Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone To Take Over As NECEC President
Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone To Take Over As NECEC President
BOSTON - Today, the Northeast Clean Energy Council and NECEC Institute announced Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone as the organization’s next president. Curtatone will step into the role in January 2022 following the end of his mayoral term.
The NECEC board began a search for a new president in March 2021 after current president Peter Rothstein announced he would be stepping down from his position following more than a decade of service during which he built NECEC into a world-class clean energy nonprofit. Curtatone will look to use that platform to position NECEC as a catalyst for driving economic, environmental and social impact.
“On behalf of the Board, we are honored to have the extraordinary leadership of Joe Curtatone taking NECEC into the critical 2020’s decade of climate action,” said Daniel Goldman, Board Chairman at NECEC and Co-Founder and Managing Director at Clean Energy Ventures, an early-stage climate tech venture capital fund. “Joe’s unparalleled track record of progress in Somerville provides NECEC with the experience and ability to integrate energy equity and environmental justice into the organization’s broad clean energy and climate objectives across the region. We look forward to welcoming Joe into the climate and clean energy ecosystem. And, we are extremely thankful for Peter Rothstein’s tremendous leadership over the past decade and his legacy of expanding the organization’s mission from the emergence of clean energy to the broad societal impact of climate solutions and the clean economy transition.”
Despite great progress in the past decade towards a clean energy future here in the Northeast and across the globe, the science has been clear that our climate remains in a precarious state. As reported by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, our planet now has only 9 years to scale successful models to transition to a carbon-free economy, limit greenhouse gas emissions, and avoid the devastating consequences of uncontrollable global temperature rise. NECEC understands that leadership is needed now more than ever and has developed a 2020’s Decade of Action strategy at a scale necessary for meaningful climate progress.
“During my 11 years as NECEC’s president, the organization has evolved and expanded its influence considerably. But if anything, NECEC has the potential for much greater impact in the coming years,” said NECEC President Peter Rothstein. “Mayor Curtatone will bring dedicated leadership to NECEC and will drive this next era of growth for the organization as it works to accelerate the Northeast’s clean energy transition. I am excited to welcome him to the role.”
To his new role with NECEC, Curtatone brings 18 years of experience as a mayor who has shaped a city of 80,000 just outside of Boston into a national model for forward-thinking municipal government.
“One of the big things I put into practice as a mayor was the intersectionality of everything: schools, parks, transportation, public safety, public works, the local economy, climate action. It's all connected,” he said. “I’m a systems thinker and a regionalist. We’ve built coalitions to work together across those issues, bringing a broad swath of people together to effect real, sustainable change. Well, everything intersects with climate tech and clean energy. This is the future of our economy, healthcare, education, transportation. It touches every aspect of how we live, work, play and raise a family. My goal with NECEC will be to forge an ecosystem of allies and stakeholders to take on the challenge of our times, which is tackling our climate crisis with urgency while strengthening our economy and delivering positive social impact. I could not be more excited.”
Curtatone was first inaugurated as mayor of Somerville in 2004 and is the city’s longest- serving chief executive. As mayor, Curtatone was an early adopter of carbon reduction efforts -- establishing an action plan to greatly reduce Somerville’s carbon footprint by 2030, supporting fossil fuel divestment, and introducing a fleet of electric vehicles and EV charging stations for the city. Curtatone has also been a champion of sustainable transportation efforts in Somerville, advocating tirelessly for the MBTA Green Line Extension Project and establishing the first new MBTA stop in a generation in Somerville’s Assembly Square.
Curtatone is a stalwart supporter of numerous social justice initiatives, from Black Lives Matter to LGBTQ rights. In 2020, he was among the first mayors in the nation to declare systemic racism a public health crisis and has marshaled resources to address this public health emergency. Curtatone launched a new Racial and Social Justice Office that is engaging Black and Brown residents and transforming how the city addresses systemic racism.
Curtatone earned his B.A. from Boston College in 1990, a J.D. from New England School of Law in 1994, and a Mid-Career Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2011. Prior to his election as mayor, he served as an attorney in private practice and served for eight years as a member of the Somerville Board of Aldermen, now known as the City Council.
A longtime ally of Mayor Curtatone and champion of NECEC’s cause, Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey praised the organization’s choice of a new president to lead NECEC into the future.
“In my line of work people who see the big picture are rare, and Joe Curtatone has always stood out as one of the people who truly gets it, understands intersectionality and who’s thinking multiple steps down the line about where we need to go,” Sen. Markey said. “Joe is also a tireless, undaunted worker, which is exactly what we need in the fight to build a clean energy economy. I cannot wait to work alongside him and NECEC as we build a more sustainable world for our children and our children’s children.”
Rothstein will stay on board as NECEC president until Curtatone assumes the role in January 2022, after which Rothstein will continue his engagement with NECEC as a member of the NECEC board.
Rothstein joined NECEC in 2010 and has brought years of venture, entrepreneurial, executive, and deal experience to the organization. As president, Rothstein grew NECEC from a staff of two to a team of 10 and expanded the organization's innovation, policy, and strategic communication work to make NECEC a leading voice of the northeast clean energy and cleantech ecosystem. Under his leadership, NECEC has driven groundbreaking clean energy legislation across seven Northeast states and has grown its role as a connector for the Northeast’s cleantech innovation cluster.
In 2014, NECEC partnered with the global Cleantech Open organization to become the home for the Cleantech Open Northeast startup accelerator, which has welcomed more than 200 startups to its program under NECEC’s management. That same year, NECEC launched the Strategic Partner Network to leverage that cleantech ecosystem, which now includes seven global energy corporations, a global investor and three of the region’s leading utilities. NECEC also launched Cleantech Navigate in 2016, a connector program to help portfolio startups from NECEC’s innovation partners reach their next stage of growth.
NECEC is the premier voice of businesses building a world-class clean energy hub in the Northeast, helping clean energy companies start, scale, and succeed with our unique business, innovation, and policy leadership. NECEC includes the Northeast Clean Energy Council, a nonprofit business member organization, and NECEC Institute, a nonprofit focused on industry research, innovation, policy development, and strategic communications. NECEC’s innovation program includes Cleantech Open Northeast, the Northeast affiliate of the national cleantech accelerator Cleantech Open, and Cleantech Navigate, which provides cleantech startups with curated connections to mentors, test sites, customers, corporate partners, and investors. NECEC brings together business leaders and key stakeholders to engage in influential policy discussions and business initiatives while building connections that propel the clean energy industry forward.
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