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bio_GonenRon Gonen

Ron was most recently, the New York City Deputy Commissioner of Sanitation, Recycling and Sustainability. He joined the Bloomberg administration in 2012 with the task of developing and implementing a plan to divert over 30% of New York’s waste stream from landfills by 2017 and over 70% by 2025. In this role, he was responsible for New York’s recycling programs, which include paper, metal, glass, plastic, organics, textiles, electronics, hazardous waste and related legislation. In 2013, NRDC and Earth Day New York named Ron as the Public Official of the Year in New York City.

Ron is a Co-Founder & CEO of the Closed Loop Fund. The Closed Loop Fund has been formed to provide municipalities zero interest loans and private firms engaged in public-private partnerships access to capital at below market rates in order to spur investment in municipal recycling programs. It links the financial interest of companies that need recycled material back in their supply chain to reduce cost to the capital that municipalities need to invest in recycling infrastructure and programs in order to divert recyclable material from landfills and into the recycling stream. Investors include Walmart, Unilever, P&G, Coke, Pepsi and Johnson & Johnson.

Ron has been an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School since 2010. In 2012, he was the recipient of the Social Enterprise Teaching Award for Excellence in Teaching.

From 2004-2010, Ron was the Co-Founder and CEO of RecycleBank. During his tenure as CEO, the company grew from an idea into a company that serviced over 50 cities and over 1 million households. RecycleBank was recognized with a number of business and environmental awards including the Philadelphia Sustainability Award, The Conference of Mayors – Public/Private Partnership of the Year and as a ‘Technology Pioneer’ by the World Economic Forum.

Ron has been a recipient of a number of environmental and business awards including being recognized as a ‘Champion of the Earth’ by the United Nations Environment Program which is the highest distinction for environmental protection given by the United Nations and recognizes outstanding visionaries and leaders in the fields of policy, science and entrepreneurship and the Medal of Excellence from Columbia University which recognizes alumnus under the age of 45 for excellence in scholarship, public service and professional life.

Ron was a Catto Fellow at the Aspen Institute. He is on the Board of Trustees of RARE Conservation and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Ron received an MBA from Columbia Business School and has a patent in the recycling industry.

Ron Gonen
rg2127@columbia.edu