Rich is the Director of the Office of Environmental Policy for the University of Connecticut (UConn). He oversees both environmental and sustainability groups within his department and is responsible for developing policies and guidelines for protecting natural resources, reducing the University’s ecological footprint, and ensuring accountability for “green” building and low-impact development in UConn’s ongoing capital improvement program. He coordinates environmental sustainability initiatives on issues ranging from climate change to clean and efficient energy, recycling and water conservation, and works with faculty, staff and students to enhance UConn’s environmental literacy and awareness through educational outreach activities and on-campus research and demonstration projects.
Rich also oversees UConn’s compliance with environmental regulations, with emphasis on environmental impact evaluations, and permits and approvals for construction and land use activities, air pollution control, water quality and site remediation projects. His office works closely with operational staff responsible for UConn’s energy, stormwater, water supply and wastewater utilities, as well as a wide range or departments responsible for planning, design, construction, and operation and maintenance of UConn facilities. Rich has also led UConn’s environmental community outreach efforts, particularly in siting certain facilities with higher potential for operational environmental impacts, and on planning and natural resource conservation issues associated with University-owned open space, forest and farmland.
Rich has been a practicing environmental and land use attorney, an environmental and energy lobbyist for a statewide association, an adjunct professor of environmental law, and a corporate environmental manager at a Fortune 500 company. He has served on numerous legislative and regulatory advisory committees, including five years as a member of the Connecticut Council on Environmental Quality. He is a member of the: Board of Directors for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE); External Advisory Board of Penn State’s Sustainability Institute, Town of Mansfield’s Sustainability Committee, and Steering Committee of the Northeast Campus Sustainability Consortium (NECSC). In 2014, he stepped down after 25 years of community service as a member of the Simsbury Inland Wetlands & Conservation Commission, which he chaired for nine years.
He received his B.A. from Penn State University and J.D. from Stetson University College of Law.
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