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Tom Kiernan
Tom Kiernan began as CEO of the American Wind Energy Association on May 28, 2013. Prior to that he spent 15 years as President of the National Parks Conservation Association.

Kiernan, a native and long-time resident of Arlington, Va., graduated from Dartmouth College in 1981 with a degree in Environmental Computer Modeling. He began his career with the Nantahala and Rocky Mountain Outdoor Centers, and in 1984, joined Arthur Andersen & Co. as a Management Consultant. Tom left the firm after three years to pursue his MBA at Stanford Graduate School of Business. While at Stanford, he also served as Assistant to the Director of Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality.

Upon completing his degree, Kiernan moved to Washington, D.C., to join the Environmental Protection Agency as Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator. A year later, he was promoted to Chief of Staff of the Office of Air and Radiation, and then in 1991 was appointed Deputy Assistant Administrator where he was instrumental in the Bush Administration’s efforts to implement the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. For his leadership role in negotiating consensus after 12 years of litigation on a $450 million pollution control project at the Grand Canyon, he received the Gold Medal – the Agency’s highest award for employees.

At the conclusion of the Bush Administration, Kiernan co-founded the environmental consulting firm E3 Ventures, focused on working with private sector clients to expedite Clean Air Act implementation. In 1994, he was hired as Executive Vice President of the Audubon Society of New Hampshire. In this role, he was charged with managing the society’s operations, which included four nature centers, four stores, educational programs, field research, and the management of 8,000 acres of land. In 1995, he was named President, where he successfully led the organization to a balanced budget.

In 1998, Kiernan was named as President of National Parks Conservation Association. He led the organization through dramatic growth of its field offices from 7 to 23, its members and supporters from 300,000 to over 800,000, and its net assets from under $5 million to over $60 million. He also led a successful five-year capital campaign that raised 108 percent of its goal and established NPCA as an effective political force in Washington.

Entries by Tom Kiernan

Energy Dept. announces new technology can unlock wind energy development in all 50 states

(1) Comments | Posted May 19, 2015 | 11:14 AM

Today, we heard a major announcement from the nation's highest ranking energy official who unveiled maps showing potential for wind energy development in all 50 states. At the WINDPOWER 2015 Conference & Exhibition, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz revealed a new report showing that technology improvements that allow wind turbines to...

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A Bold Vision for a Better Future Unveiled

(0) Comments | Posted March 12, 2015 | 5:19 PM


A definitive new report has found there is a clean source of energy that could be one of the top sources of electricity in America: wind.

"Wind Vision: A New Era of Wind Power in the United States", by the...

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The State of the Wind Industry Is Strong

(4) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 11:45 AM

The strength of the U.S. wind industry is attracting the notice of the highest levels of government. In his State of the Union address, President Obama noted that the U.S. leads the world in wind generation.

The fact that the U.S. is #1 - leading even China -- comes from...

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Electrons Worth Fighting for

(3) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 12:43 PM

American wind power needs your help and you can make a difference.

This week or next, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on H.R. 3474, also known as the EXPIRE Act, a bill which includes a two-year extension of the renewable energy Production Tax Credit (PTC). This...

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Wind Farms Do Their Part for Eagle Conservation Today, and Tomorrow

(2) Comments | Posted January 15, 2014 | 3:35 PM

David Yarnold of the Audubon Society recently wrote on The Huffington Post and elsewhere about wind power and bald eagles. Only a handful of bald eagles have collided with commercial wind turbines in the history of the industry. Moreover, the Fish and Wildlife Service rule he opposes applies to many...

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Why I Wanted to Be CEO of the American Wind Energy Association

(11) Comments | Posted June 4, 2013 | 6:20 PM

I've supported wind energy from the outside for many years, as a promising source of clean energy for America and hope for our future. Now I'm excited to get the chance to lead the U.S. industry and its campaign to make good on that promise.

As some of you...

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National Parks Deserve to Be Protected From Oil and Gas Development

(2) Comments | Posted April 25, 2013 | 10:37 AM

Theodore Roosevelt was our greatest conservation president. President Roosevelt's boundless vision and determination resulted in a system of national parks that is the envy of the world, and has been called "America's Best Idea." Ironically, his namesake national park, which includes his North Dakota homestead, is currently facing a threat...

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Three Years Later: Gulf Coast Still Recovering From BP Oil Spill

(4) Comments | Posted April 18, 2013 | 1:58 PM

This Saturday, April 20, marks the third anniversary of the oil rig explosion that devastated coastal communities, waters and lands in the Gulf of Mexico and imposed tragic loss among 11 families.

Nearly three years ago, I flew over the Gulf of Mexico in a small plane, to see...

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Sally Jewell: An Ideal Choice to Lead Our National Parks Into Their Next Century

(2) Comments | Posted April 11, 2013 | 4:39 PM

To witness our new Interior Secretary Sally Jewell in her element, it helps to find her outdoors, whether she's hiking a trail, paddling a kayak, or climbing a mountain. I know because I've gotten to share a number of excursions with her over the eight years she...

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National Parks: Antiquities Act Strengthens Our Best Idea

(3) Comments | Posted April 8, 2013 | 2:40 PM

Whether paddling the Potomac River along the boundaries of the C&O Canal National Historical Park with my wife and family, scaling snowy peaks of Mount Rainier National Park, or riding my bicycle to work every day along the National Mall, our national parks are a major ingredient of the places,...

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Funding Discussion Shares Creative Solutions for National Park Funding Woes

(3) Comments | Posted March 20, 2013 | 10:27 AM

Make no doubt about it, the National Park Service is strapped for cash. Before grappling with the new federal mandate to cut 5 percent of its entire operating budget, the agency was already suffering from a funding shortfall in the hundreds of millions of dollars, had already taken...

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Sequester Cuts Mean Wide Ranging Impacts for Parks -- and People -- Around the Country

(29) Comments | Posted March 2, 2013 | 9:06 AM

By now, I'm sure you know just how serious the situation is for our national parks due to the sequester cuts which went into effect on Friday.

It's alarming that this very avoidable threat is about to become a reality. From Yellowstone to Cape Cod, the Grand...

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Time for Secretary Salazar to Save California's First Marine Wilderness Area

(6) Comments | Posted November 12, 2012 | 7:54 PM

Americans are captivated by wilderness; it comes in all shapes and sizes from the forested Olympic National Park to the field of grass in the Everglades. The National Park Service preserves many of these inspiring places where the crisp air and sights and sounds of nature dominate.

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National Parks Birthday: Time to Renew a National Commitment

(1) Comments | Posted August 21, 2012 | 4:48 PM

This week, as we celebrate the National Park Service's 96th birthday we can reflect on the challenges and opportunities facing our national parks as they near their second century. From the shores of Acadia to the battlefields at Gettysburg, the petroglyphs at Mesa Verde and the bison that roam Yellowstone,...

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National Parks: Are We Giving Up on Peace and Quiet to Allow More Noise?

(11) Comments | Posted August 7, 2012 | 6:39 PM

After a 14-hour drive and, hopefully, a good night's rest, you get the family up early and together you hike the trail or stand at an overlook along the rim. There it is before you; one of the most magnificent sights on the face of the earth, a place that...

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National Park Unit Should Remain a Sanctuary for Newly Recovered Species

(11) Comments | Posted May 17, 2012 | 4:52 PM

By the end of the 1920s, the gray wolf had been eradicated from the greater Yellowstone ecosystem of northwestern Wyoming and southwestern Montana. This species had called this beautiful, mountainous region home for thousands of years, but was pushed out by human development and largely unfounded fears. And the environment...

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Connecting Youth to Our National Parks

(0) Comments | Posted April 20, 2012 | 5:36 PM

In Florida, roughly 30 urban minority youths ages 15 to 20 from the inner city of Miami assist in planting 400 trees to create a native tropical hardwood hammock along the shores of Biscayne Bay. In the California Desert, local partners work to organize a workshop that connects teachers in...

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Taking Care of America's Best Idea

(1) Comments | Posted February 8, 2012 | 2:38 PM

National parks are very popular because they protect the unique and extraordinary places of history and natural wonder that define our country. They provide affordable vacations for American families, and they attract visitors from around the world. National parks are also economic hubs that provide jobs inside and outside their...

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Protecting Our Grand Canyon Makes Sense

(8) Comments | Posted October 14, 2011 | 2:03 PM

Anyone who has visited the Grand Canyon, or even just seen it in a photo or video, understands what a fine decision it was to make it a National Park and protect it forever. I love visiting there -- as do almost five million people annually -- and...

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New Report Shows America's National Parks Are in Jeopardy

(1) Comments | Posted July 1, 2011 | 11:20 AM

Our national parks have been around for almost 100 years, and they are more popular than ever with families flocking to visit them every summer. This Fourth of July weekend will be no different because our national parks -- from the iconic Grand Canyon to the historic battlefields where our...

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