I had the good fortune to be present at the creation of America’s environmental rally.

At present working on memoirs, collaborating with others to advocate for action on climate, serving on several private sector and non profit boards, and more.


November 1994 - 2017    

Senior Advisor to TPG Capital, LP, an international investment partnership.

June 1997 –2009   

Founding partner of Aqua International Partners, an investment group which invests in companies that served the water and renewable energy sectors. Aqua is an affiliate fund of TPG Capital, LP

July 1993 - October 1994 

Payne Visiting Professor, Institute for International Studies, Stanford University, during the 1993-94 academic year.  The Payne Professorship was a newly established, rotating chair in public policy.

January 1993 - June 1993 

Senior Fellow, World Wildlife Fund, Washington, D.C.

February 1989 - January 1993    

Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC

Confirmed unanimously in February 1989 as the 7th administrator of this inde­pendent federal regulatory agency tasked with improving and protecting public health and the environment, employing more than 18,000 nationwide with a budget of $7 billion. Watch his reflections on his service to EPA here


--    Integrated national environmental and economic agendas through emphasis on market-based incentives in regulation;

--    oversaw Clean Air Act amendments of 1990 featuring new emissions trading program to cut acid rain and aggressive implementation of the new law;

--    strengthened the role of science at the Agency, creating an in-house council of scientific advisors, initiating a full-scale review of dioxin and establishing the new office of Science Advisor;

--    initiated priority-setting study by scientists and engineers of the major risks to health and environment;

--    fostered innovative technologies for cleanups, including bioremediation, bringing about a revitalization of the Superfund program that accelerated cleanups to the rate of one per week;

 --    raised three quarters of the $7 billion in responsible party Superfund cleanup settlements through a tough "enforcement first" priority;

--    stressed vigorous enforcement of EPA statutes, setting record levels of crimi­nal and civil actions and fines that surpassed the totals of EPA's prior history to date;

--    started voluntary pollution prevention programs such as Green Lights to im­prove lighting efficiency, Energy Star Computers to reduce power usage in computers, and "33/50" to reduce emissions of 17 high-priority toxics;

--    elevated attention to the protection and restoration of natural systems includ­ing wetlands, Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico and estuaries;

--    vetoed construction of Two Forks Dam in Colorado under the Clean Water Act;

--    asserted environmental priorities in U.S. foreign policy, pioneering debt-for-nature trades, proposing a Convention on World Forestry and establishing the Regional Environment Center for Central and Eastern Europe;

--    led Presidentially requested trips to the Soviet Union, Turkey and Kuwait;

--    headed U.S. delegation to the 1992 UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and the U.S. delegations to the Montreal Protocol negotiations in London (1990) and Copenhagen (1992);

--    led successful effort to include "green" provisions in the North American Free Trade Agreement.

1985 - 1989           

President, World Wildlife Fund-U.S., Washington, DC, one of 29 national organi­zations in the WWF international network at the time; now with more than 1,000,000 members and an annual budget of over $266 million, WWF-U.S. is the largest national organization in the WWF family, the pre-eminent private organization working to save endangered wildlife and wildlands worldwide, with emphases on protecting tropical forests in Latin America, Africa and Asia, and on promoting environmentally sustainable develop­ment through practical field projects linking conservation and economic improve­ment; over its 50+-year history, WWF-U.S. has sponsored or supported more than 2,000 projects in 116 countries.  WWF-U.S.’s membership tripled during Mr. Reilly's three years as president, making it the fastest growing conservation organization in the country.

1973 - 1989           

President, The Conservation Foundation, Washington, DC; founded in 1948, with an annual budget of $5 million prior to its merger with WWF-U.S., the Foundation was committed to improving the quality of the environment and securing wise use of the earth's natural resources by influencing public policy.  Foundation priorities included pollution control and toxic substances, public and private land use, and foster­ing environmentally sound economic development in the Third World.  During Mr. Reilly's tenure, the Foundation published three "state of the environment" re­ports, the most comprehensive analyses of environmental conditions ever prepared by a private organization, and began a major program advocating direct cooperation between business leaders and conservationists to solve polarizing issues in resource and environmental policy.  The Foundation also produced highly influential reports on groundwater, wetlands, and U.S. national park priorities.

1973 - 1974           

Visiting Professor, Ezra Stiles College, Yale University; taught Seminar on Land Use and Environmental Policy.

1972 - 1973           

Executive Director, Task Force on Land Use and Urban Growth, a 12-member com­mittee chaired by Laurance S. Rockefeller.  The Task Force produced a popular report, The Use of Land, which went through three printings and 50,000 copies.  Reilly was Editor of the Report.

1970 - 1972           

Senior Staff Member, President's Council on Environmental Quality, with prin­cipal responsibilities in areas of land use, public lands, urban growth policy and his­toric preservation.  Authored decision papers and legislation in fields of land use policy, public lands management, mining and mineral leasing laws, and historic preservation.

1968 - 1970           

Associate Director, Urban Policy Center, Urban America, Inc. and the National Urban Coalition.  Co-authored report for the Public Land Law Review Commission entitled "Probable Future Urban Demands Upon the Public Lands."

1966 - 1967           

U.S. Army Captain; graduated first in German Language School at Oberammergau.


Attorney:  Ross, Hardies, O'Keefe, Babcock and Parsons, Chicago, Illinois.



        1971    M.S. in Urban Planning, Columbia University

        1965    J.D., Harvard Law School

        1962    B.A., Yale University (included one year at Institut d'Etudes Politiques,                       Paris, France)

        1965    Admitted to the Bar in Massachusetts and Illinois



Bill was born in Decatur, Illinois, to Margaret Mary Reilly (nee Kane) and George P. Reilly. He was strongly influenced by his father, a one-time jazz pianist turned highway construction steel merchant. When he was 10, his family relocated to Harlingen, Texas. He finished high school at Durfee High School in Fall River, Massachusetts, where both his father and mother had been born, and where he lived with his Aunt Katie.

He is married to Elizabeth "Libbie" Bennett Buxton Reilly.  They have two daughters, Katherine Buxton Reilly, an environmental lawyer, and Margaret “Megan” Reilly Cayten, an emerging markets power and infrastructure specialist.  The family resides in San Francisco, California, and Alexandria, Virginia.


        Chairman, Board of Directors, Global Water Challenge

        Chairman, Board of Advisors, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University

        Chairman Emeritus, Board of Directors, World Wildlife Fund

        Chairman Emeritus, Board of Directors, ClimateWorks Foundation

        Member, Board of Directors, Royal Caribbean International; Chairman, Committee on Environment, Safety and Security

        Member, Board of Directors, Energy Future Holdings Corp; Chairman of Sustainable Energy Advisory Board

        Member, Energy Task Force, Hoover Institution

        Member, Delta Vision Foundation

        Member, Advisory Board, United States General Accounting Office

        Member, Advisory Board, Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

        Member, Dean’s Advisory Council, Yale School of Architecture

        Member, Board of Directors, Partners for Livable Communities (Chairman, 1978-1988).




        Co-Chairman, Energy Project of the Bipartisan Policy Center

        Chairman, US Delegation to United Nations Earth Summit, Rio de Janeiro

        Trustee, by appointment of the President, Presidio Trust

        Chairman, Mayor’s Clean Tech Advisory Council, San Francisco

        Chairman, Board of Directors, Environmental Education and Training Institute of North America.

        Chairman, Board of Advisors, Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley

        Co-Chairman, National Commission on Energy Policy

        Member, Board of Directors, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company; Chairman, Environmental Policy Committee

        Member, Board of Trustees, American Academy in Rome

        Vice President of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), based in Geneva, Switzerland.

        Chairman, Natural Resources Council of America, 1981-1983.  (NRCA is the association of all major U.S. conservation groups.)

        Chairman, National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program (NAPAP).

        Member, Board of Trustees, National Geographic Society

        Member, Advisory Committee, Pew Global Stewardship Initiative, The Pew Charitable Trusts.

        Fellow (Member of the Board), Yale University Corporation (1994-2000)

        Member, International Advisory Board, Lafarge (Paris, France)

        Member, Board of Directors, AgraQuest

        Member, Board of Directors, Ionics, Inc.

        Member, Advisory Board, ERM CVS

        Member, Board of Directors, Eden Springs, Ltd.

        Member, Board of Directors, American Farmland Trust (Chairman, 1997-1999).

        Member, Board of Directors, Northeast Utilities.  (NU is the principal provider of electricity to Connecticut and Western Massachusetts.)

        Member by appointment of the President, Board of Directors, Inter-American Foundation.

        Member, Task Force for CA Climate Adaptation, Pacific Council for International Policy

        Member, Environmental Advisory Committee, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.

        Member, Board of Directors, American Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel.

        Member, Board of Directors, German Marshall Fund of the United States.

        Member, Board of Directors, Allied Waste Industries, Inc.

        Member, Commission on Natural Resources, National Academy of Sciences.

        Member, Board of Directors, Winrock International Center for Agricultural Development (agri­cul­tural research, training and service organization with projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America).

        Member, Advisory Council, Concern, Inc.

        Member, Advisory Council, Gas Research Institute.

        Member, U.S. Citizens' Advisory Committee to Habitat, the U.N. Conference on Human Settle­ments, and a member of the U.S. delegation in 1976.

        Member, Science Advisory Board, The Nature Conservancy.

        Member, Board of Directors, Point Reyes Bird Observatory.

        Chairman, Board of Directors, Clean Sites, Inc.

        Co-Chairman, National Commission on the BP Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling

        Member, Board of Directors, Enviance, Inc.

        Member, Board of Directors, Evergreen Oil, Inc.

        Member, Board of Trustees, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

        Member, Board of Directors, ConocoPhillips Inc.



Grand Order of the Golden Ark, Royal House of Orange

Vincent Scully Prize, National Building Museum (acceptance speech)

William K. Reilly Fund for Environmental Leadership at American University

Highest Honor, League of Conservation Voters

J.N."Ding" Darling Conservation Award for lifetime achievement, National Wildlife Federation

Gold Medal, US EPA

Vietnam Service Medal

Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Connecticut College, Syracuse University, Providence College