Thomas Lovejoy

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Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy
2002 Recipient

Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy received the 2002 Lindbergh Award for his dedication to educating, motivating and engaging others in implementing knowledge and technological progress in favor of the environment. He is considered to be a world-renowned biodiversity expert and is credited with bringing the tropical rainforest crisis to the forefront as a public issue. Lovejoy is senior advisor to the President of the United Nations Foundation and chief biodiversity advisor to the President of The World Bank. He was appointed interim president of the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment in 2002.


Dr. Lovejoy has had an illustrious career. He served briefly on the White House Science Council in 1988, and on the President’s Council of Advisors in Science and Technology from 1989-1998, and was Co-Chair for the Committee on Environmental and Natural Resources under the Executive Office of the President’s National Science and Technology Council from 1992-1998. In 1993 he was chosen by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to be the Science Advisor, and also served as scientific adviser to the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme from1994-1997. In 1987 Dr. Lovejoy was appointed Assistant Secretary for the Environmental and External Affairs for the Smithsonian Institution, became Counselor to the Secretary for Biodiversity and Environmental Affairs for the Smithsonian in 1994, and served in this role for six years. He serves on numerous scientific and conservation boards and advisory groups including: The New York Botanical Garden, Committee for the National Institute for the Environment, Wildlife Preservation Trust, Resources for the future, and the World Resources Institute, among others. He is the founder of the most popular long-term series on public television, “Nature,” and for many years he served as principal advisor to the series.

A graduate of Yale University with a degree in biology, Dr. Lovejoy’s Ph.D. thesis placed him in Brazil where he introduced the technique of bird banding. His initiatives in preserving rain forests and creative approach for encouraging global conservation projects are inspiring. Lovejoy also served at the World Wildlife Fund-US from 1973-1987, and relished the opportunity to have met Charles Lindbergh, who served on its board of directors. Lovejoy directed programs at the World Wildlife Fund and was responsible for its scientific, western hemisphere, and tropical rainforest orientation. He later served as the Fund’s executive vice president for two years.