The Wind Energy Foundation has selected as its new executive director John Kostyack, who held senior roles at the nexus of climate change, energy, and wildlife for the past 20 years at the National Wildlife Federation, and served on the American Wind Wildlife Institute board of directors for the past 3 years.
Kostyack says he looks forward to continuing to tackle climate change and conserve healthy ecosystems by working with an industry that is also delivering jobs and strengthening local economies across the country.
“The wind industry has an enormous role to play in helping the nation transition to a clean energy economy,” he says. “At the Foundation, we want to help to educate decision makers about the urgency of shifting to wind and other renewable energy sources to make real headway on climate change and to ensure a healthy and prosperous future for our kids and grandkids.”
“At a time when the world’s top scientists are telling us that ‘severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts’ of climate change are imminent, I am thrilled to be working with those who are putting climate change solutions on the ground every day, and even saving money doing so,” he continues. “We have many highly motivated allies who will help us get this message out, and in the months ahead I look forward to meeting and working with many of them.”
While serving as vice president at the National Wildlife Federation, Kostyack was deeply engaged on energy and climate change issues, including helping wind industry leaders to find responsible ways to site and operate wind turbines, organizing executives to get active on climate change, and helping develop nature-friendly solutions for communities grappling with climate change impacts.
In previous posts at NWF, Kostyack conceived and led the first national conference on climate-smart conservation and helped establish NWF as a recognized leader in that field; he oversaw NWF’s wildlife advocacy before Congress, the federal agencies and the courts; and he served as lead counsel in landmark legal cases that protected endangered species, including representing 72 wildlife conservation groups in the first-ever global warming case to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Virginia and a law degree from Stetson University, after which he clerked for U.S. District Judge Susan Black in Jacksonville, Fla. As an associate attorney for Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, D.C., he won precedent-setting pro bono victories in environmental and housing cases while representing large corporate clients in a wide array of litigation.
He is the co-author of several publications in the environmental field, including the new title, Natural Defenses to Hurricanes and Floods: Protecting American’s Communities and Ecosystems in an Era of Extreme Weather, due to be issued next month; and Endangered by Sprawl, the first national study to quantify the impact of sprawl on biodiversity and put forward alternate approaches to development.
The Wind Energy Foundation is a nonprofit organization established by wind industry leaders to raise public awareness of wind as a clean, domestic energy source.
Wind Energy Foundation
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