Executive in Residence
The Erb Institute | Business for Sustainability
John Viera was most recently the former Global Director, Sustainability & Vehicle Environmental Matters at Ford Motor Company, a position he held since January, 2007. Mr. Viera was responsible for developing global sustainable business plans and policies, interfacing with global regulatory bodies, reporting externally on the company’s environmental and social performance, and leading the company’s engagement and partnerships with non-government organizations (NGOs) and other external stakeholders.
Viera has held several positions within Ford Motor Company during his 30 year tenure. For the first thirteen years of his career, he worked in the company’s Truck Division with responsibilities that included leading the Company efforts in the development of its first natural gas-fueled pickup trucks and also leading the Company’s Global Truck Computer Aided Design organization.
In 1997, Viera was appointed manager, Plant Engineering Vehicle Team, Explorer and Mountaineer programs. Located in Louisville, Kentucky, Viera was responsible for all on-site engineering personnel for Explorer plants in Louisville, St. Louis, Missouri, and Valencia, Venezuela. He returned to Michigan in 1999 to become the chief engineer for the Ranger Compact Pickup and Electric Ranger. In 2002, Viera took on the company’s mid-term cost reduction initiative, building a team which delivered $1.2 billion of savings in eighteen months, beating his assigned target by over a year. In 2003, Viera became chief engineer for the Expedition and Navigator Full Size SUVs, with complete responsibility for current and future model programs.
Mr. Viera recently served on the advisory boards at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, the Graham Institute of Environmental Sustainability at the University of Michigan, the advisory board of Sustainable Brands, and the Energy Advisory Committee at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, as well as the chair of the Department of Homeland Security’s Sustainability and Efficiency Task Force in Washington, D.C.
A native of Chicago, Viera attended the University of Michigan, receiving his Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1984 as well as a Masters in Business Administration in 1992.