Greenbuild 2010 kicks off on November 17 in Chicago and the USGBC has finally revealed the keynote speaker for this year’s event – retired General Colin Powell. While General Powell may not be the first person to come to mind when you think of green building advocates, he is no stranger to the LEED rating system.

A LEED Platinum affordable housing unit in the South Bronx, New York was named after him. The General Colin L. Powell Apartments is a 50-unit green housing development in General Powell’s childhood neighborhood. The development was made possible thanks to a partnership between Habitat for Humanity – New York City and Blue Sea Development

While General Powell has been tapped to present the opening plenary address, Secretary for Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan and bestselling author Paul Hawken will be presenting the closing plenary for Greenbuild 2010. In addition to participating in Greenbuild 2010’s closing event, the first 5,000 attendees that arrive at the closing address will receive a free copy of Paul Hawken’s new book, The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability.

Although the opening and closing keynotes for Greenbuild 2010 are sure to be inspirational, the confirmed speakers for this year’s event will not disappoint. Confirmed speakers for the Greenbuild 2010 Master Series include Arlene Blum, founder and executive director of the Green Science Policy Institute and Geoffrey Canada, president and chief executive officer of the Harlem Children’s Zone.

Speakers scheduled for The Green Debate: Tackling Green Building Issues, which will be moderated by Alex Wilson, founder of Building Green LLC include Jeff Wolfe of groSolar, Robi Robichaud with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Tom Quinn of Lunera Lighting and Ron Steen with Xicato.

There are also countless other speakers that will be presenting during the concurrent educational sessions. To learn more about the speakers at Greenbuild 2010, including retired General Colin Powell, visit the Greenbuild 2010 website.

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