By Presidian Editor-at-Large
Sustainability pioneers have long found the students and faculty of Presidio Graduate School a welcoming, vital community. In time for the first Residency of the new year, Gil Friend joins the community as the Expert in Residence (EIR) for Spring Semester 2019. EIRs provide students access to the latest sustainability thinking and advice on developing their curiosities, capacities, and networks. Past EIRs include Julia Sze an impact investing and social entrepreneurship leader, Wood Turner a leader at the intersection of sustainable food and finance, and Sandra Taylor a pacesetter in sustainable business operations and corporate social responsibility.
Gil’s broad sustainability experience will benefit students by stimulating classroom discussions on current trends in the field this semester. In 1972 he founded Natural Logic, a sustainability consulting group that has worked with organizations ranging across sectors from Coca Cola and Nike to the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and the Interior. The City of Palo Alto hired Gil as the first Chief Sustainability Officer in 2013 where he championed a strategic plan to reduce CO2 emissions among other initiatives. As EIR, Gil continues his long involvement in higher education. He has lectured at academic institutions including Haas School of Business and Stanford University and served as an Adjunct Professor at Presidio Graduate School.
PGS Provost Dariush Rafinejad notes that "Gil is a social and environmental sustainability guru. His thought leadership and experience in both the business and public sectors will help students and faculty develop innovative multisector sustainable solutions in the classroom and beyond. These cutting edge conversations are a tremendous opportunity to advance thinking and practice intersections within the PGS community. We are honored to have him in the role of Expert in Residence this semester."