William Shutkin
Faculty Director • Urban Resilience & Sustainability Specialization Lead • Teaching Professor

William Shutkin currently teaches in the Masters of the Environment Graduate Program. The MENV program is a professional master's degree administered by the Environmental Studies Department. William is not accepting students interested in pursuing an MS or PhD in Environmental Studies. If you would like to learn more about the MENV program, please visit: Masters of the Environment | University of Colorado Boulder.

Social entrepreneur, executive, attorney and educator, William Shutkin has been at the forefront of the urban sustainability field for over three decades. David Brower, the father of the modern environmental movement, described him as “an environmental visionary creating solutions to today’s problems with a passion that would make John Muir and Martin Luther King equally proud.”

Shutkin is a Teaching Associate Professor and Interim Faculty Director in the Masters of the Environment program at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he leads the Urban Resilience and Sustainability specialization. He is also Co-host of The Sustainable City Podcast and Editor in Chief of the Journal of Climate Resilience and Climate Justice, with MIT Press.

Shutkin is principal of Shutkin Sustainable Living, a social impact developer based in Boulder, Colorado, focused on green, mixed-use, mixed-income, infill development in Boulder and other select U.S. cities. To date, SSL has helped deliver over $240MM in development projects, including 200 permanently-affordable housing units and one of the nation’s first permanently-affordable commercial space programs for small businesses and non-profits. 

From 2011 to 2016, Shutkin was President and CEO and Richard M. Gray Fellow in Sustainability Practice at Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. Prior to Presidio, he was on the faculty of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, where he was director of the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute, and was inaugural chair in sustainable real estate at the University of Colorado Boulder Leeds School of Business. From 1999-2009, Shutkin was a faculty member in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT and, from 1993-2004, taught at Boston College Law School.  

Shutkin cofounded the Boston-based environmental justice law center, Alternatives for Community & Environment, in 1993 as an Echoing Green Fellow. In 1999, he founded New Ecology, Inc., also based in Boston, which today has over 50 staff with offices in three Northeastern states. NEI made the first business case for greening low-income housing, the landmark 2003 report “The Costs and Benefits of Green Affordable Housing,” and, in partnership with Boston Community Capital, created Wegowise, a best-in-class utility data management and analytics software for multifamily real estate. Wegowise was eventually acquired by Measurabl, the world’s most widely adopted ESG (environmental, social, governance) technology solution for real estate.

Shutkin has been featured in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, U.S. News & World Report and on National Public Radio, and is the author of The Land That Could Be: Environmentalism and Democracy in the Twenty-First Century, which won an American Political Science Association Best Book Award and was a Time Magazine Green Century Recommended Book, and A Republic of Trees: Field Notes on People, Place, and the Planet. He received an AB from Brown University and a JD and MA from the University of Virginia. He also completed PhD studies as a Regents Fellow at the University of California Berkeley and attended the Executive Program in Business Strategies for Environmental Sustainability at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Shutkin was a law clerk for U.S. District Court Chief Judge Franklin S. Billings, Jr. He is an avid telemark skier, trail runner, hiker and musician, and a published poet.