Rich is the Director of the Office of Environmental Policy for the University of Connecticut. He is responsible for developing policies and guidelines for protecting natural resources, reducing the University’s ecological footprint, and ensuring accountability for “green” building and low-impact development in UConn’s ongoing capital improvement program. He coordinates environmental sustainability initiatives on issues ranging from climate change to recycling and water conservation, and works with faculty, staff and students to enhance UConn’s environmental literacy and awareness through academic programs and educational outreach activities.
Rich also established and supervises the University’s Environmental Compliance Office to oversee UConn’s compliance with environmental regulations, with emphasis on air pollution control, waste water and stormwater permitting, and site remediation issues, as well as construction-related permits and environmental impact evaluations. His office works closely with operational staff on UConn’s water supply system planning, as well as energy efficiency projects and development of renewable resources, and natural resource conservation issues associated with University-owned open space and farmland. Rich oversaw the OEP’s development of UConn’s Environmental Management System, including creation of Storrs and regional campus Environmental Compliance Team meetings, which ensure regular communication about compliance issues for facilities and operational managers.
Under Rich’s guidance, UConn has become a national campus sustainability leader. He established and chairs UConn’s Environmental Policy Advisory Council, which consists of 25-30 members appointed by the President and Provost, and he serves as staff to the Board of Trustee’s Building, Grounds & Environment Committee. Among his other appointments, Rich is a member of the President’s Committee on Corporate and Social Responsibility and represents UConn on the Town of Mansfield’s Sustainability Committee. He is on the Steering Committee of the Northeast Campus Sustainability Consortium and a former member of the Executive Committee of the Campus Consortium for Environmental Excellence (2003-2013).
Prior to becoming UConn’s first senior environmental manager in 2002, Rich had previously worked as a practicing environmental and land use attorney, an environmental and energy lobbyist for a statewide association, an adjunct professor of environmental law, and a corporate environmental manager at a Fortune 500 energy company. He has served on numerous legislative and regulatory advisory committees, including five years as a member of the Connecticut Council on Environmental Quality. He is a long-time member and current chair of the Simsbury Inland Wetlands & Conservation Commission.
He received his B.A. from Penn State University and J.D. from Stetson University College of Law.