Winston Hickox

Partner

“As a close but outside observer of CalPERS' efforts in [Green Wave investing], I am absolutely persuaded that Hickox was the one individual most responsible for moving the sustainability agenda forward.” - Investing in a Sustainable World, by Matthew J. Kiernan, Ph.D

As Secretary of CalEPA and in other senior-level government appointments, Winston Hickox used his extensive experience in areas critical to California’s natural and business environment to help advance many important public policy initiatives. He has also spent considerable time in real estate investment banking, institutional investment management, private equity clean-tech investing, and with the development and management of the FTSE Environmental Markets Index Series.

During his time in public service, Winston Hickox has worked in several important policy areas, including climate change, water quality, air quality, toxics, pesticide regulation, waste management and reduction, and a range of other public health and environmental areas of importance to all Californians. As a result, when he joined California Strategies as a partner in 2006, he brought to the firm’s clients the benefits of his experience in environmental public policy and regulation, private sector investment banking, and pension fund management.

His environmental-policy experience includes five years as Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), seven years as a Special Assistant for Environmental Affairs to Governor Jerry Brown, and two years as an alternate to the California Coastal Commission. Hickox’s administration at CalEPA saw the implementation of some of California’s most important environmental policy initiatives, including the “Pavley Bill” in 2002, that granted the California Air Resources Board (CARB) authority to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light-duty trucks, the Clean Beaches Initiative, and the creation of the “Fuel Cell Partnership,” established to advance fuel cell technology in California.

In 2006 Hickox completed a two-year assignment with the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) Investment Office where, as a Senior Portfolio Manager, he assisted with the design and implementation of a series of environmental investment initiatives in the private equity, real estate, global public equity and corporate governance segments of the fund’s then $240 billion investment portfolio.

He was also asked by the Schwarzenegger Administration to chair the Market Advisory Committee (MAC) in 2007, which developed a report intended to advise CARB regarding the use of market mechanisms, such as cap and trade, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The report was in response to AB32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.

From 1998 until 2012, he served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Sacramento County Employees’ Retirement System (SCERS). From 1987 to 1996, he was a Managing Director and Partner with LaSalle Investment Management, a major force in the world’s real estate capital markets. Hickox also served as a member of the Board of Directors of Thomas Properties Group Inc., Cadiz Inc., Optimal Technologies International Inc., and Renewable Energy Products LLC., and continues as a member of the Board of Cadiz Inc. as well as a member of the Paladin Capital Group’s Strategic Advisory Group.

Between 1989 and 2007, excluding his years as CalEPA Secretary, he served on the Board of three environmental non-governmental organizations, including the California League of Conservation Voters (President from 1990 to 1994), Audubon California and Sustainable Conservation.

Specialties
1.
Environmental Policy and Regulation
2.
Climate Change Policy and Regulation
3.
Energy Policy and Regulation
4.
Real Estate Investment and Management
5.
Strategic Consulting for Emerging Business Ventures
6.
Public-Private Partnerships

Expertise

Employment Labor & Workforce Development
Energy
Environment
Insurance & Financial Services
Natural Resources
Public Private Partnerships
Public Sector Finance & Budgeting
Real Estate & Land Use
Technology & Innovation
Telecommunications
Transportation & Infrastructure
Career Highlights
1.
Special Assistant for Environmental Affairs to Governor Jerry Brown; Deputy Secretary, Environmental Affairs Agency
2.
Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA)
3.
Schwarzenegger appointee to chair of The Market Advisory Committee (MAC)
4.
President of CLCV Board; member of Audubon California and Sustainable Conservation Boards
5.
Managing Director and Partner - Global Real Estate Investment Management firm
6.
Trustee, SCERS (Sacramento County Employee Retirement System)
7.
Member of the Board of Directors of two public companies

Contact Winston Hickox

Winston Hickox Featured in The San Jose Mercury News
By WINSTON HICKOX and JIM BOYD | PUBLISHED: November 19, 2021 at 5:15 a.m. | UPDATED: November 19, 2021 at 5:17 a.m. California’s climate, energy and political leaders have all reached the same conclusion — California is losing its leadership on climate change. As Speaker of the State Assembly Anthony Rendon put it, “I don’t feel at all that we are leading the world anymore.” For years, California led the country on policies to advance clean energy and cut climate pollution. But we’ve stopped following the science, and now too many policies focus on long-term goals at the expense of urgent, near-term priorities. The climate conference in Glasgow made it clear that the No. 1 priority — the only measure that can prevent cataclysmic climate change — is to cut the climate super pollutants known as Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs), primarily methane and black carbon. As the head of the United Nations Environment Program said, “Cutting methane is the strongest lever we have to slow climate change over the next 25 years” and we need to “urgently reduce methane emissions as much as possible this decade.” President Biden also stated that reducing methane is the single most effective strategy to reverse global warming in the near term. Reducing SLCPs is the only measure that benefits the climate right away. In contrast, fossil fuel reductions — which cut carbon dioxide emissions — won’t benefit the climate until 2050 or later. In California, organic waste, wildfires and diesel are the largest sources of SLP emissions. We can reduce all three sources by converting organic waste to power, low carbon fuels and other products. This is especially important with forest waste removed to reduce wildfire hazards. That material can be converted to carbon-negative fuels that replace diesel in heavy duty trucks, eliminating two major sources of black carbon at the same time. Former Gov. Jerry Brown, long a climate leader, has called for increased forest biomass to energy as a way to reduce SLCP emissions from wildfires and controlled burns. Unfortunately, key state agencies including the California Energy Commission and the California Air Resources Board have lost focus on SLCP reductions. The Air Board’s draft investment plan for billions of dollars of cap and trade revenues doesn’t even list SLCP reductions as one of its six over-arching spending priorities. This is particularly surprising when the Air Board’s own analysis shows that investments in SLCP reductions are the most beneficial and cost-effective of all the state’s climate investments. The Energy Commission is even more off-track. Once the leader in promoting organic waste to energy projects — one of the most effective ways to cut SLCP emissions — the commission has largely stopped supporting projects that cut SLCP emissions. In fact, the commission’s plans for renewable power assume zero growth in bioenergy or hydrogen from organic waste. The commission has also stopped supporting the production of vehicle fuels from organic waste that can be used to replace diesel. These are the most important measures to cut SLCP emissions. The California Environmental Protection Agency and Natural Resources Agency both recommend increasing bioenergy to reduce SLCP emissions, but the Energy Commission is ignoring those calls and the calls of the global scientific community. California policymakers need to refocus on SLCP reductions as the most urgent climate solution. They should focus on SLCP reductions in the state budget, require state agencies to prioritize SLCP reductions in all climate and energy programs, fast-track permitting and interconnection for projects that cut SLCP emissions, and continue research into the lifecycle emissions of all energy and climate projects. We cannot lead on climate change solutions unless we follow the science, and the science is very clear that SLCP reductions must be our highest priority. Winston Hickox is the former secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency. Jim Boyd is the former executive officer of the California Air Resources Board and a former vice chair of the California Energy Commission.