Tensie Whelan

President, Rainforest Alliance

Tensie Whelan is the president of the global sustainability non-profit Rainforest Alliance. She also serves on the boards of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition and Social Accountability International, is a member of the advisory board for corporate social responsibility at Fortis, as well as the sustainable agriculture advisory board for Unilever, sits on the governing body of the U.N. Foundation's World Heritage Alliance, and is the co-chair of the steering committee of the Sustainable Food Lab.

She has worked in the environmental field for more than 25 years, including as vice president of conservation information at the National Audubon Society and as executive director of the New York League of Conservation Voters. She was also a journalist and environmental communications consultant in Costa Rica, and the managing editor of Ambio, an international environmental journal based in Stockholm. Prior to joining the Rainforest Alliance as its executive director, Whelan worked as a management consultant to nonprofit organizations such as the Environmental Defense Fund. She holds an M.A. in International Communication from American University's School of International Service and a B.A. in Political Science from New York University. Whelan's published work includes one of the first books on ecofriendly tourism, Nature Tourism: Managing for the Environment (1991, Island Press).