2007 Mitchell Lecture on Sustainability
James “Gus” Speth, Yale University
James Gustave Speth, Dean and Sara Shallenberger Brown Professor in the Practice of Environmental Policy. B.A., Yale University; M.Litt., Oxford University; J.D., Yale University.
From 1993 to 1999, Dean Speth served as administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and chair of the UN Development Group. Prior to his service at the UN, he was founder and president of the World Resources Institute; professor of law at Georgetown University; chairman of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality; and senior attorney and cofounder, Natural Resources Defense Council. Throughout his career, Dean Speth has provided leadership and entrepreneurial initiatives to many task forces and committees whose roles have been to combat environmental degradation, including the President’s Task Force on Global Resources and Environment; the Western Hemisphere Dialogue on Environment and Development; and the National Commission on the Environment.
Among his awards are the National Wildlife Federation’s Resources Defense Award, the Natural Resources Council of America’s Barbara Swain Award of Honor, a 1997 Special Recognition Award from the Society for International Development, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Environmental Law Institute, and the Blue Planet Prize.
Publications include Global Environmental Governance, Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment, Worlds Apart: Globalization and the Environment and articles in Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, Environmental Science and Technology, the Columbia Journal World of Business, and other journals and books.
He earned his J.D. in 1969 from Yale Law School, attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar earning a M.Litt. in economics in 1966, and graduated with his B.A., summa cum laude, from Yale College in 1964. He recently received honorary degrees from Clark University, Vermont Law School, College of the Atlantic, and Middlebury College.