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April 14, 2005 - William K. Reilly, the former administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and current chairman of the World Wildlife Fund, will be the ninth speaker for the annual Wege Speaker Series at Aquinas College. Reilly, who served as EPA administrator from 1989 to 1993, will speak on "Energy and Environment: A Whole New Ballgame" on Thursday, April 28, 2005 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center on the Aquinas College campus, 1703 Robinson Road S.E., Grand Rapids.

Reilly brings a unique perspective to environmental issues, having served in leadership roles in government, with national environmental groups and now leading a private business focused on improving access to safe drinking water and sanitation. As the seventh head of the EPA, Reilly was responsible for improving and protecting public health and the environment. His priorities were focused on elevating attention to the protection and restoration of the country's natural systems, preventing pollution before it is generated, enforcing environmental laws aggressively and fostering innovate clean- up technologies.

Reilly played a key role as EPA Administrator in launching the "Great Lakes Water Quality Initiative," which developed for the first time common pollution standards for the Great Lakes basin across the eight states in the watershed. He also worked with his Canadian counterparts to enhance international cooperation in protecting the Lakes, including new efforts to protect Lake Superior's relatively-pristine condition. Reilly's leadership on Great Lakes issues is particularly relevant to the Wege Foundation's recent launch of a new "Healing Our Waters" Coalition for Great Lakes restoration, for which the Foundation recently made a five-year, $5 million grant.
As the current board chairman of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Reilly is at the forefront of global conservation issues, such as preserving the world's endangered wildlife and wild places. He has been associated with the WWF for more than 25 years, having served as its president from 1985 to 1989. He was also president of the Conservation Foundation from 1973 to 1989, which was formally joined with WWF in 1985.

As President and CEO of Aqua International Partners and investment group, Reilly continues his commitment to the environment. The organization finances the purification of water and wastewater in developing countries and invests in projects and companies that serve the water sector. Reilly recently co-chaired a diverse group of public and private experts on mobilizing the U.S. government, private businesses and not-for-profit organizations to bring safe drinking water and sanitation services to the world's poor.

Reilly has written and lectured extensively on environmental issues. He has served on the boards of numerous public and private sector organizations and received a number of awards and medals for his contributions to environmental progress.

He helps corporations fuse financial goals with sustainable business practices. He discusses how to mobilize and manage for the transformation of natural resource-based industries, how incentives can improve the environment and how ethics and economics can combine to produce eco-efficiency, all working together to create value, reduce cost, avoid waste and steer clear of litigation and bad public relations.

Reilly joins a prestigious list of Wege Foundation speakers that includes: Christine Ervin, former president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council; John L. Knott, Jr., a third-generation builder/developer recognized as an expert in urban revitalization; B. Joseph White, former interim president of the University of Michigan; Author, Environmental Activist and Chief Prosecuting Attorney for Riverkeeper Robert F. Kennedy Jr.; President Emeritus of Williams College Harry C. Payne, Ph.D.; William McDonough, dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia; Herman E. Daly, Ph.D., a renowned economist at the University of Maryland and author of "Steady-State Economics;" and The Reverend Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame.