Mark Van Putten has more than 30 years of experience in environmental policymaking and nonprofit organizational leadership at the international, national, regional, and local levels. He serves as a Public Interest Law Fellow at the University of Michigan Law School; a member of the School of Natural Resources & Environment Visiting Committee; and on the external advisory boards for U-M’s Graham Sustainability Institute and Water Center.
He is founder and president of Conservation Strategy LLC, an environmental strategy and organizational development consulting firm. Prior to founding the firm in 2003, Van Putten spent more than 20 years on the staff of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), the nation’s largest membership-based environmental group, including nearly eight years as president and chief executive. At NWF, he was responsible for programs offered to more than 4 million members and supporters, a nationwide network of state affiliates, an annual budget exceeding $100 million, a 28-member Board of Directors, and nearly 600 full-time employees based in 11 locations.
Earlier, he founded and led NWF’s Great Lakes regional office and Michigan Law’s Environmental Law Clinic.
He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Michigan Law in 1982, and has taught courses and seminars on environmental law and policy at the Law School and SNRE. He is a visiting scholar with the Energy and Climate Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C. On the 30th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, he was named one of 30 American “Clean Water Heroes.”
Van Putten is recognized as a visionary leader with proven strategic thinking and planning skills and has a concrete record of turning long-term goals into ongoing organizational reality.