River Strong says, “My work at the University of Massachusetts Clean Energy Extension (CEE) as an associate director, is deeply integrated into all aspects of my “off-campus” life. The work we do at CEE to advance the clean energy economy and help the Commonwealth meet its climate change goals is directly aligned with my values as a parent, educator, wilderness leader, community citizen, and human being. We’re all alive at an exciting moment of change, transition, and discovery about who we are as a people and what it means to live in sacred relationship to each other and the natural world. I see my work at CEE as contributing to a global movement toward a more just, equitable, sustainable, and connected future.”
Strong is responsible for the successful and efficient operation of CEE, leading and supervising significant initiatives and project management across the work plan of the full staff. Strong manages research and education, mentoring undergraduate and graduate students that make up the UMass Clean Energy Corps and serves with Director Dwayne Breger as a lead public spokesperson for CEE. He is responsible for maintaining outcome-based metrics and alignment of efforts with CEE’s strategic plan, and for leading public outreach and communication efforts.
He assists Breger in evaluating staffing needs and recruitment, maintains and builds communication with affiliated partners both within UMass and externally, and contributes to pro-active market outreach that promotes clean energy projects to potential adopters and technology providers. Oh, and he attends and make presentations at conferences, workshops, and community events.
Strong has more than twenty years of experience designing, developing, assessing, and marketing renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and services. Prior to coming to UMass CEE, he served as founder and president of Spring Hill Solutions, LLC, a clean energy, carbon management, and business sustainability consulting firm based in Burlington, Vermont.
What does he do when not hard at work?
Outside of work, he is a Senior Fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Arizona. He is a published writer and college instructor of both fiction and non-fiction and has served as the Executive Director and instructor with ArtsReach, a non-profit writing education organization serving K-12 students on the Yaqui, Pima, and Tohono O'odham reservations in southern Arizona. Strong is an instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School, the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Winter Mountaineering School, and the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Mountain Leadership School – and a facilitator of men’s work and wilderness rites of passage programs for Circles of Air and Stone. He lives with his two children in a co-housing community, making yet another contribution in his energetic and environment-conscious life.