I grew up in rural New York State and mostly took nature for granted, until I went to work in Mali (West Africa), where I saw how environmental management profoundly affects people’s well-being, sometimes even their survival. The links between the environment and human development still fascinate and motivate me today.
I was fortunate to spend almost six years in West Africa, at the beginning of my career, and definitely got the travel bug! Since then my work as a natural resource and environmental economist has taken me to about 60 countries. I’ve been to every continent except one – Antarctica is still on my bucket list.
At WWF, I get to apply my training in economics and public policy to the real world challenge of integrating environmental values in markets and business. So far, our team has focused on beef, finance/banking, forest products (timber, pulp and paper), metals and mining, palm oil, seafood (both wild-caught and farmed), and sugarcane.
WWF’s future strategy will also include something new – reducing wasted food – which incredibly adds up to one out of every four calories produced worldwide. The resulting waste of land, water, chemicals, energy, animals and labour is mind-boggling. I’m looking forward to working with the team and external partners to figure out how we can crack this.