Portrait of Brad Gentry

Bradford S. Gentry

Senior Associate Dean of Professional Practice; Frederick K. Weyerhaeuser Professor in the Practice of Forest Resources Management and Policy; Co-Director, CBEY; Director of the Research Program on Private Investment and the Environment

Trained as a biologist and a lawyer, Brad Gentry's work focuses on strengthening the links between private investment and improved environmental performance, with a particular focus on increasing investment in natural areas.  He has worked on land, water, energy, industrial and other projects in over 40 countries for private (GE, Suez Environnement, Working Lands Investment Partners), public (UNDP, World Bank, Secretariat for the Climate Change Convention, UNEP) and not-for-profit (Land Trust Alliance, The Trust for Public Land, the Northern Forest Center, SustainableCT) organizations.  He holds a BA from Swarthmore College and a JD from Harvard Law School.

My research is on the links between financial and environmental performance, and the tools that can be used be used to attract – or drive – more investment into better performance. The legal aspects of these issues are the starting point for my work – whether they are agreed by investors (contracts) or imposed by governments (statutes, regulations, common law, treaties). Incorporating these legal tools into integrated frameworks for considering the biophysical, business and political aspects of land and water issues as part of efforts to improve performance is where most of my work is focused. Three major types of legal tools are being applied to attract or drive private investment into improved environmental performance:

• Enhancing the information going to investors, either through market or government-driven requirements (corporate reporting, product certification, etc.);

• Changing the market frameworks and incentives affecting investor decision-making, such as regulatory requirements and property rights; and

• Sharing investments with the public sector, in either passive (subsidies) or active (business partnerships) manners.

My teaching is on methods for strengthening the links between increased investment and improved environmental performance, particularly the tools that can be used to attract – or drive – more investment into better performance. The legal concepts and tools that investors use to put their money to work are the starting points for my teaching. 

At this point, my major class is the Strategies for Land Conservation capstone course (ENV 956/MGT 686). Started by students many years ago, the course explores the legal, financial and strategic issues facing the private land conservation community in the US. Each week a guest speaker joins us to share their experience on a particular topic. Students also work on a project with and for a conservation organization.


B.A., Swarthmore College
J.D., Harvard University


3 Publications