Semester At Sea Veteran Brings Sustainability and Humanitarian Experience To One of the Country’s Top Environmental Organizations

SANTA MONICA, CA (JUNE 24, 2014) -- Following an exhaustive, national six month search, Global Green USA has appointed Les McCabe, Ph.D., of The Institute for Shipboard Education as its new President and CEO effective July 1st. Today’s announcement was made by the Transition Committee of Global Green’s Board of Directors, led by Robert Bucklin, Chairman of the Board and formerly Vice Chairman of North America for Rabobank, and Transition Chair and Global Green Board Member Christiana Wyly.

“Les’ accomplishments, achievements and leadership are far reaching but it was his passion and vision that aligned uniquely with Global Green’s mission and focus on the human aspect of the environmental crisis,” notes Bucklin. “His dedication to enriching, guiding, and inspiring college age students to examine the issues of our time, including ecology, marine environment, and climate change, adds wonderfully to our expertise and we have confidence in his ability to help us build a strong foundation for the future of our work.”

As President and CEO of The Institute for Shipboard Education in Charlottesville, VA since 2006, Dr. McCabe established the Institute as a leader in global education with its signature academic program, Semester At Sea, managed a $50+M annual budget, and is credited with steadily growing the organization and its reach since first joining in 1987. McCabe holds a Ph.D. in Administrative and Policy Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, PA.

As one of his first charges, Dr. McCabe will lead a major organizational focus on completing the Holy Cross Project (HCP) in the lower 9th Ward in New Orleans, LA -- the site of one of five Global Green USA national offices. Actively engaged in New Orleans since 2005 when Katrina struck the region, Global Green was lauded for its response to the hurricane in TIME Magazine, which wrote that “No organization is doing more to green New Orleans than Global Green USA.” The organization’s work there and across the country has made it a national green affordable housing leader, inspiring similar thinking on a city, state and federal level and directing the install and certification of more than 2,000 solar units to date. In early May, Global Green USA joined President Obama in Mountain View, CA as he outlined his vision for more investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy, and the CA-based non-profit committed to 1 MW in solar installs by 2017.

“I’m incredibly inspired by Global Green’s work in the lower 9th Ward,” said Dr. McCabe, “and look forward to working with the dedicated and passionate staff on the ground to support their efforts in New Orleans. This initiative exemplifies what Global Green stands for globally - an organization that works both on the ground, across the country, and at the highest levels to affect real change, right here, right now, on the most pressing issue of our generation: curbing climate change.” For more information on HCP, please visit

Dr. McCabe replaces Matt Petersen, Global Green’s founding Executive Director who rose to President and CEO, having led the organization since 1994. Late last year, Petersen was appointed the first Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Los Angeles by incoming Mayor Eric Garcetti. Following Petersen’s departure, long time Global Green Policy and Legislative Director, Mary Luévano, was appointed Interim Executive Director to lead the organization through the transition.

Global Green USA is dedicated to helping the people, places, and the planet in need through catalytic projects, transformative policy, and cutting-edge research. Global Green USA's signature programs include greening affordable housing, schools, neighborhoods, and cities as well as rebuilding communities -- such as New Orleans and areas of New York and New Jersey -- that have suffered from the impacts of climate change, sea level rise, and environmental degradation. Global Green USA is the U.S. affiliate of Green Cross International, which was founded by President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1993 to foster a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future. For more information, and follow us @globalgreen.

Tina Vennegaard or Mary Luévano, Global Green USA
310-581-2700 | [email protected] or [email protected]