Sustainability Director Makes Departure Official

As we reported earlier, city Sustainability Director Mark Alan Hughes is leaving the administration.

UPDATE: We just spoke with Hughes, who said he plans to return to work in academia, although he did not detail where that would be. He said he thought the time was right to leave now that his Greenworks sustainability plan -- which lays out a set of environmental goals for the city to reach by 2015 -- was complete.

"I’m going to go back to my native habitat. Back in academia where I will spend some time reading and thinking and writing," Hughes said. He added: "It was always clear I was never going to spend all my career in a tie."

Here's the press release from the city:



Philadelphia, May 18 – Mark Alan Hughes, Director of Sustainability, announced today that he will be leaving the Nutter Administration. His last day with the City of Philadelphia will be June 18th.

“Mark has been a tremendous asset to my administration and I wish him the best of luck in the future,” said Mayor Nutter. “On sustainability and the Recovery Act, Mark has done what he came here to do. He has put in place a foundation and a set of plans that will guide us to success. Of course we will miss Mark, but my sense is that he will never be far away and always available if we need him.”

Mark Alan Hughes said, “Working for the Nutter Administration to put together Greenworks Philadelphia and the initial preparation for Recovery funding has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. I’m an academic at heart so my goal was to lay the groundwork and set the direction for the future, and do my best to hand over workable plans to the policy implementers. The talent and dedication of so many others in the Administration and in the sustainability community made my job an easy one.”

Mark joined the administration over a year ago to craft the City of Philadelphia’s sustainability framework, Greenworks Philadelphia, which was unveiled last month. This has now moved into the implementation phase with officials from all city departments working towards achieving the many goals contained within the framework.

“With Greenworks Philadelphia Mark has established a very strong sustainability framework and set us on the path to success,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “It’s time to take this framework and put its recommendations into action. We will make an announcement before Mark’s departure regarding who will oversee the implementation of this important plan across the City. We will not miss a beat in pursuing our sustainability goals.”

After President Obama signed the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, Mark took responsibility for the initial stages of the City of Philadelphia’s evaluation of the Recovery Act and the preparation of Recovery applications. In that time he has coordinated a team of people across departments who have identified all funding opportunities and have begun the process of preparing and applying for this new unprecedented investment. He has also overseen the development of the City of Philadelphia’s Recovery website,, where citizens can get updated information on all Recovery-related news and developments.

Two weeks ago the City of Philadelphia issued an RFP for a Recovery Officer, to be paid for with funds from the Recovery Act, to coordinate all Recovery activities. An announcement regarding this individual will be made in the near future.