Lester Brown Speaks at the Center for the Environment

Lester Brown

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Lester Brown, founder of Worldwatch Institute and current founder and president of Earth Policy Institute, was called “one of the world’s most influential thinkers” by the Washington Post.

Brown began his agricultural career growing tomatoes in southern New Jersey during high school and college. After earning a degree in agricultural science from Rutgers University in 1955, he lived six months in rural India where he learned about the food/population issue.  He joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service in 1959.

In 1974 Brown founded Worldwatch Institute, the first research institute devoted to the analysis of global environmental issues. He has authored or co-authored 50 books, and his works have been translated into 40 languages.

He founded the Earth Policy Institute in 2001 to provide “a vision and a road map for achieving an environmentally sustainable economy,” according to his biography. The same year he published Eco-Economy: Building an Economy for the Earth, which the renowned E. O. Wilson called “an instant classic.”

Brown has received a host of awards, including 23 honorary degrees, a MacArthur Fellowship, the 1987 United Nations’ Environmental Prize, and the 1989 World Wide Fund for Nature Gold Medal and the 1994 Blue Planet Prize for his “exceptional contributions to solving global environmental problems.”

In recent years, he received the Presidential Medal of Italy and the Borgstrom Prize by the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry. He holds degrees from Rutgers University, the University of Maryland and Harvard University.