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William (Bill) Ruckelshaus-Madrona Venture Group

William D. Ruckelshaus

Strategic Director

William (Bill) Ruckelshaus left this world on November 27th 2019. You may read more about his extraordinary life here.

Bill Ruckelshaus’ distinguished career has spanned corporate boardrooms, government agencies, and major non-profits. He was Chairman and CEO of Browning-Ferris Industries from 1988 to 1995, and served as Chairman from 1995 to 1999. Bill was Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, serving as the Agency’s first Administrator when it was formed in 1970 and again as its fifth Administrator in 1983. He was later appointed acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and then served as Deputy Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice.  in 2015, Bill was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the U.S., recognizing his service to the country.

Bill served as Senior Vice President for Law and Corporate Affairs for the Weyerhaeuser Company, and in the mid-1980s, he again served as EPA Administrator before joining the Seattle law firm of Perkins Coie.

In 2004 he became Chairman of The William D. Ruckelshaus Center, a joint center of University of Washington and Washington State University and board member of the Bullitt Foundation.

In 2001 Bill was appointed board member of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy. In 2003 he was appointed to serve on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Science Advisory Board. In 2005 he was appointed by Governor Gregoire to co-chair the Puget Sound Partnership to organize the cleanup of Puget Sound.

Bill is also a former board member of Weyerhaeuser Company, Nordstrom, Inc., Cummins Engine Company, Solutia, Pharmacia Corporation, Monsanto. He is a former chairman of World Resources Institute in Washington, D.C., chairman of the Salmon Recovery Funding Board for the State of Washington, and chairman of the Seattle Aquarium Society.

Bill is a graduate, cum laude, of Princeton University and Harvard Law School.