WASHINGTON D.C. (April 27, 2023) — World Resources Institute (WRI) is pleased to announce that Crystal Davis has been named the Global Director of its Food, Land and Water program. In this role, she will build on her 17-year tenure at WRI to lead its largest program, bringing together WRI’s work on food systems, freshwater, forests and other natural ecosystems in an integrated fashion.

“Crystal is a natural fit to lead the Food, Land & Water program, as she has a deep understanding of the many challenges and opportunities in the terrestrial sphere,” said Craig Hanson, Managing Director and Executive Vice President for Programs. “She will play an integral role in helping us achieve the ambitious targets in WRI’s five-year plan. I look forward to continuing to work with her on conserving and revitalizing the world’s ecosystems while transforming the relationship between people, nature and climate.”

Davis joined WRI in 2006 as an intern for Earth Trends, an online system for tracking key environmental indicators. She then spent five years in WRI’s Governance Program, authoring publications and co-creating an innovative indicator framework designed to advance good governance for achieving sustainable forest outcomes. In 2013, Davis became the director of Global Forest Watch (GFW), leading it to become one of WRI’s most recognized and impactful initiatives. In 2021, Crystal was selected to lead the Land & Carbon Lab, expanding the Institute’s signature strategy of combining geospatial monitoring with analysis, insights, and tools to address the entire terrestrial world.

“Crystal has shown incredible leadership over her many years at WRI. She shaped Global Forest Watch into a tool with true, on-the-ground impact and developed the Land and Carbon Lab into one of the most innovative platforms by reconciling the needs of people, climate and nature.” said Ani Dasgupta, President & CEO of World Resources Institute. “She is the perfect person to bring together the underexplored synergies across the issues of food, land and water. Crystal will help WRI bring the next level of innovation and integrated programming that is absolutely needed to meet the ambition of our collective goals on climate, biodiversity, poverty and more.”

As Director of the newly formed program, Crystal will oversee the strategy, staff, and external profile of the program. Previously existing as three distinct programs, the Food, Forest and Water programs merged into one in February 2023 to align with WRI’s new five-year strategy.

“I’ve seen firsthand how WRI’s programmatic work turns big ideas into action, resulting in positive impacts for people and ecosystems around the globe,” said Crystal Davis. “As the new head of the Food, Land, & Water Program, I am optimistic that we can achieve transformations in land use necessary to address climate change, protect nature and provide equitable development opportunities for all.”

Originally from Hawaii, Davis holds both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the Earth Systems Program at Stanford University. She lives in Oregon with her husband and two children.

About World Resources Institute
World Resources Institute (WRI) is a global research organization with offices in Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States, and regional offices for Africa and Europe. Our over 1,700 staff work with partners to develop practical solutions that improve people’s lives and ensure nature can thrive. Learn more: WRI.org and on Twitter @WorldResources.