy Policy and Thomas Steyer, Founder and President, NextGen America

2012:
The City of New York

2011:
United States Secretary of Energy, Dr. Steven Chu

2010:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

2009:
Hons. Mark Udall and Tom Udall, U.S. Senate

2008:
J. William Futrell, Sustainable Development Law Associates

2007:
Kathryn Fuller, World Wildlife Fund

2006:
Governor George E. Pataki, New York

2005:
John Quarles, Morgan Lewis LLP

2004:
Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., Wayne and Gladys Valley Professor of Marine Biology and Distinguished Professor of Zoology at Oregon State University

2003:
William K. Reilly, Administrator (1989-93), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and President and Chief Executive Officer, Aqua International Partners

2002:
Hon. Sherwood L. Boehlert, U.S. House of Representatives, Chairman of the House Science Committee

2001:
Lee M. Thomas, Administrator (1985-1989), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and President - Consumer Products, Georgia-Pacific Corporation

2000:
Hon. Patricia McGowan Wald, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia

1999:
James Gustave Speth, Chairman, Council on Environmental Quality, Dean, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

1998:
His Excellency, Valdas Adamkus, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region V (1981-1997) and President of the Republic of Lithuania

1997:
Françoise Burhenne-Guilmin, Director, Environmental Law Centre, IUCN
Wolfgang Burhenne, Legal Adviser, IUCN (World Conservation Union)

1996:
Hon. Richard S. Arnold, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit
Lady Bird Johnson

1995:
William Ruckelshaus, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1970-1973 and 1983-1985) and CEO, Browning-Ferris Industries

1994:
Hon. George J. Mitchell, Majority Leader, U.S. Senate

1993:
Morris Udall, Chairman, House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee
Stewart Udall, Secretary, Department of the Interior

1992:
Gro Harlem Brundtland, Prime Minister of Norway
Maurice Strong, Secretary General, United Nations Environmental Programme

1991:
Hon. John H. Chafee, Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works

1990:
Russell W. Peterson, Chairman, Council on Environmental Quality and DuPont

1989:
Hon. James L. Oakes, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit

1988:
Robert T. Stafford, Chairman, Senate, Environment and Public Works Committee

1987:
Hon. Edmund S. Muskie, U.S. Senate

1986:
Russell Train, Chairman, Council on Environmental Quality and Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1973-1977)

1985:
Joseph L. Sax, University of Michigan

1984:
David Sive, Sive, Paget & Riesel, P.C.

Past Keynote Speakers:

Previous keynote speakers include: U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno; Vice President Al Gore; Dr. Stephan Schmidheiny, Founder of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development; Senator Dale Bumpers; Mohamed T. El-Ashry, Chairman and CEO of the Global Environment Facility; Carol Browner, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Senator Birch Bayh; Linda Fisher, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Senator James M. Jeffords; Representative Christopher Shays; and Leon E. Panetta, co-director, The Panetta Institute.