Rick Needham is Director of the Energy & Sustainability team at Google, where he has worked since 2008. This team has spearheaded a variety of projects including investing in large scale renewable energy projects, making Google’s offices more energy efficient and sustainable, installing onsite renewable energy, tracking corporate energy use, and implementing green benefit programs for employees. In the past, this group led such efforts as installing one of the largest corporate solar arrays in the US on the Google campus. Most recently, Rick and his team have led Google’s investments of over $800m in large scale renewable energy projects including several wind farms, a large solar thermal plant, centralized and distributed PV systems, and an offshore transmission line. Rick currently sits on the board of the Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC), a project company developing an offshore transmission backbone off the Mid Atlantic coast to enable 7,000MW of offshore wind.
Prior to joining Google, Rick was a business development executive and Project Manager at DEKA Research & Development Corp. While at DEKA he led the business development efforts around clean energy and managed several technology development projects in clean energy, medical products, and robotics including the development of an advanced upper prosthetic arm currently in trials with the Veterans Administration and featured on 60 Minutes. Prior to DEKA, Rick worked at Bain & Company, a global business consulting firm, and served for eight years as a nuclear submarine officer in the U.S. Navy.
Rick holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the US Naval Academy, an MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT where he attended as a Draper Fellow, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Rick lives with his wife and daughter in the Bay Area and enjoys skiing, Ultimate Frisbee, hiking, kayaking, and camping.