Tom Ridge, the 43rd governor of Pennsylvania and first-ever Secretary of Homeland Security, will be honored for his achievements as a champion of the environment by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.
Ridge will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Western Pennsylvania Environmental Awards Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh.
Among Ridge’s many achievements, both as governor and as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, he championed the idea that the economy and environment can prosper in harmony and that sustainability should be part of government. Under his leadership, Ridge and the Pennsylvania General Assembly created the Growing Greener program, which continues to be the largest single investment in cleaning up and restoring the environment in Pennsylvania’s history.
“The beauty of Pennsylvania is a lasting tribute to Tom Ridge,” said Paul M. King, president of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. “His lifetime of distinguished service to our country often overshadows his important work to achieve a standard of environmental excellence here. We owe him a debt of gratitude for being such a worthy and dedicated steward of the environment of this Commonwealth.”
Past recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award include the Hon. John P. Murtha, former secretary John C. Oliver of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Linda McKenna Boxx of the Allegheny Trail Alliance and Mr. & Mrs. Joshua Whetzel, Jr.
About Tom Ridge
The Honorable Tom Ridge is the president and chief executive officer of Ridge Global, headquartered in Washington, D.C.. As the company’s chief executive, Ridge leads a team of international experts that help businesses and governments address a range of needs throughout their organizations, including security and infrastructure protection, emergency preparedness and response, energy, maritime management, strategic growthand other issues that encompass a diverse portfolio.
Tom Ridge served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the 21st congressional district from 1983–1995, and later as governor of Pennsylvania from 1995–2001. Following the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, Ridge became the first Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and, on January 24, 2003, became the first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The creation of the country’s 15th Cabinet Department marked the largest reorganization of government since the Truman administration and another call to service for the former soldier, congressman and governor of Pennsylvania.
During his Homeland Security tenure, Ridge worked with more than 180,000-plus employees from a combined 22 agencies to create an agency that facilitated the flow of people and goods, instituted layered security at air, land and seaports, developed a unified national response and recovery plan, protected critical infrastructure, integrated new technology and improved information sharing worldwide. Ridge served as Secretary of this historic and critical endeavor until February 1, 2005.
A native of Munhall, Pennsylvania, Ridge holds degrees from Harvard University and Pennsylvania State University’s Dickinson School of Law.
About the Pennsylvania Environmental Council
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council is a statewide organization that brings people, government and business together to find real world solutions for environmental challenges. These solutions bring about sustainable communities, protect our water resources, and address energy and climate issues. The Council was founded in 1970 and serves the entire state through offices in Luzerne, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia.
For more information, visit www.pecpa.org.
About the Western Pennsylvania Environmental Awards
The Western Pennsylvania Environmental Awards recognizes and honors outstanding achievements of organizations, businesses, and individuals in a wide range of environmental initiatives throughout the region and pays tribute to those that have demonstrated a commitment to environmental excellence, leadership, and accomplishment in their respective fields.
By sponsoring these awards, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council and Dominion hope to encourage the community to emulate the achievements of the successful nominees, thereby promoting innovative environmental efforts and enhancing the quality of life in Western Pennsylvania.
The Western Pennsylvania Environmental Awards program is made possible by a grant from the Dominion Foundation, which is dedicated to the economic, physical and social health of the communities served by Dominion companies.