KC Golden

Photo: Young Lee

KC Golden

Public Policy
18th Heinz Awards - 2012

From his early work as a river guide to his service in the nonprofit and public sectors, KC Golden has long held a passion for sustainable solutions to environmental and economic problems. He received the 18th Heinz Award in Public Policy for his tireless work and often uphill battles to implement responsible climate policies during a career that spans nearly three decades.

As the Policy Director for Climate Solutions, a Seattle-based research and advocacy organization pioneering practical and profitable solutions to global warming, Mr. Golden encourages businesses and public officials to embrace clean energy solutions and advance strong climate policies. By mastering the facts and working to understand the needs and priorities of the major players in the national climate debate, he has helped steer public policy toward winning solutions, such as the recently finalized national fuel economy standards.

Considered to be one of the most strategic political thinkers working on climate change today, Mr. Golden sets his sights on regional action in order to drive progress on climate policy from the bottom up, demonstrating that climate solutions help build stronger local economies and healthier communities. As an advisor to Northwest governors and mayors, Mr. Golden played a pivotal role in launching state and local climate initiatives, including the Western Climate Initiative and the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. In doing so, he has built common ground among diverse interests to advance renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable fuels, cleaner vehicles and smart energy technology.

KC Golden realizes that delivering effective solutions at the scale of the climate problem requires rebuilding the economy on sustainable foundations, with the full partnership of business, government and civil society. He has helped to inspire a new kind of inclusive advocacy with the vision of sustainable, broadly-shared prosperity.

Note: This profile was written at the time of the awards’ presentation.

Climate disruption is at least as much about equity as efficiency.”

— KC Golden


KC Golden, Clean Energy Champion - Heinz Awardee

KC Golden, Heinz Awardee Speech, 2012 Heinz Awards presentation, Sen. John Heinz History Center