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Director, United States, World Resources Institute and Former Mayor of Portland, Oregon
Sam is the former Mayor of Portland, Oregon. As director of WRI United States Adams leads WRI’s efforts to analyze and develop new policies, build political will and support coalitions that will encourage the U.S.’s transition to a strong, low-carbon economy.
“Sam is a dynamic and savvy leader, who will invigorate U.S. climate activities at a critical time for the nation and planet,” said Dr. Andrew Steer, President & CEO, WRI. “As Mayor, a member of the city council, mayoral chief of staff and nonprofit leader, Sam played a central role in making Portland, Oregon one of the most livable and sustainable cities in the United States. We are excited to have his leadership to build support for national action that will address the climate challenge.”
As mayor, Adams ensured that sustainability was integrated across all city-level decisions by combining the sustainability office and city planning agency. He also led a coalition of government, business and labor leaders, along with neighborhood and environmental advocates, to create Portland’s Climate Action Plan and “We Build Green Cities” job creation and economic development strategy. According to the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, the city’s emissions were cut by 11 percent between 1990 and 2013, alongside significant population and economic growth.