Volunteer Spotlight: Major General Rick Devereaux
By Flannery Winchester
Today’s Volunteer Spotlight shines on Major General Rick Devereaux, USAF (Ret.). He had a 34-year career as a pilot in the Air Force, where he commanded a squadron, group, two wings and the Air Force Expeditionary Center. Most of his staff jobs were in the areas of transportation, logistics, training, and international affairs, including four tours at the Pentagon. His last assignment was Director of Operational Planning, Policy and Strategy for the Air Force. Now that he’s retired from the Air Force, he’s the Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at Texzon Technologies, a Texas-based energy transmission company.
He’s also a member of CCL’s Asheville, N.C. chapter—but his volunteering doesn’t stop there. Maj. Gen. Devereaux serves on several nonprofit boards, including as Chairman of the National D-Day Memorial.
How did you first get connected with CCL?
I met the Asheville chapter leader, Steffi Rausch, in January 2016, when she invited me to participate in a “Climate Change and National Security” panel for CCL. In the military, I had overseen assessments of climate change on national security and was familiar with the huge energy logistics tail which operational commanders are dependent on.
What did you like about CCL?
I like CCL’s communication strategy and its free-market-based climate solution. CCL recognizes the importance of effective communications with individuals and groups across the political spectrum. I’ve found that other environmental groups are too often content with just “being right” rather than being effective communicators. I really like the bipartisan approach and the solution’s emphasis on minimizing regulation and enabling the free market to respond to the real cost of carbon to our environment.
Tell us about your main efforts or projects within CCL.
I got heavily involved with organizing and promoting a showing of “The Burden,” an award-winning documentary that tells why and how the military is leading the fight to reduce its dependance on fossil fuels. We thought this film presented a great opportunity to look at climate change issues through a national security lens and attract veterans, conservatives, progressives, environmentalists, and those interested in national security to a CCL-sponsored event.
It was a big success, with over 200 in attendance, and included a panel discussion and Q&A session after the film. The event seemed to de-polarize the issue of climate in our community by attracting many folks who would not normally come to a climate-related event. Our Asheville CCL chapter has gained a reputation for outreach to individuals and groups who are not members of traditional environmental groups. We are a very politically diverse group with a broad range of backgrounds.
What keeps you motivated to do this work?
The importance of the issue and the passion of CCL people who are committed to achieving a solution.
Got a suggestion for our Volunteer Spotlight series? Send the name, chapter and some brief info about the volunteer to Flannery Winchester at flannery @ citizensclimatelobby.org.