Anthony Cortese

Senior Fellow

Anthony D. Cortese, ScD is a Senior Fellow of Second Nature, the Boston-based advocacy organization committed to promoting sustainability through higher education. He was its co-founder along with U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA), and Bruce Droste. He served as president from March 1993-August 2012.

He was the organizer of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment and co-founder of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and the Higher Education Association Sustainability Consortium.

He is a frequent consultant to higher education, industry and non-profit organizations on institutionalization of sustainability principles and programs.

Dr. Cortese was formerly the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. He was the first Dean of Environmental Programs at Tufts University and founded the award-winning Tufts Environmental Literacy Institute in 1989 that helped integrate environmental and sustainability perspectives in over 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 over 350 presidents and chancellors in over 50 countries.

Dr. Cortese is a trustee of Tufts University and Green Mountain College and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was a founding member of the board of directors of The Natural Step US and of the Environmental Business Council of New England. He has been a consultant to UNEP, a member of the EPA Science Advisory Board, President Clinton's Council on Sustainable Development's Education Task Force and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow for Higher Education. He has been actively engaged in climate change and other large system sustainability challenges for 30 years.

Dr. Cortese is a frequent presenter to a wide variety of professional audiences. His writing can be found in a wide spectrum of publications. His essays on Education for Sustainability serve as foundational reading for transforming the process and content of higher education.

Dr. Cortese has B.S. and M.S. Degrees from Tufts University in civil and environmental engineering, a Doctor of Science in Environmental Health from the Harvard School of Public Health and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Allegheny College and the University of Maine Presque Isle. Cortese lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with his wife, Donna DiGioia.