Dr. Jonathan Foley is a leading climate scientist, sustainability expert, educator, and public speaker. He is also executive director of Project Drawdown — the world’s leading resource for climate solutions. His work focuses on finding solutions to sustain the climate, ecosystems, and natural resources we all depend on.
Foley’s work has led him to become a trusted advisor to governments, foundations, non-profits, and business leaders around the world. He and his colleagues have made contributions to our understanding of climate change, the global food system, and the sustainability of the world’s resources. He has published over 140 scientific articles, including many highly cited works in Nature and Science. He earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, and is among the top 1 percent most-cited scientists in the world.
A noted science communicator, his presentations have been featured at hundreds of venues, including the Aspen Institute, the World Bank, the National Geographic Society, the Chautauqua Institution, the Commonwealth Club, the National Science March, and TED. He has also written many popular pieces in National Geographic, the New York Times, the Guardian, and Scientific American. He has appeared on National Public Radio, the PBS NewsHour, the BBC, CNN, and in the New York Times, the Guardian, the Washington Post, WIRED, the HBO documentary “Too Hot Not to Handle”, and the film series“Let Science Speak”.
Foley has won numerous awards and honors, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, awarded by President Clinton; the J.S. McDonnell Foundation’s 21st Century Science Award; an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship; the Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America; and the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Award. He was also named as the winner of the prestigious Heinz Award for the Environment.
Before joining Project Drawdown, Foley led a number of environmental science and sustainability organizations. At the University of Wisconsin, he launched the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE) and served as the first Gaylord Nelson Professor of Environmental Studies. He was also the founding director of the Institute on the Environment (IonE) at the University of Minnesota, where he was the McKnight Presidential Chair of Sustainability. More recently, he served as the Executive Director of the California Academy of Sciences, the greenest science museum on the planet.