John R. Nordgren, senior program officer for Environment, developed the Environment Program’s climate adaptation strategy. He manages The Kresge Foundation’s adaptation portfolio, which uses strategic investments and other tools to build society’s capacity to lessen the harmful impacts of climate change on people and nature.
“We have committed our planet to changes that will fundamentally alter life on Earth for many generations,” John says. “Climate adaptation is about building strategies that result in more sustainable and resilient natural and human systems. We hope to promote understanding and awareness of climate change and build our collective capacity to prepare for its impacts.”
In addition to managing a grant portfolio, John contributes thought leadership to the nascent field of climate adaptation. In 2010, John organized and facilitated meetings of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, foundations, and nonprofit organizations that provided input for the National Task Force on Climate Adaptation’s recommendations to President Barack Obama. He serves as an adviser to the city of Chicago on the implementation of its climate adaptation plan, co-chair of the Conservation Science Working Group of the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity (CGBD), and a member of the CGBD’s Horizons Committee.
Prior to joining Kresge, John was a program officer at the Henry P. Kendall Foundation in Boston for four years. He developed and managed the foundation’s Climate Change Adaptation and Forested Landscapes Program and led the Northern Appalachian Landscape Conservation Program. Previously, he was director of programs at the Massachusetts-based Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences and worked in the legislative program area at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington. John also has worked as a researcher, editor, educator, speaker, and strategic conservation consultant. He holds a bachelor of arts in public policy from the American University in Washington, and a master of arts in public policy from Tufts University, where he focused on natural resource economics and management.