As Sustainability Director of Boulder County for the last ten plus years, Susie Strife has led Boulder County’s efforts to strengthen its status as a national leader in sustainability. In this role, Susie directs and manages all Boulder County’s sustainability efforts, policies and programs with a special focus on clean energy, finance, and climate action. Susie launched her career developing the country’s first countywide clean energy financing program, earning her ‘Person of the Year’ award during her first year on the job. Shortly thereafter, Susie received a $25 million Department of Energy grant to jumpstart the energy efficiency and clean energy marketplace across Colorado, creating the award winning EnergySmart service that several utilities across the country have used as model demand-side management energy program.
Susie also launched the first-of-its-kind pooled purchasing program for solar, electric vehicles and electric bikes, accelerating the adoption of clean technology across Boulder County. Most recently, along with colleagues at the City of Boulder and Boulder County, Susie created “Communities for Climate Action” (CC4CA) which is the first community-based coalition in the state of Colorado lobbying for climate protective policies. CC4CA was instrumental in passing the most sweeping climate and energy focused legislation in state history during 2019.
Simultaneous to her work at Boulder County, Susie has been deeply committed to educating young people. She’s taught a multitude of courses at the University of Colorado and been actively involved on board of several environmental non-profits. Susie received her PhD from the University of Colorado in 2009 funded by the EPA’s Science to Achieve Results Fellowship. She received her BA from Middlebury College in 2002.
Susie is an innovative, big picture thinker who is deeply committed to bringing sustainable change to Boulder County and beyond. She loves dreaming up big ideas, piloting them in Boulder County and then helping other communities launch these same successful approaches to sustainability across the nation. The most fruitful projects she has launched involve public private partnerships that offer turnkey solutions for the adoption of energy efficiency, renewable energy and/or alternative transportation.
Susie is motivated by her young daughters who are a constant reminder that sustainability is meaningful work especially in creating a vibrant future for all youth. She is a backcountry ski zealot and trail runner, but her favorite way to spend time is playing with her high-spirited little girls.