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Dr. John W. Mogge Jr. Honored with Environmental Lifetime Achievement Award

The award honors John’s decades of service to the environmental industry, inspiring new generations of environmental leaders.

The Environmental Business Journal, a U.S.-based publishing and business research organization that reports on the environmental services sector, has named John W. Mogge Jr., PhD, AIA, REM, FSAME as a 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. The award honors John’s decades of service to the environmental industry, inspiring new generations of environmental leaders.

John Mogge headshot

John began his environmental career path as an instructor on active duty to the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in Dayton, Ohio. His assignment was to take his working knowledge of environmental matters – learned as a component of his University of Florida master’s degree in Architecture and Planning, Urban and Environmental Planning – and develop formal courseware for the Air Force to use in instructing literally hundreds of other officers and civilian employees on how not only to comply with the environmental legislation, but to embrace it as the right thing to do.

With an understanding of the new National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act legislation, John was asked to help craft the USAF’s first policies and regulations for environmental compliance. “It was sort of like building the airplane in flight, but I loved it and was recognized as one of the few commissioned officers that the Air Force considered a subject matter expert in all things environmental,” said John.

NEPA compliance was particularly challenging for the Air Force in its weapon system acquisition processes.  At the time, the Cold War was all about technical superiority and countering the Soviet Union’s intent to dominate Europe and challenge our U.S. National Security.  NEPA was viewed as an impediment to fielding needed new weapon systems quickly. John was asked to address many of these NEPA challenges, and with the aid of an emerging cadre of industry consultants, worked to advance these programs through the NEPA processes and Record of Decision. “This was one of the most meaningful periods of active duty for me as I felt the pressure of not just doing my duty but doing it correctly from an environmental compliance perspective.”

John retired from the Air Force in 2001 as a Civil Engineer Colonel and began his second career with CH2M (now Jacobs), an industry leader in environmental solutions. Concurrently, he earned his PhD in the Economics of Sustainability from the Georgia Institute of Technology. John studied and researched the early phases of sustainability for the built environment and focused his research on the economics and business case for green and sustainable planning, design and construction.

With progressive leader assignments and a focus on sustainable planning, design and program management, John served as the Sustainability Program Planner for the London 2012 Olympic Games and the MASDAR City (UAE) Sustainable Transportation Technology Developer and Manager for the world’s first full scale solar powered driverless personal rapid transit prototype. He also served as the interim Environment and Nuclear Business Group President and led numerous initiatives.

John is currently the Solutions and Technology Director for Jacobs’ Federal Buildings & Infrastructure business.  His major program engagements include the reconstruction of Tyndall AFB (severely damaged by the category 5 Hurricane Michael in October 2019) into a visionary Installation of the Future, with a focus on resiliency and sustainability.

Reflecting on his decades of service advancing environmental and sustainability solutions, John noted that his perspective will always be from the view of a military officer.  He is a past National President of the 32,000-member Society of American Military Engineers.  “Even though I have been retired from active duty for over 19 years, my 26+ years of service shaped my thinking of this industry and its importance in a unique way. I love the tie that national security has to our environment and its stewardship and in the words of former USAF Chief of Staff General Thomas D. White, and the USAF’s highest environmental award named in his sake – “let’s take care of the environment that makes this country worth fighting for.”

John was honored during the Environmental Industry Virtual Summit, September 9-11, 2020.

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