Clay Nesler

Global Lead, Buildings


Clay Nesler is the Global Lead for Buildings for WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. In this role, he provides buildings leadership to the Urban Efficiency and Climate workstream. In 2014, Clay helped establish WRI’s Buildings Initiative and served as the industry co-convener of the Sustainable Energy for All Building Efficiency Accelerator. He also served as a Senior Advisor to the WRI Buildings Initiative from 2017 to 2018.

Clay joined WRI after 39 years at Johnson Controls where he held a variety of global leadership positions in research, product development, innovation, strategy, manufacturing, sustainability and regulatory affairs in both the United States and Europe. He also served as Interim President of the Alliance to Save Energy in 2019.

Clay serves on the board of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, the executive group of the U.S. DOE/EPA SEE Action network, the GSA Green Building Advisory Committee, the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction Steering Committee and is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Futures Council on Clean Electrification.  He recently chaired the Industrial Advisory Board of the U.S.-China Building Energy Efficiency Consortium and was a member of the International Energy Agency Energy Efficiency Industry Advisory Board.

Nesler received BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a winner of the 2005 Corenet Global Innovator’s Award, the 2012 VERGE 25 award, a 2015 Distinguished Alumnus Award, a 2017 leadership award from the U.S. Green Building Council, the 2019 Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council Leadership Forward Award and a 2020 R&D100 award.


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