Dr. Saillant is the Executive Director, Fowler Center for Sustainable Value, Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. He has over 35 years of experience in energy technologies, including fuel cells, which led to senior executive posts where he grew and ran allied businesses up to $5.5 billion in size. He was named the first Executive Director of the Fowler Center for Sustainable Value in November 2009.
Dr. Saillant served 30 years at the Ford Motor Company and Visteon Corporation, where he began as a research scientist working on one-dimensional conductivity and eventually fuels and lubricants. There he advanced to the following succession of posts: Vice President and General Manager of the Energy Transformation Division; Vice President and General Manager of the Plastics Division; and General Manufacturing Manager of the Electronics and Fuel Handling Division.
In these executive positions he was responsible for global profit and losses, acquisitions, and services and sales operations. The divisions ranged in size from $3.5 billion to $5.5 billion in sales and employed up to 12,000 people in 19 countries.
This was followed by seven years at Plug Power, a publicly traded fuel cell company, where he served as CEO. At Plug Power he led five rounds of fund-raising from public investors to raise more than $500 million in capital. He was responsible for three acquisitions and government grants of about $10 million annually. Dr. Saillant was recognized as a leader in fuel cells, being accorded the inaugural lifetime achievement award by the United States Fuel Cell Council for his work at the state, national, and global levels.
After Plug Power he was most recently an adjunct professor at Marlboro College where he taught climate change. Dr. Saillant obtained his AB degree from Bowdoin College, his PhD in chemistry from Indiana University, had post-doctoral experience at UCLA in organo-metallic chemistry, and received an honorary doctor of science degree from SUNY Cobleskill. He has co-authored or authored some 25 papers in refereed journals. He has recently co-authored an environmental thriller, Vapor Trails, which is based on the fictionalized activities of several oil company executives.