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Governing Committees

The STAR Community Rating System is governed by two committees: the Steering Committee and the Technical Advisory Group. The Steering Committee guides the strategic development of the Rating System to ensure the integrity, mission, and guiding principles of STAR Communities. The Technical Advisory Group is in charge of the continuous improvement process and improves and advances the Rating System’s evaluation measures while upholding the technical rigor, fairness, and transparency of the Rating System.

The rating system was developed between 2008-2012 using an open, consensus-based process. Technical Advisory Committees comprised of experts from across the country determined scientifically valid, cost-effective ways of evaluating local government progress with oversight and guidance from a Steering Committee. After the rating system was released in 2012, the eight Technical Advisory Committees were consolidated into a 21-member Technical Advisory Group.

In order to maintain the rating system’s credibility, all substantive changes to STAR are approved by the Technical Advisory Group then sent to the Steering Committee for acceptance. Both committees are staffed by volunteers with expertise in community sustainability, as well as specific Goals and Objectives within the Rating System. For information on how to join a committee, view our volunteer page.


A formal committee of STAR Communities, the STAR Steering Committee serves as the governing body responsible for guiding the development of the STAR Community Rating System. The committee is charged with maintaining the rating system as a leadership tool, preserving its integrity, and evolving STAR using the consensus process in accordance with the mission, guiding principles, and strategic plan of STAR Communities. Download the committee’s charter here.


  • Adam Beck, Smart Cities Council Australia/New Zealand
  • Cori Burbach, Dubuque, IA
  • Lee Hayes Byron, Sarasota County, FL
  • Michelle Caulfield, Seattle, WA
  • Radcliffe Dacanay, Portland, OR
  • Leslie Ethen, Tucson, AZ
  • Eric W. Faisst, M.P.H., Madison County, NY
  • Wayne Feiden, Northampton, MA
  • Deeohn Ferris, Sustainable Communities Development Group
  • Richard Gelb, King County, WA
  • Dan Guilbeault, Washington, DC
  • Michele Halsell, Pennsylvania State University
  • Jill Horwitz, Broward County, FL
  • Jessica Johnston, International City/County Management Association
  • Chris Kochtitzky, US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
  • Lisa Lin, Rice University
  • Kristin Lynett, Tacoma, WA
  • Cooper Martin, National League of Cities
  • Doug Melnick, San Antonio, TX
  • Brenda Nations, Iowa City, IA
  • Melody Park, Indianapolis, IN
  • David Rouse, American Planning Association
  • Randy Solomon, The College of New Jersey and Sustainable Jersey
  • Michael Steinhoff, ICLEI USA
  • Paula Stroup, Raleigh, NC
  • John Thomas, EPA Office of Sustainable Communities
  • Jess Zimbabwe, Rose Center for Public Leadership
  • Rosanne Albright, Phoenix, AZ
  • Jeff Caton, Environmental Science Associates
  • Robyn Eason, West Hollywood, CA
  • Jacob Halcomb, Consultant, UN Environment Programme
  • Tessa LeSage, Southwest Florida Community Foundation


The purpose of the STAR Community Rating System Technical Advisory Group (TAG) is based on STAR’s guiding principle of continuous improvement.  The TAG’s mission is to enhance and where necessary clarify the STAR Community Rating System.  The group will address the following:

  • Maintain and advance the technical aspects of the existing STAR Community Rating System.
  • Continuously build, improve and advance credit intents, requirements and guidance.
  • Uphold the technical rigor, fairness and transparency in the STAR Community Rating System development process.
  • Holistically oversee, integrate, manage and envision the technical aspects of the STAR Community Rating System.