BlueGreen Alliance Announces New Executive Director
The BlueGreen Alliance today announced that Jason Walsh would be joining the organization as its new Executive Director on August 1.
Walsh served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Obama White House where he worked on issues at the intersection of climate, energy, and economic policy and led the development of the POWER+ Plan and POWER Initiative, which aligned and scaled up federal investments to help struggling coal communities and workers. Previous to that he served as Director of Strategic Programs and Senior Advisor in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
The United Steelworkers (USW) and Sierra Club founded the BlueGreen Alliance in 2006. Since then, the organization has grown to include 14 labor and environmental organizations that represent millions of members and supporters.
“We’re proud to welcome a strong and experienced leader like Jason to head this strategic alliance of labor unions and environmental organizations,” said USW International President Thomas M. Conway.
“We know that the BlueGreen Alliance will continue to thrive and grow under Jason’s leadership because he embodies our core principle—namely, that any choice between good jobs and a clean environment is a false one. We can and must have both,” said Leo W. Gerard, former USW International President and Co-Chair of the BlueGreen Alliance.
“We are excited to bring Jason on board at this pivotal moment in the fight to tackle the climate crisis and grow an equitable economy,” said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club and Co-Chair of the BlueGreen Alliance. “The need for this alliance has never been greater, and Jason’s experience and leadership will help advance climate solutions that work for American families.”
Walsh has over twenty years of experience as a policy advocate, policy maker, and coalition builder on economic justice, equity, clean energy, and economic and workforce development. He started his career as a Policy Fellow for U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota. This is his second stint with the BlueGreen Alliance. He previously served as the organization’s Director of Policy and Strategic Partnerships before departing to join the DOE.
“I’m truly honored to have been chosen to lead the BlueGreen Alliance and I thank the leaders from our partner organizations for their support and trust,” said Walsh. “Building and growing the collaboration between union members and environmentalists is fundamental to achieving a common agenda of cleaning up our air and water, fighting climate change, and tackling the crippling income inequality that pervades our economy. I look forward to working together with our partners, their members and supporters, and our allies to build a stronger, fairer, cleaner economy that works for every American.”
Walsh added that a key priority for him is the implementation of the organization’s recently released platform to tackle climate change and income inequality, Solidarity for Climate Action. The platform puts workers at the forefront of how America can tackle climate change. It is the first such comprehensive plan to address climate change put forward by America’s largest unions.
“I also want to thank Michael Williams and Kelly (Schwinghammer) Connolly for their leadership during this transition,” said Walsh. “Their work during this interim was vital to moving forward our platform and continuing to ensure the organization thrived.”