Bruce Brandfon - Council Chair
Bruce Brandfon is Chief Media Officer of Duration Media, a digital advertising company with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and London, Prior to that he was Executive Vice President of WebSpectator. He was Vice President and Managing Director at Publicitas (now NewBase), the global leader in media representation and consulting. Prior to joining Publicitas, Bruce was Vice President of Sales for the Philadelphia Media Network, publishers of The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Daily News and Philly.com. From 2001 to 2012 he was Vice President and Publisher of Scientific American. While there he was instrumental in launching Scientific American Mind and EARTH 2.0 as well as SA Custom Media and building scientificamerican.com into a successful element in the brand’s portfolio. Before SciAm he was Advertising Director of Newsweek, with responsibility for the development of Newsweek’s advertising strategies and the day-to-day management of the sales operations. Prior to Newsweek, Brandfon spent 17 years at Time Inc. where he worked in ad sales management for Fortune as Washington DC Manager and New York Advertising Director.
Brandfon received his B.A. with honors from the University of Virginia where he was an Echols Scholar and attended graduate business school at Fordham and Columbia. Brandfon is an Advisory Board Member of Verdant Global, and served on the Board of Junior Achievement of New York. He is an Adjunct Professor of Media Studies at Westchester Community College and has lectured at the University of Mississippi, Kenyon College, the University of Virginia, and the NYU Graduate School of Journalism.
Brandfon is married, has two sons and lives in Ossining, N.Y.
Decker Anstrom serves on the Board of Directors of Discovery Communications, as well as on the boards of several national nonprofit environmental groups (the National Environmental Education Foundation — where he is currently Chair of the Board; Island Press — where he earlier served as Chair; Climate Central; and Planet Forward), and a nonprofit educational group, the Institute for Educational Leadership (which he formerly Chaired).
During 2015-2016, Anstrom, who lives in Washington, D.C., served as U.S. Ambassador and Head of the U.S. Delegation to the 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC15), held under the auspices of the International Telecommunications Union. WRC’s, which convene every 34 years, are treaty-level conferences involving more than 150 countries that consider international and regional spectrum allocation and regulatory issues that support satellite, mobile, aviation and other wireless services.
Anstrom also served as the U.S. Ambassador and Head of the U.S. Delegation to the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC12) during 2011-2012.
He joined The Weather Channel Companies as President/CEO in 1999 and retired as President of Landmark Communications and Chairman of The Weather Channel Companies in late 2008, following Landmark’s sale of The Weather Channel to NBC. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Comcast Corporation from 2001-2011. Prior to his positions at Landmark, Anstrom had a long career in public service and in the communications industry.
Anstrom received a BA degree from Macalester College (St. Paul. MN) and attended the Woodrow Wilson Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University for one year.
Jerry Bloom is chair of Winston & Strawn LLP’s energy, project development, and finance practice group. Mr. Bloom assists clients in structuring, financing, and developing energy infrastructure projects, including renewable, combined heat and power, and fossil-fuel generation. He has assisted in the development and operation of energy projects in the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia, Australia, the Philippines, and China.
Mr. Bloom accompanied California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on his trade mission to China to promote the integration of alternative energy into China’s resource plans for meeting its rapidly expanding demands for energy. In 2011, the Daily Journal named Mr. Bloom among its first-ever, top-25 clean-tech lawyers in California. He has been recognized for his work in energy litigation in the 2011 Legal 500.
Mr. Bloom received a B.A. in Psychology in 1974 and an M.A. in Counseling in 1976 from George Washington University. He received a J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law in 1980. He also serves on the Advisory Board at George Washington University’s Solar Institute.
James L. Buizer
Jim Buizer is Professor in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment and Founding Director of the Arizona Institutes for Resilience at the University of Arizona, where he also holds faculty positions in Arid Lands Resource Sciences, and the Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Global Change. In addition to his service on the Planet Forward Board, he serves as Immediate Past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Council for Science and the Environment, and on the Executive Council of the Board of Directors of Second Nature, Inc.
From 2003-2011, Jim was Senior Science Policy Advisor to Arizona State University (ASU) President Michael M. Crow, and Executive Director for Strategic Institutional Transformation in the Office of the President, where he led the conceptualization, design and initiation of a number of academic programs, including the Global Institute of Sustainability and its School of Sustainability, launched fall 2006. He also served as founding Director of the ASU Center for Integrated Solutions to Climate Challenges and maintains his affiliation with ASU as a “Senior Sustainability Scientist.”
Prior to ASU he was Director of the Climate and Societal Interactions Office at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) where he was responsible for providing vision and leadership of NOAA’s integrated, multidisciplinary research and applications grants program positioned at the climate and societal interface. He led the establishment of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) and the Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessment (RISA) program. Jim received his degrees in Oceanography, Marine Resource Economics and Science Policy from the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. He is a native Spanish speaker.
As of July 2016, James H. Finkelstein is Professor Emeritus of Public Policy at George Mason University. Since joining Mason in 1989, he held a variety of administrative positions including serving as the founding Vice Dean of the School of Public Policy, Associate Dean of the College of Education and Human Development, and the founding Associate Director for the university’s Prince William Campus.
Prior to joining Mason, he was Dean for Research, Development, Governmental Affairs and Planning at New York University's School of Education, Health, Nursing and Arts Professions. He has been a research administrator in the College of Education at The Ohio State University and as the special assistant to the Vice President for University Communications and Development. He started his career as an elementary school teacher in Cincinnati, Ohio.
His principal areas of interest and research have been in education ranging from the adoption/implementation of technology to qualitative research methodologies to higher education. His current research focuses on executive compensation in higher education, the role of university presidents serving on corporate boards.
He is an active member of a variety of professional associations including the American Educational Research Association. He has served as a consultant to numerous government agencies and private sector firms. He was the founding North American editor of the journal AI & Society published by Springer and is a member of its editorial board. He was a founding member of the board for both the Institute for Educational Transformation, Inc., the C.R. Williams Early Childhood Center and the Lugano Academy for the Electronic Arts. He served as an executive producer of the public affairs series, Sesno Reports, which aired on PBS affiliates nationwide.
He has served on the boards of directors for the International Eye Foundation and the International Psychotherapy Institute.
Francesco Fiondella manages IRI’s communications team and oversees the institute’s strategic communications and media relations.
He holds masters degrees from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, as well as a bachelor of science from Brown University, where he studied environmental science.
Fiondella has worked as a science communicator for more than 15 years, using his writing and photography to convey how some of the world’s most vulnerable people struggle with the realities of climate, and what scientists are doing about it.
He is especially interested in ways to bring science into the public sphere through collaborations with artists, photographers and other cultural messengers. In 2016, he worked with painter Michelle Rogers to organize IRI’s first visiting artist. He has served as a judge and panelist on “Concorso Cambiamenti Climatici – The Grand Challenge” an international climate-art contest organized by the University of Venice.
Fiondella is also the co-creator of the 2014 Climate Models, a crowdfunded project that turned climate scientists into fashion models as a way to spark public engagement and interest in science. In 2014, he helped build a partnership among the International Center of Photography and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory to bring climate scientists into ICP’s gallery space to lead public tours and give presentations about their work. He also spoke about the important role photographers play in communicating science.
Before joining Columbia, Fiondella worked as an information graphics editor and staff writer at The Wall Street Journal.
Terry Garcia has more than 30 years of experience leading large and complex organizations with global operations. He has led public, private and nonprofit organizations in a broad range of industries, including science and technology, government, media, financial services, location-based entertainment, education and law. He has extensive experience in change management, strategic planning, audit and financial management practices, organizational restructuring, budget development and management, media production, new program and business development, strategic alliances, corporate governance and law, public policy and government affairs, and regulatory compliance.
Terry is currently president of Exploration Ventures, a company providing strategic advice to global clients in science and technology, art, media, education, hospitality, social and nonprofit industries across the private and public sectors. He is a frequent event speaker and moderator
Previously, Terry was Executive Vice President and Chief Science and Exploration Officer for the National Geographic Society. Under his leadership, the Society’s science and education programs experienced significant growth in global impact and prominence. He led National Geographic’s successful domestic and international retail licensing, experiential entertainment, 3D/large format film and 33-city NG Live event businesses as well as its Education Foundation. Terry also was responsible for the growth and expansion of the National Geographic Museum and its traveling exhibitions’ business, developing and launching some of the most successful exhibitions of the last decade, including the seven-year global tour of Tutankhamun’s treasures seen by more than 10 million people.
In June 2010, Terry was appointed by President Obama to serve on the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. He investigated the root causes of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and made recommendations on how to prevent future incidents.
In 2011, Terry received Peru’s highest civilian award, “Orden del Sol del Peru,” for his role in helping repatriate a collection of ancient artifacts taken from Machu Picchu in 1912.
Prior to joining National Geographic in 1999, Terry was Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, U.S. Department of Commerce, and Deputy Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). He also served as NOAA’s General Counsel from 1994 to 1996. In these roles, he participated in all major policy decisions of the largest agency in the Department of Commerce, managed the development and execution of NOAA’s programs and budgets and helped lead the development of the agency’s first comprehensive multiyear strategic plan. Among other accomplishments, he oversaw a major initiative to streamline NOAA’s regulatory programs, re-engineered the federal government’s approach to the assessment and recovery of damages for injuries to natural resources, negotiated the first collective bargaining agreement with NOAA general counsel employees and led the implementation of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Restoration Plan.
Before entering government service, Terry was a partner in the global law firms of Manatt Phelps & Phillips and Hughes Hubbard & Reed.
Betty Hudson is an award-winning communications industry leader with more than four decades of experience in every aspect of corporate and strategic communications, including consumer, employee, financial and cause related marketing, as well as brand and communications management. Having retired as Chief Communications Officer of the National Geographic Society at the end of 2015, Hudson now consults with business leaders, nonprofit organizations and for profit entities on an array of communications issues.
Hudson is a member of the AFLAC Board of Directors, serving as a member of the company’s Finance and Investment Committee, and chair of the Sustainability Committee. She is co-chair of the Washington Chapter of Women’s Corporate Directors, an international organization of more than 3,000 women serving on more than 5,000 corporate boards worldwide, and is a member of the WCD global advisory council.
Active in community affairs, Hudson serves on the board of trustees of the Kakenya Center for Excellence (a school for Maasai girls in Kenya, She is a past president of the New York Women’s Agenda and the Montclair Board of Education in Montclair, New Jersey, a former chairman of the Inova Fairfax Children’s Hospital Quality Committee. She is also a former board member of the Inova Health Care Services board and the Associates Board of Directors of the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts.
Mark Lichtenstein is the executive operating officer at the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), recognized in the top tier of “green” institutions globally. He is the chief sustainability officer and an environmental studies adjunct professor at ESF, and a faculty associate in the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
Since 2015, Mark has been actively engaged with Planet Forward (PF), including helping to secure ESF as a PF Pillar Institution. He has focused on increasing academic institutional engagement, developing funds, launching a pillar institution student intern program, supporting and expanding the Indigenous Correspondence Initiative, and expanding access to PF offerings through mechanisms like potential summer academic programs.
Mark has been engaged with sustainability and regenerative community engagements throughout the U.S., including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and in Belize, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. Most recently, he has focused his efforts on post-disaster response in the Caribbean. He testified to Congress in 2017 about the post-hurricane situation in that region. Mark co-founded and advises ESF’s “Acorns2Action,” a unique student-led disaster response group. He was an active member and facilitator of the Vieques Sustainability Task Force—established by President Barack Obama—an initiative of the White House Task Force on Puerto Rico. He is a member of the SUNY Puerto Rico Task Force and New York State Stands with Puerto Rico initiative. Mark is vice president and a board member for Island Green Living Association (U.S. Virgin Islands), and treasurer and board member for ViequesLove (Puerto Rico). He co-founded and facilitated the Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands Recycling Partnerships.
Mark served eight terms as president, and is an honorary lifetime board member of the National Recycling Coalition; co-led the formation of national and regional recycling organizations in the U.S.; and, conceived of, and leads the New York State Center for Sustainable Materials Management, the first of its kind in the U.S. He is an advisory council member of Beyond Plastics based at Bennington College (VT). He led the development of the first national (U.S.) sustainable materials management summit held at the University of Maryland—focused on the circular economy—developed and led a regional sustainable materials management program in upstate New York, and marketed the first-ever recyclables traded through the Chicago Board of Trade.
Mark is a select member of the National Roster of Environmental Conflict Resolution Professionals administered by the U.S. government through the John S. McCain III National Center for Environmental Conflict Resolution (NCECR). He led sustainability centers at Syracuse University, and served as an expert witness to the U.S. Environmental Finance Advisory Board. He is the founder and principal of Embrace Impatience Associates, and the principal of Lichtenstein Consulting, providing training and consultation on board development, circular economy, communications, conflict management, environmental finance, facilitation, leadership, negotiation, resiliency, and sustainability.
Mark has a M.A. in Public Administration, and a Graduate Certificate of Advanced Studies in Conflict Resolution, both from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School, and graduate training in environmental science and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from ESF. He has certified mediator training, is an experienced interest-based negotiator and process facilitator, and is a certified public participation specialist.
Rick Leach is the former president and CEO of World Food Program USA, a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., that shapes U.S. public policy and generates resources for the United Nations World Food Programme.
WFP USA educates Members of Congress, the administration, and other government officials about international hunger issues and specific policies that could improve U.S. government efforts to address global hunger.
Over the last 20 years, Leach has developed and directed campaigns for the World Health Organization, UNICEF, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Alliance for Representative Democracy and World Wildlife Fund that continue to improve millions of lives across the world. A lawyer by training, he served on the foreign policy staff for the U.S. House of Representatives' Select Committee on Hunger before going on to serve in the Clinton Administration, where he created and oversaw a Presidential campaign to increase the U.S. childhood immunization rate.
Valerie Luzadis is Professor of Ecological Economics and Policy and Chair of the Department of Environmental Studies at the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Her research and teaching focuses on the relationships among social, economic, and ecological systems. Luzadis’ current focus is on systems approaches to social-ecological foundations for conservation and sustainability. Her scholarly work includes a focus on the practice of interdisciplinary science and efforts to collaboratively link science and policy.
Luzadis is currently President of the United States Society for Ecological Economics, having served as leader of the Founding Organizational Committee for the United States Society for Ecological Economics in 1999 and on the Board three times in varying capacities since. She also served in state and national leadership roles in the Society of American Foresters. Luzadis was the first woman to serve as the elected Chair of the House of Society Delegates at the National level in 1996 after having served as Chair at the New York SAF level in 1995-1996. She won the National Young Forester Leadership Award from the Society of American Foresters in 1997.
Luzadis also brings strong practical experience having worked in Cornell Cooperative Extension and a forestry trade organization for several years. In addition, Luzadis consults with groups such as The Nature Conservancy and The Wildlife Conservation Society to advise and facilitate community-based conservation efforts.
Meaghan Parker is the Executive Director of the Society of Environmental Journalists. Previously, she was the Senior Writer/Editor and Partnerships Director for the Environmental Change and Security Program and the Global Sustainability and Resilience Program of the Wilson Center, a nonpartisan policy forum in Washington, D.C., where she worked for 15 years. She was the founder and editor-in-chief of the award-winning New Security Beat, a daily blog covering environment, health and security. She was the supervising producer of the award-winning documentary trilogy, “Healthy People, Healthy Environment,” filmed in Tanzania, Nepal and Ethiopia. She was the lead editor of "A New Climate for Peace," an online platform and independent study commissioned by the G7 Foreign Ministers. A frequent speaker and moderator on panels about media, she served two three-year terms on SEJ's Board of Directors. Before joining the Wilson Center, she was Manager of Research and Internal Communications at the Fortune 500 energy company PPL Global, where she researched international investments and renewable energy policy.
Charles W. Richardson
Charles W. Richardson, Jr. currently serves as Dean for Misericordia University College of Business. He previously served as Dean of the School of Business and Associate Professor of Marketing, at Claflin University. Prior to that, he worked as Sustainability Chair and Associate Professor in the Marketing Department at Clark Atlanta University, where his teaching duties included courses in Consumer Behavior, Marketing Strategy, Multicultural Marketing and Sustainability Marketing.
Dr. Richardson earned his doctorate in Marketing and International Business from Pace University’s Lubin School of Business. His previous education includes a M.B.A. in Marketing (New York University, Stern School of Business), a M.S. in Operations Research & Statistics (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), a B.S. in Mathematics (Pratt Institute), and Masters Certificates in Finance (Wharton School of Business) and Project Management (Stevens Institute of Technology).
Dr. Richardson’s research interests include Consumer Social identity, Cross Cultural Consumer Purchasing Behavior, Green Business Models, Ecopreneurship and Marketing’s Role in Sustainability. His research has been presented at an extensive array of conferences, and published in numerous journals in the Marketing and International Business disciplines.
Prior to his service in academia, Dr. Richardson spent significant time working in the private sector, primarily with AT&T, accumulating extensive knowledge and experience in international strategy, global alliances and ventures, mergers and acquisitions and transition planning and change management.
He is a lifetime member of the National Black MBA Association, a past president of the Ph.D. Project’s Marketing Doctoral Students Association and a member of Beta Gamma Sigma and Omicron Delta Epsilon Honor Societies. He also holds certifications in Quality Assurance, Integrated Planning in Higher Education and Practice of MBTI Step I and Step II Instruments. He served as an ACE Fellow during the 2013-2014 academic year.
His community involvement includes serving on the board of directors of the Association of Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and the Greening Youth Foundation.
Tik Root joined The Washington Post in 2021 to cover climate and climate solutions. Root, who grew up in Vermont, graduated from Middlebury College with a B.A. in international politics & economics and has an M.A. in science, health and environment journalism from Columbia University.
Root started his career as a freelance journalist in Yemen, and has since filed from five continents for outlets such as National Geographic, the New York Times and The Atlantic, among others. He has covered everything from Al-Qaeda to the Olympics.
He was a co-winner of a regional Edward R. Murrow award for a GroundTruth article. He was part of the team that won the Society of Environmental Journalist award for outstanding explanatory reporting in 2017.
Matt Scott is a social impact storyteller passing the mic to the changemakers who often go unheard. Day-to-day, Matt leads storytelling at the world's leading climate solutions resource Project Drawdown. In 2017, he founded inclusive impact storytelling project Let's Care, where he's interviewed 100+ underrepresented changemakers, and released the pilot film "20s & Change: San Francisco," as recognized in the San Francisco Black Film Festival and available at www.lets.care/film.
From 2016-2020, Matt served as the global community lead and storyteller for the world's largest global hackathon, NASA's International Space Apps Challenge, engaging 100,000+ people in 150+ countries, while also collaborating on projects with Nike, USAID, Walmart, Pivotal Ventures by Melinda Gates, the United Nations, and the White House. Over his career, Matt has reached half a billion people in the digital space, all while shining a light on issues including identity, belonging, blackness in the workplace, sexual violence, youth social innovation, and grief and loss.
Matt, a George Washington University alumnus, is also a podcaster with the No. 1 reality TV podcast network Rob Has A Podcast, a youth social innovation mentor and council member with LearnServe International, a board member with mental health non-profit SUPERBANDS, and a community moderator for the 25,000+ person Option B grief community.
Tom Szaky is the founder and CEO of TerraCycle, a global leader in the collection and repurposing of otherwise non-recyclable pre and post-consumer waste. TerraCycle operates in 21 countries, working with the world’s largest brands and companies to create national platforms to recycle products and packaging that currently go to landfill or incineration.
Through TerraCycle, Tom is pioneering a new waste management process, involving manufacturers, retailers, governments and consumers, to create circular solutions for materials such as cigarette butts, laboratory waste, coffee capsules and even food packaging that otherwise have no other path to be recycled.
Tom is the author of three books, “Revolution in a Bottle” (2009, Portfolio) and “Outsmart Waste” (2014, Berrett-Koehler) and “Make Garbage Great” (2015, HarperCollins). Tom created, produced and starred in TerraCycle’s reality show, “Human Resources” which aired on Pivot from 2014-2016. Tom and TerraCycle have received over 200 social, environmental and business awards and recognition from a range of organizations including the United Nations, World Economic Forum, Forbes Magazine, Fortune Magazine, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
As former President and Chief Executive Officer of Noblis, Dr. Thomas was responsible for the general management and direction of the company’s overall technical, financial, and administrative activities. Noblis is a nonprofit science, technology and strategy organization working at all levels of government, in private industry and with other nonprofits in areas that are essential to our nation’s well being: national and homeland security, public safety, transportation, health care, criminal justice, energy and the environment, and oceans, atmosphere and space. Dr. Thomas is now a member of the Board of Trustees of Noblis.
Dr Thomas is a member of the following professional organizations: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (Associate Fellow); American Society of Toxicology; National Defense Industrial Association; the Teratology Society; and the International Women’s Forum.
Dr. Thomas holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Cytology from Howard University, 1973; a Master of Science in Microbiology from American University, 1971; and a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from Howard University, 1965.
Beth A. Viola is senior policy advisor with Holland & Knight and co-chairs the firm’s Energy & Clean Technology Team. The primary focus of her practice is working with clean energy technology companies to create sound public policy drivers for their businesses. She works with business leaders and non-profits to advance effective climate change strategies that result in economic and environmental benefits.
Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Ms. Viola served as a senior advisor to the White House Council on Environmental Quality. She served as the primary White House liaison on issues of climate change, natural resources and smart growth to elected officials, industry, environmental, religious and labor leaders as well as the media.
Carol Werner serves as Executive Director of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute in Washington, DC - a non-profit education and policy organization. EESI is dedicated to sustainable development, believing that a sound environment and a sound economy go hand in hand. Ms. Werner came to EESI in late 1987 as director of EESI's Energy & Climate Change Program through January 1998 when she was named Executive Director. Ms. Werner has more than 30 years of public policy experience on energy and environmental issues. She has organized dozens of Congressional briefings on science, technology and policy issues and has been a frequent speaker at many conferences and workshops on energy and environmental issues in EESI’s program areas.
Carol serves on the steering committee of the Sustainable Energy Coalition, the Environmental Advisory Committee of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, and the Policy Committee of the American Solar Energy Society. She also serves on the board of the National Center for Appropriate Technology, the editorial board of BioCycle magazine, the Advisory Board of Planet Forward, and is an Advisory Member of the President’s Climate Action Project (PCAP). She was a member of the Department of Energy's (DOE) State Energy Advisory Board for six years, served on the World Council of Churches Task Force on Climate Change, and was a stakeholder in the DOE/USDA Bioenergy Initiative. Carol also was a member of DOE's Federal Advisory Committee on the Commercialization of Renewable Energy Technologies and was a founding member of the U.S. Climate Action Network.
Before joining EESI, Ms. Werner served as the legislative director of the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition, the legislative representative for the National Consumer Law Center, and as a legislative assistant to Rep. Neal Smith (D – IA).
Past Council Members
Dr. Thomas Lovejoy, 2017-2021
Thomas E. Lovejoy died Dec. 25, 2021. He was elected University Professor at George Mason in March 2010. He previously held the Biodiversity Chair at the Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment and was President from 2002-2008.
An ecologist who worked in the Brazilian Amazon since 1965, he focused on the interface of science and environmental policy. Starting in the 1970’s he helped bring attention to the issue of tropical deforestation and in 1980 published the first estimate of global extinction rates (in the Global 2000 Report to the President). He conceived the idea for the long term study on forest fragmentation in the Amazon (started in 1978) which is the largest experiment in landscape ecology, the Minimum Critical Size of Ecosystems project (also known as the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project). He also coined the term “biological diversity,” originated the concept of debt-for-nature swaps and has worked on the interaction between climate change and biodiversity for more than 30 years.
He was the founder of the public television series “Nature.” He served as the Senior Advisor to the President of the United Nations Foundation, as the Chief Biodiversity Advisor to the World Bank as well as Lead Specialist for the Environment for the Latin American region, as the Assistant Secretary for Environmental and External Affairs for the Smithsonian Institution, and as Executive Vice President of World Wildlife Fund-U.S.
In 2002, he was awarded the Tyler Prize, and in 2009 he was the winner of BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Ecology and Conservation Biology Category. In 2012 he received the Blue Planet Prize. He has served on advisory councils in the Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton administrations. In 2009 he was appointed Conservation Fellow by the National Geographic Society. He chaired the Scientific and Technical Panel for the Global Environment Facility which provides funding related to the international environmental conventions from 2009-2013 and served as Advisor to the Chair.
He received his B.S. and Ph.D. (Biology) from Yale University.