Roger W. Sant is Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus of The AES Corporation, a global power company based in Arlington, VA. Roger served as the company’s Executive Chairman of the Board from the Company’s founding in 1981 through May 2003, and as a Director until May 2006. He was President from 1981 through 1986 and Chief Executive Officer from 1981 through May 1993.
During his tenure, AES grew from a small start-up with one million dollars of venture capital and six employees to one of the world’s largest global power companies. At the time of his 2006 retirement, AES had operations in 26 countries on five continents, 30,000 employees worldwide and nearly ten billion dollars in revenue.
A committed environmentalist, Roger was responsible for many industry firsts. He led AES in the late 1980’s to become one of the first companies to voluntarily counteract the effects of carbon dioxide emissions on global warming. The company sponsored the planting of 50 million trees in Guatemala and preserved thousands of acres of rain forest in South America. The company’s initial project in Houston, Texas used a nontraditional approach to reclaim gypsum from its waste stream and sell it to a nearby company to make wallboards.
Roger graduated from Brigham Young University in 1955 and went on to serve three years in the U.S. Navy as an intelligence officer. After earning an M.B.A with Distinction from the Harvard Business School, he was involved in two successful startup companies, both involving chemical instrumentation in the San Francisco Bay Area. He later became the Chief Financial Officer of Syntex Laboratories, headed Strategic Planning for Saga Foods and was a full-time lecturer in Finance at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
In 1974, President Ford appointed him to be the Assistant Administrator for Energy Conservation and the Environment at the Federal Energy Administration. Two years later he became the Director of the Energy Productivity Center, an energy research organization affiliated with the Mellon Institute at Carnegie-Mellon University.
As a resident of the District of Columbia, Roger has been involved with several local, national and international organizations. He is Chairman of The Summit Foundation and the Summit Fund of Washington. Roger is a Regent Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution. He served as a Regent from 2001 to 2013, was Chair of the Executive Committee from 2005 to 2009 and their first board chair from 2008 to 2009. He is also Vice Chairman of the board of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Roger has been on the board of the World Wildlife Fund – U.S. since 1991. He served as their board chair from 1994 to 2000 and again as co-chair from 2009 to 2011.
As a member of the National Symphony Orchestra Board since 1999, Roger was instrumental in bringing aboard the current Music Director, Cristoph Eschenbach. From 2009 to 2011 he served as Vice Chair and has been a member of the Executive Committee from 2001 to the present.
From 1994 to 2006, he was a member of the Board of Directors of Marriott International. Since 1999, Roger has been on the board of the DC College Access Program, a nonprofit organization funded by Washington-area companies and foundations that encourages and enables DC public high school students to enter and graduate from college.