Introducing the Next Generation of Leadership at ELM as President Bachrach Steps Down

After a decade leading the state’s oldest and most established environmental advocacy organization, former state Senator George Bachrach will step down next month and hand the reins to an established next-generation environmental leader, Elizabeth Turnbull Henry.

Bachrach built ELM into a powerful environmental voice in the Commonwealth through pointed advocacy. He held Beacon Hill leaders accountable to environmental stewardship in the halls of power and built a counter-intuitive advocacy force with the state’s corporate leaders. He will remain on the ELM board and assist Henry in a transition through the fall after she starts on July 10.

The 34-year-old Henry is a novel choice. A respected leader in corporate sustainability, she most recently designed and led energy and climate programs at Adidas. In 2010 she was an Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps Fellow. She has dual graduate degrees from Yale: a Masters in Business Administration and a Masters in Environmental Management. “Our planet and our movement need talented younger leaders who bring fresh ideas and strategies and who can truly engage a new generation into this critical fight – Elizabeth Henry represents that next generation of environmental leader,” said Bachrach. “It was deeply important to me and the ELM board to practice what we preach and find “rising stars” to lead our mission forward another 120 years.”

“Elizabeth is an inspired choice,” said Doug Foy, former president of the Conservation Law Foundation and ELM Action Fund board member. “Building on George’s extraordinary legacy, I am certain she will bring tenacity, wisdom, and innovation to the critically important role ELM plays on Beacon Hill, a role
we need now more than ever.”

Gwen Ruta of the Environmental Defense Fund, also a member of ELM board and an early mentor of Henry’s noted: “Elizabeth combines a passion for the environment with an exceptional ability to build support for innovative solutions. As President, she will continue ELM’s rich history of leadership in the Commonwealth. “

Bachrach, an attorney, former state senator and adjunct professor of journalism at Boston University, joined ELM in the fall of 2007. During the past 10 years, ELM has become one of the strongest environmental advocacy voices in the Commonwealth. “It’s been a great privilege to work with a great team that has turned ELM into a force to be reckoned with,” Bachrach said. “But it’s important that our generation not stay too long, but give way to the next
generation of leaders. “I knew the most important final act I could do as ELM President was to help find a 21st century leader to carry this work forward in bolder new directions.”

Among the significant advances at ELM under Bachrach’s tenure:

  • Created a Corporate Council as a counter-intuitive advocacy force connecting our economic and environmental futures. The ELM Corporate Council includes giants such as Biogen, Boston Scientific, Bank of America, Legal Sea Foods, Eastern Bank, Millipore, Stop & Shop, Mass General Hospital, Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts, Massachusetts General Hospital, among others.
  • Launched the ELM Action Fund, the political arm of the nonprofit advocacy group – launching a “dirty dozen” legislators and rewriting the book on legislative scorecards by not only gauging votes on critical issues but in measuring true leadership through the filing of bills and forcing of all-too-rare roll call votes.
  • Led the push for the landmark 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act and the Green Communities Act, and a steadfast supporter of diversifying our energy portfolio with off-shore wind and solar instead of costly and unnecessary new gas pipelines. Currently Bachrach and ELM are pushing first-in-the nation home energy efficiency legislation to place an “MPG” label on homes, similar to cars.

“Smart policies require smart politics,” said ELM Action Fund political director Joe O’Brien, the former Mayor of Worcester, who was recruited last year under Bachrach. “In the age of Trump, states must lead the nation. We’re not wringing our hands, we’re moving forward – as aggressively as we have the last century.”

Henry joins a strong and well-established team including ELM’s VP for Policy Nancy Goodman, Legislative Director Erica Mattison, Climate & Energy Director Eric Wilkinson (formerly with ISO-NE), and O’Brien.

“This extraordinary team has great depth in policy and politics, plus strong bridges to environmental advocates and corporate leaders,” said Henry. “I’m delighted to build on George’s remarkable decade of spirited leadership.”

“I have big shoes to fill but I’m eager to get to work.”