The resume of UNH Board of Governors member Thomas Lewis '74, '76 M.S. testifies to his pursuit of a varied career. With a degree from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, Lewis cooked his way through the University of New Haven to pay for his schooling, working at local restaurants, country clubs and hotels. After graduating, he served as an executive at numerous corporations, was director of technology for the Executive Office of the Reagan administration – winning the Distinguished Service Award of the Office of Administration – and most recently was Executive-in-Residence at the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School, where he designed and taught the environmental finance M.B.A. program. He is an accomplished artist whose grandfather, Giovanni Scarinci, was a favored portraitist for numerous federal judges.
His most recent venture, however, might be his biggest yet. He is the new CEO of Green Exchange, a consortium of leading financial and environmental companies including Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and J.P. Morgan, seeking a share of the $300 billion global emissions market. Lewis will lead the consortium’s global growth through the creation of a financial exchange for trading environmental commodities such as carbon offsets and Renewable Energy Certificates. He also will provide strategic direction for development of products to serve these emerging markets.
"It's a very large endeavor," says Lewis, who was honored with the University's Distinguished Alumni award in 1994, is the recipient of an honorary doctorate in Business Administration, and is chairman of the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science. "There are not a lot of individuals in the general business sector who understand the magnitude of this. We expect to be the largest environmental trading platform in the world."
The global emissions market is expected to grow to about $3 trillion to $5 trillion in the next three to five years, making it the largest new financial market for the foreseeable future. "I’m inspired," he says. "I find that this is something that not only has economic value, but I believe it has a noble purpose. I am committed to this because I believe in the premise that in order for environmental policy to be successful, you have to engage the capital markets. Being able to link the environmental purpose and the creation of capital is something that will help to improve the world."
Posted Winter 2009