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ESP Biography


Major: Not available.

College/Employer: Not available.

Year of Graduation: N/A

Picture of Valerie Gardner

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Valerie Gardner is a local environmental organizer working to bring attention to the issue of climate change and to implement programs that help make changes in how people actually live in Silicon Valley. A JD/MBA, Valerie had a successful career as a CFO/General Counsel in high tech, and chose to “retire” into full-time motherhood to raise her young children after her second start-up was acquired by Microsoft for $500,000,000 million. In the intervening years, instead of finding pure maternal bliss, Valerie was alarmed to discover that the future of her children—and indeed the future of all children across the globe—was being greatly encroached upon by the looming threat of climate change. In 2005, she began to explore what individuals could do to lessen their impact within their own communities. In 2006, she volunteered to work on environmental programs for her home town of Atherton. In 2007, she organized Atherton’s “Earth Action Week,” a full week of educational events for the local community and Atherton’s first “Earth Day” event of any kind. In 2008, Valerie designed and chaired the GreenSTART Challenge for students in Atherton’s ten schools and awarded $5,000 in prizes to students for the best environmental projects. In 2009, GreenSTART was broadened to encompass 18 area schools to challenge and reward some 10,000 students and their families for taking steps to go green. Valerie’s 2010 program is a collaboration with Acterra and five area towns, has qualified for $160,000 in Federal Stimulus Funding and she hopes it will be the basis for a ten-year long effort to reduce resident carbon emissions within participating communities by as much 65%.

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

S711: Stanford in Government presents: "Environmental Activism: affecting change through policy and entrepreneurship" in Splash! Spring 2010
Hear from panelists Teryn Norris, Valerie Gardner and Brendan Appold on their experiences creating and changing environmental policy and environmental entrepreneurship. Learn what actions you can take to follow in their footsteps.