Chair, R20 Regions of Climate Action
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER is known all over the globe for his many accomplishments: world champion bodybuilder, Hollywood action hero, successful businessman, environmentalist, philanthropist, best-selling author, and California's 38th Governor.
This world-famous athlete and actor was born in Thal, Austria in 1947, and by the age of 20 was dominating the sport of competitive bodybuilding, becoming the youngest person ever to win the Mr. Universe title. By generating a new international audience for bodybuilding, Schwarzenegger turned himself into a sports icon. With his sights set on Hollywood, he emigrated to America in 1968, and went on to win five Mr. Universe titles and seven Mr. Olympia titles before retiring to dedicate himself to acting. Later, he would go on to earn a college degree from the University of Wisconsin and proudly became a U.S. citizen.
In 2003, Schwarzenegger became the 38th Governor of the State of California in a historic recall election, and as governor ushered in an era of innovative leadership and extraordinary public service. Schwarzenegger's most notable accomplishments while governor include the nation-leading Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 - a bipartisan agreement to combat global warming by reducing California's greenhouse gas emissions - and overhauling the state's workers' compensation system - cutting costs by more than 35 percent. In addition, Schwarzenegger was the first governor in decades to make major investments in improving California's aging infrastructure through his Strategic Growth Plan, helping to reduce congestion and clean the air. He established the Hydrogen Highway and Million Solar Roofs Plan, continuing his leadership in creating a greener environment. In November 2009, more than three years of leadership by Governor Schwarzenegger culminated with the passage of the Safe, Clean and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2010.
Since leaving office, Schwarzenegger co-founded the R20 Regions of Climate Action, a global non-profit dedicated to helping subnational governments develop, implement, and communicate the importance of low-carbon and climate resilient projects as well as their economic benefits. In December 2012, he was recognized as a 2012 Global Advocate by the United Nations Correspondents Association for his work with the organization.
In August 2012, the University of Southern California Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy launched to provide students an opportunity to focus on the responsibility of leaders to transcend partisanship in order to implement policies that most benefit the people they serve. Its five priority areas of focus are education, energy and environment, fiscal and economic policy, health and human wellness, and political reform.