William McDonough

William McDonough Portrait, MBDC
William McDonough, FAIA, FRIBA, Int.
, is a globally recognized leader in sustainable development. McDonough is trained as an architect, yet his interests and influence range widely, and he works at scales from the global to the molecular. Time magazine recognized him as a “Hero for the Planet,” noting: “His utopianism is grounded in a unified philosophy that—in demonstrable and practical ways—is changing the design of the world.”

In 1996, McDonough received the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, and in 2003 he earned the first U.S. EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for his work with Shaw Industries. In 2004, he received the National Design Award for exemplary achievement in the field of environmental design. McDonough is the architect of many recognized flagships of sustainable design, including the Ford Rouge truck plant in Michigan; the Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies at Oberlin College; and NASA’s Sustainability Base, one of the most innovative facilities in the federal portfolio. He currently leads and chairs the World Economic Forum’s Meta-Council on the Circular Economy.

McDonough has written and lectured extensively on design as the first signal of human intention. He was commissioned in 1991 to write The Hannover Principles: Design for Sustainability as guidelines for the City of Hannover’s EXPO 2000, still recognized two decades after publication as a touchstone of sustainable design. In 2002, McDonough and the German chemist Dr. Michael Braungart co-authored Cradle to Cradle®: Remaking the Way We Make Things, which is widely acknowledged as a seminal text of the sustainability movement. Their latest book,The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability—Designing for Abundance was released in 2013.

McDonough advises commercial and governmental leaders worldwide through McDonough Innovation. He is also active with William McDonough + Partners, his architecture practice with offices in Charlottesville, VA, and San Francisco, CA, as well as MBDC, the Cradle to Cradle® consulting firm co-founded with Braungart. Together with Dr. Braungart, William McDonough co-founded two not-for-profit organizations to allow public accessibility to Cradle to Cradle® thinking: GreenBlue (2000), to convene industry groups around Cradle to Cradle® issues; and the Cradle to Cradle® Products Innovation Institute (2009), to expand the rigorous product certification program. McDonough co-founded Make It Right (2006) with Brad Pitt to bring affordable, Cradle to Cradle®-inspired homes tscottrade.com to the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. In 2012, McDonough was invited to become the subject of Stanford University Libraries’ first “living archive,” a real-time collection of his work, writings, and communications.

EDUCATION

Yale University, School of Architecture, Master of Architecture, 1976

Dartmouth College, Bachelor of Arts, Magna cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1973

ACADEMIC

University of Virginia

Dean, School of Architecture and Edward E. Elson Endowed Chair, 1994–1999

Professor of Business Administration & Alumni Research Professor, Darden School of Business, 1999–present

Stanford University

Consulting Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2004–present

Living Archive Subject, Stanford University Libraries, 2012–present

University of Cambridge, founding member, Sustainability Leadership Council, 2007–present

Yale University, member, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies Leadership Council, 2002–present

Arizona State University, member, International Board of Trustees for Sustainability, 2007–present

Instituto de Empresa, Madrid, Spain, Chair, Eco-Intelligent Management Center, 2004–2006

Cornell University, A.D. White Professor-at-Large, 1999–2004

Tongji University, Shanghai, Honorary Professor, 2004

INTERNATIONAL

World Economic Forum

Chair, Meta-Council on the Circular Economy, 2014–present

Cultural Leader 2002–2008

Chairman, Global Agenda Council, Future of Sustainable Construction, 2008–2009

Member, Global Agenda Council on Design, 2010

China-U.S. Center for Sustainable Development

U.S. Chairman and Member of the Board of Councilors, 1999–2009

Chairman Emeritus of the U.S. Board of Councilors, 2009-present

United Nations Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals¸ Presenter, 2014

United Nations Conference on Environment & Development (The Earth Summit), Official Representative for Architecture and City Planning, International Union of Architects and the American Institute of Architects, Rio de Janeiro, 1992

COMMERCIAL

Walmart, External Advisory Council, 2009–present

General Electric, Ecomagination, Board of Advisors, 2008–2009

Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Advisory Board, 2004-present

VantagePoint Capital Partners, Senior Advisor, 2004–present

Cherokee Sustainability Council, member

SAP CEO Sustainability Advisory Panel, member, 2011-present

NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS

Clinton Global Initiative, Advisor, 2013-present

Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, Co-founder/Board Member, 2009–present

Make It Right Foundation, Co-founder/Board Member, 2006–present

Healthy Child Healthy World, Advisory Board, 2006–present

Green Blue, Co-founder, 2002

President’s Council on Sustainable Development, Special Advisor to President Clinton, 1993–1996

Cherokee-McDonough Challenge, Advisor, 2012–present

W. Alton Jones Foundation, Board of Trustees, 1992–1996

H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment¸ Board of Trustees, 2001–2004

ASSOCIATIONS

American Institute of Architects

Fellow, 1997–present

Founding Member, Committee on the Environment, 1989–1993

Royal Institute of British Architects, International Fellow, 2008–present

Urban Land Institute, Fellow, 1999–present

U.S. Green Building Council, Charter Member, 1993–present

American Society of Landscape Architects, Honorary Membership, 2008

SELECTED HONORS AND AWARDS

United States Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, 1996

The Smithsonian Institution, Cooper-Hewitt Museum, National Design Award, 2004

Presidential Green Chemistry Award (for work with Shaw Industries/Berkshire Hathaway), 2004

J.N. “Ding” Darling Conservation Award, National Wildlife Federation, 2014

Rachel Carson Environmental Award, Natural Products Award, 2013

21st Century Visionary Science Leadership Award, U.S. EPA, 2008

Benjamin Botwinick Prize for Ethical Practice in the Professions, Columbia University Business School, 2003

I.D. Forty Design Award, I.D. Magazine, 2001

Hero for the Planet, Time Magazine, 1999

Designer of the Year, Interiors Magazine, 1999

William McDonough

William McDonough is a globally recognized leader in sustainable development. An architect, designer, thought leader and advisor, Mr. McDonough’s interests and influence range widely and he works at all scales. Mr. McDonough has written and lectured extensively on design as the first signal of human intention. He was commissioned in 1991 to write The Hannover Principles: Design for Sustainability for the City of Hannover’s EXPO 2000. In 2002, McDonough and the German chemist Dr. Michael Braungart co-authored Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, which is widely acknowledged as a seminal text of the sustainability movement. Their latest book, The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability–Designing for Abundance, was released in April 2013. Mr. McDonough is active with MBDC and also advises commercial and governmental leaders through McDonough Innovation and leads William McDonough + Partners, his architecture practice. To allow public accessibility to Cradle to Cradle thinking and create a global standard for the development of safe and healthy products, William McDonough and Michael Braungart founded the non-profit Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute in 2009.

Time magazine recognized William McDonough in 1999 as a “Hero for the Planet.” In 1996, Mr. McDonough received the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, and in 2003 he earned the first U.S. EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award. In 2004, he received the National Design Award for achievement in the field of environmental design. In July 2014, Mr. McDonough was appointed as Chair of the World Economic Forum Meta-Council on Circular Economy.

A graduate of Dartmouth and Yale, McDonough remains active with several academic institutions. He is the former Dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia, where he still serves as a Professor of Business Administration & Alumni Research at the Darden School of Business. At the University of Cambridge, he is the founding member of the Sustainability Leadership Council, and also sits on the Forestry & Environmental Studies Leadership Council at Yale University. Additionally, William McDonough is on the Board of Trustees for Sustainability at Arizona State University and is a Consulting Professor at Stanford University

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