Former two-term Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, with former three-term US Senator Slade Gorton, will open the Washington Clean Technology Alliance Clean Energy: The New Public Policy Reality conference on January 28, 2013 at the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle. Gorton and Nickels will open the conference with a discussion of the results of the recent elections and what they see as the direction of our nation.
During a lifetime of Public Service Greg Nickels has served as a Mayor of Seattle, President of the United States Conference of Mayors, King County Councilman, Delegate to the United Nations and Harvard Fellow.
Greg Nickels served eight years as Seattle’s 51st Mayor from 2002 through 2009. In September 2010, Nickels was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate to be a Public Delegate to the Sixty-fifth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Holding the rank of Ambassador, Public Delegates serve for a one-year term.
While Mayor, Nickels led the effort to build light rail in Seattle and worked with regional leaders to tackle longstanding transportation problems like replacing the dangerous Alaskan Way Viaduct. Mayor Nickels made a strong commitment to public safety, achieving the lowest crime rate in over forty years. He promoted investment in Seattle neighborhoods, supporting businesses to create good jobs.
Nickels is best known for his leadership on climate protection and urban sustainability. Rolling Stone magazine called Nickels the “Pied Piper” of mayors for launching the “US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement,” a grassroots effort of over 1,000 mayors taking action at the local level. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded him its 2006 Climate Protection Award.
In 2009, the United States Conference of Mayors elected Greg Nickels their 67th President. He is the recipient of numerous national and local awards for his work.
Nickels is the oldest of Robert C. and Kathleen Anne Nickels’ six children. Born in Chicago, Greg has called Seattle home since age six. A graduate of Seattle Prep, he began his public service career at age 19 with the City of Seattle while attending the University of Washington. He served as legislative assistant to then-City Councilmember Norm Rice from 1978 to 1987.
In 1987, Nickels was elected to the King County Council where he served for fourteen years. His many public service accomplishments as a Councilman include reforming Metro government, protecting children from tobacco advertising, leading efforts to build Seattle’s highly successful Baseball Park (Safeco Field), and preserving green space. He chaired of the King County Board of Health for six years.
Currently, Nickels serves on the Board of Trustees for Seattle-based non-profits History Link, Transportation Choices Coalition, Forterra, and Vermont-based NGO Institute for Sustainable Communities. He is also on the Advisory Board for Blue Marble Biomaterials, an start-up company. He is one of the founders of a start-up company called Step Up Mobile.
Greg and Sharon own their home in West Seattle, not far from where Nickels grew up. Their son Jacob and daughter Carey graduated from Seattle Public Schools.