Bruce Oreck was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Finland on August 12, 2009. Ambassador Oreck has a diverse and encompassing background. Born and raised in New York City, Mr. Oreck also lived in New Orleans, Louisiana for many years and prior to moving to Helsinki, was a long time resident of Boulder, Colorado.
Ambassador Oreck has had a lifelong passion for nature and the wilderness. An avid hiker from his youth, Mr. Oreck has camped all over America, throughout Europe and much of East Africa.
A boxer in his high school years, Ambassador Oreck later was a member of his college’s championship fencing team. Mr. Oreck also worked as a boatman rowing wooden dories down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon for nearly ten years. When his children were young he was a committed runner and then later became a successful body builder. (Ambassador Oreck won the Colorado State men’s masters body building championship several years in a row.)
A mineral collector since he was a boy, Ambassador Oreck has assembled one of the leading collections of fine minerals in the United States and he and his wife are major donors of mineral specimens to museums throughout America.
Ambassador Oreck obtained his Bachelor of Arts from The Johns Hopkins University, his Juris Doctorate from Louisiana State University and his Masters of Law (Taxation) from New York University. Mr. Oreck practiced law for over 25 years representing many of the largest companies in the United States. He is the author of several books on taxation and has had a successful career as a speaker and lecturer on topics ranging from taxation to the process of creative thinking. In addition to his private legal practice, Ambassador Oreck served as General Counsel and Executive Vice President for his privately held family business, the Oreck Corporation, until the sale of that business in 2003.
In his capacity as a real estate developer, Ambassador Oreck worked for many years restoring and redeveloping historic properties. This work caused him and his wife to become more and more engaged in “green” building and ultimately focused on climate change and renewable/alternative energy. In 2003, Ambassador and Mrs. Oreck founded the Zero Carbon Initiative which is committed to implementing both experimental and off-the-shelf technologies in the built environment, not just to reduce but to offset greenhouse gas emissions.