2023 Alumni Awards Profiles

Rod Sinks ’81Rod Sinks ’81

Reunion: 40th
Residence: Cupertino, California
Grinnell major: Physics
Other degrees: Master of Science in Electrical Engineering in computers and communication systems from Stanford University (1982)
Profession: Engineering management and public service 

3 ways Rod embodies Grinnell College’s mission of lifetime learning and service

  1. Rod championed education, economy, housing, transportation, and environment issues during his nine years serving on Cupertino City Council.
  2. He helped found and was the first chair of the Silicon Valley Clean Energy Authority, bringing carbon-free electricity at lower rates to residents and businesses in 13 cities. 
  3. He served as chair of the 24-member Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board, overseeing air quality and climate mitigation strategies across the nine-county Bay Area. 

Something you probably didn’t know about Rod

Rod has been a scoutmaster and YMCA Adventure Guides leader.

Rod Sinks ’81 poses with family.

Bonus Rod Fun Facts

  • Rod is immediate past president of the Cupertino Rotary Club and initiated its Climate Action Committee.
  • He has been a musical parody writer and cast member for the annual Los Altos Stage Company Follies fundraiser since 2008.
  • Rod has served as a Grinnell College class fund director since 1987 and has been a member of several Reunion Class Committees. 

A quote about Rod

“Rod Sinks is passionate, diplomatic, analytical, dedicated, and courageous. All these and other character traits have worked together to make Rod an effective and innovative leader.”

– Linda Sell, Sunnyvale City Council Member and former Bay Area for Clean Environment board member

Read more 2023 Alumni Award Recipient profiles.