Jim Leape serves as co-director of the Center for Ocean Solutions and is the William and Eva Price Senior Fellow in the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Through research, writing, and direct engagement with private and public sector leaders, Jim looks at how to drive large-scale systemic shifts to sustainability, with particular interest in expanding private sector leadership on sustainability globally.
Jim has more than three decades of conservation experience, spanning a broad range of conservation issues on every continent. From 2005 to 2014, he served as Director General of WWF International and leader of the global WWF Network, which is one of the world’s largest conservation organizations, active in more than 100 countries. In that capacity, he worked with government, business and civil society leaders on a wide range of issues, including climate change, marine conservation, forest protection, water resources management, and sustainability in global commodity markets. Before going to WWF International, Jim directed the conservation and science initiatives of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, a leading philanthropy in the U.S. Previously, he served as executive vice president of WWF-US in Washington, D.C.; as a lawyer for the United Nations Environment Programme in Nairobi, Kenya; as a law professor; and as a litigator for the National Audubon Society and for the U.S. Department of Justice.
Jim serves on the boards of the Marine Stewardship Council, Mission 2020 and the Luc Hoffmann Institute, and on the Global Future Council for the Food Security and the Environmental Stewards Board of the World Economic Forum. From 2007 to 2017, he was a member of the China Council for International Cooperation in Environment and Development, which advises the Premier of China. He is also a Distinguished Fellow at the ClimateWorks Foundation.
Leape received an A.B. with honors from Harvard College and a J.D. with honors from Harvard Law School.