“The most rewarding thing about running a canvass office is seeing your canvassers develop into effective advocates for the public interest. At least ten people who canvassed with me graduated to run big programs with state or national advocacy groups.” Matt Baker
Working with the Hewlett Foundation's Environment Program, Matt Baker helps to develop and implement grantmaking strategies in the areas of energy and climate change. He collaborates with environmental leaders and others in the public and private sectors to achieve the Foundation’s goals for reducing greenhouse gases and advancing clean energy.
Prior to taking on this position, Matt was a comissioner with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, where he worked to regulate and help set rates for the state’s electric and gas investor-owned utilities and to implement new energy policies. From 2000 to 2008 Matt served as the executive director of Environment Colorado, where he coordinated policy development and research. In 2004, he was a leader in the successful campaign to pass the landmark Colorado Clean Energy Act, the first-in-the-nation ballot initiative, which required Colorado investor-owned utilities to generate 10 percent of their energy renewable sources such as solar and wind energy by 2015. He was one of the principle authors of the report, "Wind Energy: Powering Economic Development in Colorado," which demonstrated that a modest investment in renewable energy could lead to more than $1 billion in rural economic development. He has appeared on numerous public affairs radio and television shows including the state-wide Colorado Public Radio program "Colorado Matters." Matt worked for the state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRG) since 1987, when he started as a campus organizer for New Jersey PIRG (NJPIRG). He spent the subsequent six years as a campus organizer on campuses in New Jersey and California, directing canvass offices during the summers. In 1993, he became the organizing director for NJPIRG, a position he held until 1998, at which point he began to split his time between national campus program work and the recruitment department, where he directed the PIRGs’ recruitment efforts on college campuses across the country. Matt moved to Colorado in 2000, where he became Deputy Director and then Executive Director of CoPIRG, prior to assuming leadership of Environment Colorado in 2003.