Announcing our New Executive Director

December 5, 2017

 

Dear Friends,

After a rigorous national search, I am thrilled to announce that Michael Sutton, a veteran environmental leader with more than 30 years of experience, will become the next executive director of the Goldman Environmental Foundation, beginning on January 1, 2018.

Mike is a respected environmental conservation leader with extensive experience managing nonprofit organizations, influencing public policy, advocating for natural resources, and guiding successful philanthropic efforts. His distinguished career has ranged from work with the National Park Service to senior conservation roles at the World Wildlife Fund, the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the National Audubon Society. Mike has served as founder, director, and board chair of several nonprofit organizations and programs. He has received numerous environmental awards and has been published widely in marine and wildlife journals.

Mike Sutton’s decades of experience as an environmental leader in organizations of every size and variety will be of great benefit to the Foundation. We admire his passion and commitment to our mission to honor and inspire grassroots environmental activism around the world, and we are thrilled to welcome him into the role of executive director.

In Mike’s own words: “Working with the Goldman Environmental Foundation is the opportunity of a lifetime. Today more than ever, we need to support great people doing vital work to protect our planet and its precious natural resources on which all life depends.”

Some highlights of Michael Sutton’s career:

Mike is currently the board chair of COMPASS, an influential science communication organization that helps leading scientists become more effective in public discourse about the environment. He is a member and past president of the California Fish and Game Commission, to which he was twice appointed by the Governor to oversee management of marine and terrestrial wildlife, protected areas, and endangered species. While on the Commission, Mike and his colleagues established the nation’s largest network of marine protected areas off the California coast. He served as a vice president at the National Audubon Society, where he directed the organization’s operations and conservation programs on the West Coast and Alaska. At the Monterey Bay Aquarium, he was vice president and founder of the Center for the Future of Oceans, a program to expand the Aquarium’s influence in ocean conservation. At the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, Mike significantly expanded the Foundation’s work in ocean conservation and sustainable fisheries. Mike also served for a decade in numerous capacities at the World Wildlife Fund, including as founder and director of the worldwide Endangered Seas Campaign.

Mike received his Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Biology at Utah State University; did graduate studies in Marine Biology at the University of Sydney, Australia; and, received a law degree (Juris Doctor) with honors from George Washington University’s National Law Center.

Please join me in welcoming Mike to the Foundation.

 

Warmly,

Susie Gelman
President
Goldman Environmental Foundation

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