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Mayor Walsh to appoint Austin Blackmon as new Chief of Environment and Energy

November 24, 2014

Environment

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Environment

Today Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the appointment of Austin Blackmon to serve as the City’s new Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space, succeeding Brian Swett when he steps down at the end of the year. This position oversees the Inspectional Services Department, the Environment Department, the Parks and Recreation Department, and the Office of Energy Policy and Programs.    

“I am excited to announce the addition of Austin Blackmon to my cabinet, as we continue to grow our focus on energy, environment, and sustainability across the City,” said Mayor Walsh. “I’m grateful for the service of Brian Swett, who has had a powerful impact on the City in the areas of climate action and preparedness, historical preservation, open space planning, and ensuring the health and safety of rental housing.”    

 “It has been an honor and privilege to serve Boston in the Walsh and Menino administrations,” said Brian Swett. “Working with talented management and staff, I am proud of our efforts to make the City greener, healthier, safer, and more climate prepared for the decades to come.”    

Currently Blackmon serves as the Interim Head of Project Finance for Terraverde Renewable Partners, a clean energy consulting firm that advises schools, municipalities and companies on solar power, energy storage and alternative fuel projects. Previously, Blackmon worked for C12 Energy, which produces low-carbon energy through technical application of carbon dioxide sequestration. He has also consulted with U.S. Renewables Group, where he evaluated potential investments in waste recovery solutions by developing and presenting investment theses. Blackmon has also previously worked in Energy Investment Banking for Wells Fargo Securities, and advised organizational strategy with consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. Blackmon is a graduate of Harvard College and received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where he led the Harvard Council of Student Sustainability Leaders.     

Brian Swett was appointed to this role in August 2012. During his tenure, Swett led a variety of major policy and program initiatives, including: developing and passing a rental housing inspection ordinance and a building energy disclosure ordinance; launching Greenovate Boston, a sustainability education and outreach initiative; spearheading the City’s climate preparedness initiatives; and completing the 2014 update of Boston’s Climate Action Plan. Boston is currently the highest-ranked city in the country for energy efficiency policies and programs by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Swett also serves on the Executive Committee of the Boston Green Ribbon Commission.    

"Brian Swett's outstanding leadership and guidance within the Boston Green Ribbon Commission and the City at large has resulted in significant action on climate change in the public and private sectors," said Amos Hostetter, Co-Chair of the Boston Green Ribbon Commission. "Working collaboratively with the business, civic, and institutional community, Brian has taken Boston's climate and sustainability agenda to the next level and established the City as a recognized global leader."