November 18, 2010
Thomas Lovejoy, a tropical biologist and conservation biologist, has worked in the Amazon of Brazil since 1965. From 1973 to 1987 he directed the World Wildlife Fund-U.S., and from 1987 to 1998 he served as Assistant Secretary for Environmental and External Affairs for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. He was the World Bank’s Chief Biodiversity Advisor and Lead Specialist for Environment for Latin America and the Caribbean and Senior Advisor to the President of the United Nations Foundation. He served as President of the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment from 2002 and 2008, and moved to the newly created Heinz Center Biodiversity Chair in August 2008.
Dr. Lovejoy conceived the idea for the Minimum Critical Size of Ecosystems project, he originated the concept of debt-for-nature swaps, and is the founder of the public television series Nature. In 2001 he was awarded the prestigious Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement and in the 2008 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award. Dr. Lovejoy served on science and environmental councils or committees under the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations. He received his B.Sc. and PhD (biology) degrees from Yale University.