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Trained as a biologist, Rex Burkholder worked as a science teacher and in the Northwestern forests. He started the bicycling revolution in Portland, Oregon as a founder and policy director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. An early leader in sustainability and equity, Burkholder also co-founded the Coalition for a Livable Future, bringing together over 100 diverse NGOs in the greater Portland region.
He was elected to the Metro Council in 2000, serving 12 years, where he led efforts to reform regional transportation policy and to integrate climate change into the decisions of all levels of government in Oregon. He has served on key task forces as well as national boards including Rail~volution and the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations. Recipient of numerous local awards, his work has been recognized internationally as well, being invited to speak in countries throughout Latin America on sustainable transportation and climate change. He was honored in 2010 as a Global Ambassador forCiclovia, an international movement to reclaim cities from the automobile.