Dr. Neil C. Hawkins is President of the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, a innovative and collaborative foundation dedicated to nurturing environmentally healthy and culturally vibrant communities in metro Detroit and supporting the Great Lakes. Hawkins is also a Board trustee of the Foundation. He is a recognized thought leader in sustainable development and public policy and their interface to business.
Hawkins was a 31-year employee of Dow Chemical, where he served in the C-Suite as the Chief Sustainability Officer and Corporate Vice President for Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S). He led Dow’s 2025 Sustainability Goals and was the architect of several groundbreaking collaborations, including the Dow/Nature Conservancy collaboration on valuing nature in business decisions, which won the Harvard University Roy Family Award for Environmental Partnership, as well as the innovative Dow Sustainability Graduate Fellows Program at the University of Michigan.
Hawkins is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR); a board director for Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc.; advisor to the Apollo Impact Fund; a former member of the International Olympics Committee (IOC) Sustainability and Legacy Commission; former member of the CEO Sustainability Advisory Board for Procter and Gamble; and member of the Committee on Policy and Global Affairs of the National Academies of the USA (NAS). Through NAS, he also co-authored Sustainability and the U.S. EPA commonly known as the "Green Book." Hawkins served at the request of Michael Bloomberg and Mark Carney as one of the few industry executives on the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (FSB-TCFD). Hawkins also teaches graduate students sustainability at the Harvard University Extension School (MS) and the Illitch School of Business at Wayne State University (MBA).
Hawkins was awarded the Corporate EcoForum’s 2012 C.K. Prahalad Award for sustainability leadership by an individual, and he was named one of the top 30 most influential sustainability voices on social media by The Guardian. He remains a social media thought leader and influencer. He holds doctoral and master’s degrees from the Harvard University School of Public Health, as well as an undergraduate degree from Georgia Tech. He and his family are very active in advocacy for individuals with disabilities and are enthusiastic supporters of community and professional theatre. Hawkins is a former member of the board of The Arc of the United States, a leading disability advocacy NGO in Washington. Hawkins has two wonderful adult daughters.