Lucia Athens Named Chief Sustainability Officer

Will lead Green initiatives

Lucia Athens
Lucia Athens

City Manager Marc Ott has selected Lucia Athens as the City’s first Chief Sustainability Officer. "This position will play a crucial role in our continued stewardship of environmental resources," Ott said. "Lucia brings experience in both the public and private sectors that will serve the City well."

From the city's press release:

Athens, who spent much of her early career in Austin, is the Senior Sustainable Futures Strategist for CollinsWoerman, a Seattle-based sustainable architecture, design and planning firm.

"This position will play a crucial role in our continued stewardship of environmental resources," City Manager Marc Ott said. "Lucia brings experience in both the public and private sectors that will serve the City well in understanding community desires and economic realities. "Having worked in Austin, she understands that this is a special place," Ott said. "We welcome her back home."

Athens has 25 years experience in both the private and public sectors, including 10 years with the City of Seattle’s sustainability programs where she provided leadership in program and policy development. She also has served in key sustainability leadership positions with the board of directors for the U.S. Green Building Council and the International Green Building Certification Institute.

In Austin, she worked in the City’s Green Builder Program, was a Water Efficiency Program Manager with the Lower Colorado River Authority and operated a residential landscape design practice specializing in green design, native landscapes, rainwater collection systems and edible gardens. She was co-founder and former Chair of the Sustainable Building Coalition of Austin (now operating under the name Design~Build~Live) and was one of the co-authors of the first edition of the Austin Green Builder Guide. Her recent book, “Building an Emerald City: A Guide to Creating Green Building Policies and Programs” has brought her speaking engagements throughout the country. Athens has given plenary, keynote or other presentations at conferences in Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Canada and throughout the United States.

She has a Master of Science degree in Architectural Studies, which focused on Sustainable Design, from the University of Texas and a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Texas A&M.

“Lucia is a recognized leader and will bring the knowledge and track record for developing best managed practices to Austin,” City Manager Ott said.

The Chief Sustainability Officer will develop, coordinate and administer various sustainability and conservation programs both within the City of Austin organization and for the Austin community. She will be expected to coordinate interdepartmental efforts surrounding green purchasing; energy, water and resource conservation; solid waste recycling; green building; green house gas reduction; renewable resources; government funding; and environmental reporting metrics.

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