Special Tributes to NRDC President by Robert Redford, Carole King and Cabinet Secretary Terry Tamminen
SAN FRANCISCO (Nov. 2, 2005) -- San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom proclaimed today as "John Adams Day" in honor of the founding executive director and current president of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), who is stepping down after 35 years at the helm of one of the world's most effective environmental organizations. Adams will be honored tonight at a dinner at the Terra Gallery in San Francisco, featuring tributes by Robert Redford and California Cabinet Secretary Terry Tamminen and a special musical performance by Carole King. The event will begin at 6:30 pm at Terra Gallery, 511 Harrison Street (at 1st Street), San Francisco. "John Adams is one of the greatest leaders of the conservation movement," said Jared Blumenfeld, director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment. "Thanks to John and the NRDC, the air and water are cleaner and the future brighter from the Golden Gate to New York Harbor."
NRDC has been a leading force in environmental advocacy in California ever since it opened its first California office in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1972. For more than three decades, NRDC has been instrumental in passing and defending landmark California conservation achievements, including the California Coastal Act, creation of the Channel Islands marine reserves and passage of the California Clean Cars Law, the first law in the world to regulate global warming pollution from cars. NRDC set a new standard in green building design and technology when it opened its new regional headquarters in San Francisco last year. It converted two floors at the top of a Financial District high-rise into one of the world's most advanced energy-efficient and environment-friendly office spaces. The U.S. Green Building Council recognized the achievement with a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold certification.
The New York-based organization also has offices in Los Angeles and Washington, DC. NRDC and special guests Robert Redford, Carole King and Cabinet Secretary Terry Tamminen will honor John Adams for his leadership and dedication as NRDC's president tonight at the Terra Gallery. The evening will include dinner, award presentations by NRDC Trustee and actor Robert Redford and Cabinet Secretary Tamminen, as well as a special musical performance by Carole King.
The gala will commemorate 35 years of NRDC's work as "the Earth's best defense," and will support NRDC's continuing efforts to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places, and to ensure a healthy environment for all living things. The dinner also will celebrate the five year anniversary of E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), a national community of business people who believe in protecting the environment while building economic prosperity.
Co-chairs of the event include Leonardo DiCaprio, Pierce Brosnan, Robert Epstein and Amy Roth, Robert and Randi Fisher, Nicole Lederer and Larry Orr, Nion McEvoy, Christine Russell and Mark Schlesinger, and Kirby Walker and Paul Danielsen.
John Adams co-founded NRDC in 1970, following a five-year tour of duty as an assistant U.S. attorney in Manhattan. His tenure with the organization encompasses the creation of pioneering laws like the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, as well as more recent battles over global warming and energy security. Under Adams' leadership, the NRDC grew to more than 1 million members and activists and a staff of nearly 300.
Adams announced in March that he will step down as NRDC president. The move will take effect on January 1, 2006. The NRDC board of trustees has selected Frances Beinecke to assume the presidency when Adams steps down. Beinecke, who has been the organization's executive director since 1998, first came to NRDC in 1973.
The move comes at a time when NRDC is using its strength not only to counter attempts to undermine environmental protection, but also to press forward on the creation of new solutions to guard our water, air and wildlife.
In addition to his work at NRDC, Adams has taught for 26 years as an adjunct faculty member at New York University law school, where he created the NYU/NRDC Environmental Law Clinic. Adams is chairman of the board of the Open Space Institute -- beneficiary of a $100 million trust for land protection in New York State -- and serves on boards of the Woods Hole Research Center and the League of Conservation Voters. He is a graduate of Duke University Law School and Michigan State University.