CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - William Goran, formerly with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL), is the 2014 GreenGov Presidential Awards Climate Champion. Goran was selected for his leadership in integrating climate change into the plans of multiple military and federal agencies, along with development and implementation of climate change adaptation and response plans, both short-term and long-term. He accomplished this during his recent tenure as the director of the Center for the Advancement of Sustainability Innovations.
“This award was unexpected. My nomination for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Climate Champion Award was submitted by ERDC during the time I was on sick leave, struggling with lymphoma. While I am pleased to receive this award, many others across ERDC, USACE and other federal agencies have contributed to the work for which I am being recognized,” said Goran. “I am especially grateful to Sam Higuchi of NASA, my co-chair for the interagency forum on climate impacts and adaptations. Sam continued to lead this forum, and the next session, which was held Dec. 10 and featured briefings from another important partner, Dr. John Hall, who manages the DOD climate change research program.”
During his career, Goran and his colleagues established an interagency forum, now in its eighth year, on climate change impacts and adaptations to these impacts. They also created a USACE team to support the assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment to understand and characterize the risks to Army facilities and missions from changing climate. Goran also helped organize USACE’s contributions to the 2014 National Climate Assessment.
Goran retired in April 2014 following a career spanning more than 30 years. He earned a bachelor’s in English, along with a master’s in geography and extension education, all from the University of Illinois.
His past accomplishments at CERL include leading a team in designing and fielding the geographic information system (GIS) software Geographical Resources Analysis Support System (GRASS). GRASS was one of the first GIS environment implemented by numerous federal agencies, and Goran managed an inter-agency agreement that included DOD, Interior and Agriculture, along with other federal agencies to coordinate updates and support of GRASS. GRASS was transitioned to academic partners in the mid-1990s, and is still in use worldwide today.
Goran also served as technical director of CERL’s Military Land Management program from 1997 to 2000 and as the laboratory’s acting director from September 2000 through May 2001.
GreenGov is an initiative launched by the Council on Environmental Quality to define and identify sustainability initiatives throughout the federal government. With more than 360,000 buildings, 650,000 fleet vehicles; and $460 billion in annual purchasing power, the federal government has an obligation to lead by example when it comes to its environmental, energy and economic performance.
President Barack Obama signed the Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance Executive Order in October 2009, directing federal agencies to reduce their greenhouse gas pollution, meet a number of energy, water and waste reduction targets, and leverage federal purchasing power to promote environmentally responsible products and technologies.
Shortly after signing the executive order, the White House launched the first GreenGov Challenge, asking all federal and military personnel to share ideas about how the federal community can lead by example, green the government and meet the goals of the Executive Order.