Ted Harris’ extensive experience in local, state, and federal levels of government and proven expertise in environmental policy and strategy helps clients successfully resolve environmental, energy, and development issues.
Since joining California Strategies, Harris has applied his understanding of the regulatory process, government planning efforts, and environmental strategy to help clients succeed. Harris has helped clients achieve unanimous approvals before the California Coastal Commission, saved hundreds of existing family-wage jobs, secured incentives, and grants to help bring green tech companies to Calfornia, shaped effectively green building standards, improved air quality regulations, developed sustainability programs, led green jobs launch events with the Governor, and developed one of the first LEED Platinum, Net Zero, renewable energy infill projects in the nation. Harris leads the firm’s planning and policy efforts, including:
- Achieving approvals for complex developments
- Attaining air quality and water quality regulatory solutions
- Developing successful strategies to grow and finance green companies
- Shaping effective green building standards
- Creating green communications strategies
- Effectively integrating sustainability programs, and
- Assisting clients with California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) guidance.
While working in senior positions at the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), Harris polished his deep understanding of a broad range of planning and policy areas, including air quality, water quality, development, and sustainability. He was a core member of the organization’s Compass Blueprint process, designed to guide Southern California toward a cleaner, more sustainable urban form. As part of that effort, Harris led the environmental review process for the 2004 Regional Transportation Plan and produced a comprehensive Environmental Impact Report covering 25 years of growth and development for the six-county region. Harris also managed the air quality team, where he directed technical staff, led the Interagency Working Group, and advised elected officials. Harris also developed programs and policies for SCAG’s Energy and Environment Committee and the Water Policy Task Force.
Prior to joining SCAG, Harris worked as an environmental consultant and as a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley’s Institute of Urban and Regional Development. While at Berkeley, Harris helped local and state governments prioritize storm-drain retrofitting throughout the California coastal zone by estimating the economic value of improving beach water quality.
In the 1990s, Harris served on a policy team at the United States Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., where he managed the Endangered Species Protection Program within the Pesticide Registration Division. He worked directly with businesses, farmers, environmentalists, and the public to reduce the risks and the costs of pesticide registrations.
Harris earned a master of science degree in ecology and environmental policy from the University of California, Davis, where he also taught California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and Environmental Planning courses and developed an expert knowledge of environmental policy analysis and the policy process. He has a B.S. in biology from the University of Georgia, where he studied as a National Merit Scholar and graduated Phi Beta Kappa.
Harris serves as a Young Member of the National Academy of Science Transportation Research Board’s Transportation and Air Quality Committee and has served on numerous national and regional committees and advisory groups.
He lives in Sacramento with his wife, son, and daughter.