Director of Climate and Environmental Program
Institute for Sustainable Communities
Steve Nicholas is ISC's Vice President of the U.S. Program. Steve launched ISC's U.S. Program and created the Sustainable Communities Leadership Academy (SCLA), which is one of the premier vehicles for capacity-building and technical assistance focused on sustainability in the US. Using a unique model of peer-to-peer learning, the Academy has served more than 500 US communities.
Prior to joining ISC, he was Director of the City of Seattle Office of Sustainability & Environment for eight years, where he led several urban sustainability initiatives, including the development and implementation of the Seattle Climate Protection Initiative, winner of the 2007 Innovations in American Government Award. He co-authored Seattle’s first-ever climate action plan, as well as the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, which sparked a national movement of more than 940 mayors taking local action on global warming and demanding stronger federal action. He also staffed the Mayor’s Green Ribbon Commission on Climate Protection, led the creation of the Seattle Climate Partnership, a voluntary pact among more than 50 public and private institutions to reduce their global warming pollution, and established the Directors’ Climate Network, a coalition of environment directors and senior climate protection staff from about 20 US cities.
From 1995-1998, Steve directed ISC's program in Macedonia. Known as the Democracy Network Project, it strengthened Macedonia’s fledgling democracy by building the capacity of nonprofit organizations through technical and financial assistance.
Steve recently co-authored The Guide to Greening Cities which uses success stories from across North America to show how to turn a green city agenda into reality. Steve holds a Master of Public Policy from Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a B.A. in Public Policy from Colby College.