Ron Sims inspires at Department of Education Green Summit

5010024051_ed32117165 Deputy Secretary of Urban Development Ron Sims took the podium yesterday during the Sustainability Education Summit: “Citizenship and Pathways for a Green Economy” to make a strong case for the role of education in achieving our goals of developing a new green economy and greener communities over the next 40 years.

“We must envision 2050 and plan forward for green communities,” he said, adding that we need a broader green jobs sector and well-educated citizens to bring about the kind of long-reaching change that will engender genuine progress. Theres’s no way to move the country ahead without strong communities, said Sims, and “you cannot turn a community around without a strong school.”

Ronald-simsBefore being unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2009, Sims served three terms as the Executive for the King County, Washington — the 13th largest county in the nation.

His tenure there was notable for the groundbreaking integration of environmental, social equity and public health policies, as well as for his championing of Smart Growth programs and the preservation of green space in areas of rapid development. For his efforts in these areas, Sims has recieved national awards from the Sierra Club and the Environmental Protection Agency, among others.

Photo credit: Julian Keniry