The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) announced today that Jonathan Lash, president of Hampshire College and an internationally recognized sustainability leader, will join the ILFI’s Board of Directors. Under Lash’s leadership, Hampshire’s newly constructed 17,000 square foot R.W. Kern Center is pursuing certification as a Living Building, a major part of the college’s broad initiative to transform its campus into a living laboratory for sustainability systems and performance.
“Jonathan is re-imagining higher education as a place where students learn through creating environments that aim for the highest and most innovative standards of sustainability,” said Amanda Sturgeon, CEO of the International Living Future Institute. “He will bring to ILFI’s leadership team a remarkable record of turning his unique vision into practical approaches for addressing our planet’s most ambitious environmental challenges.”
“The International Living Future Institute is having an inspiring impact on architects, builders, and designers globally,” said Jonathan Lash. “Buildings represent who we are, what we do, and what we believe. We’d grown used to thinking about minimizing the damage we do to the world, but ILFI’s programs are proving that physical construction can improve our world, and leading people to rethink what is possible. I’m proud to have the opportunity to offer whatever assistance I can to advance the organization’s transformational vision and programs.”
Lash was named president of Hampshire College in 2011, arriving from World Resources Institute, a Washington-based environmental think tank focusing on issues ranging from low carbon development to sustainable transportation. Under his leadership, WRI quadrupled its budget and globalized its work, with offices in eight countries and partners in more than 50 countries.
Prior, Lash co-chaired the President’s Council on Sustainable Development, a group of government, business, labor, civil rights, and environmental leaders appointed by President Bill Clinton that developed visionary recommendations for strategies to promote sustainable development. Lash was named Vermont Commissioner of Environmental Conservation in 1985, and in 1987 was appointed Vermont Secretary of Natural Resources. He became director of the Environmental Law Center at Vermont Law School, rated the best program of its kind in the United States, in 1990.
Lash has written frequently about issues of sustainability and has served on a variety of international commissions and boards. Rolling Stone magazine has profiled Lash as one of 25 “Warriors and Heroes” who are “fighting to stave off the planet-wide catastrophe.”