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Will Wynn


Former two-term Mayor of Austin, Texas

Will Wynn was elected Austin’s 50th Mayor in 2003 and served (the maximum) two terms ending his service in June 2009. He also served on the Austin City Council from 2000 to 2003. He graduated cum laude from Texas A&M University in 1984 with a degree in Environmental Design. He also completed the optional and demanding three-year cooperative education work/study program.

Prior to first being elected to public office in 2000, Wynn chaired the Downtown Austin Alliance, and has long been a leading advocate for transforming downtown Austin (the fastest growing of America’s 12 largest cities) into one of the most vibrant in the U.S. His tenure in office saw transformational, positive change to the urban core, particularly related to residential development and the expansion of cultural and performing arts venues. Additionally, Austin’s economy is now regularly recognized as one of the very strongest metro economies in the country.

In 2002, in the wake of a significant economic downturn, then City Councilmember Will Wynn chaired Austin’s Taskforce on the Economy. One of its three primary programs, focused on nurturing Austin’s creative class, became known as the Keep Austin Weird initiative.

In addition to his many duties locally, Wynn rose to a leadership position with the U.S. Conference of Mayors organization. From 2004 to 2009, he chaired the USCM Energy Committee, and helped to drive national debate on federal energy policy and climate protection. Wynn also served for nine years on the Board of Directors of Austin Energy, the last six as Chairman. Austin Energy – the ninth largest public power utility in the U.S. – is now considered by industry analysts to be one of the most progressive, environmentally-friendly electric utilities in the country. Under Wynn’s leadership, Austin dramatically expanded both the requirements and market penetration of its green building program; nationally promoted plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs); created the country’s most aggressive solar rebate program; pushed for substantial upgrades to the International Energy Conservation Code; dramatically increased its renewable energy portfolio, including a 325-acre, 30-megawatt solar field and a 100-megawatt (wood waste) biomass plant; mandated energy audits prior to existing home sales; announced its smart-grid initiative; and created a city-wide climate protection program of which Newsweek wrote “the city of Austin has taken the reins. Its climate protection plan, unveiled last February by Mayor Will Wynn, is seen by environmentalists as the country’s most aggressive municipal initiative aimed at reducing greenhouse gases.”