Diversity and Environmental Leadership: Beinecke Leads Seminar Series at Yale

Note: Yale School of the Environment (YSE) was formerly known as the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES). News articles and events posted prior to July 1, 2020 refer to the School's name at that time.

The movement to solve climate change and achieve a more sustainable economy in the 21st century will require the work of a broad range of people working across many different fronts. In a new F&ES course led by Frances Beinecke ’71 B.A. ’74 M.F.S., the 2015 Dorothy S. McCluskey Fellow in Conservation, students will be asked to reflect on the widening range of voices engaged in these challenges across the U.S., and how the environmental movement can better reflect all segments of American society.

The course, “Diverse Voices: Environmental Leaders on Climate Change and the Environment,” will offer lectures from a group of diverse leaders tackling environmental challenges through advocacy, policymaking, academic research, and business. The course is being co-taught by F&ES Dean Peter Crane.

Each talk will be open to the public.

May Boeve Picture

May Boeve

Executive Director of 350.org

May Boeve is the Executive Director of 350.org, an international climate change campaign that is attempting to raise awareness of the need to decrease carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million. 350.org's creative communications, organizing, and mass mobilizations strive to generate the sense of urgency required to tackle the climate crisis. Before joining 350.org, Boeve co-founded and helped lead the Step It Up 2007 campaign, and prior to that was active in the campus climate movement while a student at Middlebury College. She is the co-author of the book, “Fight Global Warming Now.”
Frances Beinecke

Frances Beinecke  ’71 B.A., ’74 M.F.S.

Dorothy S. McCluskey Fellow in Conservation, former President of the Natural Resources Defense Council

Frances Beinecke, who is the lead instructor of the course, is the former President of Natural Resources Defense Council, a leading nonprofit environmental group that works to preserve clean air and water, protect people’s health, preserve wild landscapes, and foster vibrant and sustainable communities. Under her leadership, NRDC focused on finding solutions to some of the biggest environmental challenges of our time, including establishing a clean energy future that curbs climate change, reviving the world’s oceans, defending endangered wildlife, and wild places, protecting our health by preventing pollution, fostering sustainable communities, and ensuring safe and sufficient water. A graduate of Yale and F&ES, she has co-chaired F&ES’s Leadership Council, is a member of the Yale School of Management’s Advisory Board, and is a former member of the Yale Corporation.
heidi cullen FES course

Heidi Cullen

Chief Scientist, Climate Central

Heidi Cullen serves as Chief Scientist for Climate Central and leads the World Weather Attribution program. Before joining Climate Central she was The Weather Channel’s first on-air climate expert and helped create Forecast Earth, a weekly television series focused on issues related to climate change and the environment. Prior to that she worked as a research scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo. She received the NOAA Climate & Global Change Fellowship and spent two years at Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society working to apply long-range climate forecasts to the water resources sector in Brazil and Paraguay. She also serves as a member of the AMS Council and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Atmospheric Science and Climate.
rev yearwood FES course

Reverend Lennox Yearwood

President and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus

Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., president and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus, is a minister, community activist, and one of the most influential people in Hip Hop political life. He works tirelessly to encourage the Hip Hop generation to utilize its political and social voice.
 A national leader within the green movement, he has been successfully bridging the gap between communities of color and environmental issue advocacy for the past decade. With a diverse set of celebrity allies, Rev Yearwood raises awareness and action in communities that are often overlooked by traditional environmental campaigns. Rolling Stone named Rev. Yearwood one of our country’s “New Green Heroes” and Huffington Post named him one of the top ten change makers in the green movement. In 2014, he created People’s Climate Music, a campaign of Hip Hop Caucus, to bring the climate movement into mainstream culture.
dorceta taylor FES course
October 8

Dorceta Taylor ’85 M.F.S., ’91 Ph.D.

Professor, Environmental Justice Field of Studies Coordinator, University of Michigan

Dorceta Taylor is a professor of environmental sociology at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) where she is the Coordinator of the Environmental Justice Field of Studies. She also holds a joint appointment with the Program in the Environment. Her research focuses on history of mainstream and environmental justice ideology and activism, social movements and framing, green jobs, diversity in the environmental field, urban agriculture, and food justice.  She participated in the landmark 1990 environmental justice conference, “Race and the Incidence of Environmental Hazards,” at the University of Michigan and contributed a chapter to the book of the same name.  She also helped to develop the environmental justice program at SNRE — the first such program in the country. 
Margie alt FES course

Margie Alt  ’82 B.A.

Executive Director, Environment America

Margie Alt is Executive Director of Environment America, a federation of state-based, citizen-funded environmental advocacy organizations.  and the Environment America Research & Policy Center. Under her leadership, Environment America has grown to include 29 state-based groups and more than 1 million members, donors, activists and allies in every U.S. state. Alt has led the federation’s push to get U.S. commitments to cut carbon emissions from power plants; pushed the U.S. EPA to protect drinking water for 117 million Americans; and helped win designation of protected national monuments in Washington, Colorado, and New Mexico. She recently chaired the Green Group, an alliance of the nation’s largest environmental organizations, including Environment America, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, and others. She spent 25 years helping build U.S. PIRG and the state PIRGs (Public Interest Research Groups).
jon carson FES course

Jon Carson

Senior Director of Solar Ambassadors, Solar City

Jon Carson is the Senior Director of the Solar Ambassador program at SolarCity, an American company that providesdesign, financing and installation of solar power systems for residential, business and government customers. The Solar Ambassadors are SolarCity customers and others who help spread the word about the solar movement in their communities and tell homeowners about the opportunity to switch to solar power on their own home.  Before joining SolarCity Carson was Executive Director of Organizing for Action, a grassroots advocacy movement built by millions of volunteers and focused on passing the agenda Americans voted for in 2012 and training the next generation of progressive organizers.  Carson was previously the Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Deputy Assistant to the President from January 2011 through January 2013. 
aaron mair fes course

Aaron Mair

President, Sierra Club

Aaron Mair is the Sierra Club’s 57th president. Mair became a Sierra Club member in 1999 after leading a decade-long battle to shut down a polluting solid waste incinerator in an inner-city community in Albany, N.Y. His efforts ultimately led to a commitment by the state to shut down the facility and a $1.6 million settlement award to that community. Mair was also a key figure in securing the Sierra Club’s participation in the Clean Up the Hudson campaign, which resulted in a settlement between the U.S. EPA and General Electric to dredge toxic PCB sediments from the Upper Hudson River. He has held more than three-dozen leadership positions within the Sierra Club’s Hudson Mohawk Group and Atlantic Chapter. Hehas demonstrated an unwavering commitment to grassroots action, environmental justice, and transforming the culture of the Sierra Club to make it — in his words — “a more welcoming environment to all people, regardless of their race or socio-economic status.”
sandalow FES course

David Sandalow ’78 B.A.

Inaugural Fellow, Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy

David Sandalow is the Inaugural Fellow at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy.Prior to joining Columbia, he served in senior positions at the U.S. Department of Energy, including Under Secretary of Energy (Acting) and Assistant Secretary for Policy & International Affairs. Before serving with the DOE, Sandalow was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, as well as Energy & Climate Change Working Group Chair at the Clinton Global Initiative. He has served as Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans, Environment & Science and a Senior Director on the National Security Council staff.  He is the author of the book, “Freedom from Oil,” and dozens of articles and op-eds. He speaks widely on energy and climate policy and has served as a moderator at many conferences including the Clinton Global Initiative, World Future Energy Summit, ARPA-E Summit, and Clean Energy Ministerial.
adrianna quintero fes course

Adrianna Quintero

Founder, Voces Verde

Adrianna Quintero is Director of Partner Engagement for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and executive director of Voces Verdes. In 2004, she launched NRDC’s Latino outreach efforts with the report, Hidden Danger, Environmental Health Threats in the Latino Community,which highlighted how environmental pollution impacts U.S. Latinos. She founded and leads Voces, a national coalition of Latino business, health, community leaders and organizations representing millions of Latinos that advocates for climate action and the development of our country’s renewable, clean energy sources. Whether advocating for human rights at Amnesty International, for women at the National Organization for Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund, as a public defender, or as an environmental advocate, she recognizes the importance of working in partnership, engaging diverse voices and broadening networks to achieve the best outcomes.
manny diaz FES course

Manny Diaz

Senior Partner, Lydecker Diaz, Former Mayor of Miami

Manny Diaz was first elected City of Miami Mayor in 2001, having never before held elective office. He was reelected to a second term in 2005, and was chosen to lead the United States Conference of Mayors as its president in 2008. He developed a vision for Miami as an international City that embodies diversity, economic opportunity, effective customer service and a highly rated quality of life. To achieve this goal, he re-engineered Miami government from top to bottom. During his two-term tenure, Diaz was recognized for completely transforming the City of Miami, and for many nationally recognized innovative programs in the areas of urban design, sustainability and green initiatives, education, infrastructure investment, affordable housing, law enforcement, poverty and homelessness, and arts and culture. Mayor Diaz is a senior partner at Lydecker Diaz in Miami.