Under Frances's leadership, the organization sharply focuses on curbing global warming, developing a clean energy future, reviving the world's oceans, saving endangered wild places, stemming the tide of toxic chemicals and accelerating the greening of China. With Bob Deans, Frances recently co-authored the book Clean Energy Common Sense: An American Call to Action on Global Climate Change, which shows how we can secure a clean and sustainable energy future that will help put Americans back to work, reduce our reliance on foreign oil and create a healthier future for ourselves and our children.
Frances has worked with NRDC for more than 30 years. Prior to becoming the president in 2006, she served as the organization's executive director for eight years, during which time NRDC's membership doubled and the staff grew to more than 300. She also worked as a member of NRDC's water and coastal program, fighting to protect marine ecosystems from offshore oil and gas development and advocating for sound coastal land use.
"To be in this business, you have to be an optimist. You have to believe that change is possible and that you're part of the solution to getting that change in place."
In addition to her work at NRDC, Frances has played a leadership role in several other environmental organizations. She currently serves on the boards of the World Resources Institute, the Energy Future Coalition and Conservation International's Center for Environmental Leadership in Business. She has been a member of the boards of the Wilderness Society, the China-U.S. Center for Sustainable Development and the New York League of Conservation Voters.
Frances received a bachelor's degree from Yale College and a master's degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She now co-chairs the Leadership Council of the Yale School of Forestry, and was a member of the Yale Corporation and the School of Management's Advisory Board.
Frances has received the Rachel Carson Award from the National Audubon Society, the Distinguished Alumni Award from Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, the Annual Conservation Award from the Adirondack Council and the Robert Marshall Award from the Wilderness Society.