WRI elects Daniel Cruise, Jonathan Lash and Dr. Jaime Lerner

The World Resources Institute (WRI) has elected three innovative leaders to join its board of directors: Daniel Cruise, Vice President of Public and Government Affairs of Alcoa Inc.; Jonathan Lash, former President of WRI and recently-elected President of Hampshire College; and Dr. Jaime Lerner, an architect, urban planner, former Mayor of Curitiba, and former Governor of Parana State, Brazil.

“We are honored to welcome Daniel, Jonathan, and Jaime to our board as our organization works to address critical environmental and sustainability issues,” said WRI Interim President Manish Bapna. “For Jonathan, this is an ideal way for him to stay engaged and provide guidance, as we build upon the foundation that he helped to create. Daniel and Jaime bring unique and valuable experiences in business and the public sector, from both domestic and international perspectives, which will help us to be successful in meeting today’s pressing environmental challenges.”

Daniel Cruise is Vice President of Public and Government Affairs at Alcoa and a member of the firm’s Executive Council, the senior leadership team that sets the strategic direction for the company. Cruise has extensive experience in foreign policy, public service and business, as well as a dedication to philanthropic work.

“I am honored to join the board of WRI—an organization that has made a tremendous impact to advance business sustainability,” said Cruise. “After working in both the public and private sectors, I understand the values that an organization like WRI brings in advancing innovative, yet practical, approaches to many of the world’s biggest challenges.”

Cruise previously served as Managing Director for the Albright Stonebridge Group, a global business advisory group. During the Clinton administration, Cruise worked at the White House as Assistant Press Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Director of Public Affairs for the National Security Council, helping shape President Clinton’s foreign policy message. In this role, he worked extensively to secure passage of a landmark bill normalizing trade relations between the U.S. and China. Cruise also served as Director of Public Affairs for the International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Jonathan Lash, WRI’s president for 18 years, is an internationally recognized expert on practical solutions to global sustainability and development challenges. In July 2011, Lash transitioned from WRI to take on a new role as President of Hampshire College in Massachusetts. During his tenure at WRI, the organization grew to more than 300 people across eight countries, developed partnerships in more than 50 countries, and opened an office in Beijing, China. Lash's vision and leadership cut across the institute from climate change to business sustainability to governance, ecosystems, transportation, and more.

“While I have moved to a new venue, I am honored to join WRI's board so I can continue to stay engaged with issues close to my heart,” said Lash. “I’m happy that WRI is thriving, and I’m eager to see the exciting directions the organization will take in the months and years to come.”

From 1993 to 1999, Lash served as co-chair of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development, a group of government, business, labor, civil rights, and environmental leaders appointed by President Clinton that developed recommendations for strategies to promote sustainable development. Lash also played a key role in the creation of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, which in 2007 issued the highly influential “Call to Action” on global warming. Lash also served on President Obama’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future.

Dr. Jaime Lerner is an architect and city planner, based in Brazil, who is currently president of the Instituto Jaime Lerner. During three terms as mayor of Curitiba, Brazil, Lerner implemented the groundbreaking Rede Integrada de Transporte (Bus Rapid Transit system) as well as many social, environmental and educational programs. He is known for his innovative urban programming. He went on to serve two terms as Governor of Parana State in Brazil.

“I am inspired by WRI’s approach to finding creative solutions to urban, transportation, and other environmental issues,” said Lerner. “WRI is known for its innovative thinking when it comes to transportation and urban development, and I look forward to collaborating on these issues to create a more sustainable planet.”

Throughout his career, Lerner has worked to improve cities worldwide. He has received numerous awards including the United Nations Environmental Award (1990), the Child and Peace Award from UNICEF (1996), and the 2001 World Technology Award for Transportation.

These three leaders began serving on WRI’s board in August 2011.

For a complete list of WRI’s current board members, click here.