Educating Leaders

Woods leadership and education programs are preparing students, researchers, professionals and decision-makers to forge new pathways to sustainability. A diverse portfolio of programs focuses on developing skills, knowledge and networks to move ideas into action and support informed decision-making. Our programmatic offerings range from an intensive series of workshops and panels introducing emerging researchers to the inner workings of the nation’s capital, to a community-based leadership program preparing local entrepreneurs to steward and benefit from biodiversity in Costa Rica’s Osa and Golfito region. Read on for highlights from these and other programs to learn more about our work to prepare the next generation of global environmental leaders.


Navigating the capital

Twenty graduate students and postdoctoral scholars learned how to fund academic work, build networks, inform policymakers and communicate science research through Woods’ Rising Environmental Leadership Program (RELP). Now in its fifth year, the program offered campus workshops, networking socials and an intensive D.C. Boot Camp introducing participants to more than 40 inside-the-beltway professionals, including Stanford alumni and top White House Science Adviser John Holdren. Read more.

Student initiatives

Through the Mel Lane Student Grants Program, Woods funded Stanford student projects that hold the promise of bringing sustainable clean power to developing countries and using 3D printers to construct affordable drinking water purifiers, among other bold objectives. Read more.

Water and peace

Just as conflict over water can fuel revolt, sound water management and regional cooperation on water issues can create stability. That was the message of Jordan’s minister of water and irrigation during a standing-room-only Woods Environmental Forum in May 2014. Read more.

Leveraging ecotourism

Costa Rican entrepreneurs are learning about leadership and the value of biodiversity in Caminos de Liderazgo (Pathways to Leadership), a new INOGO program launched in in 2014. The program works with about 30 regional leaders to promote the development of rural community tourism, which provides both economic development opportunities and serves as a vehicle for environmental stewardship in sensitive biological corridors. Read more.

Faculty leadership

In 2015 Higgins-Magid Senior Fellow Jenna Davis (Engineering) and Anna Michalak, a researcher in the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Department of Global Ecology, were selected along with 18 other researchers around the country to join the ranks of the prestigious Leopold Leadership Program. This fellowship program, which is based at Stanford, provides outstanding environmental researchers with skills and approaches for communicating and working with partners in NGOs, business, government and communities to integrate science into decision-making. Read more.

On Camera

Science and Policy Perspectives from White House Science Adviser John Holdren

White House Science Adviser John Holdren was the keynote speaker at the 2015 DC Bootcamp for Woods’ Rising Environmental Leadership Program. View our Flickr album to see more photos from this year’s intensive week of panels, tours and meetings with Stanford alumni and other DC insiders from federal agencies, legislative offices and non-governmental organizations. Slideshow and More …

Lisa Jackson Speaks at Schneider Memorial Lecture

Lisa Jackson, the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency who now runs Apple’s Environmental Initiatives, marked Earth Day by giving a talk at Stanford about how the private sector can and should innovate and unleash a wide range of environmental solutions. More …

“I learned more about how the government really works in one week at RELP than I did in all my years growing up in the D.C. area.”

- Sebastien Tilmans, a 2014 RELP fellow and co-founder of re.source

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