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Lawrence S. “Larry” Coben

Founder & Executive Director, Sustainable Preservation Initiative

Larry Coben is the founder and executive director of the Sustainable Preservation Initiative (SPI), the innovative community sustainable economic development and cultural heritage preservation not-for-profit. He is chairman of the board of NRG Energy, the Fortune 200 leading integrated power company in the U.S. He is also an archaeologist and consulting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, currently focusing on Inca imperial expansion and the role of spectacles, rituals and theatricality in ancient societies. In 2010, Coben founded SPI, a capacity-building and economic development organization providing sustainable business and entrepreneurial opportunities to poor communities where endangered archaeological sites are located. Many of humanity’s most important heritage sites co-exist with some of the world’s poorest people. SPI creates economic stability by giving communities the tools to be self-reliant, thus preserving our collective legacy. In addition to chairing NRG Energy, Coben has started and run numerous energy companies, including Tremisis Energy LLC, and was CEO of its two publicly-traded vehicles. He is a former CEO of the NYSE-traded Bolivian Power Company and a founder of Catalyst Energy Corporation. He sits on the board of Freshpet Inc. and was an advisory partner for the Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Fund. He is a former member of the board of the Chilean electric company SAESA. Coben received a B.A. in economics from Yale University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology with a focus in archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania.

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