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Ian  Bowles

Ian Bowles

Energy & Environment Expert/Former Clinton Advisor

Ian Bowles

Energy & Environment Expert/Former Clinton Advisor


Ian Bowles has 30 years of experience with the energy and environmental challenges and opportunities associated with sustainability and climate change. He has worked on the international, federal, state and local levels as a businessman, political appointee and nonprofit executive. He is co-founder and Managing Director of WindSail Capital Group, which provides growth capital to small cap clean energy companies. Bowles also serves as a Senior Director at the Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm based in Washington, D.C. He has served on numerous corporate and nonprofit boards of directors. He has been recognized with the Hall of Fame award by the Northeast Clean Energy Council and Conservationist of the Year by the MA Chapter of the Nature Conservancy.

Until early 2011, Bowles served as Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs of Massachusetts. As Secretary, he created the first state cabinet agency encompassing both energy regulation and environmental protection and oversaw six line agencies that employ staff of more than 3,000. He overhauled utility and environmental regulation to make Massachusetts the #1 ranked state in energy efficiency and a top solar market. Bowles also set the highest standards in the nation on greenhouse gas emissions and building codes.

Earlier in his career, Bowles served as principal international environment and natural resources policy advisor on the White House staff for President Bill Clinton, holding the posts of Senior Director of Global Environmental Affairs at the National Security Council and Associate Director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. He was a Senior Advisor to the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and a Senior Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. Before that, he spent eight years as a top executive at Conservation International where he played a key role in creation of the four million acre Central Suriname Nature Reserve, one of the world’s largest tropical forest nature reserves.

Bowles co-edited Footprints in the Jungle (Oxford University Press) on infrastructure development and land conservation and has written broadly on energy, environment, conservation and sustainability in both professional journals such as Science and in the popular media including the New York Times. He received his A.B. cum laude from Harvard College and a Masters degree from Oxford University. He holds an honorary doctorate from Emerson College.

Speech Topics

Global Natural Resources: Supply, Demand & Innovation

The Clean Energy Revolution: US, China & Opportunities Ahead

Why Wilderness Matters: An International Perspective

No California Dreaming: Why the East Coast Is the Future of Clean Energy