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ISC Announces Renowned Climate Change Leader as New Board Chair

For Immediate Release: October 24, 2017

Institute for Sustainable Communities Announces Renowned Climate Change Leader as New Board Chair

Longtime chair retires, new vice chair also elected

Montpelier, Vt. – October 24, 2017 – The Institute of Sustainable Communities (ISC) announced today that Hampshire College President Jonathan Lash will head the international organization’s board.

Lash, an internationally recognized expert on sustainability and climate change, was one of ISC’s first board members when the organization was founded in 1991. After a hiatus, he returned to serve as vice chair of the board, and now will replace the outgoing term-limited Board Chair Richard Paisner.

For more than 18 years, Lash was president of the World Resources Institute. He also co-chaired the President’s Council on Sustainable Development, and played a key role in the creation of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, which in 2007 issued the “Call to Action” on global warming. In 2005, Rolling Stone magazine declared Lash a “warrior and a hero” for his work on climate change.

“I’m thrilled to deepen my work with ISC, and its talented and thoughtful board,” said Lash. “The organization has two fundamental insights, which sets it apart: that communities are a focal point for addressing human needs, and that climate change is an existential threat to the prosperity and wellbeing of communities throughout the world.”

Joining the board executive as vice chair is Bennett Group President LuAnn Bennett, LEED AP. A passionate advocate for climate, and LEED certified developer in the Washington D.C. area, Bennett has been on the ISC board since 2013.

“This is one of the most extraordinary boards I’ve ever worked with,” said Bennett. “After all, we need a tremendous breadth of experience to be able to oversee an organization that’s very entrepreneurial and nimble. The programs ISC is engaged in are so interesting and important, that I love every minute I spend on it.”

Paisner served on the ISC board for 10 years – five as chair. During his tenure, Paisner successfully increased the diversity of the ISC board, and oversaw the diversification of the organization’s revenue streams.

“There are two strands of my life that ISC’s work encapsulates so perfectly,” said Paisner. “The first is my passion for advocacy and my deeply-held belief that everyone should have an opportunity to participate in the decision-making process. The second is my work in public health, and the understanding of how environment and public health are intrinsically connected. I’ve enjoyed my work on the board immensely, and I believe ISC is better prepared for the challenges of 2017 and beyond. I’m deeply grateful I am to my board colleagues for their support and leadership and to the staff for its dedication, entrepreneurial spirit and hard work.”

“I’m excited to have a well-respected climate expert and long-time ISC ally like Jonathan Lash lead the board,” said ISC President George Hamilton. “I’m confident that both Jonathan and LuAnn will make the organization stronger and more effective as we help communities navigate dynamic and challenging times both in the U.S. and abroad. Fortunately, Richard laid an excellent foundation through his leadership.“

View a full list of the ISC board here.

Since 1991, the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) has worked in the United States and around the world to help communities, cities, industry, and NGOs accomplish their environmental, economic, and social goals. ISC uses training, technical assistance, peer-to-peer learning, and demonstration projects to help unleash the power of local people and institutions to address immediate challenges and opportunities – all while building those on-the-ground solutions into national and international best practices and policy. At the heart of the organization’s approach is results-focused, authentic and pragmatic engagement with all stakeholders, which unearths locally-driven and equitable solutions to the biggest challenge we face – global climate change. Learn more at