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Christine Ervin is one of the nation’s top authorities on green energy, building, and consumer markets. Over the past 20 years, she has been one of the most effective leaders in the environmental movement, responsible for sweeping innovations such as the LEED green building rating system and policies designed to promote clean energy systems. She cofounded the annual Green Building Conference and Expo, the world’s largest event dedicated to the showcase and development of efficient environmental-friendly construction.

Christine’s resume encompasses both the private and public center. As first President and CEO of the U.S. Green Buildings Council, she led its evolution from a start-up organization to a highly influential coalition of industry leaders transforming the way buildings are designed, built, and operated in the U.S. and abroad. As Assistant Secretary for Energy for President Bill Clinton, she directed $ 1 billion in annual investments for clean technologies. Initiatives ranged from partnerships to leveraging private sector investments and a high new performance building roadmap to streamlining appliance standards and the EPA-DOE STAR partnership. Prior to that, she directed the Department of Energy in Oregon, one of the country’s leading states when it comes to innovation in environmental policy.

Currently Christine serves as an advisor for a number of companies serious about making a difference, including EPEAT, which benchmarks green electronic products in over 40 countries. Her knowledge and accomplishments make her an unrivaled speaker within the ecological and green market movement.

Full Profile

    Christine Ervin’s career as an environmental leader spans executive positions across national, state and nonprofit sectors. She is widely credited for being a major force in today’s vibrant green building markets.

    As first President and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council, Ervin led its growth from 200
    members and three staff in 1999 to become a highly influential coalition of nearly 5,000
    companies and organizations, 50 staff and 70 local chapters. During her five-year tenure, the
    Council’s LEED® green building rating system became the defacto national standard for
    certified green buildings and professional accreditation. In all, LEED products were initiated for
    new commercial markets, existing buildings, retail, real estate core and shell, homes,
    neighborhood development, schools, healthcare, laboratories and homes. She played the lead
    role in launching the Greenbuild™ International Conference and Expo in 2002 which quickly
    grew into the industry “go to” event of the year drawing more than 30,000 attendees in 2009.
    Christine also launched several initiatives to bring greater transparency, inclusion and
    international standards to Council practices.

    In 1993, Christine was appointed by President Clinton to serve as Assistant Secretary of Energy
    for the nation’s $1 billion portfolio of clean energy technologies for transportation, buildings,
    major industries and power systems. Initiatives during her tenure included: EPA-DOE
    ENERGY STAR™ partnership; national center on sustainable communities; a streamlined
    appliance standards program; high performance buildings; and voluntary market-based
    programs ranging from Million Solar Roofs and insurance partnerships to large-scale private
    sector financing for federal energy retrofits. Her office played a key role in the President’s
    Climate Change Action Partnership.

    In 1991, Christine was appointed by Governor Barbara Roberts to direct the Oregon Department
    of Energy and to lead a state task force on livable communities. Her portfolio included state
    programs to advance energy efficiency and renewable energy, oversight of the Trojan nuclear
    power plant, Hanford Waste Reservation policy and siting of new energy facilities.

    Christine’s interest in market-based programs took root at the World Wildlife Fund/
    Conservation Foundation in 1989-91 where she focused on eco-labeling, life cycle assessments
    and consensus recommendations for pollution prevention. Previously, she directed budget
    policy for the State of Missouri, advising Governors and the legislature on statewide program
    and policy issues.

    From her Portland-based firm, Christine continues to advocate for strategies that will accelerate
    clean technologies and a sustainable economy. She serves on numerous public and private
    advisory boards including the American Council for Renewable Energy (ACORE), Green
    Building Services and Green Electronics Council to several venture capital and start-up firms.
    She also serves as Editor-at-Large for GreenerWorld Media based in Oakland.


Christine Ervin Speaker Videos Back to top

Christine Ervin: Green Market Transformations


Christine Ervin discusses the key factors that are successfully driving positive transformation in an industry that historically is known for its resistance to change. She cites two forces that are resetting the bar in construction and building: the LEED evaluation and rewards system for structures that meet environmental objectives and the business owners who have championed the movement.

Christine, who was vital in launching LEED, indicates that it would never have taken off so quickly without the support of personal and private sector leaders. “The administrator for the GSA stood up, world’s largest property manager…he said all GSA building over a certain square footage are going to be LEED, not just certified, but the next level up: silver.” Reflecting on his promise, Christine states, “You can imagine almost the ripple of confidence that sent through the marketplace and the almost instant credibility that we had.”

Christine Ervin: IT meets Green Building


Christine Ervin examines how the building sector lags in progress when compared to other industries. She asks us to imagine if Founding Father Thomas Jefferson could see our world, pointing out that he would most likely marvel at the advances in transportation and communication, since in his day both interstate travel and messages took days to weeks and in the best of circumstances relied on horsepower.

“But then he’d look at how we’re building our homes and other buildings and say ‘It’s not so unlike what we were doing at Monticello 200 years ago,’” Christine hypothesizes his puzzlement. “‘Why aren’t your houses making their own energy? Why aren’t the landscapes cleaning the air and the water?’”

Christine Ervin: Inventing a Sustainable Future



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Christine Ervin illuminates green market trends and the larger picture of sustainability for a wide variety of audiences—business, nonprofit organizations and colleges and universities. Her leadership record and content bring credibility. Her engaging style and passion for making a difference bring inspiration.

Frequent topics:

  • The New Industrial Revolution: Moving to a sustainable, low-carbon economy is both a daunting challenge and the portal for revolutionary innovation. Christine weaves together the critical challenges, market drivers and once-in-a-life time opportunities to make a difference. bullet
  • The Exuberant World of Green Buildings: Historically slow to innovate, the building sector is now the leading example of what green market transformation is all about. Christine’s fast-paced profile of the market reveals trends, drivers, exemplary projects and what lies beyond green. bullet
  • Clean Energy: Christine explores the compelling case for transforming the largest infrastructure built by man - our energy system. She also focuses on the “soft” side of technology that can make all the difference between a laboratory curiosity and something that sweeps the market.

Other Sample topics include:

  • What’s driving the trend toward voluntary governance in the U.S. and Europe? Is the trend good—or alarming?
  • The special case of green product labels---from computers and carpets to salmon and shiraz.
  • An even closer look at third-party certification partnerships for whole sectors of the economy including LEED® for buildings.
  • How the U.S. Green Building Council became “the hottest nonprofit in the country” – a view from the CEO’s seat.
  • Close encounters: when the leading edge touches mainstream markets
  • The people part of market transformation – inspiring stories from the construction site to the Beltway.
  • Implications for voluntary trends in a rapidly warming climate: can they deliver?


Christine Ervin Speaker Testimonials Back to top

    "Christine Ervin’s Game Changer Keynote for stakeholders and policy makers in the IT industry was far from being just another presentation by another expert. Her ability to communicate and her knowledge of the technical and environmental issues surrounding green buildings and sustainability made her talk a source of change, comment , and ongoing thought for all who attended."
    David Rosenburg, Program Director, Uptime Institute′s 2009 Symposium

    "We could not have made a better choice in asking Christine Ervin to serve as our inaugural speaker for Wofford College′s Santee-Cooper Lecture Series on Energy & Sustainability. Her convocation address to our student body, faculty, and honored guests was scintillating. …(T)hrough specific examples of innovation, she gave us hope that we will find a way through to sustainability."
    John Lane, Associate Professor

    "Christine Ervin was fantastic as our keynote speaker on sustainability for AH&LA′s 2008 Fall Conference and the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show in New York City…"
    Kimberly Miles, Senior Vice President, American Hotel & Lodging Association

    " …thank you again for your outstanding presentation to our conference attendees. I have heard nothing but kudos."
    Andy Sirmon, Strategic Marketing Manager, The Linc Network

    "As our keynote speaker for Focus the Nation, Christine spoke with grace and enthusiasm on the possibilities for addressing climate change. It was incredibly uplifting to have a female environmental leader, with her experience and knowledge, share perspectives on how we already are beginning to make the changes we need to see in society."
    Katie King, Campus Climate Challenge Campaign, Whitman College


    Partial Client List:

    Alerton/Honeywell
    American Solar Energy Society
    Arizona State University
    American Hotel & Lodging Assoc
    American Council on Renewable Energy
    Ball State University
    American Public Power Assoc
    Hawaii Clean Energy Festival
    Concordia College
    Johns Manville
    Int′l Consumer Trends Forum
    Los Angeles Community Colleges
    Johnson Controls American Public Works Association
    Nat’l Assoc of Business Officers
    Linc Services
    National Energy Efficiency Summit
    University of Illinois
    Nth Power
    Oregon League of Cons. Voters
    University of Nevada
    Sandvik Group
    State of Idaho
    University of Oregon
    Service Master
    U.S. Dept. of Energy
    University of Pennsylvania
    Sierra Nevada
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    University of South Carolina
    Sun Microsystems
    West Coast Energy Congress
    Whitman College Uptime Institute (IT)
    Engineering Energy Congress




* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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    "Christine Ervin’s Game Changer Keynote for stakeholders and policy makers in the IT industry was far from being just another presentation by another expert. Her ability to communicate and her knowledge of the technical and environmental issues surrounding green buildings and sustainability made her talk a source of change, comment , and ongoing thought for all who attended."
    David Rosenburg, Program Director, Uptime Institute′s 2009 Symposium

    "We could not have made a better choice in asking Christine Ervin to serve as our inaugural speaker for Wofford College′s Santee-Cooper Lecture Series on Energy & Sustainability. Her convocation address to our student body, faculty, and honored guests was scintillating. …(T)hrough specific examples of innovation, she gave us hope that we will find a way through to sustainability."
    John Lane, Associate Professor

    "Christine Ervin was fantastic as our keynote speaker on sustainability for AH&LA′s 2008 Fall Conference and the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show in New York City…"
    Kimberly Miles, Senior Vice President, American Hotel & Lodging Association

    " …thank you again for your outstanding presentation to our conference attendees. I have heard nothing but kudos."
    Andy Sirmon, Strategic Marketing Manager, The Linc Network

    "As our keynote speaker for Focus the Nation, Christine spoke with grace and enthusiasm on the possibilities for addressing climate change. It was incredibly uplifting to have a female environmental leader, with her experience and knowledge, share perspectives on how we already are beginning to make the changes we need to see in society."
    Katie King, Campus Climate Challenge Campaign, Whitman College


    Partial Client List:

    Alerton/Honeywell
    American Solar Energy Society
    Arizona State University
    American Hotel & Lodging Assoc
    American Council on Renewable Energy
    Ball State University
    American Public Power Assoc
    Hawaii Clean Energy Festival
    Concordia College
    Johns Manville
    Int′l Consumer Trends Forum
    Los Angeles Community Colleges
    Johnson Controls American Public Works Association
    Nat’l Assoc of Business Officers
    Linc Services
    National Energy Efficiency Summit
    University of Illinois
    Nth Power
    Oregon League of Cons. Voters
    University of Nevada
    Sandvik Group
    State of Idaho
    University of Oregon
    Service Master
    U.S. Dept. of Energy
    University of Pennsylvania
    Sierra Nevada
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    University of South Carolina
    Sun Microsystems
    West Coast Energy Congress
    Whitman College Uptime Institute (IT)
    Engineering Energy Congress


Christine Ervin illuminates green market trends and the larger picture of sustainability for a wide variety of audiences—business, nonprofit organizations and colleges and universities. Her leadership record and content bring credibility. Her engaging style and passion for making a difference bring inspiration.

Frequent topics:

  • The New Industrial Revolution: Moving to a sustainable, low-carbon economy is both a daunting challenge and the portal for revolutionary innovation. Christine weaves together the critical challenges, market drivers and once-in-a-life time opportunities to make a difference. bullet
  • The Exuberant World of Green Buildings: Historically slow to innovate, the building sector is now the leading example of what green market transformation is all about. Christine’s fast-paced profile of the market reveals trends, drivers, exemplary projects and what lies beyond green. bullet
  • Clean Energy: Christine explores the compelling case for transforming the largest infrastructure built by man - our energy system. She also focuses on the “soft” side of technology that can make all the difference between a laboratory curiosity and something that sweeps the market.

Other Sample topics include:

  • What’s driving the trend toward voluntary governance in the U.S. and Europe? Is the trend good—or alarming?
  • The special case of green product labels---from computers and carpets to salmon and shiraz.
  • An even closer look at third-party certification partnerships for whole sectors of the economy including LEED® for buildings.
  • How the U.S. Green Building Council became “the hottest nonprofit in the country” – a view from the CEO’s seat.
  • Close encounters: when the leading edge touches mainstream markets
  • The people part of market transformation – inspiring stories from the construction site to the Beltway.
  • Implications for voluntary trends in a rapidly warming climate: can they deliver?


Christine Ervin: Green Market Transformations


Christine Ervin discusses the key factors that are successfully driving positive transformation in an industry that historically is known for its resistance to change. She cites two forces that are resetting the bar in construction and building: the LEED evaluation and rewards system for structures that meet environmental objectives and the business owners who have championed the movement.

Christine, who was vital in launching LEED, indicates that it would never have taken off so quickly without the support of personal and private sector leaders. “The administrator for the GSA stood up, world’s largest property manager…he said all GSA building over a certain square footage are going to be LEED, not just certified, but the next level up: silver.” Reflecting on his promise, Christine states, “You can imagine almost the ripple of confidence that sent through the marketplace and the almost instant credibility that we had.”

Christine Ervin: IT meets Green Building


Christine Ervin examines how the building sector lags in progress when compared to other industries. She asks us to imagine if Founding Father Thomas Jefferson could see our world, pointing out that he would most likely marvel at the advances in transportation and communication, since in his day both interstate travel and messages took days to weeks and in the best of circumstances relied on horsepower.

“But then he’d look at how we’re building our homes and other buildings and say ‘It’s not so unlike what we were doing at Monticello 200 years ago,’” Christine hypothesizes his puzzlement. “‘Why aren’t your houses making their own energy? Why aren’t the landscapes cleaning the air and the water?’”

Christine Ervin: Inventing a Sustainable Future