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.