The U.S. Green Building Council is searching for a president and CEO, as Mahesh Ramanujam is leaving the role as of Nov. 1. Beyond USGBC, Ramanujam will also be stepping down as president and CEO of the affiliated Green Business Certification Inc. and Arc Skoru Inc.

The changes are a part of USGBC’s review of its structure and leadership to “optimize support of the green building community, expand the green building marketplace and increase access to sustainable, healthy and resilient places,” according to the council.

The USGBC board of directors has appointed Peter Templeton, currently president and CEO of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, to be USGBC’s interim president and CEO, while it conducts a formal CEO search. Templeton previously served as the first president of Green Business Certification Inc. from 2009-2012 and as USGBC’s senior vice president. Christina Raab will replace Templeton at Cradle to Cradle.

Ramanujam joined USGBC 12 years ago and has been president and CEO for nearly five years. In a statement about his departure, he says, “In some ways it has felt like the right time for a while, and in other ways it is inspired by remaining healthy and having a positive outlook after experiencing the loss of many friends and loved ones during the pandemic in my home country of India.

“Either way, the time has come to begin my next adventure,” he says. He does not provide any specifics about his next step, except to say that he will be working to help others achieve “net zero and net positive” carbon emissions in the built environment as quickly as possible to aid in the prevention of “climate disaster.”

USGBC Founded in 1993

USGBC dates back to April, 1993, when co-founders Rick Fedrizzi, David Gottfried and Mike Italiano convened representatives from 60 firms and several nonprofits for the kickoff meeting. The group's most well-known initiative is the green-building certification program, known as LEED. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The affilliated group Arc Skoru is a technology company that developed a platform to track a building's sustainability performance.

The USGBC organizational review is intended to position the group to “scale its work in the post-pandemic world," the group reports, noting its "unprecedented public and private sector commitments to advancing health, decarbonization and environmental, social and governance goals through green building.” 

The number of LEED-certified projects in the U.S. rose from 715 in 2006 to 55,278 today, according to USGBC. There are an additional 53,898 registered LEED projects.