Michael Oko is currently the Acting Head of Communications at WRI, where he oversees the institute’s communications and engagement to advance its core mission of creating a world where people and nature can thrive. Michael leads a core team of 30-people, part of the institute’s 150+ communications staff globally. Michael works across WRI’s leadership team and programs to set the vision, narrative, strategy, and direction for the institute’s outreach.

During his time at WRI, Michael has been responsible for a wide variety of communications. This includes overseeing the editorial calendar and day-to-day communications to advance WRI’s goals and elevate its programmatic impact. He has had a direct role overseeing editorial, media, events, internal communications, and operations staff. Michael has led outreach for WRI’s priority events and launches, including at international climate summits (COPs) and for its flagship annual event, Stories to Watch. He also leads communications trainings and is responsible for issues management.

Prior to WRI, Michael was the Federal Media Director at NRDC, where he led efforts to advance the organization’s top priorities, including climate change, clean energy, public health, and other issues. Previously, Michael was a senior communication officer for the international division of the American Red Cross, focusing on humanitarian disasters, public health, and related issues.

Earlier in his career, Michael worked in advertising and film/video production in New York City, producing national television commercials, documentaries, music videos, and other projects.

Michael received a Master’s degree in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, concentrating on international economics and Southeast Asia. He received his B.A. from Cornell University.

Michael has travelled and worked in numerous countries, including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. He lives in Washington D.C. with his wife, Jennifer, two teenager kids, a dog, and an elderly cat.