Co-Chair, NWF Environmental Justice Advisory Council
For four decades, environmentalist and human rights activist, Dianne Dillon-Ridgley has been a leader in sustainability and conservation. Appointed by three U.S. Presidents, she has served on twenty-three U.S. Delegations at the UN and other global meetings. From 1997 to 2014, she was a director on the board of Interface, Inc., the world's largest manufacturer of modular carpet tiles and a global leader in sustainable design. She was also a non-executive director for and chair of the Green Mountain Energy Company Environmental committee for six years before it was bought by NRG. For more than a dozen years she was a trustee at the Center for International Environmental Law including being the first female or person of color to chair the board.
Currently CEO of the Women's Network for a Sustainable Future, she is also on the board of the National Wildlife Federation (the country’s largest private conservation group with seven million members) and formerly served as the four-time president of Population Connection, was the first female Chair of the River Network board, and was CEO of WEDO during the transition after founder, former Congresswoman Bella Abzug passed away in 1998. For over a decade, Dillon-Ridgley represented the World YWCA (Geneva, Switzerland) at the UN Headquarters in New York, chairing the UN Millennium NGO-DPI Summit in 2000, which first introduced the Millennium Development Goals. She continues on the board of the Integrated Strategies Forum and in 1999, was appointed to the Oxford University Commission on Sustainable Production and Consumption. She spent ten years as chair of the U.S. Partnership-Education for Sustainable Development and was recently elected to the board of the World Parliament of Religions, including their Climate Task Force.
She continues to serve on the Auburn University School of Human Sciences Board and the University of Iowa Tippie School of Business Advisory Board. In 2013, Dillon-Ridgley was elected to the Green Mountain College Board of Trustees, where she received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree as commencement speaker. She helped to found "The 100 Grannies for a Livable Future" and Plains Justice, an environmental law center for the Great Plains region committed to ending the use of coal and promoting renewable energy adoption. In 2017, Illinois Institute of Technology awarded Dillon-Ridgley an Honorary Doctorate of Science for Innovation in Sustainable Design.
In 2021, the Women's E-News in New York honored Dillon-Ridgley as a Pioneering Woman in Sustainability with the Inaugural "PAVE THE WAY" Award. She is committed to establishing the "Age of Sustainability", facilitating the changes needed in our societal architecture, democratizing institutions, expanding human rights for gender, ability/access issues and racial equity/equality, breaking down barriers and opening minds as well as doors-creating the new language and frames to catalyze society.
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