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Sustainable Food Lab Advisory Board
For overseeing the transformation of the Rainforest Alliance into a respected international organization that works to transform land-use practices, business practices, and consumer behavior to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods.
Tensie Whelan is president of the Rainforest Alliance. She first became involved as a board member in 1990 and then served as a consultant, becoming the executive director in 2000. Whelan has worked in the environmental field for more than 25 years, during which time she served as the vice president of conservation information at the National Audubon Society and executive director of the New York League of Conservation Voters. She also worked as a journalist and consultant in Costa Rica; the managing editor of Ambio, a Stockholm-based international environmental journal; and as a consultant for nonprofit organizations such as the Environmental Defense Fund. Whelan serves on the advisory boards of Social Accountability International, Unilever Sustainable Sourcing Advisory Board, and is co-chair of the steering committee of the Sustainable Food Lab. She holds a M.A. in international communication from American University's School of International Service and a B.A. in political science from New York University. Whelan's published work includes one of the first books on ecofriendly tourism, Nature Tourism: Managing for the Environment. She has been recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics by the Ethisphere Institute, and was the recipient of the Wall Street Journal/Winning Workplaces Top Small Workplace Award for the Rainforest Alliance in 2008.