Douglas Foy, Green Entrepreneur, Public Servant and Advocate on Climate Change, Awarded an OBE by HM The Queen

Douglas (Doug) Foy receives this award in recognition of his various achievements as an advocate and entrepreneur in the practice of environmentally sustainable enterprises, both public and private, for services to government at the local and state level, as well as direct services to Her Majesty’s Government as a long-serving and dedicated Chairman of the New England Marshall Scholarship Selection Committee.

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Doug Foy will be awarded an honorary OBE on November 13, 2009

Her Majesty recognizes Doug Foy for a lifetime of service to his country, to action on climate change and to helping continue a positive and special relationship between our two countries.

Cambridge, MA (PRWEB) November 12, 2009

Douglas (Doug) Foy receives this award in recognition of his various achievements as an advocate and entrepreneur in the practice of environmentally sustainable enterprises, both public and private, for services to government at the local and state level, as well as direct services to Her Majesty’s Government as a long-serving and dedicated Chairman of the New England Marshall Scholarship Selection Committee.

Doug Foy is currently President and Founder of Serrafix, a company devoted to sustainable development and business practices, and was formerly Massachusetts’ first Secretary for Commonwealth Development and one of this nation’s earliest advocates for action on climate change. Indeed, in 1992, President George H.W. Bush recognized his work on energy efficiency by presenting him with the President’s Environmental and Conservation Challenge Award, the country’s highest honor in this field. Also, Foy served for 25 years as President of the Conservation Law Foundation, gaining notoriety in New England for initiating the lawsuit that led to the cleanup of Boston Harbor, as well as his work to protect the Georges Bank from oil and gas drilling and Cape Cod from off-road vehicles marring its dunes and beaches, among many other initiatives.

Taken separately, these accomplishments would be substantial and meritorious in their own right. However, when taken together, coupled with his devotion to the UK’s Marshall Scholarship Selection process, it is no surprise that Her Majesty has agreed to bestow the honorary OBE on Doug Foy. In a first, the investiture will take place locally, with British Consul General to New England Dr Phil Budden bestowing the award at the British Residence on Beacon Hill on Friday, November 13, 2009.

Doug Foy has been a friend to the British Consulate in Boston for many years, serving voluntarily as the Chair of the Regional Marshall Scholarship Selection Process. The eminent scholarship program is funded by the British Government and sends up to 40 American students to study in the UK for two years each and every year since the program’s inception following World War Two. ‘The Marshall’, as it is known, pays tribute to the American contributions to post-War reconstruction, not least the Marshall Plan, which helped stabilize Britain and the rest of Europe in the aftermath of that terrible war. Doug has been instrumental in helping the British Consulate General in Boston select from among the very brightest students this region has to offer, deepening our relationship here for many generations to come.

Also, as the British Government has long advocated for action to tackle issues associated with climate change, this award is given to Doug Foy for his exceptional efforts, over a lifetime of work, to ensure that sustainability is always built into the design of housing, transportation, urban planning and regional initiatives. This effort contributes towards ensuring that the footprint of today’s architects, planners and governments do not lead to a scarred cityscape for future generations to inherit but an environmentally sound and sustainable space to grow and live.

While serving as Massachusetts’ first Secretary for Commonwealth Development, Foy produced a strategic climate protection plan to limit the State's greenhouse gas emissions, with restrictions on mercury and other pollution for Massachusetts power plants; and created new incentives and requirements for energy efficiency in cars, homes, appliances, buildings and schools. As such, Foy was one of the chief architects of the US’s first cap-and-trade scheme, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which is now successfully established.

Her Majesty recognizes Doug Foy for a lifetime of service to his country, to action on climate change and to helping continue a positive and special relationship between our two countries.    

Background

Douglas Foy is founder and President of Serrafix, a company devoted to sustainable business practices and the development of social enterprises, primarily in the areas of energy, housing, smart growth, transportation, and climate change. Serrafix clients include the Cities of New York (NY), Milwaukee (WI), Charleston (SC), Somerville (MA), and Cambridge (MA), IKEA Corporation, Federal Realty Investment Trust, Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future, the Kraft Group, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Kendall Foundation, the Summit Foundation, among many others.

Prior to founding Serrafix, Mr. Foy served as the first secretary of the Massachusetts Office for Commonwealth Development. Governor Mitt Romney created this “super secretariat,” and recruited Mr. Foy to be its first leader, to coordinate housing, transportation, energy and the environment, and to encourage more sustainable development in Massachusetts. Under Foy, the Office for Commonwealth Development received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Award for Overall Excellence in Smart Growth.

At Commonwealth Development, Foy oversaw the Executive Offices of Transportation, and Environmental Affairs, the Departments of Housing and Community Development and of Energy Resources, which together were the four agencies responsible for all infrastructure (other than schools) in the Commonwealth, including roads, bridges, transit, parks, sewers, water systems, energy, and housing.    

Foy was responsible for guiding capital spending of $5 billion per year, and annual operating budgets of $500 million. Foy led the creation of Commonwealth Capital, a new system for distributing $500 million in annual state funding for municipal infrastructure that rewards communities engaged in smart growth; Chapter 40R and 40S cash incentive programs to encourage cities and towns to develop their town centers, downtowns, under-utilized industrial land and locations near transit; a $30 million program to encourage transit-oriented development; and a new Highway Design Manual, which Foy refers to as changing the “DNA of development,” by adjusting minimum road widths and design speeds for attractive Main Streets used equally by bicyclists and pedestrians. Under Foy, the Office for Commonwealth Development also began providing technical assistance and model zoning bylaws to help cities and towns change outdated zoning. The Smart Growth Toolkit, which provides 12 techniques ranging from the transfer of development rights to legalizing accessory apartments, is available at http://www.mass.gov/ocd.

During his state service, Foy was also active in many aspects of energy and climate policy, producing a 20-year Strategic Transportation Plan (the Commonwealth’s first) that committed $31 billion to improved transportation services, with an emphasis on transit; a Climate Protection Plan for the Commonwealth, one of the nation’s most comprehensive; limits on emissions on the oldest of the state’s power plants; and the creation of new incentives and requirements for energy efficiency in cars, homes, appliances, buildings and schools. Foy was also one of the chief architects of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a groundbreaking agreement negotiated among nine northeastern states to create a carbon-trading market for all power plants in the region.

Prior to his service in the Romney administration, Foy served for 25 years as president of the Conservation Law Foundation, New England’s premier environmental advocacy organization. Foy is well known in New England for initiating the lawsuit that led to the cleanup of Boston Harbor, and worked to protect Georges Bank from oil and gas drilling, ban off-road vehicles on the beaches and dunes of the Cape Cod National Seashore, and prevent the construction of a four-lane superhighway through New Hampshire’s historic and pristine Franconia Notch. While at CLF, Foy also led initiatives to protect New England’s fisheries and fishermen, save family farms, promote balanced transportation planning and transit expansion, reduce power plant emissions, ensure fair electric utility restructuring, and create innovative programs to clean up contaminated brownfields and prevent childhood lead poisoning.

In 1992, President George H.W. Bush recognized Foy’s work on energy efficiency with the President’s Environmental and Conservation Challenge Award, the country’s highest conservation award. Foy also received from Princeton University, his alma mater, its highest honor bestowed on a graduate, the Woodrow Wilson award, for his public interest achievements. In 2006, Foy was named the recipient of the national Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service from the Woodrow Wilson Center, the nation’s memorial to President Wilson.

Foy, a member of the 1968 US Olympic Rowing Team and the 1969 USA National Rowing Team, graduated from Princeton University as a University Scholar in engineering and physics in 1969 and from Harvard Law School in 1973. He was also a Churchill Scholar in geophysics at Cambridge University in England.

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