Rob Watson, LEED Fellow, is an international leader in market transformation in solid waste, green buildings and sustainable tourism. He is best known as the “Founding Father of LEED,” which he launched in 1993. Under Rob’s direction, LEED became the largest and fastest-growing international standard by which green buildings are measured. Author Thomas Friedman called Rob "one of the best environmental minds in America." Dartmouth Alumni Magazine just recognized Mr. Watson as one of the "25 Most Influential Alumni" in the College's 250-year history. At the forefront of technical innovation in solid waste management, Watson is a Principal with Upland Road Developers, an innovative developer of waste separation and processing complexes called SMART (Sustainable Materials and Advanced Recovery Technology) Centers that can separate and transform 95% of the incoming waste stream into commercial products. As part of his market transformation approach to solid waste, in 2016 Mr. Watson launched the SWEEP—Solid Waste Environmental Excellence Performance--Standard, a comprehensive framework for triple bottom line performance of municipal solid waste programs and private companies in the solid waste industry. Previously, Rob formed ECON Group and EcoTech International (ETI) to implement cutting edge LEED projects in the US and China. Watson led the initial development of ECON’s LeenOps building lifecycle optimization and turnkey project delivery model to transform the building industry as a complement to LEED’s market transformation impact. Fully implemented, LeenOps is expected to reduce construction time, lower capital costs by up to 30 percent and save 30 to 70 percent on energy and maintenance costs. ETI provided LEED certification services to over 40 million square feet of development, achieving mostly Platinum and Gold certification. Rob also taught Green Buildings and Market Transformation as an Adjunct Professor of at Columbia University SIPA. Watson was a Senior Scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) for 21 years directing the International Energy and Green Building programs, spending 20 years promoting energy efficiency and utility energy saving programs in Russia and China on green buildings. In 2003, he was the first foreigner to receive the Energy Innovation Award from the Chinese Ministry of Construction. Rob is also active in green building and energy efficiency technology, serving as Chairman and President for PrimaFilm LLC, a technology startup that is developing thermally insulating window film that will reduce energy losses through windows by over 50%. Rob also Chairs the Green Schools Alliance, which is a network of 10,000 schools in 90 countries serving 7 million students, that engages and empowers students, teachers, administrators and the whole school community to bring sustainability actions to schools, districts and communities. In 2016, Watson developed an integrated market transformation strategy for Pacific Islands as Principal Investigator for Cameron-Cole LLC on behalf of the Secretariat of the Pacific Region Environment Programme (SPREP). Rob visited 5 countries in the region and prepared a comprehensive 200-page analysis and recommendations for transforming the Pacific region tourism industry toward sustainability. Among numerous international awards for his work, Mr. Watson received commendation from the Russian State Construction Ministry for his work on the Sochi Olympics. He also was the 2013 recipient of the International Conservation Award from the Botanical Research Institute of Texas and was honored as a LEED Fellow. In 2011, Rob was a semi-finalist in the international Zayed Energy Future Award for Lifetime Achievement and was profiled on CNN International. Watson received the first lifetime achievement award from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2002. Mr. Watson received his MBA from Columbia University in 2006, a MS in Energy and Resources from UC Berkeley in 1990 and his AB from Dartmouth in 1984. He is married to Green Schools Alliance Founder Margaret Howard Watson and has a 23-year-old son, Max.