Special Guest Speaker

Andrew Garling

Earth Day Co-Founder Andrew Garling was born and raised into a medical family in Muncie, Indiana. He completed an honors degree at Yale University in Sociology and Political Science. Andrew took a “gap” year during his university time to work his way by sea and land around the world. He returned to finish his BS degree and was admitted to the Harvard Medical School. During medical school he was recruited to join the first Masters of Public Policy class for a combined degree (MD/MPP) at the Kennedy School of Government. It was then that Andrew joined two other MPP classmates to move to Washington DC on request of Senator Gaylord Nelson to run a “teach-in” on the environment, much like the “teach-ins” that had been held on college campuses to protest the Vietnam war. Senator Nelson wanted it student led. The trio’s first step was renaming the event, setting the date of April 22, 1970, and organizing a national event: Earth Day. 

Andrew considers helping to found the original Earth Day to be one of his most lasting and beneficial contributions to society globally. Andrew’s career since 1970 centered on 15 years in Emergency Medicine. Leaving the front line, Andrew transformed to various executive roles in healthcare-related companies, including a software engineering start-up. He devoted time to earn an Executive MBA at the Emory Goizueta School of business. Andrew eventually left the medical field to earn a high school teaching degree at George Mason University to teach Chemistry, Biology, EMT training and physiotherapy in public schools. Currently retired, Andrew enjoys good health with his wife Susan de Mars, a retired non-profit lawyer, and their dispersed family of six adult children, spouses, and grandchildren. With a home in Denver, Colorado, Susan and Andrew are working through a wonderful bucket list of travel destinations; however, community and international volunteering provides an important perspective to balance their active lives.