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Press Room:  For Immediate Release 
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet

October 8, 2010


Sierra Club Welcomes Tom Baruch to the Climate Cabinet

of the Climate Recovery Partnership


San Francisco, CA. Sierra Club is proud to announce the appointment of Tom Baruch to its Climate Cabinet, providing intellectual and philanthropic leadership to the Club’s Climate Recovery Partnership.

As founder and a managing director of the venture capital firm, CMEA Capital, Tom Baruch is an industry innovator, making pioneering investments in semiconductor technology, biotechnology and energy and materials science since the inception of CMEA Capital in 1989.  Many of his successful investments became important public companies, including:

A123, makes and sells lithium-ion batteries to power electric vehicles and stabilize the power grid;

Codexis, developing, making and selling novel biological enzymes to improve the efficiency of the manufacturing of transportation fuels, pharmaceuticals and chemicals;

Entropic Communications, pioneered the MoCA operating standard for in-home video networking and multi-room DVR service offerings from PAY-TV service providers;

Flextronics, engineering solutions and electronic manufacturing services for automotive, electronics, industrial and medical device applications; and

Symyx Technologies, pioneered the application of combinatorial synthesis to the discovery of new chemical catalysts to reduce the cost of making fuels and chemicals.


Currently, Mr. Baruch is leading CMEA’s investments in several private companies offering promising clean energy products. These include:

FORO Energy, developing a new drilling technology to significantly lower exploration and production costs for geothermal energy wells;

Intermolecular, innovating high productivity combinatorial processes leading to the discovery of new materials for more efficient semiconductor and solar industry products;

Solyndra, manufacture and sale of thin-film photovoltaic systems for the commercial rooftop market; and

Wildcat Discovery Technologies, innovating high throughput discovery of new nantechnology materials for clean energy applications


In addition to his work with Sierra Club, Mr. Baruch is an inaugural member of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, advising the Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and the Administration on issues related to innovation and entrepreneurship. Mr. Baruch is a member of the board of trustees of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)At RPI, Mr. Baruch and his wife Johanna funded the Baruch Center for Solar Biochemical Research.  He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Council of Competitiveness and is active in many other non-profit organizations.

 Mr. Baruch holds a B.S. in engineering from RPI and a J.D. from Capital University.

Sierra Club’s Climate Recovery Partnership focuses the Club's comprehensive work with activists, entrepreneurs, and environmentalists fighting against the human causes of climate change. Together,  we are battling and defeating the worst contributors to global warming, repowering America with renewable energy and more energy efficient buildings and transportation systems, and protecting wilderness and communities most at risk in a changing climate.  To date, Sierra Club has prevented 131 new coal-fired power plants from breaking ground, preventing more than 515 MMT of carbon from entering the atmosphere every year. Mr. Baruch will be instrumental in helping to push appropriate clean energy alternatives forward to fill the gap created by this massive shut down of the dirtiest fuel on the planet.

Tom joins energy entrepreneurs Tom Dinwoodie, founder of SunPower; Roger Sant, Founder of Applied Energy Services, among others.  

Statement of Tom Baruch

“What I’m most passionate about is the use of new technologies to solve deeply rooted problems, like climate change and our need for clean energy. Everywhere you turn there’s opportunity to create transformative change on those fronts. From my work, I know we can make and store energy in ways that are significantly less polluting than our current systems.


People think it’s expensive, but as we intelligently scale energy alternatives, they become cheaper. By increasing public awareness that the application of new technologies can reduce the greenhouse gas problem, we can create a future that is brighter than our current fossil fuel-based economy would suggest.


Why Sierra Club?  Nobody else has the visibility and reach into every community in the country. And nobody else has Sierra Club's track record for addressing climate change. Together we can help people understand that we can innovate and succeed; we don’t have to do things the same old way.”


Statement of Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune

“Tom Baruch brings to the Climate Recovery Partnership a passion for innovation and an extensive knowledge of the biotechnology and clean technology industries.  In his 40-year career, he’s shown a gift for finding entrepreneurs with the most transformative breakthrough potential and helping them succeed. What is truly unique about Mr. Baruch’s approach is that he has achieved success through a variety of platforms: corporate partnerships, venture capital, academia, and nonprofit organizations.

Statement of Cabinet Co-chairs Dr. Donald Kennedy and Dr. Tom Lovejoy

“Beginning in the early part of this decade, Tom envisioned that the low carbon economy would become the predominant theme in the global economy. His experience in the energy industry and grounding in applications of material science, and his skill for uncovering the truly significant scientific breakthroughs will help Sierra Club to positin the United States’ to compete on the global energy stage. “ (Dr. Kennedy)


“Tom’s personal commitments are consistent with his belief that transformational entrepreneurship and technology are essential components for U.S.A. leadership going forward in the global economy.” (Dr. Lovejoy)

For more information, contact:

Shawna Hershfield

Director of Advancement Communications

Climate Recovery Partnership

Sierra Club




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