Rear Admiral Leendert “Len” Hering Sr. USN(ret) is a member of the Center for Climate and Security’s Advisory Board, a member of the International Military Council on Climate and a member of the Consensus for American Security. A native of Portsmouth, Va., he retired from the US Navy in 2009 after serving with distinction for over 32 years. A Surface Warrior by trade he rose to become a prominent military and civilian sustainability leader with a broad background in base operations, facility support, energy, and environmental issues. His passion in sustainability lies in educating people on the dangers the future holds without taking responsible actions to address climate change, securing our nation’s energy independence, preserving access to clean water, air quality and other resources.
Hering holds a B.S. in Meteorology and Oceanography from S.U.N.Y. Maritime College, an M.S in International Relations and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College and an M.B.M from Salve Regina University.
His sea assignments included duty aboard USS Santa Barbara (AE 28), USS Fahrion (FFG 22); USS Aries (PHM 5) as Commanding Officer and USS Doyle (FFG 39) as Commanding Officer. His assignments ashore include duty on the staff of Commander, Destroyer Squadron Twelve; aide and administrative assistant to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Naval Warfare; Action Officer Joint Operations Directorate J-33, The Joint Staff; 1st Battalion Officer and Ethics Instructor, U.S. Naval Academy and Commanding Officer of Naval Base San Diego.
His Flag Officer assignments include Commander, Naval Surface Group Pacific Northwest; Commander, Navy Region Northwest, and Commander, Navy Region Southwest.
While a Flag Officer, his principle efforts were focused on everything from renewable energy to responsible water use and conservation of all types. He built a team recognized throughout the Department of Defense as the best in environmental protection and sustainable innovation. Within three years, the team reduced energy consumption by nearly 42%, diverted 70% of Navy waste from landfills and reduced water consumption by more than one billion gallons, saving tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. Hering instigated wind, thermal, photovoltaic and conversion technology at all levels in Navy facilities. President Bush awarded Hering a 2005 Presidential Award for Leadership in Federal Energy Management.
In 2009, Hering joined the University of San Diego, where as vice president for business services and administration he initiated numerous sustainable measures on the campus. Within the two years he served, USD installed the largest solar system of any private campus in the country, instituted the most comprehensive water abatement project in the school’s history and reformed numerous business practices to help control costs. His efforts resulted in saving more that 3 million gallons of water per year and more than $1 million in electrical costs.
In 2013, Hering became the President and Executive Director of the Center for Sustainable Energy. A 501(C)3 firm dedicated to accelerating the transition to a sustainable world powered by clean energy. The Center for Sustainable Energy™ (CSE) provides people with information, incentives and opportunities to help make these choices easier. They work with policy makers, public agencies, local governments, utilities, business and civic leaders and individuals to transform the nation’s energy marketplace and beyond.
In 2019 Hering became the President of “I Love A Clean San Diego”. A 501c(3) organization working to both educate San Diegans on sustainability and prevent waste and clean the environment. The organization conducted ,more than 700 clean-up events collecting some 98 tons of trash from the local communities. ILACSD was recognized by Keep America Beautiful as one of the most productive and successful organizations in the entire country.
In 2007 Hering founded what is now the largest sustainability business partnership in San Diego County, the San Diego Regional Sustainability Partnership, a consortium of business, government, academic and community organizations promoting practices that support a sustainable future for the region. In 2013 he became one of the co-founders of the Plastic Oceans Project. An organization working to educate youth on the issues associated with ocean health.
He also serves on several non-profit boards and is currently the Chairman of the Board for the Charter Schools of San Diego.
Hering’s personal awards include Navy Distinguished Service Medal; (3) Legion of Merit; Defense Meritorious Service Medal; (4) Meritorious Service Medals; (3) Navy Commendation Medals; (4) Navy Achievement Medals and various other personal achievement, service awards and campaign ribbons.
He has been married to his wife Sharon of Northeast Maryland for 42 years and together they have raised 3 incredible sons who have blessed them with 5 grandchildren. They are my inspiration for getting this right and doing what I do daily.