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Lou Leonard

Vice President, Climate Change

Lou Leonard
Media inquiries: (202) 495-4102 or communications@wwfus.org

Some people think of climate change as something that will happen in the future – a problem for their kids or grandchildren to solve.  As a conservationist who’s worked with communities across America and around the world, Lou’s seen the effects our changing climate is having right now.  From unprecedented droughts and wildfires in the American West, where Lou began his career, to dying coral reefs in East Africa, where he lived and taught, to extreme rainfall in New England, where Lou grew up, climate change is here and getting worse.  

As Vice President of the Climate Change Program, Lou is the organization’s strategic leader on WWF’s work to fight climate change, including the important role that tropical forests play in that effort.  Lou previously served as WWF’s director of U.S. climate policy, leading our work to support a new climate and clean energy law for the U.S., as well as building WWF’s program on forests & climate change. 

A lawyer by training, Lou has practiced and taught international and domestic energy and conservation law, including with the US government and in the private sector.  He served as special counsel to the Secretary of the Interior specializing in water law and Native American rights.  From there, Lou worked as a senior associate for Latham & Watkins, LLP, specializing in California natural resources and energy issues.  He left Latham to accept a Fulbright Senior Scholarship teaching law at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, where he lived and worked from 2006-2007. While in Tanzania, Lou also supported local communities and civil society groups on land and forest conservation.     

Lou is also a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, where he blogs about climate change.

“Our political system in America is a bit like an ocean liner…neither is good at sudden changes in direction. But there are moments in time when we must act quickly and decisively. If we are to stop the climate crisis, that time is now.”

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More on Lou

Media inquiries: (202) 495-4102 or communications@wwfus.org

Title

Vice President

Education

  • JD – Certificate in Environmental Law, Boston College Law School
  • BA – Georgetown University

Areas of Expertise

  • Global climate change policy
  • U.S. climate change policy
  • Conservation law and policy
  • Environmental law
  • Water rights issues

Publications

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