New Rochelle Mayor Bramson Named Executive Director of Sustainable Westchester
John Jordan | May 25, 2023
MOUNT KISCO—After serving as Mayor of New Rochelle for nearly two decades, Noam Bramson will be leaving city government at the end of this year for the private sector. Earlier today, Sustainable Westchester announced that Mayor Bramson will take over as Executive Director of the Mount Kisco-based non-profit effective in January 2024.
Bramson has served as mayor for the past 18 years and spearheaded the zoning reform effort in the city that has directly led to the extensive downtown development currently underway. Sustainable Westchester, a climate action advocacy organization and provider of renewable energy, stated that Bramson was selected as executive director after an extensive search process. Interim Executive Director Jim Kuster will remain in place until Mayor Bramson completes his current term in office.
“Mayor Bramson’s vast experience in government and passion for leading impactful climate action initiatives will be of immense value to Sustainable Westchester as the organization continues to grow,” said Kuster, who has served as Sustainable Westchester’s Interim Executive Director since November 2022. “Under his leadership, we will strengthen and expand our innovative programming to help a broad range of municipalities meet the critical environmental and equity objectives contained in New York’s Climate Act.” Kuster replaced Nina Orville as executive director of the organization.
“Mayor Bramson’s demonstrated track record of building consensus, attracting investment, and prioritizing healthy environments perfectly positions him to lead Sustainable Westchester’s continued growth and expand the great results we deliver to our members,” added Sara Goddard, Board Chair of Sustainable Westchester. “We are extremely excited to welcome him aboard.”
Sustainable Westchester pointed to Mayor Bramson’s environmental credentials, noting that under his leadership, New Rochelle is experiencing its fastest growth in a century, serving as a regional and statewide model for environmentally-friendly, transit-oriented development. Bramson was instrumental in adopting New Rochelle’s first-ever sustainability plan, GreeNR, now undergoing a comprehensive update to emphasize resiliency and climate justice. The organization, in its announcement, also noted that Mayor Bramson has been a champion of open space expansion, including ongoing efforts to create new parkland on the Echo Bay waterfront and along the “LINC,” a reimagined Memorial Highway.
New Rochelle was among the first large communities in New York State to adopt the state’s Stretch Energy Code and is presently the second-highest scoring large community in the state’s Clean Energy Communities program. In addition, as one of the founding Board Members of Sustainable Westchester, Mayor Bramson helped to establish the county’s innovative Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program, with New Rochelle one of the first cities to secure clean, renewable energy through CCA.
“I am thrilled to join Sustainable Westchester as its new Executive Director,” said Mayor Noam Bramson. “Sustainable Westchester is among the most impactful public interest organizations in our region, with a dedicated, highly-capable staff, a record of meaningful accomplishment, and a vital, growing role in helping localities, the county, and all of New York achieve ambitious climate and environmental goals. It will be a privilege to advance such an important mission, while working alongside colleagues, both in and out of government, whom I respect deeply.”
Westchester County Executive George Latimer hailed Bramason’s appointment, stating, “Westchester is one of the state’s foremost leaders in combating climate change and Sustainable Westchester is an integral part of this work. Noam’s leadership driving New Rochelle’s sustainability efforts has been exemplary, and he will be an asset to the organization and all they are doing county-wide. We wish him the best of luck in this new endeavor.”
Earlier this month, the Westchester County Office of Economic Development announced it is partnering with Sustainable Westchester to launch a Clean Energy Accelerator Program.
The program, which includes a Careers Working Group that recently met for the first time, convenes key stakeholders who will work together to identify the workforce needs of the clean energy sector and create strong clean energy career pathways for Westchester residents.
“New York State’s visionary climate objectives come with a host of unprecedented challenges and opportunities,” said Bramson. “Sustainable Westchester is uniquely suited to make the most of this pivotal moment, position our region as a positive model, strengthen partnerships with aligned organizations and advocates, and encourage effective, collaborative policy-making at all levels of government. It will be my goal to ensure that every municipality we serve has the information, tools, encouragement, and support to achieve our shared goal of a healthy, vibrant, equitable, and sustainable county.”
Sustainable Westchester is a hub of innovative climate tech programs and expertise designed to help local municipalities achieve greenhouse gas reduction targets mandated by New York’s landmark Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. The nonprofit organization strives to improve clean energy solutions, save municipalities and consumers’ money, and promote equity and environmental justice within the communities it serves. Its programs include Westchester Power; Community Solar; Building Decarbonization for commercial properties; Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure; EnergySmart Homes; GridRewards; and Zero Waste.