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Emilie Rex
IU Bloomington Sustainability

Last modified: Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sustainability leader to speak at IU Bloomington

April 14, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Scientist and environmental leader Anthony Cortese will discuss issues of campus sustainability in a keynote lecture this Thursday (April 16) for Indiana University Bloomington's 10-day environmental initiative SustainIU. The student-led initiative runs this week through Earth Day (April 22).

Cortese is co-founder, together with U.S. Sen. John Kerry and Teresa Heinz, and president of Second Nature, a nonprofit organization with a mission to develop the national capacity to make healthy, just, and sustainable action a foundation of all learning and practice in higher education. He is also a co-organizer of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment and co-founder of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

Anthony Cortese

Anthony Cortese

Print-Quality Photo

He is co-founder and co-coordinator of the Higher Education Association Sustainability Consortium and a consultant to higher education, industry and non-profit organizations on institutionalization of sustainability principles and programs.

He will speak on "Higher Education's Critical Role in Creating a Healthy, Just and Sustainable Society." The talk will begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 16, at the Whittenberger Auditorium at the Indiana Memorial Union, and will be followed by a reception. The public is invited to attend free of charge.

Cortese was formerly the commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. He was the first Dean of Environmental Programs at Tufts University and in 1989 founded the award-winning Tufts Environmental Literacy Institute, which helped integrate environmental and sustainability perspectives in more than 175 courses. He also organized the effort that resulted in the internationally acclaimed Talloires Declaration of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future in 1990, now signed by more than 365 presidents and chancellors in more than 50 countries.

Cortese was a founding member of the board of directors of The Natural Step US and of the Environmental Business Council of New England. He is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has been a consultant to UNEP, a member of the EPA Science Advisory Board and the President's Council on Sustainable Development's Education Task Force. He has been actively engaged in climate change and other large system sustainability challenges for 25 years. He is also a founding member of the US Board of Councilors for the China-US Center for Sustainable Development.

Cortese has B.S. and M.S. degrees from Tufts University in civil and environmental engineering and a Doctor of Science in Environmental Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Additional information about the SustainIU activites and about Cortese's lecture can be found at