Portland’s Green Building Initiative has hired green building veteran Jerry Yudelson as its new president.

The Green Building Initiative promotes the Green Globes rating system as a business-friendly alternative to the LEED system used to accredit green buildings.

Yudelson authored 13 green building books, and chaired the steering committee for Greenbuild, the green building industry’s annual trade show. Yudelson is a frequent keynote speaker, and formerly president of a Tucson, Ariz. consulting firm. He holds an MBA from the University of Oregon and engineering degrees from Caltech and Harvard University.

Green Globes is promoted by timber and building products manufacturers as a simpler and more flexible alternative to LEED, the world’s predominant green building rating system.

Though Green Globes’ reputation has been tarnished somewhat for its lenient treatment of plastics and wood products made by its governing board — which inspired complaints that it is “greenwashing” —it made a major leap in the marketplace last year when the U.S. General Services Administration concluded that federal building projects should use either LEED or Green Globes to certify their green buildings.

"We're delighted to have someone of Jerry's caliber in the green building industry step up to lead the GBI,” said Ray Tonjes, an Austin, Texas builder who is chairman of the board, in a press statement. “With the recent update of Green Globes and recognition by the General Services Administration, as well as growing use by federal agencies and the Fortune 500 sector, the timing couldn't be better,” Tonjes said.

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