Festival Year: 2016, 2017
E. William Stetson III
Roles: Special Guest
Bill Stetson is a film producer, as well as an environmental and political adviser/consultant. For the past five years, he has served as our consulting Director of External Affairs for EFF.
Stetson served as the founding president of the Vermont Film Commission. He co-produced “What We Want, What We Believe: The Black Panther Party Library”, “Citizen Suits” (for The Creative Coalition) starring Alec Baldwin and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.; “Environmental Insight,” the nation’s longest-running environmental radio talk show (Dartmouth College); and “A Closer Walk,” a PBS AIDS documentary currently in use by the U.S. Peace Corps, (with Glenn Close and Will Smith). Stetson also served as an adviser for “Earth and the American Dream,” an HBO Earth Day movie. Stetson is currently producing a television series featuring producers/actors living in rural America, (such as William H. Macy), as well as documentary and narrative productions on the arts in America, adoption, Governor Scott Walker, and energy-efficient affordable housing.
Stetson is the co-founder of River Watch Network (later successfully merged with River Network, based in Portland, Oregon). He sits on the Board of Directors of Foundation for Our Future, an energy & environmental think tank; he directed the Vermont and New Hampshire operations of the Connecticut River Watershed Council; and he served as a supervisor of the Ottauquechee Natural Resources Conservation District (U.S. Department of Agriculture). Stetson also served on the board of Vermont Public Radio (VPR) for 9 years, until 2014, and is presently co-chair of VPR’s $10,000,000 capital campaign. In 2011, he was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts. In 2012, Bill and his wife, Jane, were honored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Northern New England with the Outstanding Individual Philanthropists award.
Stetson served as CEO of Fairhill Oil & Gas Corporation, where he worked to transform the company from a traditional oil & gas firm to a profitable natural gas business. Stetson’s business endeavors and major investments since the late 1990s have focused on socially responsible companies such as Tom’s of Maine and Beech Hill Farm in Rockport, Maine.
Stetson has served as an environmental policy advisor to numerous political campaigns, including 6 Presidential campaigns, serving as a member of the Rapid Response Energy & Environment Team on the Obama for America Campaign (2008). In addition, he served as Environmental and Economic Growth Advisor to Governor Howard Dean, as well as on the Council of Environmental Advisers for Governor James Douglas (R-VT), and presently for Governor Peter Shumlin (D-VT). Stetson also served as advisor to the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) in Denver, developing pro-environmental convention practices as a National Advisory Board member of the Democratic National Committee.
Bill currently serves as a Trustee and Governor for the Smith Richardson Foundation (SRF). SRF researches both domestic and international public policy challenges. Stetson also is a trustee of the Grace Jones Richardson Trust and the H. Smith Richardson Testamentary Trust, which controls assets including 6,000 acres of protected land in the North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. He also is the founding President of the Boatwright Foundation, which supports pediatric medicine and the environment.
He has served on the founding board of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, where he received a bachelor’s degree and subsequently studied at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (energy economics and policy).
Bill and his wife, Jane Watson Stetson, a health care advocate and former DNC National Finance Chair, live and work in Washington, DC and Norwich, VT. They have two grown daughters, Nancy Heyl and Katharine Heyl, and a daughter Grace W. Stetson, who will be a senior at Georgetown University next year.
Festival Year: 2016, 2017