Lucia Athens has served as a leader in the green building and sustainability movement for over two decades. Recognized internationally as an authority on green practices, she spent 10 years leading the City of Seattle's award-winning green building program. Her book, Building an Emerald City: A Guide to Creating Green Building Policies, was published in 2010.
She began her career in public service at the City of Austin, working on water conservation programs in the late 1980's, and on the developmental team for Austin Energy Green Building in the early 1990's. Austin Energy Green Building was the first such program in the United States. Since then, she has served on many boards including the National Board of Directors for the U.S. Green Building Council, and the Green Building Certification Institute board (the international organization responsible for certifying all Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design [LEED™] buildings). She is a LEED™ Accredited Professional (LEED AP).
During her years in Seattle, the City was recognized as a ground-breaking leader in sustainability. In 2000, the City of Seattle became the first entity to formally adopt LEED™ standards as policy for public construction. By October 2010, Seattle's green building policy had guided 17 completed City of Seattle LEED™-certified projects, with 14 more under way.
She also has worked on sustainable design projects with various non-governmental organizations; these include the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, Rocky Mountain Institute, and U.S. Global Green.
A licensed landscape architect, she earned an undergraduate Landscape Architecture degree from Texas A&M University and a graduate Architecture degree in Sustainable Design from the University of Texas at Austin.