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Christopher (Chris) Glenn Sawyer

Chair Emeritus, UNC Institute for the Environment Board of Visitors; and Senior Counsel, Alston & Bird
Atlanta, GA


Christopher Glenn Sawyer is a retired partner and senior counsel at Alston & Bird, where he practiced law for 35 years. During that time, he developed and pursued a national practice focused on corporate, real estate and environmental areas of law, ultimately emphasizing institutional development, deal structures, strategic matters and management of legal issues. Although Sawyer no longer engages in an active law practice, he does continue to advise various entities on strategic and development issues.

He has dedicated his career to the development of sustainable, environmental and conservation conscious real estate programs and has worked with many entities and communities. He has been widely recognized for his work throughout his career. He has accepted the Urban Land Institute’s Global Award for Excellence and the Harry West Golden Glasses Award from the Atlanta Regional Council, a special commendation from the Georgia House of Representatives for his contributions to Georgia, the Ferguson Award as the Trust for Public Land’s most outstanding national volunteer, the Justice Robert Benham Award from the State Bar of Georgia for his public service and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chattahoochee Nature Center.

Sawyer is passionate about assisting young people and developing successful socially responsible entities and has given numerous speeches across the country. He has recently taught at Yale University, University of Georgia, and Wake Forest University on social entrepreneurship, institutional development and leadership.