A Message from Tony Cortese, Senior Fellow at Second Nature

Dear friends,

I hope you are all well and enjoying the summer!  I am writing about some important changes at Second Nature where I have worked for 20 years.  David Hales, Former President of the College of the Atlantic and one of the 12 Founding Signatories of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) became president of Second Nature (SN) this month (see attached).

I cannot tell you how delighted I am that the Second Nature Board of Directors has selected David as the next president and that he has agreed to accept this responsibility.  He and I have had an outstanding and productive professional relationship for 3 decades that started back in the public policy arena when David led the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and I led the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.  I am forever grateful for his mentorship as Chair of Second Nature Board of Directors for the last several years.

I cannot imagine having had a greater opportunity to follow my passion for transforming higher education in service of creating a healthy, just and sustainable society especially with such outstanding colleagues at Second Nature and in the higher education, business, NGO and businesses communities.  Nor could I have imagined in 1993 that the higher education system would have embraced this responsibility and opportunity as well as it has, especially in last decade.   In just over 5 years, nearly 700 colleges and universities across all 50 states and the District of Columbia that educate 6 million students have committed to and are acting on deep sustainability through the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org).  We had a terrific 5 year Anniversary Summit in June at American University with over 50 college & university presidents in attendance.  Here is an article from a business journal about the progress and importance of this effort.  http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2012/07/02/college-campuses-lessons-companies

I am not retiring in the traditional sense – my passion for sustainability and the role of higher education is too great for that.  David and the Second Nature Board have asked me to continue to work with Second Nature in a different capacity after taking some time off this summer and fall to rest, reflect and write.  For now, I intend to focus on leadership development around sustainability for senior executives in higher education and in other sectors.

Thank you for all the support you have given Second Nature and me as I pursued this passion for an education system that will help every current and future human have a decent quality of life, live in strong, secure and thriving communities and have fulfilling economic opportunity by keeping our life support system healthy enough to fulfill that goal.  It is no easy task and it gets harder every day.

I hope that you will give David and Second Nature the same kind of support you gave me.

Thanks again and warmest regards,
Anthony D. Cortese, Sc.D.
Senior Fellow, Second Nature
18 Tremont St., Suite 308
Boston, MA 02108
Cell:  617-549-4736
E-mail:  acortese @ secondnature.org