The spring 2013 Madden Lecture was held on April 17 with alum Christopher B. Curtis ’79 discussing “Sustainability Matters: Everyone Needs to Get Off the Sidelines.”
In his talk, Mr. Curtis focused on sustainability issues. While energy demand is expected to double in the next 20 years, the carbon footprint needed to be cut in half over the same time period, but there aren’t any coherent policies today that will alter the effects of our current energy usage. What do governments, institutions, businesses and individuals need to do in order to address these issues?
Mr. Curtis is president and chief executive officer, North American operations, and senior executive vice president, of Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management. As such, he is responsible for all operations in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Schneider Electric is a $30 billion company with operations in more than 130 countries. Under his leadership in North America, sales have grown to over $7 billion annually and the company is an industry leader in market share, profitability and cash flow generation. Prior to his role as president, Mr. Curtis was president, Schneider Electric USA, president of Schneider Electric Canada, senior vice president of sales and services, vice president of marketing for the North American Operating Division, vice president of the mid-Atlantic sales region, and director of OEM marketing.
Mr. Curtis has extensive strategic and operating expertise in the areas of general management, sales and marketing, services, operations, industry and government affairs, and investor relations. He also personally recruited and formed Schneider Electric’s first North American Advisory Board, a group of cross-industry, board-level executives that advises the company’s leadership team on matters of strategy and executive development.
Mr. Curtis is a key leader in “Intelligent Energy,” Schneider’s means to drive energy efficiency across the globe. He plays a leadership role in the Alliance to Save Energy, a nonprofit coalition that promotes energy efficiency worldwide.
Mr. Curtis earned a bachelor’s degree from Le Moyne. He has studied at both the Harvard Business School and Guanghua School of Management in Beijing. He and his family reside in the Chicago area.