Five Environmental Leaders Join FES Faculty

Five national and international leaders in environmental management have joined the faculty of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

The new faculty are Yolanda Kakabadse, president of the World Conservation Union (IUCN); James Lyons, who just completed his service as Undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment; Neil Sampson, the Frederick K. Weyerhauser Visiting Fellow and a leading authority on the health of forests in the United States and abroad; Hilary Sigman, an economist with a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Michael Washburn, a research scholar who has been the national coordinator of the Sustainable Forestry Partnership.

“Each of these extraordinary people are a reflection of the school’s belief that environmental challenges are increasingly international,” said Dean James Gustave Speth. “With their rich and successful experiences in finding solutions to environmental problems, they bring new breadth and diversity to faculty and student interactions.”

Kakabadse, an expert on biodiversity and sustainable development, most recently was Minister of the Environment in Ecuador. She is a member of the board of directors for the Ford Foundation and the World Resources Institute. She has a one-year appointment as Professor in the Practice of Biodiversity Conservation, and is teaching the course, “Conservation of Biodiversity in Latin America.”

Lyons is Professor in the Practice of Resource Management, and is teaching “Current Issues in Resource Management” this spring. Since his appointment as USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment in 1993, Lyons has played a major role in reshaping the nation’s forestry and conservation policies. In addition to directing development of former President Clinton’s Northwest Forest Plan, Lyons guided initiatives to create the Giant Sequoia National Monument and reform management of the Tongass National Forest.

Sampson is President of the Sampson Group, Inc., a natural resources consulting firm, and a Senior Fellow with American Forests. Among other activities, he is co-teaching “Public Forest Policy and Private Land Conservation” with FES Professor John Gordon. Associate Professor Hilary Sigman is the newest addition to FES’ ladder faculty. An economist who received her undergraduate degree from Yale, Professor Sigman has a master’s degree in Philosophy from Cambridge University in addition to a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is teaching “Economics of Environmental Management” this term.

Michael Washburn, who holds a Ph.D. in Forest Resources from Pennsylvania State University, serves as a liaison between FES and the U.S. Forest Service, focusing on outreach and engagement of multiple stakeholders on issues of sustainable forest management and forest certification.

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