Chief Sustainability Officer

Biographpy

Career

Douglas Melnick, AICP, CNU-A, was named the City’s first Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) in March 2014. As the City’s CSO, Doug is responsible for the overall leadership of the Office of Sustainability, as well as the City’s sustainability efforts & environmental policy. Doug is a dedicated public servant who believes that leadership is about vision, cooperation and creating a work environment that challenges and empowers all staff to create and problem solve to plan for the future.

Mr. Melnick came to us from the City of Albany, New York where he served as the Director of Planning and concurrently as the Director of the Mayor's Office of Energy & Sustainability. He worked to make the City of Albany, the Capital of New York State, a better community through the integration of all aspects of municipal operations with the concept of sustainability. He succeeded by combining vision, innovation, communication and a firm understanding of local government with active engagement of all sectors of the community.

He successfully developed and initiated diverse sustainability projects and programs utilizing limited resources in a challenging political environment. From an innovative systems-based comprehensive plan titled Albany 2030 that integrates what have historically been “silos”, such as housing and transportation, into inter-related systems that incorporate sustainability and climate change, to developing a power purchase agreement for solar on municipal property or securing funding for a $1.7 million green street project, Mr. Melnick is committed to innovation and change.

He has also championed sustainability in Upstate New York through initiatives such as the Albany Vulnerability Assessment and Climate Adaptation Plan, Albany Bike Master Plan, and Bike Share, Transit-Oriented Development, and Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Studies. He managed the development of an eight-county Capital Region Sustainability Plan and developed a guidebook for North American sustainability professionals to help them better utilize social media to engage stakeholders around diverse planning and governmental issues.

He has previously served as the Executive Director of the Albany County Land Conservancy and as an Urban Planner with the Capital District Community Gardens.

Education

  • State University of New York at Albany, Albany, NY  - Graduate Studies in Urban Planning 
  • Antioch New England Graduate School, Keene, NH - Graduate Studies in Environmental Studies 
  • State University of New York at Albany, Albany, NY - Bachelor of Arts in English, December 1994

Professional Memberships and Community Involvement

  • American Planning Association 
  • American Institute of Certified Planners 
  • Congress for the New Urbanism – Accredited Professional 
  • Project for Public Spaces - Placemaking Leadership Council, Member
  • STAR Community Rating Committee, Steering Committee Member 
  • Urban Sustainability Directors Network 
    • Co-chair, Equity and Access Working Group 
    •  Member, Innovation Fund Steering Committee

Personal

Doug Melnick lives in the King William area with his wife Sarah and daughter Bella. He is the proud parent of Airman Noah Melnick who graduated from Lackland AFB in October 2013 and is currently based in Colorado Springs.

Doug likes running, playing soccer, rock climbing, skiing and hiking. He has a passion for cities, enjoys helping communities grow with an eye towards the future, and using sustainability as a framework for change.

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