The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Informa Connect, a division of Informa plc, announced their Greenbuild International Conference + Expo 2023 keynote speaker, Kal Penn. Penn is known for his exceptional accomplishments as an actor, writer, producer, and former Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Penn will take the main stage at the event on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 9 AM ET at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., in celebration of the 30th anniversary of USGBC. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Kal Penn to the Greenbuild 2023 main stage,” said Sherida Sessa, Greenbuild Brand Director, Informa Connect. “Mr. Penn brings a unique perspective to Greenbuild, having worked both in the federal government, in the Obama White House, as well as Hollywood. His most recent work on the Bloomberg Green climate change docuseries, Getting Warmer, shines a necessary light on this enduring issue that the Greenbuild audience works every day to combat.” 

"Kal Penn's remarkable journey makes him an ideal keynote speaker for Greenbuild 2023,” said Britt Jackman, director, conferences and events, U.S. Green Building Council. “His diverse experiences in government service, and his high-profile career allow him to leverage his platform to advocate for a fresh and insightful perspective at Greenbuild. Mr. Penn’s conversation will focus on the intersection of climate, clean energy and business, and will inspire our audience through humor and optimism as we celebrate USGBC’s 30th anniversary."

Penn is known for his starring roles in “Designated Survivor,” “House,” Mira Nair’s “The Namesake, the Harold & Kumar” franchise, and the Christmas comedy “The Santa Clauses” for Disney+. From 2009 to 2011, he took a sabbatical from acting to serve in the Obama/Biden administration, serving as the President's Liaison to Young Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the Arts community. In these roles, he worked on various issues, including the Affordable Care Act, Pell Grants, arts and culture programs, the DREAM Act, rapid response to the BP oil spill, the earthquake in Haiti, and repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Penn served as national co-chair for the Obama/Biden re-election campaign in 2012 and served on the President's Committee for the Arts and Humanities, focusing on arts education and cultural diplomacy, including the first-ever U.S. Government arts delegation to Cuba. Penn is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Earlier this year, Penn wrapped production on the Bloomberg Green climate change docuseries, “Getting Warmer”, and the Viacom/Paramount + comedy “Surina & Mel.” Following the departure of Trevor Noah from The Daily Show, Penn was named as a guest host.

The Greenbuild International Conference runs from Sept. 26-29, Expo: 27-28, 2023, and is the nation’s premier event for green building professionals -- architects, engineers, building owners & managers, contractors, interior designers, urban planners, manufacturers, and many others. The conference also includes a wide variety of interactive and collaborative education sessions, a dynamic show floor featuring sustainable building innovations, and a wide range of peer networking and industry recognition events. Professionals can also earn continuing education (CE) credits at the event.

Prior year’s keynote speakers have included Barack Obama, Christiana Figueres, and last year, to celebrate Greenbuild’s 20th anniversary, sustainability advocate, author, philanthropist and actor, Jane Fonda.

Named the premier event for sustainability in the events industry, the Greenbuild International Conference + Expo achieved Platinum Level certification on the Events Industry Council (EIC) Sustainable Events Standards and earned TRUE Gold Certification, representing that the event is leading the way in minimizing waste output, becoming more resource efficient, and environmentally responsible.

To register for the 2023 Greenbuild International Conference + Expo, visit the Greenbuild website.