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Terry Tamminen

"What steps will I take, no matter how small, towards making my dreams come true?"

How He Empowers Others

From his youth in Australia to career experiences in Europe, Africa and all parts of the United States, Terry has developed expertise in business, farming, education, non-profit, the environment, the arts, and government.

A United States Coast Guard-licensed ship captain, Terry has long been drawn to the undersea world, starting in the 1960s with a family-run tropical fish breeding business in Australia and continuing with studies on conch depletion in the Bahamas, manatee populations in Florida coastal waters, and mariculture in the Gulf States with Texas A&M University.

On land, Terry managed the largest sheep ranch east of the Mississippi, assisting the University of Minnesota in developing new methods of livestock disease control. Terry also managed a multi-million dollar real estate company, owned/operated a successful recreational services business, and assisted the west African nation of Nigeria with the creation of their first solid waste recycling program.

An accomplished author, Terry’s latest book, Lives Per Gallon: The True Cost of Our Oil Addiction (Island Press), is a timely examination of our dependence on oil and a strategy to evolve to more sustainable energy sources. He has also authored a series of best-selling “Ultimate Guides” to pools and spas (McGraw-Hill) and several theatrical works on the life of William Shakespeare. Terry is an avid airplane and helicopter pilot and speaks German, Dutch and Spanish.

In 1993, Terry founded the Santa Monica BayKeeper and served as its Executive Director for six years. He co-founded Waterkeeper programs in San Diego, Orange County, Ventura, and Santa Barbara. He also served for five years as Executive Director of the Environment Now Foundation in Santa Monica, CA and co-founded the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic at the School of Law, University of California Los Angeles.

In the summer of 2003, Terry helped Arnold Schwarzenegger win the historic recall election and become Governor of California. He was appointed as the Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency in November, 2003, and Cabinet Secretary, the Chief Policy Advisor to the Governor, in December, 2004. He continues to advise the Governor on energy and environmental policy. In April, 2007, he was named the Cullman Senior Fellow and Director of the Climate Policy Program of The New America Foundation, a non-profit, post-partisan, public policy institute. In September, 2007, he was appointed as an Operating Advisor to Pegasus Capital Advisors. Pegasus Capital Advisors, L.P., is a private equity fund manager that provides capital to middle market companies across a wide variety of industries.  He currently travels throughout the United States and the world, lecturing and providing private consulting services to a variety of clients, including several Governors and Canadian Premiers on climate and energy policy.

Terry has received countless awards and honors for his achievements and has served on numerous civic and charitable boards and commissions, including the Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project, the U.S. Navy Pt. Mugu Naval Air Station Restoration Advisory Board, the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Safety Committee and the Wishtoyo Foundation, a group that preserves natural resources through Chumash Indian traditional teachings.